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AV Rant #487: Oh Gabe

May 26th, 2016

Thank you to our Listeners of the Week: James C. for his donation and for putting our logo on the PVP iSound induction speaker; and Ash for updating our artwork!

In the News, Tom suggests trying Netflix’ Fast.com to gauge your download speeds. Karl R. sent the headline that Philips will launch their BDP-7301/7501 Ultra HD Blu-ray player in June for $399. Andy provided a heads up on Andrew Jones’ ELAC Uni-Fi self-powered speaker. And the announcement of the Yamaha RX-A60 Aventage Receiver lineup.

Herb from Cross-Spectrum Labs let us know that auto-setup microphones respond poorly in heat and humidity, so cooling and drying them can improve their performance. Mark M. suggests Anti-Fatigue Foam Mats make better subwoofer/speaker dampers than mousepads. And Infinite Gary found a retailer claiming to have “The World’s Best Home Cinema”.

Tyler H. wants to use an Amazon Echo Dot and some in-ceiling speakers without an always-on amp wasting power. We suggest a power-saving outlet, the Lepai LP7498E Class D amplifier, or the Dayton Audio APA100 with auto-sensing. Gabe M. clarified that lossy audio codecs use “perceptual coding” so that we hear as little difference as possible. And SteveTheGeek gets our recommendations for sealed headphones: the Audio Technica ATH-M50x, Sony MDR-7506, and Oppo PM-3.

Nick B. wants to change aspect ratios and screen sizes with 4-way masking. Carada Masquerade offers motorized 2-way masking, while Seymour AV Manual Masking and Electric Roll-down Masking is our top recommendation. Nick also asks about projector lens ratios, and we highly recommend using Projector Central’s Projection Calculator. We also discuss Nick’s plans for the layout of his basement.

Infinite Gary asks about separate horizontal and vertical sharpness controls. A CNET Sharpness article explains why you should deactivate any sharpness or edge enhancement. We also discuss deinterlacing, upconversion, and upscaling, the evolution of Blu-ray players, and whether to import European products.

John M. gets our thoughts on “ambience extraction”. Tim R. gets our suggestions for the BenQ HT2050 projector, Silver Ticket Screen, Marantz SR6010, Denon AVR-X4200W, or Yamaha RX-A2050 5.2.4 Receiver, and Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE, NHT SuperZero, EMP Tek, SVS Prime, ELAC Debut, or Focal Bird speakers, And Jonathan F. shared his thoughts on Audio Test Tracks.

Ash asks about Knauf EarthWool insulation. John B. found a story about electrical shocks from Cable TV coax. And Bill R. wants to compare the Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2 and Focal Electra 1008 Be speakers.

Tyler F. asks about JVC projectors and their 4K and HDR capabilities. And Steven R. wants to add online capabilities to his 2-channel audio system. We recommend the Sonos Connect most highly, but also mention Google’s Chromecast Audio, NVidia Shield TV, and the JRiver Id as possible alternatives.

Thanks for listening. Check out our Facebook Page. Click here for our YouTube channel where you can see the recordings of our show videos. Download Tom’s FREE superhero-themed ebook Bob Moore: No Hero wherever ebooks are sold (or given away in this case). Visit Tom's website for download links as well as links for the two full-length followups -  Bob Moore: Desperate Times and Bob Moore: Hostile Territory. Check out AVGadgets.com where Tom is the new Editor-in-Chief!

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  1. jfalk
    May 26th, 2016 at 15:23 | #1

    A note to Steven R.: I have both the Sonos Connect and the Nvidia Shield (on two different systems). The Shield works very well but is really made to be hooked up to a TV to control it. It is possible to use the built-in Googlecast capability to avoid using a TV, but it’s really not made to do it… indeed, you’ll be losing about 95 percent of its functionality. By contrast, the Sonos Connect, while more expensive, *only* allows control from phone, tablet, laptop or some other device on your system and has no video functionality at all.

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