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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

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 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

 |  Feb 15, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q What receivers can power a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 home theater? I plan to pair the receiver with a tower-based Definitive Technology BP9000 series speaker system and use that company’s A90 Atmos Enabled speaker modules for overhead effects. —Waymon French 

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

Al Griffin  |  Jan 25, 2018  |  3 comments
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Q I want to install a projector. Due to my room’s layout, screen width would be limited to 72 inches, and the projector would need to be mounted 16 feet away from it. I've messed with screen calculators for several projector brands and have concluded that I'm out of luck: a projector mounted at that distance would require a much larger screen. Do you know of any projectors that would work in my situation? —Stan Silverman

Al Griffin  |  Jan 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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Q I have a Samsung HDTV and use the set’s analog minijack output to route an audio signal to my NAD integrated amplifier. Here’s my question: Would using an HDMI switcher/audio extractor that has HDMI inputs and HDMI and RCA-jack audio outputs increase sound quality? I have been told that using such a device would actually decrease audio performance. —James P. Landolt / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Jan 18, 2018  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’ve ripped most of my CD collection to my computer using iTunes. At this point, I’d like to maybe get a portable media storage unit and transfer my iTunes library to it so I can play music through my AV receiver and Amazon Echo speakers. Is that a good idea? All suggestions are appreciated, but I am looking for an inexpensive solution. —John McGlynn / Boca Raton, FL

A There are a few ways to skin this cat. Here are some suggestions that won’t cost much money.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 04, 2018  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have my Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 AV receiver connected to a 7.1 speaker system. When I press the SURR button on the remote, the receiver’s front-panel display shows all 7.1 speakers lit up and ready for action, but no sound comes out of the two Surround Back speakers. Do you have to watch a disc with a 7.1-channel soundtrack to get 7.1-channel sound, or can my receiver upscale a 5.1 soundtrack to a 7.1 format? The SC-LX901 is a Dolby Atmos-capable receiver, so I’d expect it to upscale 5.1 soundtracks for 7.1 output.—B. Hinson

Al Griffin  |  Dec 28, 2017  |  10 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I currently use a receiver for watching movies in 5.1 surround and for listening to stereo music. I’d like to expand my system with a dedicated stereo preamplifier and amplifier for music playback but have realized that I would need to switch the cables of my main left/right speakers from the receiver to the amplifier every time I changed over from movies to music. Is there some type of switchbox that would enable such a setup? If so, is there an audiophile-grade version that wouldn’t negatively affect the sound? One more question: Would I be able use my subwoofer with both configurations? —Raphaël Rainville / via e-mail

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