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Al Griffin  |  Jan 19, 2017  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought a Marantz 7702mkII preamp-processor and am wondering about the best options for streaming high-res FLAC and other lossless files from my computer. The Marantz wants me to use my Windows Media Player library when setting up a media server connection. However, it’s my understanding that WMP can’t play FLAC files without additional transcoding, and even then it can’t handle files with 24bit/192kHz resolution. Do you have any recommendations for getting the best-quality playback from my high-res audio downloads? —Trey M. Turner

Al Griffin  |  Feb 22, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are movies on Blu-ray 3D disc delivered in 1080p/24 resolution — the same as regular Blu-ray? If not, what is the resolution for Blu-ray 3D, and does the format use a different, lower-quality form of video compression? —Gilles Gontrand

Al Griffin  |  Dec 19, 2013  |  0 comments
Q I just bought a Sharp HDTV from Best Buy. When watching a dark scene from the TV series Grimm that I recorded with my DirecTV DVR, horrible black splotches suddenly appeared on the screen. Is this problem fixable?—Darryl Cameron via email
Al Griffin  |  Mar 15, 2018  |  10 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  |  Nov 25, 2014  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to buy a KEF R300 surround speaker system and an Anthem MRX 310 AV receiver and use the system almost exclusively for watching movies. I’m getting older, and movie dialogue sometimes gets lost. (My wife says I don’t listen sometimes, but that is another subject.) What are your thoughts and recommendations here? —Michael Wood / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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  |  Sep 21, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am buying an LG OLED TV that supports the Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) format. Will my Denon receiver support Dolby Vision as well? What other things will I need to make Dolby Vision work? —Dave Poulson

Al Griffin  |  Jan 19, 2015  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a fairly large collection of CDs, all of which have been ripped to lossless WMA format. I’ve come across plenty of discussion of DACs while researching music servers, but I’m confused about why I would need one since I can already listen to digital music files, either through my computer speakers or headphones. Doesn’t that mean what I’m hearing is already in analog form? If so, what need is there to convert it to anything else? —Bill Begg / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Sep 28, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am trying to find a TV with low light intensity since my eyes are extremely sensitive to light. I have been told that an LCD TV with a full array LED backlight will let me dim the screen’s intensity without compromising picture quality. Is this true? If so, how does that work? —Patrick Forte

Al Griffin  |  Jun 23, 2020  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a Vizio TV, model number D48f-E0. The company’s specs say that it’s a “Full Array LED display.” It also has a “Backlight Control” in its picture settings menu that automatically dims or brightens the backlight during viewing. Is this feature the same thing as local dimming? I’m confused here — if backlight control and local dimming are separate features, what’s the difference between them? —James Paxton, via email

Al Griffin  |  Aug 24, 2017  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently upgraded my TV to an LG 65B7P OLED. My receiver is an older Pioneer model that I'm loathe to give up. I plan on using an Xbox console, either the One S or the forthcoming One X, as my 4K source. Here’s my problem: both Xbox versions provide only a single HDMI output. I know I could use the TV’s HDMI ARC port to route audio back to a receiver, but my Pioneer doesn’t support that feature. Another problem is that HDMI ARC doesn't support the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA lossless audio codecs. Which gets me to my question: Is there some kind of HDMI splitter I can buy that will let me route the Xbox’s output separately to the TV and AVR? —David Becker

Al Griffin  |  Jan 27, 2016  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a Denon A/V receiver hooked up to a 5.1-channel speaker system. The setup works fine for movies, but every now and then I want to listen to good ol’ stereo recordings ( I have a modest collection of CDs stored as Apple lossless audio files).  I am tempted to purchase a high-end integrated amp for just this purpose. Which gets me to my question: Can I hook both my receiver and the integrated amp to my front L/R speakers? —Nick Gruin

Al Griffin  |  Sep 18, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I’ve seen references to MQA. What is it? —Phis Tomaskovic / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jul 28, 2016  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q In my current system, the receiver’s subwoofer output connects to an external amp linked to a passive subwoofer via a 20-foot length of speaker wire. The speaker wire runs under the floor and is tacked to the basement floor joists, where it crosses several household electrical wires. I would like to upgrade my subwoofer, but am having trouble finding one that is not self-powered. What concerns me about using a powered sub in my current setup is that the 20-foot coaxial cable run from the receiver to the sub would be susceptible to noise and interference. Are my fears unfounded? — David C.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 05, 2015  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What processes what in the video chain? Say you have an Oppo Blu-ray player hooked up to a good AVR that’s hooked up to an Epson 5030 projector. Does each do its own thing? Or do you need to turn some types of processing off while leaving others enabled? Also, what is the meaning of life? —Jeff Riddick / via e-mail

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