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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 29, 2016 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to upgrade my 2010 Pioneer AVR to one capable of switching 4K signals. I would also like the ability to watch one source while listening to the audio of another source in the same room—to, for example, play video games while listening to internet radio. I am not having any luck in my search, however. Do you have suggestions? —Darren Phillips / via email

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 27, 2016 2 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Inexpensive (with discounting) for a 75-incher
HDR compatible
Accurate and extended color
Minus
Limited contrast
Backlight artifacts
Highlights in HDR programs lack detail

THE VERDICT
Sharp’s heavily discounted 75-inch TV offers accurate color and decent HDR performance, but its best feature is its big screen at an affordable price.

The arrival of a hulking 75-inch Ultra HDTV on your doorstep would be something you’d ideally want to coincide with a worthy media spectacle—the Super Bowl, for instance. In my case, however, the delivery of the Sharp Aquos LC-75N8000U synced up perfectly with the broadcast of the first Presidential debate. Lucky me: I got to witness what perhaps were the two most unpopular candidates in history assail each other’s character at near-life-size.

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 22, 2016 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m ready to upgrade my surround sound system to a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos configuration. My current 5.1 system uses GoldenEar Technology speakers, which I want to keep. Here’s my problem: I have no way to run wires through the ceiling to mount in-ceiling speakers, and I don’t want to deal with the unsightly wires that an on-ceiling speaker installation would require. Here’s my question: Are there any wireless speakers I could use for my Atmos upgrade? —Michael Henn

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 21, 2016 1 comments
If you’re considering buying a new TV, you can be forgiven for having questions, possibly many of them. Several big-screen TV technologies—Ultra HDTV, high dynamic range (HDR), OLED—have been introduced over the past few years. At the same time, some older ones, including 3D and plasma, have faded from prominence. There have also been changes on the connectivity front, with new versions of the HDMI standard added to sets to accommodate new, higher-bandwidth signal formats.
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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 15, 2016 9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Al Griffin helps out an early adopter caught in the crossfire of emerging technologies—in this case, HDMI.

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 13, 2016 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $579

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Great value
Good overall performance
Backlit remote control
Minus
Limited installation features
So-so contrast

THE VERDICT
Good overall performance, ample adjustments, and a low price make Optoma’s HD142X a great entry-level projector.

You might not be aware of it, but there’s a new war going on. No, it’s not between countries, ideologies, or individuals; it’s between DLP projector manufacturers. A handful of companies are battling to provide a single-chip model that delivers the best-looking, brightest picture at the lowest price. Over the past few months, I’ve reported on two such projectors, the ViewSonic LightStream Pro7827HD ($890, Sound & Vision, September) and the InFocus ScreenPlay SP1080 ($549, see review at soundandvision.com). Next up: Optoma’s HD142X ($579), another affordable model aimed at the casual home theater fan and gamer.

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 08, 2016 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Do you know of a good solution for streaming audio from a Windows PC to B&W P7 wireless headphones using Bluetooth? Is there some kind of USB adapter? —Robert Prinz

Al Griffin Posted: Dec 01, 2016 0 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $219 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Highly affordable
Good uniformity
Quality construction
Minus
Time-consuming to assemble

THE VERDICT
The VApex PRO is a great option for anyone looking to put together a home theater on a budget without cutting corners.

Recent advances in projection screen technology have created a shift in home A/V from cave-like theaters that block out every last drop of light to open spaces that integrate with the rest of the living environment. For screen manufacturers, a main mission over the past few years has been to design models capable of withstanding some degree of ambient light while delivering good image quality over a wide viewing angle. Known as ambient-light-rejecting (ALR) screens, these do exactly what their name suggests: cancel out the impact of lamps, overhead lighting, and undraped windows so that the light you see reflected off the screen is primarily what’s beamed at it by the projector.

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 01, 2016 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are there any standalone surround preamp/processors that decode Dolby Atmos? I’m interested in a unit that doesn’t include an AM/FM radio tuner. —Doc Lockett

Al Griffin Posted: Nov 29, 2016 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive contrast and shadow detail
Handles both Dolby Vision and HDR10
Affordable price
Minus
Wi-Fi sync issue with included tablet remote
No extended-color-gamut capability
Some halo artifacts from local dimming backlight
Only one HDMI 2.0a input

THE VERDICT
Vizio’s budget-minded display handles both flavors of HDR and, a few quirks aside, delivers impressive performance.

When is a TV not a TV? When it’s an Ultra HD Home Theater Display. With the new M series, Vizio has chosen to shake up conventional expectations of what a TV should be and should do. One key change is that each M series set lacks a tuner to receive over-the-air digital TV broadcasts—hence, the company’s use of the term Home Theater Display. Another change is that Vizio has scrapped the typical full-featured IR remote control and replaced it with an Android tablet. Future-savvy or future shock? Read on and find out.

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