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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 25, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m in the market for a new 7.1 home theater receiver but have been told that many lower-end models do not pass HDMI audio signals from an Apple TV box or Blu-ray player to their Zone 2 or Speaker B outputs. Is this true? I don't want to invest in a new receiver if I can't play Internet radio from my Apple TV, or Pandora from my Blu-ray Player, to the speakers on my patio. Is there a way to identify receivers that do or do not support this? —James Goar

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 18, 2015 15 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a 7.1-channel surround system with four dipole surround speakers. My plan is to move the back surround speakers to the ceiling in my home theater and use them for down-firing height speakers in a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup.  The room is 12 x 20 feet with a flat, 8-foot-high ceiling. Will I get a good Atmos experience with this setup? How will it work for DTS:X? —Dan Spaughs

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 11, 2015 13 comments
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Q I have TVs connected to both of my Onkyo TX-NR636 receiver’s HDMI outputs and am finding that I need to have both sets switched on before the receiver will pass any video content. Any suggestions on what settings to look for?—Chris Hauer

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 04, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am new to the world of home theater, but I’m building a house soon and want to plan for the possibility of a home theater setup. I like the idea of having in-ceiling speakers running the surround sound. Is it possible to set up a Dolby Atmos system that exclusively uses in-ceiling speakers?—Jonathan Huizingh / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: May 28, 2015 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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: May 25, 2015 3 comments
Q I have a 7.1 setup and am interested in upgrading my receiver/processor to one that supports Dolby Atmos. My situation won’t allow me to easily run new wires. Is there a good wireless speaker option for adding channels from a receiver/processor? Or would I be better off trying to retrofit/hide new wire runs? —Mason Guy / via e-mail
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Al Griffin Posted: May 21, 2015 12 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I went to Best Buy looking for a TV with the highest possible refresh rate. (I like to watch sports.)

The salesperson there explained to me that buying a 240Hz TV would be a waste of money since there are no broadcasts with that frame rate—TV networks, cable, and satellite providers all transmit either 60Hz or 120Hz signals. He also said that if a set receives a signal that doesn’t match from its native refresh rate (240 Hz, for example), it can’t convert it. Was the salesman right, or I should follow through with my initial plan to buy a 240Hz set? —Nelson Aleman

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Al Griffin Posted: May 12, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m planning a significant overhaul of my home theater and am leaning toward using the configuration suggested for Auro-3D: 10.1, with four corner speakers and one overhead voice-of-god speaker. In replacing my current AV receiver with separates, I am concerned about buying amplifiers that I can keep over the next several advances in surround sound tech/features. Here’s my question: When using height speakers, is it important that they be amplified at the same power as those near ear-level?—Quest Fanning / Brooklyn, NY

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Al Griffin Posted: May 07, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just purchased a Samsung 4K UHDTV and am now ready to spring for a new AV receiver. It’s May 2015. Are there any HDCP 2.2-compatible AV receivers available yet? —Pat Balice

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Al Griffin Posted: May 05, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m considering buying a home where the builder has options for structured wiring. The markup on this option seems a little high (a few hundred dollars to go from 16-gauge to 12-gauge speaker wire, etc.). I know the best time to run wire is during the construction process, but what is the best way to accomplish it: builder, custom installer, or DIY? One major concern is that the exterior walls will have spray-foam insulation, so once that’s in, I’m thinking those walls are hands-off.—Mike Sellers / Tomball, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 29, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am looking for a standalone headphone surround sound processor that handles both Dolby Digital and DTS and lets me use my own headphones. Does such a product exist? —Anthony Aurigemma

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 27, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Can I use two different brands of subwoofers in my home theater?—Alphonse Michelet / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 23, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The head unit on my new Lexus has a USB input. This feature inspired me to purchase a 32GB flash drive and rip my CD collection using Windows Media Player. I used the WMA setting with the bitrate maxed out to 192Kbps for the first few discs I ripped, and those files played back in the car without issue. For the next batch I tried both the WMA Lossless and WAV formats. Although the files played back in Windows Media Player on my PC, they wouldn't play when I plugged the drive into the head unit’s USB port. Can you explain why? —Buck CornHauler

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 16, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently purchased a pair of Definitive Technology BP 8060 ST tower speakers with built-in subs. They are connected to my Sony STR-DH750 receiver. What would be the correct speaker setting if I used the 8060s as my front speakers (set to Large) and continued to use my Sony sub for LFE instead of the ones built into the Def Tech towers? The rest of my system consists of two Infinity rear surrounds and a center speaker, plus two Bose speakers mounted on the front wall that I use for height speakers. —Kevin Bolin / Houston, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 09, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I read lots about digital to analog audio converters (DACs), mostly because of high-res computer audio. Here’s my question: Why do some DACs have a digital output? If the purpose of a DAC is to convert a digital audio signal to analog, why would you want it to output the signal in digital format as well? —Jacques Simard

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