Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2014 6 comments
The effects of dynamic volume control are illustrated in this diagram from Audyssey.

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Q When watching a movie, I often have to turn the volume up to hear the dialogue but then find that the action scenes are too loud and have to turn it down again. My speakers are all from the same product line, so I know they are meant to play well together. I also use the automatic room correction on my Pioneer VSX-914-K AV receiver to adjust levels and distances for the speakers. Is the volume issue due to the way movies are mixed these days? —Ricky Meadows / via e-mail Ricky Meadows / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 17, 2014 4 comments
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Can you recommend an affordable device to connect an iPhone or iPod to an old AV receiver and still get good sound? — Stan Reed 

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 03, 2014 5 comments
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Q Are there any inexpensive options for converting LPs and cassette tapes to digital files on a laptop via USB? I know of several software programs (such as Audacity) that can capture and edit the audio files, but what about the hardware? I own quite a number of LPs and cassette tapes that I would like to archive, and I don’t want to have to buy a USB-equipped tape deck (provided there is such a thing) and turntable. Instead, I would prefer to connect my components directly to the converter or use my AV receiver’s record loop ouput. —Eric Tang / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 26, 2013 4 comments
Q My Onkyo HTS-S5400 home theater system has a front USB input where I plug in my iPhone to play music. I recently bought a new Sony Xperia L Android smartphone, however, and would like to use that for music playback instead. The Onkyo’s manual says the USB input is for iPhone/iPod playback only. Is there any special cable or app that I can use to play music through the system with my Android phone? —Mila Arasu via email
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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 08, 2014 0 comments
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Q I transferred video from a VHS tape to a DVR/DVD recorder a few years ago but did not finalize the disc and now no longer have the machine. My current DVD player, a Magnavox, won’t even recognize the disc, and my computer won’t either. Is there any way now that I can finalize that disc? —Joe Simone / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 03, 2014 8 comments
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Q I have a Samsung plasma TV and a Panasonic Blu-ray player. Almost none of the movies I watch are in the right aspect ratio to fill the screen. This is annoying—I never get to enjoy the movie as I should. The player has no settings that I know of to stretch the picture. Is there a device on the market that will format the picture to fill my TV’s 16:9 aspect ratio screen? —Gary Roberts / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 02, 2014 Published: Sep 30, 2014 0 comments
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Q I’ve seen a couple of instances in Sound & Vision magazine of installations with a flat-panel TV for normal viewing and a projector and large screen for special viewings. If the screen comes down in front of the flat panel, how do you arrange room seating to accommodate both screen sizes? A 60-inch flat panel and a 100-inch projection screen for instance?—W. Ladd Romans, Jr. / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 28, 2014 2 comments
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Q I want to amplify just the dialogue on my TV. Is it possible to do that? —Glenn Goudeau

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 16, 2014 0 comments
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Q Is it possible to convert S-video signals to component video? If so, where can I find a conversion device? —Richard S. Hubina / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 10, 2013 0 comments
Q My friend uses an iPod touch to stream Pandora Internet Radio over a speaker system at his outdoor tiki bar but is having a problem with some songs playing louder than others. I have gone into his iPod’s General Settings menu and activated the Sound Check button, but that feature only seems to work for tracks played in iTunes. Is there an in-line device with 3.5mm connectors that can hook up to the iPod’s headphone jack to level the audio output?—J. Glemming / Calabash, NC

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