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Al Griffin  |  Sep 14, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I'm a big proponent of physical media and was an earlier adopter of the Ultra HD Blu-ray format. I understand that certain movies may have been shot in 4K or higher resolution (or on 35mm film, which provides enough detail to scan at 4K), but then mastered for release from a 2K digital intermediate. I’ve been able to appreciate the benefits of the Ultra HD format almost immediately thanks in large part to high dynamic range, but am bothered that some disc titles are mastered at less than Ultra HD resolution. It seems like we’ll soon be seeing "New 4K Remaster" versions of movies previously released in Ultra HD. What’s the issue here? —Jason Acosta

Al Griffin  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A What’s the problem with HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)? I’ve heard that most people simply give up on ARC and use an optical digital audio connection from their TV to their receiver instead because they can rarely get it to work between devices, especially ones from different manufacturers. What can the HDMI Forum do to improve the situation? —Phis Tomaskovic / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Aug 24, 2017  |  5 comments
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Q I recently upgraded my TV to an LG 65B7P OLED. My receiver is an older Pioneer model that I'm loathe to give up. I plan on using an Xbox console, either the One S or the forthcoming One X, as my 4K source. Here’s my problem: both Xbox versions provide only a single HDMI output. I know I could use the TV’s HDMI ARC port to route audio back to a receiver, but my Pioneer doesn’t support that feature. Another problem is that HDMI ARC doesn't support the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA lossless audio codecs. Which gets me to my question: Is there some kind of HDMI splitter I can buy that will let me route the Xbox’s output separately to the TV and AVR? —David Becker

Al Griffin  |  Aug 17, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I want to upgrade my AV receiver but plan to wait until high-end brands like Anthem and Cambridge Audio provide support for HDMI passthrough of the HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) high dynamic range formats. Am I making the right decision? / via e-mail—Estuardo / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Aug 10, 2017  |  0 comments
Q I have a 5.1-channel surround speaker setup in my basement that uses Infinity speakers. Is it better to have overhead speakers that are angled toward the viewer, or ones that fire directly down at the sitting position? —Steve Thompson
Al Griffin  |  Aug 03, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q How can I tell if a TV has a 10-bit panel to process the full 10-bit color of high dynamic range (HDR) video?  I’ve heard that certain TVs accept 10-bit signals, but display them at 8-bit resolution. I’m interested in buying Samsung’s 2016 KS9810 SUHD TV, a top-of-the-line model from 2016, but want to make sure it has 10-bit display. How will I be able to tell the difference?—Jerry Peterson

Al Griffin  |  Jul 27, 2017  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m looking to buy a new AV receiver. Denon just came out with the AVR-S930H, a 7.2-channel model that’s Dolby Vision compatible. Should I instead buy a 2016 model with similar features minus the Dolby Vision support? It would save me a few hundred dollars. The only Ultra HD source I plan to use it with is a Roku player.  —Steve Guminy

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  |  Jul 13, 2017  |  0 comments
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I recently bought a 7.1-channel receiver, along with a 5.1 speaker system. Due to space limitations, I plan to install the surround speakers in the rear of room behind the seating area. Here’s my question: Should I configure the rear speakers in my receiver’s setup menu as Surrounds or Back Surrounds? —Greg Smith

Al Griffin  |  Jul 06, 2017  |  1 comments
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Q I don’t even know what to call it, but I'm looking for a reasonably priced device ($150 or less) with enough watts to drive a small pair of two-way speakers that’s also internet-enabled and capable of playing back Pandora, Spotify, and iTunes (not Apple Music) tracks from my iPhone. Can you make a recommendation? —Scott Oakley, Pine, AZ

Al Griffin  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  0 comments
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A A recent firmware update for my Onkyo receiver added Dolby Atmos processing, but the receiver only accommodates two height speakers. Is it worth cutting into my ceiling for such a minimal setup? If so, where should the speakers be positioned? —Peter Noris / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jun 22, 2017  |  3 comments
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Q I received an el-cheapo Victrola Vintage turntable for Father’s Day. Bypassing the built-in speakers, I eagerly connected the turntable’s RCA outputs to an auxiliary input on my Denon AVR X4200W receiver and played “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen’s Greatest Hits. I expected to be greeted by the warm, crackly sound of vinyl playing through my GoldenEar Technology Aon 3s (with help from a 12-inch JL Audio E-Sub), but instead heard a shrill, disappointing mess that lacked low-end and had virtually no stereo image. Comparing the vinyl to a Hi-Res digital recording I own of the same track, the vinyl sounded more like AM radio. Here’s my question: is vinyl all hype, or am I the victim of a low-end turntable? —Chris Wilson, Alpharetta, GA

Al Griffin  |  Jun 15, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A If I use two Dolby Atmos-enabled towers as the front left/right speakers in my system, will that be sufficient to experience the format when playing discs with Atmos soundtracks? — David Lambert / via e-mail

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

Q I’m having trouble getting a picture from my cable box when running it through a HDCP 2.2-compliant AV receiver. I’m thinking that the problem might be the cable modem/router attached to my system, which is more than 10 years old. Is there such a thing as a HDCP 2.2-compliant cable modem/router, or could the problem lie elsewhere?  —Bill Ferguson

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

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