ASK S&V

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Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 28, 2009  |  10 comments
Not Just for HDTVs
I own a Sony VPL-VW60 HD projector. Can I use Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray to set it up, or is this only for HDTVs?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 21, 2009  |  9 comments
Simple Answer
I've been looking for a device to record television programs from an over-the-air antenna so I don't have to subscribe to cable or satellite for my local stations that I used to record with my VCR. Is there such a device? My VCR still works, but I would prefer something that records HD.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 14, 2009  |  21 comments
More Channels
With Blu-ray's storage capacity, lossless codecs, and 7.1 receivers, why aren't the vast majority of Blu-ray movies released with 7.1 audio? Are movie distributors/production companies just cheap or lazy? Did I just waste my money installing a 7.1 setup?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 07, 2009  |  12 comments
Twice as Sharp
I intend to buy an LED-illuminated LCD TV. Since I like action sports, should I get a 240Hz set rather than a 120Hz?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 03, 2009  |  9 comments
Lightning Strikes Again
I live in the Southeast where lightning is a serious problem. I was recently advised by an electrical contractor to have a whole-house surge protector installed. I am inclined to do this. However, I first wanted to find out if this would have a negative effect on my audio system.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 30, 2009  |  16 comments
The Great Audio-Cable Debate
Are exotic audio cables worth the money? Can you really hear the difference? I have a hard time putting my arms around spending thousands of dollars on cable made of 99.9999% long-grain copper—as I understand it, copper is copper. Also, I've been told to use XLR interconnects.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 26, 2009  |  15 comments
Skimpy DVR
The DVR provided by Cox only has an 8-hour capacity for storing HD broadcasts. The only alternative I've found is $1000 for an HD TiVo and renting cable cards. Any suggestions?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 23, 2009  |  3 comments
Same Line, Different Size
Your site includes a glowing review of the Mitsubishi WD-65835 RPTV. Can I logically assume that the wonderful characteristics of that set extend to the larger 73835? Are there subtleties that may have escaped my attention? I can find no review of this TV from a reputable source anywhere.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 16, 2009  |  4 comments
Big Budget
I currently have a 125-inch Da-Lite screen and a throw distance of around 25 feet. I am using a 5-year-old SIM2 Seleco HT300 single-chip DLP projector. I would like to upgrade but not spend over $30,000 to do so. I was wondering what projectors you would consider for this setup?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 09, 2009  |  5 comments
Going Down
In the measurement section of some speaker reviews, I've often read that a speaker's -3dB point is at a particular frequency and the -6dB point is at another frequency. Could you please explain from what level the speaker is down 3 and 6dB?
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 05, 2009  |  5 comments
Gently Down the Stream
I'm not a PC guy, and ease of use for my fiancé and me is key. I'm planning to rip all my CDs to some 1TB drives and access the files via my Mac and iTunes. I was going to use the Denon AVR-3808 A/V receiver, as I've had a long, happy history with the brand, and I want decent amps and HD radio.
Scott Wilkinson  |  Jun 02, 2009  |  6 comments
Blu-ray Blues
My TV is a Panasonic TH-42PZ80U and my Blu-ray player is a Samsung BD-P1500. They are connected with an HDMI cable. I've noticed that some Blu-ray discs aren't as sharp as others and really look just like a DVD. Am I being ripped off? Are some Blu-ray discs simply DVDs labeled as Blu-rays to make more money? I can't see anything wrong with my setup. Has anybody else had the same problem? How do I fix it so I get Blu-ray quality every time I watch a Blu-ray?
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 27, 2009  |  6 comments
ISF SOS
Is it wise to evaluate ISF technicians when it comes to the calibration of a mid-priced plasma or LCD? I live in downtown Denver, and there are so many techs listed on the ISF site, I cannot find much insight there.
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 22, 2009  |  11 comments
Living Legacy
Why is it that most A/V receivers still have 2-channel RCA inputs? Why doesn't a company make a receiver that has only HDMI, maybe with a few component-video and digital-audio ins and outs? Why the need to include legacy stuff?
Scott Wilkinson  |  May 19, 2009  |  First Published: May 20, 2009  |  3 comments
HTIB Shopping
I am currently interested in purchasing a 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box system, and I'm reasonably aware of the available products. However, I am unable to determine which is the appropriate system for me. I had short-listed the Harman Kardon HKTS8/AVR-135 bundle (~$630) and the Sony DAV-DZ870 (~$550). I was going through Home Theater's reviews of the best HTIBs, and Onkyo HT-SR800 seems to be pretty good, though I haven't checked it out yet. I am now confused. What would you recommend?

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