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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.

Filed under
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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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 26, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Will I damage a stereo amplifier by using it to amplify only one channel—in this case, my system’s center speaker?—Richard Regan

Al Griffin Posted: Feb 20, 2015 0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Accurate color
Crisp, noise-free images
Eco-friendly Wallpaper mode
Minus
Below average contrast
Poor picture uniformity
Unimpressive Smart GUI and streaming options

THE VERDICT
Sharp’s 4K THX Certified UHDTV gets many things right but some key things wrong.

The only TV-tech buzzword with any legs to it in 2014 was 4K, aka Ultra HDTV. So a TV manufacturer without new 4K-resolution product had better start thinking about packing it in. Sharp previewed a pair of UD27 series Ultra HDTVs last June, and the company finally squeezed out those models just in time for the holiday shopping season. What do the new 60- and 70-inch Sharps have to recommend them over other, similarly priced offerings? Let’s check things out.

Filed under
Al Griffin Posted: Feb 19, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just signed up for Tidal music streaming and want to make sure I am getting the best sound quality from that service. My laptop is connected to my router with an Ethernet cable and then to my Onkyo pre/pro via an HDMI cable. I have the Tidal app’s settings set to HiFi.

My question is, as music streams from Tidal, does it pass through the laptop’s sound card first and then to the HDMI cable, or straight from the HDMI cable to the Onkyo pre/pro? I don’t know what sound card is equipped with the computer, and want to make sure that if streamed music does pass through, that the card isn’t detracting from the sound quality. —Andre Spits / Atlanta,GA

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