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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 02, 2012 8 comments
I have a Panasonic TC-P50GT30 plasma TV and Pioneer VSX-1121 A/V receiver, both of which support HDMI version 1.4 with Audio Return Channel (ARC). The AVR's HDMI output is connected to the TV's HDMI input 1, which is the only input with ARC capability. I also have a PS3 connected to one of the TV's other HDMI inputs. When I play a Blu-ray disc on the PS3 and listen to the audio through my AVR, all I see on the AVR display is Stereo. However if I connect the PS3 to the AVR directly, I see Dolby Digital (or whatever the audio format is) on the AVR display. Does the Panasonic plasma not pass the advanced Blu-ray audio formats, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD, to my AVR via HDMI ARC?

Dan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 29, 2012 8 comments
I have a pair of Focus Audio FC8 speakers and a pair of PSB Stratus Silveris, both of which have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. I'd like to get a new receiver in the $1500-$2000 range capable of driving these speakers that also provides Audyssey or some type of room correction. Can you reccomend some receivers, keeping in mind the 4-ohm speakers? I'm curious about Pioneer's class-D receivers, but I'm not sure how they handle 4 ohms.

Jerry Zaleski

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 27, 2012 2 comments
I have an existing home theater that is 19.5x12x8.5 feet. It has two rows of raised seating, one at 11 feet from the screen and the other at 15 feet. The screen is 108 inches diagonal, 16:9, with no gain. The distance from the screen to projector ceiling mount is just over 16 feet. The windows have black-out drapes, so the ambient light is totally controlled. The walls and ceiling are white except for the window wall on the left, which has the black drapes.

I need a new projector. I would like to have 1080p and 3D. I was impressed with HT's review of the JVC DLA-X3, and now I see JVC just came out with the DLA-X30. The X3 was $4500, but now the X30 is $3500, and the same store is selling the X3 for $2500. I am not clear on the improvements of the X30 over the X3 and would appreciate your opinion if they are worth the extra $1000. More importantly, will these projectors be right for my room and seating dimensions?

Steve Schmidt

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 24, 2012 7 comments
I have a dedicated 400-square-foot theater room with a 7.1 surround system used entirely for movie viewing. I currently have a Pioneer VSX-1019 A/V receiver and plan on replacing it with either an Anthem MRX 700 or Arcam AVR400. I am torn between these two models. The Anthem has great room correction and video processing, while the Arcam has more power and lower distortion. I'm looking for the most enveloping sound experience.

Greg Barnett

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 22, 2012 4 comments
I am looking to buy a TV for my sun room, which is 18x20 and has two 6x4 windows on three of the four walls, with the fourth wall facing the inside of my home. The TV would be located on this fourth wall. The room does get a lot of sun, but all the windows have blinds that can be closed fully to block out all meaningful direct sunlight, although some indirect sunlight does seep through.

I'm thinking about getting the Panasonic TC-P55VT30, but I'm concerned about any plasma TV's ability to deal with the brightness of this room during the day. On the other hand, also important is off-axis viewing, which is a plasma strength and an LCD weakness. Will the plasma wash out during the day even with the blinds closed due to the seeping/indirect sunlight? If so, what LED-LCD would you recommend, since I assume all plasmas would have the same issue? If there is a plasma that would not suffer this issue, I would welcome that name also.

Steven Lawless

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 17, 2012 3 comments
I have received an estimate for a basement home theater utilizing an Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6010 projector and a Dragonfly 2.35:1 screen. The installer recommends a Panamorph FVX200 anamorphic-lens system to convert movies to match the aspect ratio of the screen, but I question the value of this $3000 add-on to improve the home-theater experience.

Gregg Berkowitz

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 15, 2012 8 comments
I've been seeing announcements from the pop-music industry about the discontinuation of physical media in favor of online content. What will this mean for home theater, considering the increasing bitrates for video and 7- and 11-channel audio? If we are moving toward 4K, won't we need physical media for a long time to come?

Michael Johnston

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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: Feb 08, 2012 22 comments
I am considering buying a Denon AVR-2112CI receiver with Bose Acoustimass 10 speakers. I chose Bose because I have a small living room (15x20 feet). I have a 46-inch Sony LCD TV, and the space to put a 5.1 speaker system is 2.5x5 feet. I've been saving for a year and cannot decide whether I should buy Bose.

I recently came across your site and found your Top Picks for A/V receivers and compact speakers. In particular, I was interested in the Pioneer VSX-1021 AVR and the Cambridge Audio Minx S215 or Definitive ProCinema 600 speaker systems because they are smaller than the Pioneer SP-BS41-LR system.

I hope you can advise me on which receiver and speaker system to get. My budget is between $1000 and $1500.

Emmanuel

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 06, 2012 7 comments
Do you have any recommended settings for the Sony KDL-46Z4100 LCD TV? I am presently using the factory default settings in the Cinema picture mode, which I'm told is the best mode to start with.

Fitz Forde

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 03, 2012 6 comments
Which is best, PCM or bitstream from a Blu-ray player to the A/V receiver? I have reviewed many posts on various forums, but I have not found a definitive answer. I have an Onkyo TX-SR608 AVR and an LG Blu-ray player capable of decoding DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD lossless audio. I view Blu-ray discs and regular DVDs about 50/50; certainly Blu-ray when available. Should I set the player to output PCM or bitstream? Why one over the other? Do I need to tell the AVR which stream is incoming?

James

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 01, 2012 18 comments
I need a new big-screen TV for the big game. I can afford between $2000 and $2500. I was told that plasma is way better than LCD, so I have spent about three weeks researching my options. I finally narrowed it down to either the Samsung PN64D7000 or Panasonic TC-P65ST30.

I promptly went to BrandsMart just to look at the two and finally decide which one. Of course, BrandsMart had neither model, but then the salesman tried to sell me on LED, which I had not researched before. He said plasma technology is on its way out and LED was the wave of the future, and that the Sharp LC-70LE735U was what I needed. What's your take on this?

Also, does it make sense to buy the same brand of TV, sound system, and Blu-ray player? Lastly, not being a techie, is it really hard to connect all three?

Rich Mickiewicz

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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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