Al Griffin

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Al Griffin  |  May 28, 2018  |  Published: May 27, 2018  |  14 comments
Who are you?

I’m Al Griffin, the new editor of Sound & Vision magazine. While readers might know my name from the Ask S&V column and from product reviews, my involvement with the magazine actually spans back to its formation. Let’s begin at the beginning.

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

Al Griffin  |  Apr 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My home theater system is based around a Sony VPL-VW675ES projector and a 2.4:1 aspect ratio screen. (I really like ultra-wide Cinemascope images.) Outside of reading the excellent disc reviews in Sound & Vision, is there a way to determine a film’s aspect ratio before buying it on Ultra HD Blu-ray? — Rod McClaskey

Al Griffin  |  Apr 12, 2018  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $2,995

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Ample power for all channels
Dynamic sound
Affordable
Minus
Signal-sensing power-on mode can be fussy

THE VERDICT
Parasound’s new five-channel amplifier is a versatile performer, delivering clean power with ample headroom for both movies and music.

While attending the 2017 CEDIA Expo in San Diego, I happened upon a small European audio electronics manufacturer that was showing a prototype five-channel amplifier. When I asked why the company was planning to release a multichannel amp after many years of making stereo-only gear, I was told matter-of-factly that home theater was “making a comeback.” A comeback? To me, home theater had never gone anywhere, so I found the response surprising.

Al Griffin  |  Apr 12, 2018  |  7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My system consists of a Sony XBR-X900E TV, a PlayStation 4Pro console, and a Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar. The PS4 Pro does not play Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs, so I’m planning to buy an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Here’s my problem: I want to connect both the PS4 Pro and the disc player to the Yamaha, but the soundbar only has one HDMI input. I’ve looked around for an HDMI switcher that’s compatible with both 4K/60-Hz video signals and high dynamic range but haven’t been able to find one. Will I have to switch the cable connected to the soundbar from my sources on an as-needed basis to maintain best picture and sound quality? —Paul Trava / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Apr 05, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently bought an Epson Home Cinema 3700 LCD projector after reading a review of it in Sound & Vision. The projector remains boxed up as I decide on a screen to install in my light-controlled basement. While I plan to watch regular 2D content with the projector, my main interest is viewing my Blu-ray 3D movie collection, which I continue to add to as new titles become available.  

I understand from reading your magazine that active 3D glasses considerably reduce image brightness. Another Sound & Vision review of Da-Lite’s 2.8 gain High Power screen , led me to believe it would be a perfect screen option, but Da-Lite has discontinued that model. As an alternative, Da-Lite recommends its HD Progressive screen, which has a gain of 1.3. Will the HD Progressive provide a bright enough image for 3D viewing? I feel that I should look for a higher gain screen, but don’t want to spend more than $2,000. —Mitchell Ulrich

Al Griffin  |  Apr 03, 2018  |  3 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $10,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Bright picture with excellent uniformity
Crisp detail with 4K sources
Powerful built-in audio system
Minus
So-so contrast ratio
Occasional banding artifacts
No extended color gamut coverage

THE VERDICT
Hisense’s Laser TV strikes a good balance between performance and price for a 4K-res ultra-short-throw projector-and-screen package.

Hisense has been slowly making headway in the U.S. TV market over the past few years, mostly through its lineup of affordable big-screen LCD sets. Another product that the company has teased at trade shows, and is now actively selling, is Laser TV, a flat-screen alternative that consists of an ultra-short-throw (UST) laser-driven DLP projector paired with a 100-inch screen. While other companies including Sony and Epson offer their own UST solutions, Hisense seems especially bullish on the category: At last CES, the company announced a second Laser TV offering that incorporates a dual-laser DLP light engine and comes with a 150-inch screen, and there’s also an 88-inch version in the works.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  13 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m considering buying either an 82-inch Samsung LCD or a 65-inch LG OLED and am wrestling with the issue of TV picture quality versus size. Having happily owned a 50-inch plasma TV for the past 11 years, I’m wondering how the new LCDs stack up against plasma models when it comes to picture quality? — Gregorio Lopez / via e-mail

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