Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 25, 2014 1 comments
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Q I plan to buy a KEF R300 surround speaker system and an Anthem MRX 310 AV receiver and use the system almost exclusively for watching movies. I’m getting older, and movie dialogue sometimes gets lost. (My wife says I don’t listen sometimes, but that is another subject.) What are your thoughts and recommendations here? —Michael Wood / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 19, 2014 4 comments
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Q Some of my friends argue that spending extra money on Blu-ray Discs is unreasonable since DVDs offer almost equal picture quality for less money. Worldwide, DVDs sell much better than Blu-rays, which many people still consider to be a format for videophiles. Do you think it’s possible that DVDs will ever disappear from the market? —Tomek Ciecwierz, Warsaw, Poland

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 17, 2014 2 comments
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Q I am building out a dedicated 7.2-channel home theater and was planning on buying dipolar surround speakers to help “spray” sound along the side and back walls. After reading a few articles on Dolby Atmos, however, it seems that direct-radiating speakers would be the more appropriate option since they can better pinpoint objects in the room. Am I correct in thinking that direct-radiating speakers would serve better in an Atmos environment, or do I have things totally wrong? —Adam Tremai / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 13, 2014 8 comments
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Q Back in the days of VHS, movies were formatted to fit 4:3 aspect ratio TV screens. Why can't widescreen movies on Blu-ray be formatted to fit today’s 16:9 TV screens? I don't like to use my player’s zoom function to remove black letterbox bars; it degrades the picture.—Alfred Escoto

Al Griffin Posted: Nov 12, 2014 2 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive black depth and uniformity
Excellent color
Good set of streaming options
Low-glare screen

Minus
Picture processing adds edge-enhancement, noise
Poor handling of images with film grain
Washed-out-looking highlights

THE VERDICT
Vizio’s P-Series comes with a full-array LED backlight and 4K Netflix streaming, but its performance is marred by overly aggressive video processing.

Vizio is known for making TVs that consistently beat the competition on price—often by a significant margin. In some cases the performance of Vizio’s sets also ends up being equal to or better than the competition, though the company’s track record on that count isn’t as consistent. The last two Vizio HDTVs Sound&Vision tested, the 2014 entry-level E- and step-up M-series models, delivered very good performance at an affordable price. Now the company’s P Series, its first UHDTVs for 2014, have hit the street. It should come as no surprise that the price here is nice: the 65-inch P652ui-B2 model I tested lists for $2,200. But does Vizio’s budget bigscreen UHDTV continue the company’s streak of high performance/low cost? Let’s take a look.
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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 06, 2014 6 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Is there any benefit to using a bias light behind a flat-panel HDTV? —Mike Hassold

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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 30, 2014 17 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m trying to choose between new AV receivers from Sony, Denon, and Yamaha. The Sony is the frontrunner, but I am hesitant to pull the trigger because it’s not HDCP 2.2 compliant. If I connect an HTPC to this AVR, will I have problems in the future playing Ultra HD movies? How about satellite? Will I have the same problem if I eventually upgrade to an Ultra HD-capable satellite receiver?—Sam Shirzadegan

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 23, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are there any AV receivers available that provide crossover frequencies assignable by speaker type in a surround sound system? Say, 60 Hz for the fronts, 80 Hz for the center, and 100 Hz for the rears? —Jason BF

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 16, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m confused by the volume display on my AV receiver. There are two settings to choose from, Relative and Absolute. What’s the difference, and what do they mean? —Scott Oakley / via e-mail

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