Al Griffin

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 16, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently purchased a pair of Definitive Technology BP 8060 ST tower speakers with built-in subs. They are connected to my Sony STR-DH750 receiver. What would be the correct speaker setting if I used the 8060s as my front speakers (set to Large) and continued to use my Sony sub for LFE instead of the ones built into the Def Tech towers? The rest of my system consists of two Infinity rear surrounds and a center speaker, plus two Bose speakers mounted on the front wall that I use for height speakers. —Kevin Bolin / Houston, TX

Al Griffin Posted: Apr 10, 2015 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $10,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color
Ample brightness
Smooth, detailed picture
Minimal fan noise
Minus
No iris control
Doesn’t include 3D glasses

THE VERDICT
Sony’s lowest-priced 4K projector to date is packed with features and delivers a bright, beautiful picture.

When I hear someone question the value of 4K, the first thought that comes to my mind is: projection. Unless your nose is pressed up to the screen, a 4K image viewed on 50-inch flat-panel TV won’t look much different from regular old 1080p. A main advantage to 4K is that you can scale your display up to a massive size without having to worry about seeing the individual pixels that form a picture. And when you’re thinking about scaling a video display up to a massive size, nothing gives you a better return on investment than projection.

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 09, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I read lots about digital to analog audio converters (DACs), mostly because of high-res computer audio. Here’s my question: Why do some DACs have a digital output? If the purpose of a DAC is to convert a digital audio signal to analog, why would you want it to output the signal in digital format as well? —Jacques Simard

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 31, 2015 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,199

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp, bright image for a portable projector
Accurate color
Provides built-in Smart TV and streaming features
Minus
So-so black levels and picture contrast
Visible DLP rainbow effect
Limited installation options

THE VERDICT
LG’s portable PF85U has cool features and impressive picture quality for a portable projector, but its performance isn’t exactly up to snuff for regular home theater use.

LG’s PF85U DLP projector brings some interesting things to the table (literally, in many cases). It’s compact, portable, and driven by an LED light source. It has built-in Wi-Fi, LG’s Smart TV interface, and its streaming options include Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Instant Video. At $1,199, it’s priced attractively for a 1080p-res projector with decent light output.

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 30, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a Denon receiver. Since the receiver has no phono input, I purchased a Pfantone AMP2 phono preamp so I could play records through it. The preamp works, but the volume level is low, even with the Denon’s volume turned all the way up. A friend suggested that the preamp simply doesn’t have the power to provide full stereo sound. Is this correct, or is there some other explanation? —Shaun Herron / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 26, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am trying to figure out if I can use Dropbox to store both my Rdio Favorites collection and iTunes library. I have a huge iTunes library—around 600 GB. I would like to give a few friends and relatives access to the music. Is this possible?  —Jim Gold

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

I own a vintage 1974 Fisher solid-state stereo receiver. The left channel is fading in-and-out—at first weak, now almost totally dead.  Do you think the receiver is worth fixing, or should I just replace it? —Michael McCully

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a home theater system powered by an AV receiver for watching movies, but I also want to connect a turntable and separate stereo amp to the system’s front speakers for listening to music. If a speaker has biamp connections, can you connect two separate sources to it? I want to connect the stereo amp to the top jacks on my speakers and my AV receiver to the lower jacks. Will that work? Clint Yarborough / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 12, 2015 5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to purchase a new AV receiver and a set of 5.1 speakers. What strategy will deliver a better all-around experience: spending more on the speakers or on the receiver? Should I splurge on speakers, with the idea that my receiver can be upgraded in a few years, or vice-versa? Simon Bolster / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 05, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The 4k content I see on UHDTVs in stores looks awesome. But when I ask the salesperson to flip the feed to regular HD (from Direct TV), the picture doesn’t look nearly as good. It looks worse, in fact, than the same content shown on the standard HDTVs, and certainly worse than on my 10 year-old Sony SXRD.  My question is, if I buy a new UHDTV, how can I make the picture look as good as what I’m used to seeing on my Sony? There isn’t much 4K content yet, so what I’d mainly be watching is regular HD.—Ben Soave

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