Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 08, 2014 3 comments
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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: 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: Sep 25, 2014 3 comments
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Q I have a 7.1-channel in-ceiling speaker system in my home theater. How can I adapt this for a Dolby Atmos configuration? My plan is to add a standard 5.1 channel speaker system and use the in-ceiling speakers for the height effects.—Paul Wright

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 18, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TXi receiver that I’m using in a bedroom system because it lacks HDMI connections. My plan is to upgrade the Onkyo receiver in my theater room with a Marantz pre-pro plus a power amp. Here’s my question: Could I use the Pioneer receiver purely as a power amp connected to the Marantz pre-pro? —Rick Jennings, Hollister, CA

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 03, 2014 9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I hope you can help me. I am old school: born in the early 60s, rocked out in the 1970s.  I had a nice JVC stereo receiver that I bought in 1985, but it died after a couple of resistors got fried. What can I buy to replace it?  I would like to play my vinyl records so I need a phono input. I also have a nice Onkyo Cassette Tape deck and a Technics Compact Disc player I want to use (both with the old red and white jacks).  Plus I have four speakers that use copper wire to clip to the back of the receiver. Major volume potential is a requirement as I need to crank my 1970s rock! I don’t want to break the bank doing it, either. —Scott Wellington, Marietta, GA

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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: Aug 21, 2014 6 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought new Magnepan speakers. I’m using them with a Pioneer SC-07 reciever. I am amazed by the sound, I but have been told that my Magnepans would really come alive with more power. Am I missing out? The sound is great compared with what I heard from my previous system. I've also been told that a tube amp would really make my Magnepans sing. Is that the case? And what kind of budget would I need to get something better than what I currently have? —Terry T.

A I’m going to dispense with my usual AV advisor role for this question and instead act as your therapist. Do you find it difficult to appreciate good things in life? To live in the moment? Because what I’m detecting here are distinct signs of Audiophilia Nervosa.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 14, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q: I have a Yamaha 7.1-channel AV receiver in my system that’s set up to power a 5.1 speaker system. Very seldom do I hear sound coming out of my surround speakers when watching movies on Blu-ray, though I do occasionally hear sounds like thunder. I have even boosted the output of the surround channels relative to the fronts, and it doesn’t make a difference. What’s going on?—Chuck Schumm / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 07, 2014 6 comments
Q I’ve heard that sealed subwoofers sound better than ported ones with music, but that ported subs handle LFE in movie soundtracks better. I want a sub that will sound good in my large, open living room with both music and movies. Do people only use sealed subs in smaller rooms? How will a ported model sound different when playing music?—Matt Carlton
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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 31, 2014 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently went to my local electronics store to check out the TVs. Every set, whether 4K or 1080p, was displaying 4K programming, and I have to say that even the 1080p sets looked great when showing 4K. Here’s my question: Do 1080p TVs downscale 4K video, or does the 4K server perform that function before passing the signal on to the TV? —Bill Carman / via e-mail

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