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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
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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
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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
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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

Al Griffin  |  Dec 21, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I am looking to buy an AV receiver that can play music (mainly FLAC files) and movies streamed from a media server hosted on a NAS. Are there any new receivers that provide that feature? I was looking at a Pioneer VSX-832 Network receiver based on a recommendation from a local dealer, but discovered a note on Pioneer’s website saying that it’s not supported.—Gigi Mathew

Al Griffin  |  Dec 14, 2017  |  1 comments
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Q I was planning to replace my 225Wpc Anthem Statement A2 amplifier with a 300Wpc McIntosh MC302 amp to improve my system. It was suggested that I would get more bang-for-the-buck by instead replacing my Integra DHC 80.3 surround preamp/processor with a new McIntosh MX122 surround preamp/processor. The reason given was that upgrading to a marginally more powerful amp wouldn’t result in a significant difference in my system, but a state-of-the-art processor would. Do you agree with that viewpoint? The speakers I am using are Definitive Technology Mythos STS Super Towers with a Mythos center channel and surrounds. — KJ King

Al Griffin  |  Dec 12, 2017  |  6 comments
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Q I am building a dedicated 15 x 10 x 28-foot (WxHxD) home theater with two rows of seating and a bar for the third row. I plan to buy new speakers and am interested in the advantages, if any, of line-source over regular point-source designs. I’ve heard that line-source speakers create a larger stereo sweet spot. Is that the case? —Lorne Charles / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Dec 07, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I just bought an Apple TV 4K streaming box and was wondering if I can use it with my surround sound system. If so, how do I connect it? —Mario Caballero

Al Griffin  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Apple regularly gets flack for not offering Hi-res versions of its iTunes music catalog. I also hear that the quality of the DACs in the latest iPhones (Android phones, too) is not the greatest. Is there any device I can add to my iPhone that will coax the last bit of sound quality out of it?—Scott Oakley, Pine, AZ

Al Griffin  |  Nov 27, 2017  |  4 comments
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A I’m interested in buying a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player but don’t yet own a 4K TV due to budget constraints. Can an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc be played on a regular HDTV? What quality issues would I run into? —Billy Keener / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  0 comments
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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  |  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 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

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