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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 17, 2011 2 comments
Over the years, we have collected around 600+ movies on VHS. Is there anything on the market that I can use to copy these to DVD? Most are copy-protected, so I can't just dub them in my Panasonic VCR/DVD recorder. I have two Panasonic DVD recorders that I've been able to copy a few movies on, but most will not let you copy them. I would hate to have to buy all these movies again on either DVD or now Blu-ray.

Tom Shewell

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 29, 2011 2 comments
I want to digitize my old 8mm videotapes. My computer is a new HP 6610 (AMD Athelon II 635 CPU, Windows 7, 64-bit). I have an old Sony 8mm camcorder connected to an ADVC-55 video-capture box via S-video and red/white audio cables. The AVDC-55 connects to the computer via FireWire.

I used Ulead Video Studio 5 DV to capture the first tape, then I tried the HP program that came with the computer. The HP program captured directly to MPG and seemed brighter (I think), but I think I want AVI files so I can edit them. During the transfer, the picture is brighter in the camera eyepiece screen, but the playback of the digital file on my computer is darker.

Could the problem be the capture program, or is it just the hardware? Most of the reviews I've read say that cheap USB video-capture devices don't perform well, so I bought the AVDC-55. However, a friend at work said he had good results with a cheap USB unit. Are the new ones any good?

Can you recommend a free or low-cost capture program that makes brighter AVI files? Making them brighter in the editing program sounds like even more work. Also, what free or low-cost video-editing program do you like? Is the Windows downloadable one any good?

John P.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 11, 2011 7 comments
I have an old 50-inch front-projection TV sold by Sears under the brand Proformance around 1984. The picture is still good overall, but small text such as a ticker at the bottom and sports scores are out of focus. Large text is okay. It seems like it needs to be re-focused and realigned on the screen, but I don't have a manual and neither does the Internet. I also don't want to put any tech money into this TV, so hopefully I can do the adjustment myself. Included in this message are pics of the TV and the problem along with the control panel. Is there anything I can do to correct these problems?

I found a link to a procedure to refocus a 3-CRT rear-projection TV, and I wonder if it will work from the front controls of my TV?

Donna

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 10, 2012 6 comments
I just bought a Mitsubishi WD-Y657 65-inch DLP rear-projection TV in perfect condition for $300. I've tried to find the best picture settings online, but I can't find anything for this model. Can you provide any help or suggest a good setup disc? Hopefully something easy to use, as I'm fairly new at this.

Cody Lacroix

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 15, 2011 2 comments
I bought the Spyder3TV calibration system a few years ago but never used in on my former 50-inch plasma. I now have a Panasonic TC-P54G25 plasma, and I love it, but I haven't calibrated it yet. Is the Spyder3TV any good, or is there a better one? Also, is it even necessary to calibrate it?

Doug Pennell

Filed under
Al Griffin Posted: Jul 31, 2014 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently went to my local electronics store to check out the TVs. Every set, whether 4K or 1080p, was displaying 4K programming, and I have to say that even the 1080p sets looked great when showing 4K. Here’s my question: Do 1080p TVs downscale 4K video, or does the 4K server perform that function before passing the signal on to the TV? —Bill Carman / via e-mail

Filed under
Al Griffin Posted: Apr 17, 2014 5 comments
Q I am in the market for a new 3D player and have been looking at the Oppo 103 and 103D.  But the various online forums I’ve visited all say that there is hardly any picture quality difference between the Oppos and other Blu-ray players like those from Sony and Panasonic. Is that true? —Joe Montanez / via email
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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 24, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I need to replace an old receiver that has a phono input for my turntable. Do I need to get another receiver with a phono input, or can I just use the receiver’s Tape or Aux inputs instead?—David L. Waller 

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 16, 2011 0 comments
I love your Home Theater Geeks podcast; I listen every week. But I can't find a way to download older episodes. They are all available at twit.tv/htg, but when I follow the link to download them from iTunes, all I can see are the most recent 20 shows. I am trying to download episode 25 but cannot because of this.

Matt Olan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 12, 2011 2 comments
My current speakers are Aerial Acoustics Model 7Bs, which I have been very happy with. However, I am moving from a 20x16 listening area with a 20-foot ceiling to a senior-living condo with a 14x14 listening area and 9-foot ceiling. In my opinion, the 7Bs will take up too much room and, I believe, are not suitable for the smaller area. I like the Aerial line and would like to keep the sound quality I am used to. I have been thinking about the 6Bs, and I wonder if you have ever listened to them? I have received a few options from some dealers, but I'd like to get your take or maybe some other suggestions you may have.

Xavier Beard

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 17, 2011 7 comments
What gear would you get if you were building your dream home theater? Let's say you had an unlimited budget for video and $100,000 for audio. What speakers, amp, preamp, projector, and screen would you get? Also what would your surround configuration be? 7.1, 9.2, 11.4? Where would you put the speakers? Would you utilize the back surrounds or front height and width channels?

Spencer Torgan

Filed under
Al Griffin Posted: Oct 10, 2013 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com.

Q I wish to place center-channel speakers above and below my projection screen. I know the distance from the two speakers to the seating position at ear level will not be the same, and I would like to know how to calibrate or compensate for this difference. I have a 5.1 surround setup with an Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player, a six-channel amp, and a powered sub. I am patient enough to do the onscreen setup from the Oppo, but I’m at a loss over the dual center speaker issue. —Dale Kay / via e-mail

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 28, 2009 10 comments
Not Just for HDTVs
I own a Sony VPL-VW60 HD projector. Can I use Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray to set it up, or is this only for HDTVs?
Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 21, 2011 0 comments
I have a Dish Network Model 722 DVR (pictured above) connected to a Vizio E420VO HDTV via HDMI. When I turn the TV's volume up above 0, I get a slight low-level hum, almost like a 60Hz hum, which does not increase as I raise the volume level. If I turn the volume down to 0, there is no hum. The audio from TV programs is loud enough to mask the noise when listening at a normal volume level. I tried another HDMI cable with no change. It doesn't happen with my LG Blu-ray player; I even swapped the inputs, and the noise followed the DVR. The cables are 6-foot HDMI and not expensive. Everything is plugged into an APC uninterruptible power supply unit, though the hum happens with or without the UPS unit in line with the AC outlet.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Should I just ignore it or try to cure this low-level hum?

Dan Roy

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