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Al Griffin  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I can’t seem to get clear dialogue when playing some movies and TV shows and am forced to used closed captioning. I believe my problem is caused by improper phase. My home theater setup consists of five speakers plus dual subwoofers that have a polarity switch and phase knob. I’ve heard that the proper way to adjust phase is to play a sine wave at 80 Hz (same as my crossover setting) and then turn off all speakers except the left or right speaker and its adjacent sub. The next step: adjust polarity and phase until you measure the highest SPL level at the main listening position. Am I going about things right? Any other suggestions to improve dialogue intelligibility in my system? —AMIT ALCALAY

Al Griffin  |  Jun 14, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I have searched extensively for an HDMI splitter that will let me connect a high dynamic range source to both my new Dolby Vision-capable Vizio TV and my legacy Anthem receiver (for lossless audio). Oppo’s UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player has dual HDMI outputs and supports Dolby Vision. It also has an HDMI input that would enable passthrough of another HDR-capable source like a Chromecast Ultra, Roku Ultra, Fire TV, or Apple TV 4K. Here’s my question: Is there a less expensive option than the Oppo that would deliver the same result? —Andy Lutz / Houston, TX

Al Griffin  |  May 31, 2018  |  First Published: May 30, 2018  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Why are different units of brightness measurement used for different display technologies? For example, I’ve seen lumens used for home theater projectors, foot-lamberts for movie theaters, and nits for high dynamic range-capable TVs. Wouldn’t it be less confusing for the average consumer to lump everything together as a single measurement?
Nathan Robertson / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  May 17, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I’m currently using an Apple TV 4K box that’s connected to my HDTV with an HDMI cable. For sound, I run a cable from the HDTV’s optical digital output to an external DAC connected to my stereo system. Here’s my question: Would it be a useful upgrade to buy an HDMI audio converter so I could connect to my stereo system directly without first routing the signal through the TV? —Kristóf Kollár

Al Griffin  |  May 03, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I recently bought an Xbox One X console and have it connected to my Yamaha RX-A2050 AV receiver. When I watch Atmos demo videos using the Dolby Access app on the Xbox, my AVR’s front-panel LED display reads “Dolby Atmos.” I get the same result when I watch Netflix shows with an Atmos soundtrack. When viewing Ultra HD Blu-rays with Dolby Atmos soundtracks, however, the receiver’s front panel will read “Dolby TrueHD.” Are Atmos and TrueHD the same thing? —Hans Furey / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I want to install a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 speaker configuration using ceiling speakers for both overhead height effects and the left/right surrounds. How would you recommend I go about positioning the speakers? —Tuck Seng

Al Griffin  |  Apr 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My home theater system is based around a Sony VPL-VW675ES projector and a 2.4:1 aspect ratio screen. (I really like ultra-wide Cinemascope images.) Outside of reading the excellent disc reviews in Sound & Vision, is there a way to determine a film’s aspect ratio before buying it on Ultra HD Blu-ray? — Rod McClaskey

Al Griffin  |  Apr 12, 2018  |  7 comments
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Q My system consists of a Sony XBR-X900E TV, a PlayStation 4Pro console, and a Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar. The PS4 Pro does not play Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs, so I’m planning to buy an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Here’s my problem: I want to connect both the PS4 Pro and the disc player to the Yamaha, but the soundbar only has one HDMI input. I’ve looked around for an HDMI switcher that’s compatible with both 4K/60-Hz video signals and high dynamic range but haven’t been able to find one. Will I have to switch the cable connected to the soundbar from my sources on an as-needed basis to maintain best picture and sound quality? —Paul Trava / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I recently bought an Epson Home Cinema 3700 LCD projector after reading a review of it in Sound & Vision. The projector remains boxed up as I decide on a screen to install in my light-controlled basement. While I plan to watch regular 2D content with the projector, my main interest is viewing my Blu-ray 3D movie collection, which I continue to add to as new titles become available.  

I understand from reading your magazine that active 3D glasses considerably reduce image brightness. Another Sound & Vision review of Da-Lite’s 2.8 gain High Power screen , led me to believe it would be a perfect screen option, but Da-Lite has discontinued that model. As an alternative, Da-Lite recommends its HD Progressive screen, which has a gain of 1.3. Will the HD Progressive provide a bright enough image for 3D viewing? I feel that I should look for a higher gain screen, but don’t want to spend more than $2,000. —Mitchell Ulrich

Al Griffin  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  13 comments
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Q I’m considering buying either an 82-inch Samsung LCD or a 65-inch LG OLED and am wrestling with the issue of TV picture quality versus size. Having happily owned a 50-inch plasma TV for the past 11 years, I’m wondering how the new LCDs stack up against plasma models when it comes to picture quality? — Gregorio Lopez / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  3 comments
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Q What software and computer control panel volume settings deliver the best sound when playing music using apps like iTunes and sending the digital output to a DAC? —John de Perczel

Al Griffin  |  Mar 15, 2018  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The idea of physical media going away bothers me because video streaming quality still seems so spotty. Even my wife — I’ll call her a home theater appreciator, if not an enthusiast — noticed how bad the last season of Game of Thrones looked when we streamed it on HBO Now. To be fair, that’s not the case with all streaming services. For example, Stranger Things looked great on Netflix in 4K. With both examples, however, you will most certainly get the definitive experience by watching the show on disc. Here’s my question: Which of the video streaming services currently offers the best possible AV quality? Are there any advances on the horizon? —Jason Acosta / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Mar 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My Denon AVR-S930H receiver supports pass-through of Dolby Vision high dynamic range. However, when I connect my Apple 4K TV to it, the Dolby Vision setting on the Apple box becomes unavailable and the signal changes to the HDR10 high dynamic range format.

I know the Denon passes Dolby Vision because when I connect my Oppo Ultra HD Blu-ray player to it, movies are displayed in the Dolby Vision format on my LG TV. I also know the Apple box isn’t the problem because Dolby Vision works when I connect it directly to the TV. Is there a setting in either the Denon receiver or Apple TV that I’m overlooking? —David A. Pilsner

Al Griffin  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My Windows-based Music Server (MediaMonkey) recently died and I want to replace it with one that supports music streaming services and will let me control playback with a tablet. I spent many hours ripping FLAC versions of my CD collection. Those files were stored on my PC’s hard drive, and I had them backed up offsite using iCloud. Here’s my question: If I buy a standalone music server like the Elac Discovery or Bluesound Vault 2, how can I restore access to my music collection that’s now sitting in the cloud? Also, can you backup data directly from the Elac or Bluesound servers to storage services like iCloud? —Jacques Simard

Al Griffin  |  Feb 26, 2018  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve owned my Panasonic plasma TV for seven years but am now wondering about its life expectancy. Refresh rate, viewing angle, and, in particular, aspect ratio control are major concerns for my next TV. Can any of the latest TVs display a constant aspect ratio regardless of signal source? —Joe Nagy / via e-mail

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