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Al Griffin  |  Apr 20, 2016  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Help! Perhaps it's the case that I don't understand the Dolby Atmos specifications, but I get the impression that if I build an Atmos system with four height channels, I will also need to purchase an expensive receiver.

I want the unit I buy to handle both two-channel analog music and big-budget films with multichannel soundtracks. Is there such thing as a receiver that can process Dolby Atmos soundtracks for a 5.1.4-channel speaker layout but also let me use a high-end stereo amp to power the front channels? —Joshua Gonzalez, Houston, TX

Al Griffin  |  May 26, 2020  |  0 comments
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Q My house has a well-lit living room where I watch TV. Are OLED sets bright enough to use in that space, or should I buy an LCD TV instead? —Paul G.

Al Griffin  |  May 02, 2019  |  0 comments
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Q I’ve got a smallish 10 x 12-foot viewing room. The room’s size isn’t necessarily a problem, but the seating is a modular couch set all the way against the back wall. Can I get any value out of in-wall surrounds right behind or beside the seating? —Robert Greenwalt, via email

Al Griffin  |  Nov 17, 2021  |  0 comments
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Q I read your response to a reader who asked about using dipolar speakers as surrounds in an Atmos system. You recommended “losing any side-mounted dipole surround speakers in the system and replacing them with properly positioned direct-radiating models.” Does that same advice hold for bipolar surrounds? —Darryl Brooks, via email

Al Griffin  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I want to install a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 speaker configuration using ceiling speakers for both overhead height effects and the left/right surrounds. How would you recommend I go about positioning the speakers? —Tuck Seng

Al Griffin  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q My Windows-based Music Server (MediaMonkey) recently died and I want to replace it with one that supports music streaming services and will let me control playback with a tablet. I spent many hours ripping FLAC versions of my CD collection. Those files were stored on my PC’s hard drive, and I had them backed up offsite using iCloud. Here’s my question: If I buy a standalone music server like the Elac Discovery or Bluesound Vault 2, how can I restore access to my music collection that’s now sitting in the cloud? Also, can you backup data directly from the Elac or Bluesound servers to storage services like iCloud? —Jacques Simard

Al Griffin  |  Apr 27, 2015  |  1 comments
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Q Can I use two different brands of subwoofers in my home theater?—Alphonse Michelet / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Dec 17, 2015  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are different wireless speakers compatible with each other? I own several Sonos speakers, but have recently noticed more top-line speaker makers (e.g., Definitive Technology, Polk) starting to distribute their own. As I continue expanding my wireless hook-ups, I’m wondering if I'm locked-in to using just Sonos? —Stephen Romanelli

Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2015  |  15 comments
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Q I have a 7.1-channel surround system with four dipole surround speakers. My plan is to move the back surround speakers to the ceiling in my home theater and use them for down-firing height speakers in a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup.  The room is 12 x 20 feet with a flat, 8-foot-high ceiling. Will I get a good Atmos experience with this setup? How will it work for DTS:X? —Dan Spaughs

Al Griffin  |  Nov 13, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I currently use dipole speakers as the side surrounds in a 7.1-channel configuration. My plan is to upgrade to an Atmos setup and replace the side surround speakers with direct-radiating models. Here’s my question: Could I use my existing dipole surrounds as Atmos height speakers? —Nick Ward / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jul 20, 2017  |  0 comments
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A Here’s a question that has probably been asked and answered a thousand times. I plan to upgrade my system from a 7.1-channel to a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos configuration. Should I replace my current dipole surround speakers with direct-radiating speakers? Also, which 11.2-channel AV receivers should I consider buying? —Dave Brown / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Aug 18, 2021  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Way back when surround sound at home was the new big thing, installing dipole surround speakers at either side of the main listening position was recommended. Are dipoles still the optimal surround speaker choice now that technology has transitioned to object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos? —Steve Benoff, Beaumont, CA

Al Griffin  |  Feb 03, 2016  |  10 comments
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Q I want to check out the world of High-res audio, but being a Mac and iTunes user presents challenges in that arena. I have spent hours researching Hi-Res-friendly computer music playback alternatives, but each seems to have drawbacks (and costs). Is there a way to use iTunes for Hi-Res playback, or do I have to wait for Mother Apple to eventually condescend to selling and supporting Hi-Res music? —Scott Oakley, Phoenix, AZ

Al Griffin  |  May 25, 2017  |  1 comments
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A I’m using a Yamaha AX-497 integrated amplifier to power a pair of Elac speakers with a nominal 4-ohm impedance. I also have a Yamaha YST-SW315 subwoofer I’d like to use in my system. Here’s my question: If the speakers are wired directly to the amp as speaker pair A, and the powered subwoofer is connected as speaker pair B, can I power both simultaneously without damaging the amplifier? (The amplifier’s manual warns against connecting more than one pair of 4-ohm speakers.) For convenience reasons, I would rather not wire the main speakers through the subwoofer. —V.A. Dare / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jun 09, 2016  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have an Onkyo TX NR1009 AV receiver that I operate in a 7.2 configuration. All is well when I watch a movie with a 7.1 soundtrack since my couch is inline with the back surround speakers. However, when I watch movies or TV with 5.1 sound the rear speakers go silent and I need to shift my position to be inline with the side surround speakers. Is it possible to have the receiver route the 5.1 signal so the back surround speakers remain active and I don’t have to change my seating position? —George Yeoh

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