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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

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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

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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

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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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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 21, 2011 7 comments
You've convinced me not to worry about future 3D technology and to just get a 3D TV now. I'm finally about to go to the store, but instead of getting the Samsung UA46D7000 LED LCD, I'm going to get the Samsung PS51D8000 plasma, a cheaper yet larger and higher-end model. My one concern is that, since the PS51D8000 is a plasma, do I need to break it in? I know you do it all the time for reviews, but I've read that Samsung has said that it's unnecessary anymore. So should I break it in, just be careful for the first 100 hours, or not worry at all?

Nik in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 18, 2011 15 comments
I have a problem with my dedicated home theater—my center channel doesn't always sound clear. I've heard other systems whose dialog is crystal clear, but mine isn't. My system includes Klipsch speakers (RF-83 fronts, RC-64 center, RB-81 rears), two Velodyne DD-15 subwoofers with SVS AS-EQ1 equalizer, Anthem Statement P5 5-channel power amp, and Integra DHC-9.9 pre/pro. I've attached a photo of where my center-channel speaker sits, plus another one of the front of the theater. Any advice would be appreciated.

Rick Audinot

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 16, 2011 0 comments
I have a Samsung 46-inch LCD TV, Onkyo TX-NR509 A/V receiver, and KLH HT-60 speakers. I just got the Onkyo, and now I'd like to upgrade my speakers. I am considering the Energy Take Classic 5.1 system as well as the Pioneer SP-PK21BS speakers, but the Pioneers seem a bit large for my room (25x14 feet with a viewing distance of 10 feet). Also, the Pioneer's center speaker is so high, it would block the bottom portion of my screen.

Michael J. Leone

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 14, 2011 4 comments
I have a Yamaha RX-V2400 A/V receiver driving a set of Boston Acoustics VR2 towers and a Boston PV1000 subwoofer. My question is what crossover, if any, should I set on the front of the subwoofer? It has three controls—a selector switch with 50, 80, 120, and 150Hz; Crossover Set or None; and Polarity None or 180. I did not get a manual because it was a floor model. My bass sounds odd and it is bothering me.

Greg Peckinpaugh

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 11, 2011 5 comments
Thanks for your amazing podcast; I've been an avid listener since episode 1. I was wondering if you could spend some time on the topic of ultra-widescreen projectors and 21:9 TVs. There are very few products of the sort, and many people spend a small fortune on anamorphic lenses, stretching processors, and such. Why are there no native 21:9 projectors out there? Ninety percent of my viewing is in 2.35 and above, and I always have black bars on the top and bottom. In my mind, 16:9 is the new full screen. What's coming down the road ahead?

Atli Davidsson

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 09, 2011 4 comments
I just bought a refurbished Audiovox 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box made in 2002 for $144 (original price $299). I can still return it and wonder if there is a better option at this price point. I found a refurbished Onkyo HT-S3300 for about $300 and wonder if it is worth the extra $150? I have a new LG 42-inch flat-panel LCD TV in a medium-size family room. I have no idea if the Audiovox for $144 is a good deal or not. I couldn't care less about Blu-ray or 3D, but I want good sound. Can you give me any tips or suggestions?

Sheridan Long

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 07, 2011 5 comments
I have two plasma TVs, an older Philips 1080i/720p and a newer Panasonic 1080p. I have Verizon FiOS with HD DVR that lets me choose 720p or 1080i output. Which should I choose for the best picture for watching sports? I seem to remember reading somewhere that 720p is best for sports and 1080i is better for movies, but I'm not sure if that still holds true.

Also, I'm considering getting a new 1080p set, and I see you have the Panasonic TC-P50ST30 rated as one of your Top Picks. I can get a good deal on the 60-inch version of this TV and was wondering if your review holds true for that size. I see you review a lot of 50-inch TVs, but not the 60-inch versions. Do the 60-inch versions lose picture quality because the screen is 10 inches bigger with the same number of pixels? Do they just make the pixels bigger?

Jay P.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 04, 2011 2 comments
Can you recommend a TV for a small living room? The room is 18 feet wide, and current viewing distance on a standard-definition 35-inch TV is about 12 feet. I'm looking at the 42-inch size range for $1500 or less. I think I need an LCD TV with 120 or 240Hz refresh rate; I watch a lot of sports, and I'm not sure that 120Hz would be enough. Also, I think I want an Internet connection as well. I know from listening to you that this can update the TV, but can it access shows like what Leo Laporte and you do on twit.tv?

Tim Smith

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 31, 2011 1 comments
I have an LG 55LW5600 TV and an LG 3D Blu-ray player in a 13.5-by-16 room. The TV is on the long side of the room, so the placement is not optimal, but it allows me to maintain the peace with my better half.

Now, I need a sound system. I think the Onkyo HT-S9400THX system offers good value. Do you like how that system sounds? On the other hand, a large retailer is selling the Polk RTi A5 and RTi A7 at $519 and $629 per pair, respectively. That seems like a good deal, but I would still need a receiver (I'm considering the Pioneer VSX-1121) and a center channel; I do not have a lot of space for surrounds in the back of the room as the couch is against the wall. Would the Polk setup sound just as good with two speakers (say the A7s) versus the Onkyo 7.1 system, considering that it might just be 5.1 or 3.1)? In two or three years, I will develop the basement and move the home theater downstairs to a larger room. Would the Polks be a better long-term investment?

Luis Victoria

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 28, 2011 3 comments
I am in the process of upgrading my home theater. I just bought the Panasonic VT25 plasma TV and Marantz SR6006 A/V receiver, and I want to get the right speakers. I bought the B&W CM2 center channel, so my challenge is now the in-ceiling speakers. I am considering Martian Logan, B&W, and Current in-ceiling speakers. If I stay with the B&W center, should I go with B&W in-ceiling?

The Martin Logans cover more of the highs, while the B&Ws cover more of the midrange. With music, the B&Ws sound more realistic, but with movies, the Martin Logans sound better. I was told that matching manufacturers is key to maintain the same tonal character. If I don't, will there be an impact to movies and music? Any feedback on these speakers in general and/or matching manufactures would be very helpful. I am willing to go listen to other speakers that you suggest.

Mike Perrone

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