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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 11, 2015 13 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have TVs connected to both of my Onkyo TX-NR636 receiver’s HDMI outputs and am finding that I need to have both sets switched on before the receiver will pass any video content. Any suggestions on what settings to look for?—Chris Hauer

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 04, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am new to the world of home theater, but I’m building a house soon and want to plan for the possibility of a home theater setup. I like the idea of having in-ceiling speakers running the surround sound. Is it possible to set up a Dolby Atmos system that exclusively uses in-ceiling speakers?—Jonathan Huizingh / via e-mail

Al Griffin Posted: May 29, 2015 10 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High-quality 4K video upconversion
Superb detail enhancement and noise reduction
Excellent digital-to-analog audio conversion
Minus
As pricey as it is heavy
Slim feature set compared with competition

THE VERDICT
Pioneer’s flagship 4K-upconverting universal disc player is something special, even if it’s late to the party.

What’s new in the world of Blu-ray? 4K, that’s what. Expected to arrive sometime in late 2015, the UHD Blu-ray format should offer not just UHD-resolution video but also high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, an extended color gamut, and up to 16-bit color encoding, among other advanced features. Something to get excited about, right?

Now that I’ve dropped that tidbit, let me tell you about the Pioneer Elite BDP-88FD, a universal player that can handle Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, SACD, DVD-Audio, regular DVDs, and CDs—just about everything except UHD Blu-ray. And it lists for $2,000. Excited? No? Well, let’s see if we can work you up.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 28, 2015 9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I want a great-sounding home theater system (preferably wireless) that won’t break the bank. I’m interested in the Sonos system (PLAYBAR, PLAY:1 rear speakers, and SUB). The only downside is that Sonos doesn’t support AirPlay—a deal-breaker for me since much of my music is on Apple devices (MacBook, iPad, and iPhone). Someone told me I don’t really need AirPlay to play my iTunes library through Sonos. Is that true?—Paul Fox

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Al Griffin Posted: May 25, 2015 3 comments
Q I have a 7.1 setup and am interested in upgrading my receiver/processor to one that supports Dolby Atmos. My situation won’t allow me to easily run new wires. Is there a good wireless speaker option for adding channels from a receiver/processor? Or would I be better off trying to retrofit/hide new wire runs? —Mason Guy / via e-mail
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Al Griffin Posted: May 21, 2015 12 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I went to Best Buy looking for a TV with the highest possible refresh rate. (I like to watch sports.)

The salesperson there explained to me that buying a 240Hz TV would be a waste of money since there are no broadcasts with that frame rate—TV networks, cable, and satellite providers all transmit either 60Hz or 120Hz signals. He also said that if a set receives a signal that doesn’t match from its native refresh rate (240 Hz, for example), it can’t convert it. Was the salesman right, or I should follow through with my initial plan to buy a 240Hz set? —Nelson Aleman

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Al Griffin Posted: May 12, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m planning a significant overhaul of my home theater and am leaning toward using the configuration suggested for Auro-3D: 10.1, with four corner speakers and one overhead voice-of-god speaker. In replacing my current AV receiver with separates, I am concerned about buying amplifiers that I can keep over the next several advances in surround sound tech/features. Here’s my question: When using height speakers, is it important that they be amplified at the same power as those near ear-level?—Quest Fanning / Brooklyn, NY

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Al Griffin Posted: May 07, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just purchased a Samsung 4K UHDTV and am now ready to spring for a new AV receiver. It’s May 2015. Are there any HDCP 2.2-compatible AV receivers available yet? —Pat Balice

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Al Griffin Posted: May 05, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m considering buying a home where the builder has options for structured wiring. The markup on this option seems a little high (a few hundred dollars to go from 16-gauge to 12-gauge speaker wire, etc.). I know the best time to run wire is during the construction process, but what is the best way to accomplish it: builder, custom installer, or DIY? One major concern is that the exterior walls will have spray-foam insulation, so once that’s in, I’m thinking those walls are hands-off.—Mike Sellers / Tomball, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 29, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am looking for a standalone headphone surround sound processor that handles both Dolby Digital and DTS and lets me use my own headphones. Does such a product exist? —Anthony Aurigemma

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