Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 16, 2012  |  10 comments
I've recently installed some built-in cabinets in my family room, leaving me enough space to fit a 70-inch TV. Currently, I have a 50-inch Pioneer Kuro (non-Elite) that I've been extremely happy with. But now that I've got the space for a 70-incher, I'm strongly considering upgrading. The problem is that I've been pretty disappointed with what's currently available in the way of 70-inch TVs. I realize that I'm limited to the Sharp 70-inch models or the larger Elite (which is out of my price range). I could increase my options if I considered a 65-inch set from Samsung or Panasonic, but hate the thought of giving up those extra five inches.

Also, I'm pretty spoiled by the picture quality of the Kuro. I love the shadow detail and lack of motion artifacts on the plasma, and I'm worried that I'll be disappointed with the performance of some of the larger LED TVs. I was excited that Sharp announced the LE945U line at CES this year, which is supposedly going to include full-array local dimming, but I've seen recent reports that Sharp may not include local dimming on their 2012 sets. Have you heard anything about this? Is this feature really worth waiting for over the full-array LC-70LE735U (with no local dimming) that can currently be obtained at a substantial discount?

Jim Remus

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 14, 2012  |  0 comments
Renato Pellegrini, co-founder of Sonic Emotion and my first guest geek to appear live from Europe, explains the company's Absolute 3D audio technology, which uses wave-field synthesis to create a 3D soundfield throughout the room, putting every listener in the sweet spot. He reveals several consumer products that incorporate the technology and introduces Sonic Emotion's new 3D audio app for the iPhone/iPod/iPad (and soon Android devices) called Headquake. Also discussed are several commercial installations using Absolute 3D and the company's Music in Our Schools donation program.

Run Time: 1:00:41

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 12, 2012  |  11 comments
I'm trying to develop a home-theater system. I am definitely a neophyte, not an audiophile, and based on your reviews, I fit into the entry-level price range. I have a pair of Bose 401 speakers in very good shape, and I like them. Also, I thought the money saved by using these could be put into other components. I don't know what surround speakers, center speaker, and subwoofer to buy that are compatible with the 401s. I'm also going to purchase a new A/V receiver and Blu-ray player.

Currently, I'm considering the Pioneer VSX-1021 or Onkyo TX-SR609 AVR and the Samsung BD-D6700 Blu-ray player. After that I have no idea what to do. What subwoofer, center channel and surround sound speakers do I buy to go with the Bose 401s? Perhaps the Bose 161s? Or do I just forget it and buy a complete speaker system? If so, which one?

Brent Gardner

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 09, 2012  |  11 comments
I'm upgrading my home-theater system with a Panasonic TC-P65VT30 plasma TV and Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player. I also want to replace my Yamaha RX-V793 A/V receiver, but I'm not sure what make and model would be best. I plan to keep my Paradigm Cinema Phantom tower speakers (front left and right), CC-170 center speaker, Atoms (left and right surrounds), and PDR-12 subwoofer.

I'm willing to pay for an AVR that will provide video performance to take full advantage of the TV and Blu-ray player. Likewise with sound performance; I see no point in paying for a higher performing AVR than my existing speakers can handle.

BTW, my room is 18x12 feet, and the TV will be located on one long wall with the sofa along the opposite wall. Also, I have carte blanche from my wife to get what I want in designing the media room.

Darren Benjamin

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 06, 2012  |  0 comments
With a last-minute guest cancellation, I spend a pleasant hour answering questions from the chat room, including how I got my start in home theater, what it might take for an Apple television to be successful, tips for speaker placement, what to consider when converting a basement to a home theater, where the best seat in a commercial theater is, motion blur on LCD TVs, video processors, RF universal remotes, HDMI Audio Return Channel, whether or not 3D is a passing fad, using two identical projectors to display 3D, and much more.

Run Time: 1:05:07

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 06, 2012  |  6 comments
Today, Samsung revealed more details about its 2012 TV lineup at a press conference in New York. Seeing as how Tom Norton and I are based in Los Angeles, the company was kind enough to bring us up to speed at its QA Lab before the NY event, placing the info under embargo until now.

Actually, most of the info is not new—it was first presented at CES in January. But there was one bit of real news not available at CES—pricing and availability.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 05, 2012  |  7 comments
We are in the process of completing the home theater. It is located in the basement, and I have complete control of the lighting. It was designed to use a projector or flat panel, but unfortunately, it seems a flat panel may be the only option.

I have discovered it is relatively easy to find LCD flat panels in sizes up to 80 inches or more, but I would prefer a plasma rather than an LCD. However, no one makes an 80-inch plasma for under $6000. Panasonic makes the TH-85PF12U and TH-85VX200U, but those are roughly $20,000 and $30,000, respectively! Does anyone make an 80- or 85-inch plasma for under $6000, and if not, why? I can't believe there is no market for this in the HT world.

Vincent A.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 02, 2012  |  8 comments
I have a Panasonic TC-P50GT30 plasma TV and Pioneer VSX-1121 A/V receiver, both of which support HDMI version 1.4 with Audio Return Channel (ARC). The AVR's HDMI output is connected to the TV's HDMI input 1, which is the only input with ARC capability. I also have a PS3 connected to one of the TV's other HDMI inputs. When I play a Blu-ray disc on the PS3 and listen to the audio through my AVR, all I see on the AVR display is Stereo. However if I connect the PS3 to the AVR directly, I see Dolby Digital (or whatever the audio format is) on the AVR display. Does the Panasonic plasma not pass the advanced Blu-ray audio formats, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD, to my AVR via HDMI ARC?