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Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 23, 2011  |  0 comments
What speakers do you recommend to replace my old ones? Will one company's active 3D glasses work with another company's 3D TV? What's the best audio connection for watching TV with or without the AVR?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 01, 2012  |  18 comments
I need a new big-screen TV for the big game. I can afford between $2000 and $2500. I was told that plasma is way better than LCD, so I have spent about three weeks researching my options. I finally narrowed it down to either the Samsung PN64D7000 or Panasonic TC-P65ST30.

I promptly went to BrandsMart just to look at the two and finally decide which one. Of course, BrandsMart had neither model, but then the salesman tried to sell me on LED, which I had not researched before. He said plasma technology is on its way out and LED was the wave of the future, and that the Sharp LC-70LE735U was what I needed. What's your take on this?

Also, does it make sense to buy the same brand of TV, sound system, and Blu-ray player? Lastly, not being a techie, is it really hard to connect all three?

Rich Mickiewicz

Al Griffin  |  Oct 24, 2013  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com.

Q I am looking to buy an amplifier and speakers manufactured someplace other than China. Can you recommend some options? My budget is $2,000 total for both amp and speakers (tower or bookshelf). —Gopal Venkat / via email

I cut the political content from your question because I don’t feel that this column is the best forum to discuss those issues. That said, I’m happy to help you find gear in your price range that’s made someplace other than China.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 03, 2011  |  0 comments
I'm looking for a 50-to-55-inch non-3D plasma TV. My son actually gets headaches from the 3D experience, and I think it's a fad that will die off with 4K if not sooner. Which plasma do you prefer?

Mark Davis

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 07, 2009  |  15 comments
How Old is Too Old?
I have been considering buying a pair of B&W Matrix 801 Series 3 speakers. Sonically, I am impressed, but the speakers were produced in 1990, and I am not sure if $2000/pair is a good investment, age-wise. I just don't know how much life is left in them. The current owner says he mostly plays music at a low level. Is anything I could check on my own, apart from auditioning, that can give me a clue in terms of how the speakers have aged and what's to come?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 17, 2010  |  10 comments
HDMI-less
My father-in-law had a home-theater system installed a couple of years ago and would like to add a Blu-ray player. He asked me to hook it up, but I'm running into a problem with his system. The receiver is a Yamaha RX-V659, which only has component-video switching. I want to avoid running a separate HDMI cable to the TV and having him switch sources on the TV and receiver separately. Will connecting a Blu-ray player via component video cause the player to downconvert copy-protected disks to 480i? Do the majority of Blu-ray titles have HDCP?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 31, 2011  |  1 comments
I have an LG 55LW5600 TV and an LG 3D Blu-ray player in a 13.5-by-16 room. The TV is on the long side of the room, so the placement is not optimal, but it allows me to maintain the peace with my better half.

Now, I need a sound system. I think the Onkyo HT-S9400THX system offers good value. Do you like how that system sounds? On the other hand, a large retailer is selling the Polk RTi A5 and RTi A7 at $519 and $629 per pair, respectively. That seems like a good deal, but I would still need a receiver (I'm considering the Pioneer VSX-1121) and a center channel; I do not have a lot of space for surrounds in the back of the room as the couch is against the wall. Would the Polk setup sound just as good with two speakers (say the A7s) versus the Onkyo 7.1 system, considering that it might just be 5.1 or 3.1)? In two or three years, I will develop the basement and move the home theater downstairs to a larger room. Would the Polks be a better long-term investment?

Luis Victoria

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 25, 2011  |  6 comments
I recently bought an Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player, and I already have a Pioneer PRO-110FD Kuro plasma TV. Which video setting should I use in the player, Auto or Source Direct? I've tried both, and the picture looks great either way. I've also tried 1080p, and that looked great as well, though I understand this is far from an ideal setting for 1080i sources. Is there anything I should be looking for to see which setting is better? I have a Denon AVR-4308CI receiver, but I set it to pass the video signal through without any processing.

I use the AVR's HDMI 1 input for movies, but I also hooked up the player's 5.1 analog outs to the receiver's Ext. In. This is for listening to music (CD, SACD, DVD-Audio). For Blu-ray music, should I use the analog out when the signal is PCM? Is the HDMI out better for the lossless forms of Dolby and DTS? As an aside, the player's manual hints that it is better to output SACDs from the analog outs as PCM rather than DSD. Is this because the player likely does a better job at decoding the DSD signals?

Stephen Beney

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 24, 2011  |  23 comments
Four years ago, I purchased a high-end Arcam AVR350 A/V receiver without a good understanding of the future. Now I want to take advantage of the new lossless audio formats offered on Blu-ray from my new Oppo BDP-95 player. I can connect the multichannel analog output of the Oppo to the Arcam's multichannel input, but I am concerned about bass management, equalization, and lip sync. Can an amateur do the adjustments recommended or is a professional needed? Also, I am questioning my recent decision to repair my AVR350, which had a power-supply issue (it cost $400 to repair). Should I have bitten the bullet and scrapped this $2700 clunker for a newer receiver? It's a hypothetical question because now I don't have the funds to buy both a high-end receiver and high-end Blu-ray player. Any thoughts?

Lisa Kaye

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 26, 2010  |  3 comments
Oppo vs. Oppo
What is the difference between the Oppo BDP-83 and BDP-83SE? I have HDMI capabilities, so should I go with the 83, considering the price difference?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 09, 2010  |  7 comments
Out of the Box
For the average consumer who takes a new LCD TV out of the box, what is the best way to set it up for home use? What is the name of the DVD used for adjusting and fine tuning?
Al Griffin  |  Apr 14, 2014  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

QI have an Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player, a Marantz AV7701 preamp, five Marantz monoblock amps, and Definitive Technology speakers. Given the rave reviews of the Oppo player’s built-in DACs, how would you recommend I set my system up to optimize sound quality? Should I bypass my preamp and hook the Oppo up directly to my monoblock amps, or should I use an HDMI connection to run everything through the Marantz? —Dick Costello / via e-mail

Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 04, 2010  |  14 comments
Can't Get No Satisfaction
Love your blog at HomeTheaterMag.com. It is very informative and has helped me in many ways.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 07, 2010  |  23 comments
Technology Migration
I was in Best Buy this morning, and one of the salespeople mentioned that Panasonic has purchased the Kuro technology from Pioneer. Is there any truth to this, and if so, is Panasonic going to use the technology in the 2010 plasmas?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  4 comments
Are the blacks visually better on the Panasonic ST30 plasma compared with the S30? And do I really need to pay attention to the Moving Picture Resolution spec? Are there any models you would consider other than these? I'm not interested in 3D, but I understand that it will be included with the better TVs.

Dave Butler

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