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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 02, 2016 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $3,999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Crisp “4K Enhanced” picture
Ultra HD and HDR compatible
Impressive 3D performance
Minus
Some motor noise with Auto Iris active
High fan noise in certain picture modes

THE VERDICT
Epson’s Ultra HD and HDR-compatible 3D LCD projector delivers a compelling mix of performance and features for its $3,999 price.

With 4K/Ultra HD quickly taking over as the default resolution for new TVs, it seems ironic that projectors, the display type that would most benefit from 4K resolution, have been slower to transition to the new format. Sony is the only manufacturer to introduce 4K-res projectors aimed at the general home theater market, and with the cost of entry for those models stuck in the $10,000-plus range, it’s clear that 4K projection has a way to go before it becomes mainstream.

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

Q I recently bought High-Res Audio downloads of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century” from HDtracks. When I play them with my Sony NWZ-A17 Walkman, the volume is much lower than what I hear from FLAC versions of the same music ripped from my CDs. I complained to HDtracks and they said this was normal for HD-resolution files. Can you explain why? —Jacques Simard

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 25, 2016 6 comments
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Q There are two-dozen or so Ultra HD Blu-rays available for purchase, with many more hopefully to come. However, none of the UHD Blu-ray releases are available in 3D, even if the theatrical version was in 3D. Do you know if there are future plans for 3D Ultra HD Blu-rays, or has the home video industry decided to kill off 3D for good?

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 18, 2016 2 comments
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Q I assembled my surround sound setup back in 2002. It still sounds awesome, but I'm wondering about the speaker wires. I spent good money for nice 12-gauge speaker wire, the ends of which are bare. Every time I break the system down to move, I see the bare wire and worry that corrosion or some other devious detractor is attacking it. Is that something I should worry about? Should I consider clipping and re-stripping at some point? —Scott M.

Al Griffin Posted: Aug 17, 2016 0 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $890

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Impressive brightness
Clean, detailed picture
Good overall 3D performance
Minus
So-so contrast
Relatively high fan noise

THE VERDICT
ViewSonic’s low-budget Pro7827HD home theater projector has its compromises but delivers impressive performance for the price.

When you consider the benefits of buying a 1080p projector, the main one that should come to mind is price. There are a few native 4K models, including ones with high dynamic range capability, but they still remain costly, with the cheapest being Sony’s VPL-VW350ES at $8,000. Even those that accept 4K signals and deliver a faux 4K picture, such as JVC’s e-shift models, remain in the several thousand dollar range. Survey the plain ol’ 1080p field, on the other hand, and you’ll find plenty of bargains, including ViewSonic’s LightStream Pro7827HD DLP projector, with a list price of $890 and an online street price of just $799.

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 15, 2016 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Digital high-definition broadcasting started back in 1998, but since then, only video has received a facelift, not audio. Why hasn’t DTV audio evolved to at least Dolby Digital Plus status? —David Musoke / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 11, 2016 11 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I'm looking to load my CD collection into a hi-res ripper/music server that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. My plan is to connect it to my Pioneer SC-85 receiver so I can browse lists of artists and titles on my TV. Do you have any suggestions? —April Seale

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 04, 2016 15 comments
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Q I am looking to replace the 65-inch Panasonic plasma TV in my man cave/theater room with a larger, high dynamic range-compatible Ultra HD model that would be used for watching sports and movies. I was considering a Samsung 85-inch LCD, but am also looking into a projector like the JVC DLA-X550R, a Sound & Vision top pick. When all is said and done, I believe that the cost would be the same: roughly $8-10,000. My room is 30 feet long by 20 feet wide, so I have plenty of wall space for the new screen. What display should I buy? —Chris Amaral

A Since your room is a man cave, I’d say get a projector. To me, man cave implies an utter absence of aesthetic or lifestyle considerations that might interfere with the quest to get the biggest, best picture possible. It also means stuff like dartboards and mirrors embossed with the Jack Daniel’s logo, but that’s not our concern here.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 28, 2016 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q In my current system, the receiver’s subwoofer output connects to an external amp linked to a passive subwoofer via a 20-foot length of speaker wire. The speaker wire runs under the floor and is tacked to the basement floor joists, where it crosses several household electrical wires. I would like to upgrade my subwoofer, but am having trouble finding one that is not self-powered. What concerns me about using a powered sub in my current setup is that the 20-foot coaxial cable run from the receiver to the sub would be susceptible to noise and interference. Are my fears unfounded? — David C.

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 25, 2016 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q About five years ago, I got serious (at least by my tightly budgeted standards) about home theater and purchased a 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV, a Yamaha 7.1-channel AV receiver, and Klipsch speakers. This setup has provided me with a great in-home listening/viewing experience, but I wonder which upgrade could better take things to the next level: Atmos/DTS:X audio or 4K/HDR video? Both would require a new receiver. For audio, I could easily add Klipsch Reference Premiere Dolby Atmos elevation speakers to my current system and be ready for Atmos/DTS:X. That option would be quite a bit cheaper than buying a new receiver plus a 60-inch or larger high dynamic range (HDR)-capable 4K TV. Which upgrade do you think would provide the biggest wow factor?—Adam Head / via email

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