AV Rant #460: You Hear with Your Brains

November 27th, 2015 No comments

Tom is away, so Lee Overstreet joins us once again for a super-sized episode! This week, we thank Joshua and Sigmond for their donations, Toby for mentioning us to SVS, and James B. for his exemplary help with Tom’s computer situation and for saving Christmas! (for Rob’s niece) In the news, you can pre-order the SubPac S2 – a tactile transducer that you can strap to your seat…or your back! And Lee still has not triple checked his speaker wires! Ilango recommends the $200 HD Fury Integral 4K60 as a way to bypass HDCP 2.2 issues. And Ryan M. alerts us that Summit Hi-Fi is now a licenced Emotiva dealer in Canada. Karl R. pointed us to a Boing Boing summary of a Wired.com write up of the$17 Mrice E300 & E100 earphones, which seemingly bought into some forum hype big time. Karl also has his eye on the $800 Onkyo HT-S5800 Atmos HTiB, he wants to know how to find Reference Volume when the scale goes from 0-98dB, and he’d like a projection screen that can change aspect ratios: we suggest Screen Research, Seymour Screen Excellence TAM 4, Carada Masquerade, and especially Seymour AV’s manual panels. Brian R. loves his Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE speakers, but notes other models are on sale, he’s curious about BetterCables.com, and we suggest the $100 Lepai LP7498E Class D amp for his workshop. Drew W. has a lone Vandersteen 2W subwoofer, and that means uneven bass from seat to seat; we suggest dual SVS SB-2000 subs, dual HSU ULS-15 Mk.2, or dual Rythmik F12. Josh S. caught the upgrade bug, and we think a Denon AVR-X3200W or Marantz SR5010 from Accessories4Less is the cure. Barney turned off all motion processing, but is still seeing “artificial looking” motion, and he wants our thoughts on the $1600 Yamaha YSP-5600 Atmos/DTS:X SoundBar. Mitch R. has concerns about the lens shift range on his projector and the gain of his screen, Gary wants to know if the specs of two different Center speakers explains their different sounds, and Jefferson B. discovered the complicated mess of trying to use the Dolby Surround Upmixer with DTS content since the DTS Neural:X Upmixer isn’t available yet. Rick F. “needs” a 1080p projector for under $1000 – we suggest the BenQ HT1075 (or the brand new $799 BenQ HT2050 that’s quieter and claims deeper black levels – thanks, jporter!) – he’s considering moving his cylinder subwoofer (he’ll need a bass sweep from AudioCheck.net), and he wants to know how a drop ceiling affects room volume calculations. Finally, Gary F. allows us to end this episode with an epic rant and discussion about cables and wires; Tom, we missed your presence big time on this one!

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AV Rant #459: HDMI CEC is Evil

November 22nd, 2015 1 comment

This week we thank Ariel and Jonathan for their donations, Ken for sending Tom a new PreSonus audio interface, Ilango for his heartfelt letter concerning Rob’s family’s recent issues and Scott for prominently mentioning AVRant in his Theater Spotlight on Electronic House. You are our listeners of the week! In the news Tom tried out the Mimi Hearing Test App (Link), Sony will stop producing Betamax tapes in 2016 (Link), SpectraCal adds HDR-10 test patterns to CalMAN (Link), Fox announces UHD Blu-rays (Link) and USC has a wax cylinder recording archive (Link). Monty needs advice on a Monster surge protector and buying a used projector and wonders what “home entertainment class” means, Bill wants opinions on the Klipsch Icon Series speakers and how to deal with a subwoofer that’s too heavy to move, Jim wonders why Vizio makes both a 49in and 50in TV, Joshua has fun with HDMI CEC,  Timothy’s subwoofers are too quiet, Ash doubts audio improvements caused by IsoAcoustics speaker stands and fights with Marantz remote codes, John asks about Foamular insulation, Ariel wants Atmos speakers on a vaulted ceiling, Jason has audio dropout on his Oppo, Edward wonders if a projector can be too bright, Zach worries about speaker impedance, Steven needs to get rid of Soap Opera Effect, Jonathan’s Denon goes into protection mode, Gary hates the iPad Pro and gives us 50,000 dollars (hypothetically) to spend on speakers.

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AV Rant #458: Don’t Flick That Switch

November 11th, 2015 No comments

This week we thank Andrew and Michael for their donations. You are our listeners of the week! In the news, Rob was on the Entertainment 2.0 Podcast (LINK), foam lightsabers that glow (LINK), Sennheiser Orpheus headphones (LINK), and Martin Logan releases Atmos modules (LINK). Kris bought the Shure SE215 in-ear monitors on our suggestion and loves them, Bruno wants recommendations on a SVS sub (LINK) and our thoughts on the BenQ W1080ST projector, and Kevin has a problem with his room (LINK for room mode calculator). Brett is looking for seven speakers and found a deal on the Infinity Reference Series and wants to know if he should go for it (LINK), Barney is curious about the notion of “demonstration quality” tracks, and Jerry wants to know how he should set the HDMI video output settings on his new Apple TV. He also copied the settings for his Vizio from this website and it doesn’t seem right. How can he fix it (LINK)? Diego wants an OTA (over the air) tuner and antenna for his projector. Is the Tivo Roamio OTA the best option (yes) or are their other options (also yes – Xbox One, Channel Master, and antennas from Mohu). Jonathan is curious about how Audyssey set the levels of his speakers,  Brandon is wondering if the SVS Prime Satellite speakers will be enough for his room (other options Outlaw Audio Ultra sub, Ascend Acoustics HTM200, and NHT SuperZero 2.1) and Karl is curious if the immersive audio format from Imax is still a thing (it is LINK) and why Tom can’t have Atmos speakers. Kyle is looking for a rack mountable power conditioner (the Furman M-8X2 that he found is probably the best option though APC does have options), Dipan needs help with his screen size and projector placement and Infinite Gary wonders why, in Audioholics’ review of the Yamaha A-S801, Gene said not to use the 4 ohm switch. Martin is worried about the light output of the projectors he’s thinking of buying, Mahidhar is having problems with Plex changing video output on the fly, Brian wants to build some DIY corner traps (LINK, LINK, and LINK), and Andrew wants to know what to do with his pre-wired speaker locations.

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AV Rant #457: Sorting Weird Rooms

November 4th, 2015 No comments

This week we thank Scott for his donation, Jefferson and Kevin for purchasing because of us, Ash for the updated logos and sticker designs, and Pieter (and others) for offers of help with our Patreon video. Thanks guys! In the news – Steinway Lyngdorf has a new processor (P200), Rob finds a deal on the new Harmony Elite remotes (LINK), and JRiver takes over for Windows Media (LINK). We get updates from Ash about his room, from Nathan about his Emotiva XDA-2 Gen2 purchase, a link to a biaural recording from CoffeeManDave (LINK), Barney finds a video about 4K (LINK), Karl adds to our list of other podcasts (listed at the bottom), and Kyle still can’t fix his AVR-X5200W. Anthonio isn’t loving his subs for music and is thinking of upgrading his mains, Jonathan wonders why anyone would buy a CD player and is curious of our thoughts on a home cinema guru article (LINK), and Tim has found conflicting evidence on how to calibrate dual subs. Adriano is designing his home theater and has lots of questions (LINK to the GoldenEar Invisa HTR 7000 directional in-ceiling speakers), Michael’s remote died and wonders what to replace it with, and Brandon wonders if it is better to have a large sub and bookshelf speakers or a small sub and tower speakers. Infinite Gary has questions about Atmos, David is upgrading to Atmos and wonders when we think it might fail, and Ken wonders which room correction system we think is best (and Rob can’t pick any on the list). Martin really wants a pre/pro over a receiver and tells us why, Greg is backing up all his Blu-rays in MKV and has some questions, Steve got a deal on a Denon AVR-1912 that now doesn’t work, and lastly Kris is looking for headphones to fit under a hat (Shure SE215, RHA MA-750, and Om Audio Inearpeace (on sale for $55 no less!).  Read more…

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An Open Letter to VIDITY

October 28th, 2015 No comments

I love the idea and the goals of VIDITY. With large hard drives being affordable, I see no reason why physical media should remain the only means of getting the highest quality.

But for the love of all that is good, can you PLEASE encourage the studios to also give consumers the highest quality AUDIO as well?

I’ve groused about this topic on Twitter. And the @VIDITYdigital account was kind enough to reply to me there and let me know that, as far as what Vidity is able to offer from a technical point of view, there is nothing preventing the inclusion of lossless, immersive (eg. Dolby Atmos or DTS:X Master) audio. And yet, the earliest examples of Vidity content have all failed to include lossless audio, let alone immersive audio. Read more…

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