Al Griffin

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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
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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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 02, 2014 Published: Sep 30, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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

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

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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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 20, 2014 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I would like to get my feet wet with high-res audio, but don’t want to make a huge hardware investment. I’ve found some 192/24 tracks I’d like to buy from HDTracks.com. What would be the next step after I download these in ALAC format to my MacBook Air? Can I play them via my Mac’s optical output to the optical input on my preamp-processor (Emotiva UMC-1)? Can I stream them to said pre-pro via Apple TV or Airplay? Since the UMC-1 doesn’t have a USB input, do I need to buy a Dragonfly DAC or something like that? How about a USB headphone amp?  I obviously want a hardware setup that preserves the highest resolution. —Steve Burbidge / Minneapolis, MN

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 08, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just bought a Roku 2 streaming box that only has one output type: HDMI. My Adcom preamp-processor lacks HDMI switching, however, so I am forced to connect the Roku to an HDMI input on my Samsung TV and use its optical digital output to route audio signals to the Adcom. My problem is that the Samsung TV only passes two-channel audio through its digital audio output. Is there a reasonably priced device that can separate 5.1 digital audio from the HDMI signal, or am I stuck forever with two-channel sound? —Joe Simone

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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 20, 2014 4 comments
Q I recently learned that my television’s 120 Hz feature is global—when I turn it on, it remains on for all sources. I'm not a fan of this because I don't like seeing the “Soap Opera Effect” on TV and movie sources, though I do like it when playing videogames because the higher frame rate gives them a silky-smooth look. Here’s my question: Do you know of any TVs with a 120 Hz feature that can be turned on or off for specific inputs? —Ricky Meadows / via email

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