Al Griffin

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Al Griffin  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A Can I link my Sony STR-DN1060 AV receiver with a Sony soundbar using its Zone 2 output? What I want is for the receiver to drive speakers in my main listening room and for the soundbar to play the same audio in a second room. —Lewis Starman / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 13, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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  |  Nov 09, 2017  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,100

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Effective peak brightness with HDR sources
Can display extended color
Good overall picture uniformity and upscaling
Minus
Mild artifacts from local-dimming backlight
No off-air tuner
Only one HDMI 2.0a input

THE VERDICT
Vizio’s new M Series set offers substantial performance improvements over last year’s model and does so at an even lower price.

Ultra HDTVs that support the display of programs with high dynamic range, also known as HDR, have quickly become the norm. If you’re out and about shopping for a new set, there’s a good chance that you’ll be taking home one of these TVs. Of course, the benefit to a state-of-the-art feature like HDR becoming standard is that prices for sets that include it will drop. How low? How about $1,100? That’s what Vizio charges for their 65-inch M65-E0 LCD Ultra HDTV.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 09, 2017  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q TV reviews in Sound & Vision routinely discuss support for the HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats. I don't always see comments about HDR support in AV receiver reviews, however. Does an AVR need to support a specific HDR format, or does HDMI take care of that? —James Hardaway

Al Griffin  |  Nov 07, 2017  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,995

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Neutral sound from Class A/B amp
Upsamples and converts PCM and DSD
Compact form factor
Minus
Futuristic design means no mechanical controls
No wired headphone output

THE VERDICT
Cary Audio’s all-in-one system looks great, sounds great, and is packed with cutting-edge features.

Cary Audio is known in the high-end audio scene for making vacuum-tube and solid-state stereo components, and the brand has also established a foothold in the home theater world with its Cinema 12 preamp/processor and multichannel amplifiers. Cary’s AiOS (All-in-One System) is the first offering in the company’s Lifestyle series. With built-in aptX Bluetooth, wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, AirPlay and PhoneShare support, and onboard Tidal, Spotify, and vTuner streaming, the AiOS really does have everything you need to immediately start playing music. Just download the company’s iOS/Android app, connect speakers, and you’re good to go.

Al Griffin  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q After a lull of many years, I’m now in the market for a new audio system and plan to buy high-quality tower speakers and a good amplifier. Here’s my question: How do I deliver an audio signal to passive speakers using just an amp and no preamp or receiver? I’ve become accustomed to the convenience of music-streaming apps like Pandora and don’t want my new system to be unnecessarily complicated. —Gary Barnett / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 02, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I'm a proud new owner of a Marantz AV7703 preamp/processor, which I use with a 7.0 speaker configuration (full-range fronts and no subwoofer).

Here’s my question: When I play a Blu-ray disc with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, the pre-pro’s auto surround mode outputs it as DTS-HD + Neural:X (see above picture). But why would the processor create an upmixed signal instead of passing on discrete channel information to the back surrounds? I’m using an Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player with the audio output set to bitstream. —John F. Bartelt

Al Griffin  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I was recently in Best Buy asking about speakers for Dolby Atmos. I was told that to get Atmos I would have to change out my current setup and buy a new set of Atmos Speakers. Is that true? —Wendell Blue

Al Griffin  |  Oct 19, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My current setup includes an “older” 7.1-channel receiver that isn’t equipped to decode new sound formats such as Dolby Atmos. I understand that when you play an Atmos disc, older receivers are presented with a standard 5.1- or 7.1-channel version of the soundtrack for decoding. What difference, if any, is there between this default version and something like a Dolby True HD mix? My assumption is that it would be better to select a dedicated lossless mix over a backward-compatible, and presumably compressed, fallback mix. — Jason Acosta

Al Griffin  |  Oct 16, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I own a Panasonic plasma TV and a Denon AV receiver. When I connect my sources directly to the TV, the picture looks great. But when I run my Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player, cable TV box, and Amazon Fire TV media player through the Denon using HDMI cables, the picture quality degrades. Is there a way I can work around the picture quality problems caused by my AVR? I want to continue using the AVR for audio switching and prefer to not have to connect sources directly to the TV. —Henry Yeboah / via e-mail

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