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Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 28, 2010  |  9 comments
Calibration Conundrum
It has been mentioned in many articles that a professional calibrator can enter adjustments for different lighting conditions and different inputs. But how do you calibrate something other than a DVD or Blu-ray player that can play test discs? How do you generate test data from a cable box, game console, etc.?
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 06, 2011  |  1 comments
I'm building a 5.1 system with the following components:
  • Anthem MRX 700 receiver
  • Oppo BPD-93 universal player
  • Two pairs of Paradigm Reference Studio 20 speakers (front L/R and surround L/R)
  • Paradigm Reference Studio CC-490 center speaker
  • Velodyne Optimum 10 subwoofer
  • Transparent Audio Wave speaker cables
  • AudioQuest Vodka HDMI cables
I have a few questions about this system, which are listed below.

Marcelo Ferreira

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 01, 2009  |  6 comments
No TV!
I want to replace the aging rear-projection TV in my home theater, possibly with a Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD. I will be watching mostly Blu-rays with no broadcast viewing at all. Since most Blu-rays have some sort of letterboxing, will there be a problem with image retention or burn-in? If so, what 50-52 inch LCD do you recommend?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 07, 2011  |  5 comments
I have two plasma TVs, an older Philips 1080i/720p and a newer Panasonic 1080p. I have Verizon FiOS with HD DVR that lets me choose 720p or 1080i output. Which should I choose for the best picture for watching sports? I seem to remember reading somewhere that 720p is best for sports and 1080i is better for movies, but I'm not sure if that still holds true.

Also, I'm considering getting a new 1080p set, and I see you have the Panasonic TC-P50ST30 rated as one of your Top Picks. I can get a good deal on the 60-inch version of this TV and was wondering if your review holds true for that size. I see you review a lot of 50-inch TVs, but not the 60-inch versions. Do the 60-inch versions lose picture quality because the screen is 10 inches bigger with the same number of pixels? Do they just make the pixels bigger?

Jay P.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 24, 2009  |  9 comments
Cash Grab
I have long heard and read that "high-end" HDMI cables are a cash grab and offer minimal if any benefit when compared with bargain brands. Are there real gains in "high-end" HDMI cables? If so, which companies would you suggest looking into?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Sep 01, 2010  |  14 comments
Job Training
In looking for a good part-time job (hopefully working into full time), I ran into a guy who advised that I take a video-calibration technician course. Who is best to teach this? I heard that an ISF course is available through a school in Colorado. I have also heard you and Leo Laporte chat about THX in glowing tones, and I see online they hold courses in Las Vegas and Dallas.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 10, 2010  |  5 comments
Calibration Challenge
I've been listening to you on Leo Laporte's radio show for years. One of your pet subjects is the correct calibration of HDTVs. I would like to challenge you on this. I have previously accepted your advice, but now with multiple media sources running into my TV, I find that one setting doesn't suit all of them. I'm sure that accurate calibration is fine in a perfect world, but because media quality often changes, I have to change the picture settings to suit the media in order to fully appreciate the viewing experience.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Dec 05, 2011  |  6 comments
Between the Cambridge Audio Azur 840C and Oppo BDP-95, which sound better for music? I know the Oppo can play SACD, but is the difference significant? I have a Sunfire 200Wpc amp and Von Schweikert VR-4 Generation III speakers.

Pender Linwood

Al Griffin  |  Apr 27, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own an Epson 5040UB projector that is high dynamic range-compatible and has “4K Enhancement Technology.” But it’s my understanding that projectors are unable to deliver all the benefits of HDR. If that’s true, is it worth it for me to upgrade to an Ultra HD Blu-ray player to use with my 5040UB? —Harry Torres

Al Griffin  |  Nov 04, 2015  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am in the market to buy a high-end Dolby Atmos AV Receiver for my basement home theater and have shortlisted the following receivers: Yamaha RX-A3050, Denon AVR-X5200W, and Marantz SR 7010. I also have a Sony receiver that powers a KEF 5.1 speaker system in my living room.

I was looking at the manuals for these receivers online and they all have second-zone HDMI and preamp outputs. Would it possible to use the new receiver’s Zone 2 HDMI or preamp outputs to send surround to my 5.1 system upstairs? —Bhaskar Vooradi

Al Griffin  |  Oct 27, 2016  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The rock group Genesis and several other bands have released albums in 5.1 surround. Is it true there’s no way to listen to these recordings without losing detail when using a soundbar for playback? Or would you have to use an actual five-speaker surround sound system? —Robert Hadley Jr. / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jul 02, 2015  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve been checking out the JBL Charge 2 Bluetooth speaker but had doubts regarding its performance with metal and other heavy types of music. Would the Charge 2’s limited bass hinder the sound quality of heavy music in any way? —Abhay Bajpai / via e-maill

Al Griffin  |  Jul 30, 2015  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have read that the electrolytic capacitors in audio equipment can degrade and leak after years of use and that sound quality will suffer as a result. Is this true? I have a few pieces of 25-to-30-year-old gear that still sound fine to me. I’ve also read that upgrading capacitors can improve sound quality. Is that another myth? —Rob Gerry / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 18, 2015  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m using an older A/V receiver in my home theater to connect the optical digital audio outputs from a Fios TV box, OPPO Blu-ray player, and Gen-2 Apple TV. I want to upgrade to the new Apple TV, but it only has an HDMI output and no optical digital audio connection. Here’s my question: Are there any optical-to-HDMI audio converters that will let me keep using the same receiver in my setup? —Lavern Lee

Al Griffin  |  Jun 04, 2015  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am new to the world of home theater, but I’m building a house soon and want to plan for the possibility of a home theater setup. I like the idea of having in-ceiling speakers running the surround sound. Is it possible to set up a Dolby Atmos system that exclusively uses in-ceiling speakers?—Jonathan Huizingh / via e-mail

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