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AV Rant #535: AV Addictive

Our Listeners of the Week are Jim W. and Josh L. for their donations, as well as Nelson A. for contacting SVS to let them know we played a big part in his dual PB16-Ultra subwoofers purchase.

In the news, the LG UP970 Ultra HD Blu-ray player is available now for $300, with Dolby Vision on the way. And CyberLink PowerDVD 17 software brings Ultra HD Blu-ray to PCs, and also makes it clear you’ll need very specific hardware.

Infinite Gary finally found a TV he likes, and that means no more OLEDs in his house. And Josh L. used our advice to convince his wife that a new Denon AVR-X4300H AV Receiver purchase would be worthwhile, and he loves the results.

Muzammil directly compared two external sound cards and heard a big difference, so he wants to know why we downplay the importance of DACs, and he wants to know what other parts of the devices – such as pre-outs or line-outs – are making an audible difference. Bobby M. is deciding on a new AV Receiver and Atmos layout. We also suggest Outdoor Speaker Depot for low cost in-wall speakers, and we mention using Zone 2 pre-outs to send a signal to a Buttkicker amplifier for use with headphones. And Karl R. gets our thoughts on JVC 3D glasses, keystone correction, many Ultra HD Blu-rays lacking immersive audio, and IMAX 12 Track sound.

Jackson L. is trying to use the lossless bitstream output option on his Xbox One, but it refuses to play. Stephen B. asks if a full THX Baffle Wall is necessary to improve his mid-bass measurements. Josh A. wants a large, acoustically transparent screen with high price performance, so we recommend either the Silver Ticket Woven screen, or Seymour AV DIY material. And Michael R. asks why his internet streaming sources aren’t in surround sound, whether any more streaming services are planned in Canada, and why “audiophile” Receiver brands are seemingly avoiding Atmos.

Mark H. is considering a used JVC projector, so we go over some previous model year features, things to look out for and ask sellers of used gear, and we suggest Audiogon for listings. Jim B. wants a reasonably priced HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 HDMI splitter, although an HD Fury might be necessary for handling two different resolution displays. We also go over Jim’s connection path and whether a new Receiver could solve all of his issues. And Ed gets our thoughts on replacing his older JBL Towers with speakers that use smaller drivers, share a designer, and are less efficient.

Ryan T. gets our input on his projector screen and AV Receiver choices. Matt V. asks about using an SPL Meter as his measurement microphone with Room EQ Wizard. And Robert G. gets our recommendation for either a Vizio P-Series or Vizio M-Series if he’s in a dim room, or the Samsung KS8000 Series if he’s in a bright room for an HDR display, and we touch upon inexpensive HDR projectors.

Roberto C. has an AV Receiver that tripped into protection mode, so we try to track down the cause. Brian and his wife demoed some Martin Logan electrostatic speakers that convinced her they’re worth it over in-walls or in-ceilings. We recommend keeping all five of his speakers within the Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL Series and matching ElectroMotion in-ceilings, and our guts say a Monoprice Monolith Amplifier should be on tap, too. And Larry L. has decided to spend as little as possible on a 1080p projector for now. We fully agree with his choice of an Epson HC 8350, which also improves his placement options.

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. Friend Tom on Google+ to join in on one of our hangouts. You can listen to our producer Austen and his friends dissect movies at his podcast We Watch Movies.
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