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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 13, 2011 0 comments
I read somewhere that HDMI only provides 2-channel audio from a Blu-ray player or other source device to an A/V receiver. This implies that the coax digital output from the player must be used for 5.1-channel audio to the A/V receiver. Is this true? If so, does the same apply to the digital out of a satellite receiver?

Don Sigman

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 21, 2010 1 comments
Never Enough Inputs
I recently purchased a Toshiba 46-inch LCD TV, which has four HDMI inputs. Unfortunately, I need more than that. I own an Apple TV, Mac Mini, PS3, XBox 360, and Boxee Box, and I will soon get a Roku XDS player. I want to get an HDMI receiver that has at least six HDMI inputs and one or two outputs to accommodate all these devices. I have decent home theater speakers connected to an audio receiver, which I don't intend to upgrade at the moment.

So here's my question: What HDMI receiver would you recommend? I don't want to spend a lot on it, but I want something that gets the job done. My budget is around $150-$200.

Clive Rodrigues

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 14, 2011 6 comments
I have an older Toshiba 57H82 TV with component-video inputs—not HDMI—and an Onkyo TX-SR608 A/V receiver with HDMI. I would like to connect HDMI hardware, such as a Roku box and DirecTV tuner, to the HDMI inputs of my receiver, but I can't connect the HDMI output of the receiver to the TV. I have heard of the HDfury, which is supposed to convert HDMI to component. Will that work? Do you have any suggestions, or am I stuck until I buy a new TV?

Gary Wilson

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 10, 2012 3 comments
I'm a listener from Lima, Peru, and I love your podcast. In episode 71, you said that you use hearing protection when you go to the movies or concerts. What do you use, specifically? I am very concerned about protecting my hearing, as I have a relatively low tolerance to loud sounds, compared to other people. I tend to cringe and almost feel pain when I'm in loud environments, more than anybody else. But I like music, so I bought a pair of in-ear monitors (Etymotic ER4s) some years ago. I like the isolation so much that I sometimes leave them in my ears with no music, just to hear nothing.

I recently ordered a pair of ER20 "high fidelity plugs" from Etymotic, a universal-fit, low-cost option ($12.95) that the company claims to reduce sound by approximately 20dB in all frequencies. Have you ever tried them? I have also ordered a pair of custom-fit sleeves for my ER4s from ACS Custom. (When I was in the US, I went to an audiologist for my ear-canal impressions.) Because I had my impressions taken, I can also order a pair of custom-fit plugs with filters. However, they are more expensive ($185). Do you recommend the custom-fit ones?

Marcos Murayama

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 26, 2011 8 comments
I bought a new Sony Blu-ray player with an HDMI output that I want to connect to an older Mitsubishi HDTV that only has component and composite inputs. I've seen HDMI-to-component converters on the Internet, but will they improve the picture quality over just staying with the Blu-ray component outputs?

Joseph Bernard

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 10, 2011 3 comments
I just listened to episode 63 of your Home Theater Geeks podcast and heard that 3D may be making a move to 48 or 60 frames per second. Am I correct that this is a problem for Blu-ray because it cannot accommodate this higher frame rate? Does this mean we will soon see a new disc format?

Charlie Raskob

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 05, 2011 1 comments
Why should I purchase high-quality audio equipment if the new groups, and even most of the legacy artists, aren't committed to manufacturing/mixing their oeuvre with high quality? What are your sources to purchase current and backstock music?

Dave Butler

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 13, 2011 4 comments
I'm interested in building a music server for high-rez audio files. I'd like something such as a Mac Mini but with more drive space and lower cost. Dell Zino perhaps? Most importantly, I need a player that will handle all music file formats, including lossless. Also, I need a DAC for under $1000. Any suggestions on how best to pull this off?

Scott Kaplan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 23, 2011 0 comments
I have a $15,000 budget (display, speakers, components) for a home theater in a 11x14 section of a 16x25 game room. However, I am limited to ceiling-mounted surround speakers. Does anyone make in-ceiling rear speakers that tonally match a killer set of front towers and center channel? I read all the in-ceiling reviews and the Top Picks, but I can't figure out how to blend a system. Also, I've read your reviews of the Marantz components; the AV7005 looks awesome, but maybe it's overpowered for my dual-use game room and home theater? I love the Ask Home Theater column; please send some help this way!

Joe Boyle

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 18, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I bought a Benq W1070 projector and plan to install it in my 22-foot long by 18-foot wide by 8.5-foot high basement. The room was pre-wired by the previous owner and there’s a ceiling mount with an electric outlet close to it. The mount is about 16 feet away from the front wall. Is that too far for this projector? I was originally planning to buy a 120 inch screen, but it appears that I would need at least a 150 to 170 inch screen for that distance.—Srikanth Athipatla

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 11, 2013 2 comments
Q How big a subwoofer would I need to produce good home theater-quality bass in a 3,100-cubic-foot room? Would the Hsu VTF-15H be up to the job, or is there a better choice in my target price range (around $1,000)? —Steven Winter / via e-mail
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 30, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have an old Harman Kardon receiver that has served me well for several years and would like to continue using it. Do you have any suggestions for a way I could stream audio from my computer (primarily from iTunes and Spotify) to my receiver over Wi-Fi? —Doug Burton / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2014 6 comments
The effects of dynamic volume control are illustrated in this diagram from Audyssey.

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q When watching a movie, I often have to turn the volume up to hear the dialogue but then find that the action scenes are too loud and have to turn it down again. My speakers are all from the same product line, so I know they are meant to play well together. I also use the automatic room correction on my Pioneer VSX-914-K AV receiver to adjust levels and distances for the speakers. Is the volume issue due to the way movies are mixed these days? —Ricky Meadows / via e-mail Ricky Meadows / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 17, 2014 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Can you recommend an affordable device to connect an iPhone or iPod to an old AV receiver and still get good sound? — Stan Reed 

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 03, 2014 5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are there any inexpensive options for converting LPs and cassette tapes to digital files on a laptop via USB? I know of several software programs (such as Audacity) that can capture and edit the audio files, but what about the hardware? I own quite a number of LPs and cassette tapes that I would like to archive, and I don’t want to have to buy a USB-equipped tape deck (provided there is such a thing) and turntable. Instead, I would prefer to connect my components directly to the converter or use my AV receiver’s record loop ouput. —Eric Tang / via email

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