Al Griffin

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Al Griffin  |  Mar 22, 2018  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What software and computer control panel volume settings deliver the best sound when playing music using apps like iTunes and sending the digital output to a DAC? —John de Perczel

Al Griffin  |  Mar 20, 2018  |  2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,000

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clear, crisp sound
Cool, retro design
Can drive efficient speakers to reasonably loud levels
Minus
Hi-res Bluetooth requires LDAC source
Pricey

THE VERDICT
TEAC’s stylish, computer-friendly integrated amp is a great option for both desktop and living-room listening.

Integrated amplifiers designed for use both on the desktop and in the listening room are a niche category that we’ve looked at before, most recently in reviews of Elac’s $699 Element EA101EQ-G and Cary Audio’s AiOS. But of all the hi-fi manufacturers working this space, TEAC is the one that embraces it most enthusiastically.

Al Griffin  |  Mar 15, 2018  |  9 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The idea of physical media going away bothers me because video streaming quality still seems so spotty. Even my wife — I’ll call her a home theater appreciator, if not an enthusiast — noticed how bad the last season of Game of Thrones looked when we streamed it on HBO Now. To be fair, that’s not the case with all streaming services. For example, Stranger Things looked great on Netflix in 4K. With both examples, however, you will most certainly get the definitive experience by watching the show on disc. Here’s my question: Which of the video streaming services currently offers the best possible AV quality? Are there any advances on the horizon? —Jason Acosta / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Mar 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My Denon AVR-S930H receiver supports pass-through of Dolby Vision high dynamic range. However, when I connect my Apple 4K TV to it, the Dolby Vision setting on the Apple box becomes unavailable and the signal changes to the HDR10 high dynamic range format.

I know the Denon passes Dolby Vision because when I connect my Oppo Ultra HD Blu-ray player to it, movies are displayed in the Dolby Vision format on my LG TV. I also know the Apple box isn’t the problem because Dolby Vision works when I connect it directly to the TV. Is there a setting in either the Denon receiver or Apple TV that I’m overlooking? —David A. Pilsner

Al Griffin  |  Mar 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My Windows-based Music Server (MediaMonkey) recently died and I want to replace it with one that supports music streaming services and will let me control playback with a tablet. I spent many hours ripping FLAC versions of my CD collection. Those files were stored on my PC’s hard drive, and I had them backed up offsite using iCloud. Here’s my question: If I buy a standalone music server like the Elac Discovery or Bluesound Vault 2, how can I restore access to my music collection that’s now sitting in the cloud? Also, can you backup data directly from the Elac or Bluesound servers to storage services like iCloud? —Jacques Simard

Al Griffin  |  Feb 26, 2018  |  5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve owned my Panasonic plasma TV for seven years but am now wondering about its life expectancy. Refresh rate, viewing angle, and, in particular, aspect ratio control are major concerns for my next TV. Can any of the latest TVs display a constant aspect ratio regardless of signal source? —Joe Nagy / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Feb 22, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are movies on Blu-ray 3D disc delivered in 1080p/24 resolution — the same as regular Blu-ray? If not, what is the resolution for Blu-ray 3D, and does the format use a different, lower-quality form of video compression? —Gilles Gontrand

Al Griffin  |  Feb 15, 2018  |  5 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,100

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Free app from Roon Labs
Wired and wireless multiroom playback options
Impressive sound from built-in DAC
Minus
Track count limited to 30,000
Requires wired LAN connection

THE VERDICT
Elac’s Discovery provides a simple, elegant option for adding a networked music server with Roon to an existing audio system.

Before diving into a review of Elac’s Discovery DS-S101-G music server, it seems apt to ask: What is a music server? In the past, it was a standalone audio component with a built-in hard disk that stored and played a ripped CD collection while connecting to the internet to fetch metadata. While products that fit this description still exist, a music server can also be something as basic as a software application running on a computer or on a network-attached storage (NAS) appliance. The server application, wherever it may reside, acts as a librarian for your digital audio files, sorting and retrieving them, and then routing the data to a USB DAC or a networked audio component that translates the ones and zeros into music.

Al Griffin  |  Feb 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a home theater system based around a Sony STR-DN1080 7.2-channel receiver and I’m on a quest to pick up new speakers to use for Dolby Atmos. What’s the best speaker match in the $1,000-to-$2,000 range? Also, how would I hook everything up to optimize the system for Atmos? —Ernest Walker / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Feb 01, 2018  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The connector on my in-wall HDMI cable broke off, and I have no way to replace it other than ripping into the wall. As a result, I’m wondering if the wireless HDMI products on the market are a noticeable downgrade from wired HDMI? —R.A. Oleson

Pages

X