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Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 19, 2011  |  4 comments
I am looking for a new A/V receiver, and I am seriously considering the NAD T 747 and the Onkyo TX-NR709. It will be used about 75 percent for movies and 25 percent for music. The features I'm looking for include at least 5.1 (if not 7.1), auto room calibration/set-up (such as Audyssey), the ability to decode all the new lossless formats found on Blu-rays, the ability to make movie dialog easier to hear when listening at low volume levels, and pre-out jacks so that I have the option of hooking up a separate amplifier to it in the future.

John Dixon

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 17, 2011  |  6 comments
The reviews of the GoldenEar SuperCinema 3 (seen in the lower portion of the image above) and Morel SoundSpot Music Theatre 2 Ultra speaker systems came out at roughly the same time. The Morels appear to have better performance and build quality according to their ratings, and yet they are not considered as good a value despite being in essentially the same price category. Do the Morels really sound better, or is their sound measured against how tiny they are?

Stephen Trask

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 14, 2011  |  6 comments
I have the opportunity to update my home theater audio system and have decided on the Marantz SR7005 AVR. My room is small, and when I remodeled 10 years ago, I installed four Paradigm in-wall speakers and a large center-channel speaker for my 5.1 system. It occurs to me that if I replace the center channel with a 3-channel soundbar, I could use my existing in-wall speakers for the surround and have a full 7.1 system.

What do you think of this approach? Paradigm makes a 3-channel soundbar, the Millenia 20 Trio (shown above). I like my Paradigm speakers, but I thought that looking at other brands might be a good thing to do.

Byron Servies

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 12, 2011  |  7 comments
I want to hook up two Velodyne Impact 10 subwoofers to my Integra DTR-6.5 AVR. Do I need three signal splitters? Will I lose some signal using that many splitters? Should I use the Zone 2 sub output?

Mario B.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 10, 2011  |  1 comments
Would you recommend using the Coby CSMP88 soundbar instead of the TV speakers in my LG plasma?

Nick Andrade

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 07, 2011  |  4 comments
I'm moving into a new home, so I have the chance to start from scratch building a small home theater. My room has no problem with reflections, and all my flat-panel TVs up to now have been plasma. I want to get a 60- or 65-inch screen, and I'm trying to decide between a plasma and LED-illuminated LCD TV by Samsung. My seating will be about 10-12 feet from the screen, but I am very critical of the picture. I watch a lot of old movies and TV so I want to get the best bang for the buck. Will a top-of-the-line LED be as good as a top-of-the-line plasma? I'm worried about the heat that a plasma will generate compared to the LED, since the new home is in South Carolina, which is hot enough as it is.

Jeff Stern

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 05, 2011  |  8 comments
I have a Sony STR-DA4400ES AVR connected to a PlayStation 3 via HDMI. Whenever I play a Blu-ray movie on the PS3, none of the audio codec lights come on. But when I watch programs from my cable box or watch DVDs from a different DVD player, the corresponding light does illuminate. Any idea what the problem is?

Mark Barios

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 03, 2011  |  0 comments
What is the proper way to set an LCD TV's backlight? I have two calibration discs, and neither of them address this issue.

Jim Painter

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 30, 2011  |  0 comments
I want to buy a LCD TV with LED backlighting. I am not a "ultimate" kind of guy because I do not have the money. I am looking for a 55-incher for $3500 or less. I've heard you say Samsung is the one to get. What the model would that be? I think it is the UN55D8000.

John Phillips

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 28, 2011  |  2 comments
I have a Marantz SR8500 A/V receiver with B&W speakers across the front, and I would like to upgrade to take advantage of the new high-rez audio formats. I'm considering the Marantz AV7005 and Cary Audio Cinema 11a preamp/processor. For amplification, I plan to use my Lexicon 512 amp or the amp section of the SR8500. Considering the equipment I have, would the extra cost for the Cinema 11a give me that much improvement in sound over the AV7005? Should I use the Lexicon amp or the 8500's amp, or would the Marantz MM7055 5-channel amp be the way to go? I'm willing to spend the money for whatever is going to sound best.

Jack Woodruff

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 26, 2011  |  9 comments
I'm in the market for a high-quality plasma TV, and I have narrowed the choices to two: Samsung PN64D8000 and Panasonic TC-P65VT30. I have gone to three high-end A/V stores in New York City and was told that the Samsung ranks better than the Panasonic. But I was in a Best Buy store today and was told that nobody comes close to the Panasonic, especially since it is THX-certified. How do you rate these two models?

Michael Quinones

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 23, 2011  |  8 comments
I read HT's review of the Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player, which was very helpful. I have an older AVR (Pioneer Elite VSX-43TX, 96/24 capable, but no HDMI or DTS/Dolby HD decoders), so if I get the BDP-93, the review suggests that I connect HDMI from the Oppo to my new Panasonic TC-P65VT30 plasma and use analog outputs to the AVR. But what about using either coax or optical out from the BDP-93 to the AVR? At least that would cut down on the cabling and clutter. Also, will I hear the benefits of Dolby or DTS HD audio via analog or digital audio from the Oppo, since the Elite is 96/24 capable?

Peter Kukiel

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 21, 2011  |  8 comments
Is it be better to connect a plasma or LCD TV to an HTPC? I want to use it for watching movies, surfing the web, and playing games.

Steve Norene

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 19, 2011  |  10 comments
I recently bought a Sony KDL-60NX810 TV, and I used the Spears and Munsil High-Definition Benchmark Blu-ray setup disc to optimize the picture controls. A friend has Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics from Joe Kane. Should I try it too, or have I gotten it as good as it will be?

Dennis O'Neill

Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 16, 2011  |  3 comments
Will my new Marantz SR5005 receiver pair well with the PSB Image series speakers? When I bought the receiver, I thought I would be getting lower-end speakers, but I ended up wanting more, and I'm fairly determined to get the PSBs. (My dream speakers are the Revel Ultima2 Salon2s; maybe someday I can find a used set.) I am thinking of T6s for the front and B6s for the surrounds.

Also, I recall you saying that center channels with dual side-by-side woofers aren't ideal due to combing issues as you move off-axis. Should I still get one of the side-by-side PSB Image center channels, or can I use a third B6 bookshelf speaker as the center channel?

Shane Pluta

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