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SV Staff  |  Mar 07, 2019  |  4 comments
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Q I own an AV receiver but don’t ever listen to broadcast radio. In the future, I’d like to just buy a multichannel integrated amp with no AM/FM tuner, but if those exist they are few and far between. Do people still really use the radio on their systems? —Dave Black, via email

Al Griffin  |  Jan 24, 2019  |  2 comments
Q I bought a Panasonic DP-UB820 Blu-ray player and a Sony XBR-X900F TV thanks in part to the reviews of both in Sound & Vision. Here’s my question: Should I use both of the DP-UB820’s HDMI outputs, one connected directly to the TV for video, and the second to my Anthem AVM 60 preamp/processor for audio? I’d think it would be best for the Panasonic to handle video processing before sending the signal to the TV, and that the Anthem simply decode the audio, but I’m wondering if there are disadvantages to this setup. —Greg Strzalka
Al Griffin  |  Dec 20, 2018  |  1 comments
Q I own a Denon AVR-S920W AV receiver and am wondering if it’s possible to hook it up to my Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar to use in place of regular speakers. The sources I plan to connect to the receiver include a CD player, Blu-ray player, TV (via HDMI ARC) and the analog output of turntable with a built-in phono preamp. Is there a way to do this, or do I need to use separate speakers with the receiver? —Deborah Marlowe

A Given the wide range of analog and digital sources you plan to use in your system, I’d definitely recommend buying a separate multichannel speaker system or a passive soundbar with surround speakers and a powered subwoofer to connect to the Denon receiver.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 29, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I am planning to buy two TVs, a 65-inch LG OLED and a 49-inch Samsung LCD, both of which will be wall-mounted. I also want the option to play Blu-ray discs and DVDs with both TVs. My initial plan was to buy disc players and hide them behind the wall-mounted sets, but I can’t find a player with a vertical orientation. My goal is to see nothing but the TV on the wall. The one option I’m contemplating at this point is sticking a PlayStation 3 Super Slim game console behind the TV. Do you have any other suggestions? —Steve Knot, via email

Al Griffin  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I’m upgrading my home theater for Dolby Atmos and have noted that various speakers are now being specifically marketed for this purpose. For example, I’ve seen compact speakers with sloped, downward-pointing baffles that are designed to be wall-mounted near the ceiling. Are these as effective in delivering overhead effects as an in-ceiling or Atmos Enabled speaker? Also, could an Atmos Enabled speaker be mounted in the same manner near the ceiling? —R. Hatton, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 25, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q Can I use an HDMI 1.3b cable to connect an Ultra HD Blu-Ray player to my regular HDTV? Will the cable downscale the 4K image to 1080p, or do I need to use an HDMI 2.0 cable for it to work? —Charles Kuforiji, via email

Al Griffin  |  Oct 11, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I’ve got a decent Velodyne subwoofer that I’d like to connect to a powered soundbar. Most soundbar manufacturers now use wireless subwoofer connections, however, so I’m struggling to find one that’s capable of connecting with my sub. Could you recommend a mid-level or a high-end soundbar that features a hardwired subwoofer output? —Jim O’Hara, via email

Al Griffin  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  8 comments
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Q I would like to use an Oppo BDP-93 as the Blu-ray player in my system connected to an Arcam AVR350 A/V receiver. Since the Arcam is a legacy AVR with no HDMI switching, I will need to use the Oppo’s component video output. Here’s my question: Will I be able to get high-definition resolution from Blu-ray discs with this setup? I have read that Blu-rays have embedded ICT (Image Constraint Token), which forces the player to downscale the video resolution to DVD quality. Also, are there any workarounds, like using an Oppo player with early (pre-ICT) firmware? —Lisa Kaye, via email

Al Griffin  |  Aug 09, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

QWhen researching DACs, I ran across the Cambridge Audio CXN, a network audio player that upsamples all inputs to a 24-bit/384kHz hi-res format using “polynomial curve fitting interpolation.” This seems to be the only DAC that offers that kind of feature. Most Ultra HDTVs and Blu-ray players also provide upscaling, but for video. In my experience, this is a very effective feature that improves the experience of watching a regular DVD. Here’s my question: Does audio upsampling have the same effect as video upscaling? —Mike Yang / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jul 19, 2018  |  2 comments
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Q I can’t seem to get clear dialogue when playing some movies and TV shows and am forced to used closed captioning. I believe my problem is caused by improper phase. My home theater setup consists of five speakers plus dual subwoofers that have a polarity switch and phase knob. I’ve heard that the proper way to adjust phase is to play a sine wave at 80 Hz (same as my crossover setting) and then turn off all speakers except the left or right speaker and its adjacent sub. The next step: adjust polarity and phase until you measure the highest SPL level at the main listening position. Am I going about things right? Any other suggestions to improve dialogue intelligibility in my system? —AMIT ALCALAY

Al Griffin  |  Jun 14, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I have searched extensively for an HDMI splitter that will let me connect a high dynamic range source to both my new Dolby Vision-capable Vizio TV and my legacy Anthem receiver (for lossless audio). Oppo’s UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player has dual HDMI outputs and supports Dolby Vision. It also has an HDMI input that would enable passthrough of another HDR-capable source like a Chromecast Ultra, Roku Ultra, Fire TV, or Apple TV 4K. Here’s my question: Is there a less expensive option than the Oppo that would deliver the same result? —Andy Lutz / Houston, TX

Al Griffin  |  May 31, 2018  |  First Published: May 30, 2018  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Why are different units of brightness measurement used for different display technologies? For example, I’ve seen lumens used for home theater projectors, foot-lamberts for movie theaters, and nits for high dynamic range-capable TVs. Wouldn’t it be less confusing for the average consumer to lump everything together as a single measurement?
Nathan Robertson / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  May 17, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m currently using an Apple TV 4K box that’s connected to my HDTV with an HDMI cable. For sound, I run a cable from the HDTV’s optical digital output to an external DAC connected to my stereo system. Here’s my question: Would it be a useful upgrade to buy an HDMI audio converter so I could connect to my stereo system directly without first routing the signal through the TV? —Kristóf Kollár

Al Griffin  |  May 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought an Xbox One X console and have it connected to my Yamaha RX-A2050 AV receiver. When I watch Atmos demo videos using the Dolby Access app on the Xbox, my AVR’s front-panel LED display reads “Dolby Atmos.” I get the same result when I watch Netflix shows with an Atmos soundtrack. When viewing Ultra HD Blu-rays with Dolby Atmos soundtracks, however, the receiver’s front panel will read “Dolby TrueHD.” Are Atmos and TrueHD the same thing? —Hans Furey / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Apr 26, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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

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