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AV Rant #520: No A in Audio

January 6th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

Our Listeners of the Week are: Herb, Randy, and Joshua for their donations; as well as, Alan C. for letting SpoonFlower know we recommended their printed fabrics, Jackson L. for letting Accessories4Less know his Denon AVR-X3300W purchase was AVRant’s suggestion, and Troy T. and J for letting Ascend Acoustics know their respective Sierra-2 and HTM-200SE speaker purchases were thanks to AVRant.

In the news (which we put together before CES 2017 began, so it’s already old): the Samsung M9500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player promises to make HDR TV settings automatically, although it lacks Dolby Vision support. And Emotiva BasX Speakers and new Emotiva Airmotiv speaker models expand their product lineup.

Josh Pollard from The Digital Media Zone has a few minor quibbles about his Vizio M-Series TV, but overall, he loves it. And Nathan D. found an explanation for Lee’s issue where Comcast is converting 1080i channels to 720p from last week, while John M. noticed the same thing and was given a signal amplifier that greatly improved his picture quality.

Jefferson G. bought an Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, which is plugged into his HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 Marantz Pre-Pro, which is then plugged into his 1080p projector. And that’s giving him HDCP errors. We discuss a work around. Robert G. wants to know if he can use an external amplifier strictly for his overhead Atmos speakers, or if he should follow the common advice of using the external amp to power his Fronts. And Travelling IT Guy moved his Denon Receiver for a Christmas party, and it started shutting down. You might be able to guess what we tell him to check.

Jeremy K. wants a pair of bookshelf speakers for around $100. We like the Pioneer Andrew Jones SP-BS22-LR, EMP Tek E3b, and Focal Little Bird. Zach R. was getting sibilance with some Dolby Digital Plus streams on his Pioneer SC-05 Receiver, but a cheap Onkyo had no such issues. We speculate why. Then we mention the Marantz SR6010 and Denon AVR-X4200W as less expensive 5.2.4 Receivers, and the Marantz SR6011 as the least expensive 7.2.4 model. And Bill R. has a Denon AVR-X6300H that is forgetting its settings. We make some suggestions. Bill also asks about how to describe a subwoofer’s exact placement, whether projectors can get burn-in, and why we get excited about lasers when JVC projectors still look the best. And lastly, he shares some pictures of his completed theater, and recommends Origin Acoustics for in-ceiling speakers.

Frederick V. owns a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player and asks if he should upgrade to the Oppo UDP-203. Mark H. asks why we (really only Rob, to be fair) prefer CNET’s TV reviews, and why we sometimes disagree with Rtings conclusions. Alan C. asks about acoustically transparent fabric, insulation thickness and air gaps, the best design for acoustic panel frames, and what matters most when it comes to bass traps. Spencer P. asks for the best way to set up dual subwoofers using a miniDSP with Dirac Live. And J. asks for some clarification about aiming Atmos ceiling speakers and how a room correction program like Audyssey will affect off-axis response.

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  1. Mark
    January 20th, 2017 at 22:41 | #1

    Regarding Zach’s problem with Dolby Digital Plus, this was an issue that came up with Marantz and Denon receivers, in addition to his Pioneer. There is an AVS forum thread (of course) about it:


    I had one of the affected receivers (Denon 4311). Denon said it would be resolved with a firmware update, but they ended up not updating the 4311, so luckily my unit was still under warranty and they sent me a Denon 4520 for free (I had to send back the 4311). The 4520 got a firmware update that fixed the problem.

    Not sure if his Pioneer is still under warranty, but that is how I solved the same problem.

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