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Al Griffin Posted: May 28, 2015 9 comments
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Q I want a great-sounding home theater system (preferably wireless) that won’t break the bank. I’m interested in the Sonos system (PLAYBAR, PLAY:1 rear speakers, and SUB). The only downside is that Sonos doesn’t support AirPlay—a deal-breaker for me since much of my music is on Apple devices (MacBook, iPad, and iPhone). Someone told me I don’t really need AirPlay to play my iTunes library through Sonos. Is that true?—Paul Fox

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments
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Q I’m curious to know if there’s any criteria for home theater component selection based on room dimensions. I want to focus my search on equipment that’s an appropriate match for my space. —Bill King / via e-mail

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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, 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

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 10, 2013 2 comments
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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

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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?
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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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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 26, 2009 14 comments
Skimpy DVR
The DVR provided by Cox only has an 8-hour capacity for storing HD broadcasts. The only alternative I've found is $1000 for an HD TiVo and renting cable cards. Any suggestions?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 02, 2011 2 comments
I have a 40-inch Mitsubishi LT-40164 LED-edgelit LCD TV that I really love but for one thing—the screen darkens dramatically during dark scenes and even during credits when there may only be one or two lines of text on the screen. I have tried tweaking dozens of settings, including full backlight and brightness, but to no avail. Is this normal for LED TVs?

Steve D.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 23, 2011 1 comments
Would you calibrate a TV with dynamic contrast enabled? What's the best Blu-ray to demonstrate 7.1 audio? What's the difference between balanced and unbalanced audio?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments
I have a Samsung 46-inch LCD TV, Onkyo TX-NR509 A/V receiver, and KLH HT-60 speakers. I just got the Onkyo, and now I'd like to upgrade my speakers. I am considering the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system as well as the Pioneer SP-PK21BS speakers, but the Pioneers seem a bit large for my room (25x14 feet with a viewing distance of 10 feet). Also, the Pioneer's center speaker is so high, it would block the bottom portion of my screen.

Michael J. Leone

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 06, 2011 2 comments
I've had a very old equalizer for about 25 years, and I would love to use it for listening to my tapes. To do so, however, I didn't know that the receiver needs a "tape monitor" capability, which most modern receivers don't have. Are there any equalizers that do not need tape monitoring?


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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 30, 2009 16 comments
The Great Audio-Cable Debate
Are exotic audio cables worth the money? Can you really hear the difference? I have a hard time putting my arms around spending thousands of dollars on cable made of 99.9999% long-grain copper—as I understand it, copper is copper. Also, I've been told to use XLR interconnects.


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