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Al Griffin  |  Jun 23, 2016  |  6 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q It’s my understanding that the overhead speakers in a Dolby Atmos system are meant to create diffused sound. I have a pair of dipole surround speakers with a front-facing woofer and side-facing drivers. Could these be used in a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system if I hung them from my cathedral ceiling with the woofer facing down and the side drivers firing to the front and back of the room? — Al Erdelyi / via email

Scott Wilkinson  |  Aug 05, 2011  |  0 comments
I have an older 61-inch NEC plasma (built before Blu-ray became a standard), which has a stunningly beautiful picture and an incredible remote control. I have bought three Blu-ray players, and in each case, I can't get beyond the error message: "Illegal operation: device is non-HDCP compliant." Is there any way around this?

Jon Yinger

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 05, 2009  |  6 comments
D is an Excellent Grade
I'm thinking about purchasing Rotel's RSP-1570 pre/pro, and I notice that all the company's latest amplifiers (and the flagship RSX-1560 receiver) utilize Class D technology. Is this a move we're likely to see from other manufacturers given how well the energy-efficiency story plays in our increasingly green world? Does the technology sacrifice any performance?
Al Griffin  |  Mar 24, 2016  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am looking to buy a Pioneer Elite AV receiver, but I hear that they have problems with 4K/Ultra HD video passthrough. Is this correct? —Charlie F. / via e-mail

Scott Wilkinson  |  Oct 10, 2011  |  1 comments
Would you recommend using the Coby CSMP88 soundbar instead of the TV speakers in my LG plasma?

Nick Andrade

Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 18, 2009  |  1 comments
Great Idea
I have a DirecTV DVR, and I discovered that some channels display the SMPTE color bars after signing off, so I have recorded them to use when adjusting the TV's picture controls for broadcast content. The color-bar patterns I have recorded do not have 3.5 and 7.5 IRE PLUGE bars, only the 11.5 IRE bar. How do I adjust the brightness without the 3.5 and 7.5 bars?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 24, 2010  |  3 comments
Dire Need
I have an old Akai 55-inch HDTV rear-projection TV. Is there a calibration program I can download to a DVD and use to calibrate the color? It is in dire need. Other than that, it works well, and I really don't want to get a new TV as long as this one works.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 30, 2011  |  5 comments
I read in a recent Ask Scott post ("Building a System") that you thought full-range speakers in the system under discussion would be overkill for watching movies. One of the reasons for using bookshelf or compact speakers for the front left/right channels—tonal matching—was also highlighted as an appealing quality in Home Theater's review of B&W 805 compact speaker system (seen here).

I am looking to set up a surround system for the sole purpose of watching movies (no music) in a 12x12 room. As a general rule, do you recommend a system with matching front and surround speakers over a system with full-range fronts and compact surrounds, knowing there will be a sub either way? Most of the systems I see reviewed in magazines as well as all the recommended systems at my favorite local hi-fi store match large floorstanding front speakers with small surrounds, but your advice seems to contradict this.

Johann Dutton

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 25, 2011  |  0 comments
I would like to set up a conference room with audio/video capabilities. I am planning to use a 7.1 A/V receiver for audio and InFocus 5124 LCD projector for video. This would be used for training and presentations as well as watching an occasional ball game or movie.

Ideally, a presenter would be able to use the A/V system for a slide show from a computer (potentially with a sound track) and talk over it with a wireless microphone. However, most receivers only allow a single input source to be selected. I have not been able to find an A/V receiver that would let me mix a microphone with the 7.1 sound system and watch a slide show from a computer video input. Do you have any suggestions?

Jim Kay

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Other than auto-calibration, what's the difference between "traditional" EQ units like those from DBX and Rane and systems like Audyssey?

Theo Nicolakis

Scott Wilkinson  |  Nov 03, 2010  |  6 comments
Oops!
In the last two installments of Ask Home Theater, I wrote that the Sony STR-DA4600ES and DA5600ES A/V receivers can convert HDMI sources to 1080i component video for a remote room. My source at Sony was confident about this, and I took his word for it. However, reader Dan couldn't find anything about this feature in the DA5600ES manual. Was my Sony contact wrong?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Apr 28, 2010  |  29 comments
Superkid
I recently bought a 58-inch Samsung plasma for only $1200, and I loved it—that is, until my 4-year-old threw a small toy and cracked the screen. This totally disabled the TV; it would not even turn on. Is it normal for plasma screens to crack so easily, and if so, are LCD TVs more durable? Thank goodness I was able to return the TV and get a full refund, but I do not have the money to take another chance like that. I have a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old in the house, so what should I do to protect the TV?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 30, 2010  |  10 comments
Golden Oldie
I have a 34-inch Sony KD-34XBR960 direct-view CRT HDTV, which works fine, but it's a beast. Are the current LCD/LED TVs equal in picture quality to the 960? Other than multiple HDMI inputs, weighing less, and consuming less electricity, are there any visual benefits to replacing the 960?
Al Griffin  |  Nov 07, 2013  |  4 comments
Q Can you explain what it is about an asynchronous USB DAC input on a receiver that would enable it to sound superior to an Ethernet connection streaming the same file over a home network? —Chris Hebner / Delano, MN

Scott Wilkinson  |  May 03, 2011  |  0 comments
A friend asked me if I knew of good Blu-ray demo discs so he could show off his system as well as the benefits of Blu-ray technology. He does not collect many discs except the occasional concert video, being an audiophile first and foremost, but concert Blu-rays can be hit or miss as demo material.

Claude Whiting

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