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Al Griffin  |  Sep 10, 2015  |  3 comments
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Q I’m planning to replace my 20-year-old receiver and would like to hook up older components including a laserdisc player, cassette deck, VCR, and turntable. I like Yamaha and Denon receivers, but I’m confused about the connection options. My newer gear consists of a Samsung HDTV, Oppo Blu-ray player, Roku 3 media streamer, and Verizon Fios HD set-top box. —Dan White / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Dec 29, 2016  |  4 comments
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Q I plan to upgrade my 2010 Pioneer AVR to one capable of switching 4K signals. I would also like the ability to watch one source while listening to the audio of another source in the same room—to, for example, play video games while listening to internet radio. I am not having any luck in my search, however. Do you have suggestions? —Darren Phillips / via email

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 10, 2009  |  7 comments
How Do I Know?
Love my new Pioneer VSX-03TXH receiver. Love my new Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player. But how do I know if Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio is working? I have changed settings on both units and actually read the manuals of both units. Pioneer's website has a picture of the receiver with TrueHD lit up on its front panel, but I have yet to see it on my front panel. My units are connected together only with an HDMI cable. Also, as knowledgeable as I am about home-theater stuff, what is PCM?
Al Griffin  |  Dec 29, 2015  |  3 comments
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Q I have two preschool-aged kids who use my CDs and DVDs as Frisbees and coasters. For that reason alone, I feel a need to make a transition from physical media to computer-based playback. I bought an AppleTV so the kids could watch cartoons on Netflix, which solved some issues. When I used AirPlay to stream music to the Apple TV from my computer and tablet, however, I wasn’t impressed by the sound quality...

Should I retire my circa-1998 Acurus Act 3 preamp and buy a new model with HDMI/USB inputs, or should I spend a few hundred dollars on an add-on solution for my PC and get more mileage out of my current system? I have an unused Dell Vostro 230 computer with a 240-GB SSD drive and a 3-TB backup that I can co-opt for that purpose. — Paul Erickson / via e-mail

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  |  Jul 11, 2011  |  4 comments
I am planning to replace my preamp/processor, and I've been looking at the Marantz AV7005 and the Integra DHC-40.2. I've read both reviews on (linked here), but I would like your opinion about these two units, especially the differences in sound quality and video processing.

Eliot Marin

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 16, 2012  |  16 comments
I've heard you say, "Make sure your surround speakers are the same brand as the fronts." I have Hsu Research speakers for the front left, right, and center, Axiom dipole surrounds, and a JBL 12-inch subwoofer. I've been told by lots of audio geeks that I don't need to match the surrounds to the fronts. But after I heard what you said, I got confused. Help!

Mark Hudson

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 13, 2011  |  0 comments
I'm looking to purchase a 46- to 55-inch TV. We have a window parallel to the TV area and behind our seating, which can cause some glare on a regular tube television. For this reason, we've been steered toward an LCD. Do you agree? Which LCDs are the best? We heard a lot of positives about Samsung.

Mark B

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 23, 2009  |  3 comments
Same Line, Different Size
Your site includes a glowing review of the Mitsubishi WD-65835 RPTV. Can I logically assume that the wonderful characteristics of that set extend to the larger 73835? Are there subtleties that may have escaped my attention? I can find no review of this TV from a reputable source anywhere.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 02, 2009  |  23 comments
Monster on a Leash
I currently have a Samsung LN52A650 LCD TV with a Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player and a Dish Network VIP 722 DVR. Will Monster Cable's Ultra 600 HDMI cables with a speed rating of 4.95Gbps, 8-bit color, and 60Hz refresh rate be adequate with my setup?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 31, 2010  |  10 comments
Blurred Vision
Do you think motion blur on LCD TVs is still a big issue? I just watched Star Trek last night on my new LG 55LH40 and didn't notice any type of blur.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 02, 2011  |  4 comments
There's been talk on some home-theater forums about a few movies that have been cropped to an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Why are they cropping these films? Videophiles are saying they hope this trend doesn't continue.

Mark Hudson

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 28, 2011  |  0 comments
I am unable to find the show notes for episode 45 of Home Theater Geeks. I am interested in the list of movie scenes that David Reisner uses to highlight and identify problems.

Philip Cottle

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 12, 2009  |  20 comments
Bypass Blues
I read that if you let a Blu-ray player decode the new audio formats and send them to the receiver from the player's multichannel analog outputs, you bypass the receiver's crossover and equalization settings. Is this also the case when you use PCM over HDMI?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 14, 2010  |  21 comments
Fanatic Fans
We are currently in the process of setting up a home-theater room with one projector and three 32-inch TVs, and we want to be able to watch four different sports channels at the same time. Do we need four separate cable boxes to do this, or can something else, such as some kind of matrix, solve the problem?