Al Griffin

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Al Griffin  |  Jun 14, 2018  |  1 comments
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Q I have searched extensively for an HDMI splitter that will let me connect a high dynamic range source to both my new Dolby Vision-capable Vizio TV and my legacy Anthem receiver (for lossless audio). Oppo’s UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player has dual HDMI outputs and supports Dolby Vision. It also has an HDMI input that would enable passthrough of another HDR-capable source like a Chromecast Ultra, Roku Ultra, Fire TV, or Apple TV 4K. Here’s my question: Is there a less expensive option than the Oppo that would deliver the same result? —Andy Lutz / Houston, TX

Al Griffin  |  Jun 11, 2018  |  3 comments
For me, a thrill that comes with the arrival of spring and summer months is jumping in my car and traveling in pursuit of music. Two months back, I saluted the warm weather, loaded up my Impreza, and drove a few hundred miles south to Takoma Park, Maryland to attend The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose, A Festival of American Primitive Guitar.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 06, 2018  |  3 comments

PRICE $700

Dolby Vision compatible
High-quality Blu-ray video upconversion
Plays SACDs, DVD-Audio discs, and Blu-ray 3D discs
No analog audio outputs
Remote control not backlit
Pricey compared with competition

Cambridge Audio’s CXUHD provides faultless video performance in a streamlined package.

Cambridge Audio is a British manufacturer known for their sleek, well-built, affordable audio components and speakers. They are also known for their universal disc players, which are based on Oppo Digital units but sold minus the built-in digital-to-analog converters and analog audio outputs. According to Cambridge, this is meant to “decrease interference to the signal, improving quality by reducing video noise.” Since the brand makes A/V receivers with built-in DACs designed to mate with their players, there’s some sound reasoning behind that strategy.

Al Griffin  |  Jun 01, 2018  |  12 comments
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) convention in Antwerp, Belgium. At this annual event, magazine editors from around the globe are given the chance to preview new audio, video, and digital photography products, many of which are yet to hit the market. For me, a highlight of the event was a demo of Panasonic’s DP-UB9000, a flagship Ultra HD Blu-ray player designed for high-performance video and audio playback.
Al Griffin  |  May 31, 2018  |  Published: May 30, 2018  |  2 comments
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Q Why are different units of brightness measurement used for different display technologies? For example, I’ve seen lumens used for home theater projectors, foot-lamberts for movie theaters, and nits for high dynamic range-capable TVs. Wouldn’t it be less confusing for the average consumer to lump everything together as a single measurement?
Nathan Robertson / via e-mail

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
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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
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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
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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
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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