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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 28, 2016 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own a Marantz NR1606 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-enabled AV receiver, a Roku 4 streamer, a Samsung Ultra HD Blu-ray player, and a Samsung JS8500 Ultra HDTV. Which of these devices will deliver the best audio and video performance for streaming? —Richard Wahlstrom

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 27, 2016 1 comments
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QI’m looking for a playback system that can rip, convert, and store my Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, CDs, and SACD/DVD-Audio discs in a format that preserves their high resolution and multichannel sound. I’ve looked at HTPCs and multi-bay drives but am having trouble finding a solution that’s affordable. Do you have any suggestions? —Stephen Romanelli / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 19, 2016 0 comments
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Q Can recorded programs be transferred from one DVR to another? —Joe Nagy / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 08, 2016 3 comments
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Q I have dozens of concerts and other programs that I recorded using JVC’s HRD-470U, one of the best VHS tape machines ever made. Here’s my problem: even high-quality VHS tapes look terrible when played on a high-definition digital TV. Is there some sort of “widget” I can buy that will make VHS recordings look better on my HDTV? —Jay Daley / Wickenburg, AZ

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 01, 2016 10 comments
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Q I recently bought High-Res Audio downloads of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century” from HDtracks. When I play them with my Sony NWZ-A17 Walkman, the volume is much lower than what I hear from FLAC versions of the same music ripped from my CDs. I complained to HDtracks and they said this was normal for HD-resolution files. Can you explain why? —Jacques Simard

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 25, 2016 11 comments
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Q There are two-dozen or so Ultra HD Blu-rays available for purchase, with many more hopefully to come. However, none of the UHD Blu-ray releases are available in 3D, even if the theatrical version was in 3D. Do you know if there are future plans for 3D Ultra HD Blu-rays, or has the home video industry decided to kill off 3D for good?

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 18, 2016 5 comments
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Q I assembled my surround sound setup back in 2002. It still sounds awesome, but I'm wondering about the speaker wires. I spent good money for nice 12-gauge speaker wire, the ends of which are bare. Every time I break the system down to move, I see the bare wire and worry that corrosion or some other devious detractor is attacking it. Is that something I should worry about? Should I consider clipping and re-stripping at some point? —Scott M.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 15, 2016 5 comments
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Q Digital high-definition broadcasting started back in 1998, but since then, only video has received a facelift, not audio. Why hasn’t DTV audio evolved to at least Dolby Digital Plus status? —David Musoke / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 11, 2016 13 comments
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Q I'm looking to load my CD collection into a hi-res ripper/music server that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. My plan is to connect it to my Pioneer SC-85 receiver so I can browse lists of artists and titles on my TV. Do you have any suggestions? —April Seale

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 04, 2016 18 comments
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Q I am looking to replace the 65-inch Panasonic plasma TV in my man cave/theater room with a larger, high dynamic range-compatible Ultra HD model that would be used for watching sports and movies. I was considering a Samsung 85-inch LCD, but am also looking into a projector like the JVC DLA-X550R, a Sound & Vision top pick. When all is said and done, I believe that the cost would be the same: roughly $8-10,000. My room is 30 feet long by 20 feet wide, so I have plenty of wall space for the new screen. What display should I buy? —Chris Amaral

A Since your room is a man cave, I’d say get a projector. To me, man cave implies an utter absence of aesthetic or lifestyle considerations that might interfere with the quest to get the biggest, best picture possible. It also means stuff like dartboards and mirrors embossed with the Jack Daniel’s logo, but that’s not our concern here.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 28, 2016 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q In my current system, the receiver’s subwoofer output connects to an external amp linked to a passive subwoofer via a 20-foot length of speaker wire. The speaker wire runs under the floor and is tacked to the basement floor joists, where it crosses several household electrical wires. I would like to upgrade my subwoofer, but am having trouble finding one that is not self-powered. What concerns me about using a powered sub in my current setup is that the 20-foot coaxial cable run from the receiver to the sub would be susceptible to noise and interference. Are my fears unfounded? — David C.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 25, 2016 4 comments
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Q About five years ago, I got serious (at least by my tightly budgeted standards) about home theater and purchased a 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV, a Yamaha 7.1-channel AV receiver, and Klipsch speakers. This setup has provided me with a great in-home listening/viewing experience, but I wonder which upgrade could better take things to the next level: Atmos/DTS:X audio or 4K/HDR video? Both would require a new receiver. For audio, I could easily add Klipsch Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos elevation speakers to my current system and be ready for Atmos/DTS:X. That option would be quite a bit cheaper than buying a new receiver plus a 60-inch or larger high dynamic range (HDR)-capable 4K TV. Which upgrade do you think would provide the biggest wow factor?—Adam Head / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 21, 2016 9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q For years, I had a projection system that dropped down in front of a plasma TV in my multi-use living room. I loved it but ended up using it less and less as the hassle of viewing in a blacked-out room grew to bother me. I have now moved and am considering options for my new living room. With the price drops of 80-inch LCDs, it’s hard to see a reason to use a projector anymore. I know the screens are getting better, but projection systems still can’t match the brightness and contrast of an LCD panel with local dimming. Then again, 80 inches is nowhere near as big as 120 inches. Right now I’m leaning toward the new Vizio M-series 80-incher. What are your thoughts? —Alex Smith / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 14, 2016 9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have become enamored with the Denon AVR-X7200W receiver after reading a review of it in Sound & Vision. Not only does it have all the features I want, it should allow me to expand my home theater/audio world with little compromise to my existing system.  

Now this is really old school, but I need to know if there is some provision for connecting a cassette deck and CD recorder.  I know the AVR-X7200W lacks dedicated tape loop inputs/outputs, but I wonder if some of its other assignable audio jacks could be used for that purpose.  Why? I have a couple of vintage cars with cassette players in them and want to preserve the original equipment aspect of the cars, right down to the audio systems. It’s great to go cruising and listen to music, no matter what the vintage, in a vintage car. Please let me know if my plan is possible with this Denon receiver.—Ed Sobiecki

A Preserving the original equipment aspect of a vintage car — now there’s a good reason finally to initiate serious discussion of the recently resurrected cassette tape format !

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 07, 2016 13 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have plans to buy a new LG 65EF9500 OLED TV. Here’s my question: How long a break-in period would you recommend before having it professionally calibrated? I used my current Panasonic plasma for about 100 hours before having it calibrated.  Also, can any ISF-certified technician handle an OLED TV, or does it require special training? —John Violette

A It’s recommended that you treat an OLED TV the same as you would a plasma for the first 100 hours of use, being careful not to leave fixed images like electronic program guides or paused video game frames onscreen for an extended amount of time. This will be especially important when viewing high dynamic range (HDR) content with the 65EF9500. LG even warns about the potential for burn-in in the EF9500’s manual and recommends steps you can take to prevent it, though any image retention you experience in most situations should only be temporary.

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