Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 18, 2014 2 comments
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Q I bought a Benq W1070 projector and plan to install it in my 22-foot long by 18-foot wide by 8.5-foot high basement. The room was pre-wired by the previous owner and there’s a ceiling mount with an electric outlet close to it. The mount is about 16 feet away from the front wall. Is that too far for this projector? I was originally planning to buy a 120 inch screen, but it appears that I would need at least a 150 to 170 inch screen for that distance.—Srikanth Athipatla

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 11, 2013 2 comments
Q How big a subwoofer would I need to produce good home theater-quality bass in a 3,100-cubic-foot room? Would the Hsu VTF-15H be up to the job, or is there a better choice in my target price range (around $1,000)? —Steven Winter / via e-mail
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 30, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have an old Harman Kardon receiver that has served me well for several years and would like to continue using it. Do you have any suggestions for a way I could stream audio from my computer (primarily from iTunes and Spotify) to my receiver over Wi-Fi? —Doug Burton / via e-mail

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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.

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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: Feb 19, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just signed up for Tidal music streaming and want to make sure I am getting the best sound quality from that service. My laptop is connected to my router with an Ethernet cable and then to my Onkyo pre/pro via an HDMI cable. I have the Tidal app’s settings set to HiFi.

My question is, as music streams from Tidal, does it pass through the laptop’s sound card first and then to the HDMI cable, or straight from the HDMI cable to the Onkyo pre/pro? I don’t know what sound card is equipped with the computer, and want to make sure that if streamed music does pass through, that the card isn’t detracting from the sound quality. —Andre Spits / Atlanta,GA

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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
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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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