Al Griffin

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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

Al Griffin  |  May 25, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I’m using a Yamaha AX-497 integrated amplifier to power a pair of Elac speakers with a nominal 4-ohm impedance. I also have a Yamaha YST-SW315 subwoofer I’d like to use in my system. Here’s my question: If the speakers are wired directly to the amp as speaker pair A, and the powered subwoofer is connected as speaker pair B, can I power both simultaneously without damaging the amplifier? (The amplifier’s manual warns against connecting more than one pair of 4-ohm speakers.) For convenience reasons, I would rather not wire the main speakers through the subwoofer. —V.A. Dare / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  May 24, 2017  |  7 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $300

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High-quality video upconversion of standard Blu-rays
Plays SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and native DSD files
Inexpensive
Minus
No announced Dolby Vision support
No analog audio outputs

THE VERDICT
Sony’s ultra-affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray player offers solid video performance, and it also plays SACDs and DVD-Audio discs.

Call it nostalgia, but the launch of an audio or video format strikes me as an opportunity to reflect on what came before it—especially now, with the sun threatening to set on physical media. When the Blu-ray Disc first appeared a little more than a decade ago, Sony was among its main flagwavers. Not only that, but the company’s PlayStation 3 console was considered by many to be the top-performing player in the Blu-ray format’s primitive days. Samsung and Panasonic were quick to push out standalone Blu-ray players, but the folks at Sony took their sweet time bringing their own model to market. When the BDP-S1 did arrive, it was well received for its picture quality—though it had design quirks, including an inability to play CDs.

Al Griffin  |  May 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q There’s been much discussion about MQA technology and its capabilities, but the only products that support MQA are a handful of DACs and stereo amps.

When can we expect to see MQA in mainstream AVRs such as those from Marantz, Yamaha, Denon, Pioneer, and Onkyo? For me, there’s no point in upgrading to a new receiver now if MQA decoding can’t at least be added via a firmware update. —Jacek G.

Al Griffin  |  May 15, 2017  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I own an Integra DTR-40.6 AV receiver that is capable of playing Hi-Resolution Audio (HRA). Here’s what I want to know: If I were to upgrade my Pandora or Spotify account to stream HRA, would I be able to listen to it using the Pandora or Spotify app built into the receiver? My internet service plan is 50-Mbps FIOS, and I have the receiver connected to my router with an Ethernet cable. &Tony Held / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  May 11, 2017  |  3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own an Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB turntable that I’ve modded. I’ve also purchased a Cambridge Audio CP1 phono preamp to connect the Audio-Technica to my Denon AVR-X6200W receiver. Can you help me understand how to hook the CP1 up to the Denon? I’ve tried many options but still fail to get sound. The turntable plays when plugged into another amp so I know it’s working correctly —Rodger Benson

Al Griffin  |  May 04, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m interested in reconfiguring my speaker setup for object-based audio. Should I leave the surround back speakers in place, or set them up as height speakers? —Michael Welters

Al Griffin  |  May 01, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just purchased a Samsung Ultra HDTV and plan to buy an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. My current AV receiver is four years old. Is there any way I can get a 4K picture and Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio sound without having to buy a new receiver? —Michael Errico / via email

Al Griffin  |  Apr 27, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own an Epson 5040UB projector that is high dynamic range-compatible and has “4K Enhancement Technology.” But it’s my understanding that projectors are unable to deliver all the benefits of HDR. If that’s true, is it worth it for me to upgrade to an Ultra HD Blu-ray player to use with my 5040UB? —Harry Torres

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