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Al Griffin  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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  |  Aug 20, 2015  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I want to upgrade my receiver but have been out of the loop for a few years. My budget is $1,000. What I am looking for is to get surround sound in my TV room and also power a pair of outdoor speakers. Is there a receiver that will let me play music outside and adjust everything while simultaneously getting surround sound in my TV room? Or do I need a two-receiver setup for that? --Mike Mulhall

Al Griffin  |  Oct 23, 2014  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are there any AV receivers available that provide crossover frequencies assignable by speaker type in a surround sound system? Say, 60 Hz for the fronts, 80 Hz for the center, and 100 Hz for the rears? —Jason BF

Al Griffin  |  Jan 02, 2014  |  0 comments
Q I’m looking to buy a new receiver and was checking out Yamaha’s RX-A1030. A problem with that unit, however, is that it doesn’t appear to route signals from an optical digital input to its second-zone output—a feature that I require. (Other than that, the RX-A1030 has everything I need.) Is there another option on the market that can do this? Researching receiver specs is very tiring because specific info is hard to find. —Pete via email
Al Griffin  |  Jun 01, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q In the early days of high-res audio, I downloaded loads of music from HDtracks and played it on my laptop with JRiver Media Center. More recently, I took the plunge on a Premium subscription from music streaming service Tidal.

Here’s my question: Which has better sound quality, music downloaded from HDtracks or streamed from Tidal?  I did listening comparisons using the same songs from each service but couldn’t tell a difference. (HDtracks downloads had slightly better clarity, perhaps?) I’m also wondering if one service offers higher resolution than the other. —Timothy Hatfield

Al Griffin  |  Aug 14, 2014  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q: I have a Yamaha 7.1-channel AV receiver in my system that’s set up to power a 5.1 speaker system. Very seldom do I hear sound coming out of my surround speakers when watching movies on Blu-ray, though I do occasionally hear sounds like thunder. I have even boosted the output of the surround channels relative to the fronts, and it doesn’t make a difference. What’s going on?—Chuck Schumm / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Apr 23, 2015  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The head unit on my new Lexus has a USB input. This feature inspired me to purchase a 32GB flash drive and rip my CD collection using Windows Media Player. I used the WMA setting with the bitrate maxed out to 192Kbps for the first few discs I ripped, and those files played back in the car without issue. For the next batch I tried both the WMA Lossless and WAV formats. Although the files played back in Windows Media Player on my PC, they wouldn't play when I plugged the drive into the head unit’s USB port. Can you explain why? —Buck CornHauler

Al Griffin  |  Jan 22, 2015  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Why can’t audio devices be daisy-chained via Bluetooth? I have a NAD Viso 1 speaker dock and a NAD 3020 integrated amp, both with Bluetooth. The units are located in different rooms. Why can’t I send the same signal from my iPhone to both units at the same time?—J. Alan Greer

Al Griffin  |  Mar 08, 2018  |  1 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  |  Apr 13, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently watched a video labeled “4K” using my Panasonic Ultra HDTV’s built-in YouTube app. When I paused the video, I noticed an icon next to the playback controls that said "Stats for Nerds." Clicking on the icon, I discovered that, while the video was originally shot in 4K, it wasn’t playing back at that resolution. Why does YouTube claim to have 4K content when their system doesn’t play the videos in 4K? —Wayne Mathews, Stone Mountain, GA

Al Griffin  |  Nov 13, 2014  |  8 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Back in the days of VHS, movies were formatted to fit 4:3 aspect ratio TV screens. Why can't widescreen movies on Blu-ray be formatted to fit today’s 16:9 TV screens? I don't like to use my player’s zoom function to remove black letterbox bars; it degrades the picture.—Alfred Escoto

Al Griffin  |  Mar 09, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am planning to buy a 2.1-channel soundbar and have noticed many are only capable of decoding standard Dolby Digital soundtracks. However, one 2.1-channel model I looked at, Sony's HT-NT5, supports Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS ES, and DTS 96/24. What is the advantage of a 2.1 channel soundbar being able to decode multiple multichannel audio formats? —Joe Pop

Al Griffin  |  Sep 03, 2015  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve noticed that almost every low/mid-priced (under $700) AVR that Sound&Vision has reviewed recently lacks a phono input. With the recent resurgence of LPs, it’s annoying to think that one would have to spend more money to hook up an external phono preamp when in the old days every receiver had one.

I know that HDMI and wireless inputs are all the rage, but don’t want to spend $500 on a receiver plus another $50-150 for a phono preamp, just to listen to my LPs. Are there any reasonably priced AVRs available that have a built-in phono preamp, or should I bite the bullet and buy an external phono preamp for my current receiver? If the answer is the latter, could you suggest a good model for under $100? —Tim Marlow

Al Griffin  |  Sep 01, 2016  |  7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought High-Res Audio downloads of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century” from HDtracks. When I play them with my Sony NWZ-A17 Walkman, the volume is much lower than what I hear from FLAC versions of the same music ripped from my CDs. I complained to HDtracks and they said this was normal for HD-resolution files. Can you explain why? —Jacques Simard

Al Griffin  |  Apr 09, 2015  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I read lots about digital to analog audio converters (DACs), mostly because of high-res computer audio. Here’s my question: Why do some DACs have a digital output? If the purpose of a DAC is to convert a digital audio signal to analog, why would you want it to output the signal in digital format as well? —Jacques Simard

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