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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 27, 2012 7 comments
I recently added Energy CF-50 towers to my system. My other equipment includes Definitive Technology C/L/R 2002 center and SM 350 bookshelf speakers for the surrounds, all powered by a Denon AVR-1912. I'm concerned that I may be underpowering my speakers, because within the first two weeks, the left speaker blew out. Luckily, I was able to exchange the blown speaker, but my question is, should I upgrade to a more-powerful receiver?

Dan Marchio

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 25, 2012 2 comments
I have a Sony KDL-32M4000 LCD TV, which has a native pixel resolution of 1366x768. It can accept a 720p or 1080i video signal, but not 1080p. So which looks better for watching Blu-ray, 720p or 1080i? The TV seems to auto-select 1080i.

Jim Irwin

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 23, 2012 13 comments
I have a Cambridge Audio 540R V3 receiver, Panasonic DMP-BD210 Blu-ray player, Pace RNG200N HD/ENP cable box, and Panasonic TC-P42ST30 plasma TV. The guy at the store where I bought the two Panasonic products told me to connect the cable box and Blu-ray player to the TV with HDMI and connect the TV's digital audio output to the receiver with a Toslink cable. I am new at all this, but I do not think this is the best way to have the best sound considering my receiver—which, by the way, can only deal with video via HDMI, not sound. What do you think ?

Luc Lesage

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 02, 2012 6 comments
I am installing a home theater in the basement (17x15 feet) with a budget of $10,000 to $20,000. I am considering two rows of seating with the second row close to the back wall. I have finalized a few things, but I'm still debating between projection (2D versus 3D) and a large LED-LCD TV. Also, I'm trying to decide between 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. Here are my top product candidates with the best prices I have found:

In terms of projectors, I'm looking at the Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 9700 UB (2D, $3,100) and 5010 (3D, $3,000) on an Elite screen (120 inches, $500). Or should I get a Sharp 80-inch LED LCD ($4,300)? The most likely A/V receiver is the Marantz SR7005 ($1,500), which is not THX-certified; is that okay? I've decided on the Definitive Technology Mythos STS SuperTower system ($4,000 for 5.1, $4,500 for 7.1). Finally, do you think the Universal MX-880 remote is better than Logitech Harmony universal remotes?

Chandrasekhar R. Vasamreddy

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 28, 2011 9 comments
I've long heard the argument that you cannot tell the difference between 720p and 1080p displays unless you have a large screen and/or you sit very close to the TV. That sounds reasonable enough. But there's one thing I've never heard addressed as part of this debate—the issue of scaling. If most high-definition channels are broadcast at 1080i, aren't there scaling issues if you're viewing it on a 720p TV? Obviously, the real-world impact depends on the incoming signal and where the scaling occurs (TV, receiver, cable box). What do you think? Is this a noticeable issue?

Chris Keczkemethy

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 27, 2011 3 comments
Is there a site that can help determine the right screen size for a given seating distance? In my case, the distance from my couch to the TV is 7 feet.

Emery Walker

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 19, 2011 3 comments
With so many components now able to connect to the Internet, how do you choose which one to use (TV, Blu-ray player, AVR, etc.)? Do you have to connect all of them?

Art Jacques

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 16, 2011 3 comments
You have the best home-theater website, hands down. I also love your short guest appearance on Leo Laporte's radio show every week. I notice that you talk about plasma and LED LCD TVs a lot, but very rarely talk about DLP TVs. Even last weekend when you were the guest host on Leo's show, there was no mention of it. Is this because the technology and displays are not as good as plasmas and LCD TVs, or is it because there is no market for those TVs? Or is there another reason? I can get the Mitsubishi WD-92840 92-inch DLP TV for about $3300! No plasma or LED comes close to this price. If I want an 80-inch or larger flat panel, I'm looking at somewhere north of $10,000!

Levy Sergio Palacios

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 14, 2011 1 comments
I have a Panasonic Viera TC-P42G15 plasma TV, and there is some ghosting in the bottom-left corner; I had a news channel on pause for over an hour with the contrast set to 100. I don't think this was during the break-in period. Now, in bright or snowy scenes and during older movies in which blacks are noisy and brownish gray, I can see three streaks where the station's logo was. Will I be stuck with this, or is there a way to remove it?

Matt Sutherland

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Posted: Dec 12, 2011 1 comments
My room is 13x17, and my seating distance is 13 feet in the long direction. What size screen would be best to use with an Optoma HD20 projector? Since the HD20 is a beginner-level projector, is it better to use a small screen? Does that help control the black level?

Jayalakshmipandurangaricemill Panduranga

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 05, 2011 6 comments
Between the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C and Oppo BDP-95, which sound better for music? I know the Oppo can play SACD, but is the difference significant? I have a Sunfire 200Wpc amp and Von Schweikert VR-4 Generation III speakers.

Pender Linwood

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 02, 2011 8 comments
I currently have a Sony KP-51HW40 51-inch CRT rear-projection HDTV. I find the picture quality stunning, with great contrast and solid blacks. Since it is a CRT-based display, I believe the black levels are better than most plasma sets. Is this correct? I ask because I'm thinking of upgrading to a 60-inch plasma, most likely the Panasonic TC-P60S30. I see from your review of the TC-P50S30 that it has what you call "reasonably good blacks" at 0.009fL. Is this black level much inferior (less black) compared with my Sony CRT? I am afraid of buying the Panasonic and having poorer blacks than what I am used to, because black level is very important to me. I am also curious about how the overall picture quality compares between both sets.

Daniel Hebert

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 30, 2011 1 comments
I have a Denon AVR-4311CI A/V receiver, and I'm looking to upgrade my speakers, which currently include the Polk Audio TSi400 front left and right (bi-amped), CS10 center, FXi A6 side surrounds, RM 8 back surrounds, and two DSW Pro 500 subwoofers. The room is about 15x18x8.

I plan to get the Aperion Audio Verus Grand towers and center to begin with. When funds allow, I will upgrade the surrounds. Do you think the Denon will provide enough power to push the Grands like they should be, or do I need to look for a separate amp? I am concerned with the quality of the sound and do not usually play at a loud level.

Andrew Phillips

Filed under
Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 28, 2011 4 comments
Are the blacks visually better on the Panasonic ST30 plasma compared with the S30? And do I really need to pay attention to the Moving Picture Resolution spec? Are there any models you would consider other than these? I'm not interested in 3D, but I understand that it will be included with the better TVs.

Dave Butler

Filed under
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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