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AV Rant #624: Breaking In Your Brain

Happy New Year! Our Listeners of the Week are our 73 Patreon Patrons, including Gib G. And James C. for the Amazon gift cards he sent to Tom and Rob as Christmas presents. If you’d like to support AV Rant with a one-time donation, you can do so via PayPal.

Tom is still on holiday break this week, so Rob H. is joined by Lee Overstreet.

In the news, Mark from Accessories4Less let us know that the Focal Bird Series is truly at an end now. A potential replacement are the Boston Acoustics A-Series, with the SoundWare 4.5 being a great Little Bird alternative. Oppo released beta firmware adding HDR10+ to their discontinued Ultra HD Blu-ray players. Pioneer announced HDR10+ via future firmware. And TCL joined the HDR10+ group. LG has a 21:9 TV with motorized speakersrollable OLEDDTS:X & Atmos Soundbars, and the HU85L Ultra Short Throw Laser 4K projector. Dirac has a multi-subwoofer module for Dirac Live. 2018 LG OLEDs have a weird flashing issue; and HDTV Test figured it out.

Austen Pond still has QSC USA 850 amplifiers for sale. Kris I. and Earle confirmed what the Subwoofer Level Adjust setting does. Kris P. shared some helpful tips for navigating Amazon Prime Video. Ted M. shared his story of detailed turntable setup, and what he got for Christmas for his theater. And Damien D. let us know that 7.1 streaming content does exist.

0:27:05 Monty N. gave us a budget and a room, so we confirm our recommendations for an LG C8 OLED (and explain what it offers over the B8), Marantz Slimline ReceiverAscend Sierra-2 speakers, and an SVS SB-2000, plus a Sony X800 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

0:34:54 Christian L. gets confirmation that we think an SVS PC-2000 is the right subwoofer for his setup. Then we suggest Boston A23 or SoundWare 4.5 Surround speakers, or Dayton MK402. And we love his idea of using dual HDMI outputs and two different HDMI inputs as day & night or game & cinema presets.

0:44:46 Justin B. gets our input on orientation, screen size, and closet doors.
0:53:55 Biv wants to know what all the hoopla is over braided speaker cables.

0:57:37 Chris H. asks if he should repair his old Receiver, while we suggest a Denon X1400H to replace it.

1:04:01 Dan D. gets an unexpected suggestion for how we think he should deploy his Paradigm speakers as Surrounds and Surround Backs.

1:12:26 Bobby M. stumps us with a cable box HDMI issue. Then we urge him to stick with his existing speaker and subwoofer choices. And we point him to Make MKV and their UHD Drives Forum as well as CyberLink’s UHD specs for backing up and playing Ultra HD Blu-rays.

1:24:49 Infinite Gary gets an HDBaseT Extender recommendation.

1:32:10 John gets our formula for taking an AV Receiver’s “2 channels driven” Watts/ch rating and getting in the ballpark of its “all channels driven” power. eg. if it’s rated at 100 Watts/ch, 2 channels driven, and it has 7 amplifiers total: (100 x 2) + (0.25 x 100 x 5) = 325. Divide by total number of amps (eg. 7) to get 46.4 Watts/ch, all channels driven.

1:34:53 Brandon N. gets our recommendation to use an APC J25B Battery Backup and a male power inlet for his projector and other gear, although an APC Back-UPS BE850 might be just enough for what he wants.

1:43:12 Sammy C. asks about warming up solid state audio gear.

1:46:24 Jack R. found some people claiming your subwoofer needs to be able to output over 125 dB, and he wants to know why.

1:50:53 Tim T. goes through some Audyssey auto-setup questions regarding crossover frequencies, distances, and phase warnings.

1:58:50 Ryan L. wants to know if he should save up for Ascend HTM-200SE Atmos speakers, but we think the Boston SoundWare 4.5 will be fine.

2:01:28 Dave might get some use out of a Monoprice HDMI Cable Tester, but we don’t have a good consumer solution for HDMI cable bandwidth testing.

2:05:18 Mike G. finds out why his component video signal wasn’t making it through to his AV Receiver’s HDMI output.

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. Lastly, if you live in the Tampa Bay area and are interested in a mobile climbing wall, check out Fearless Mobile Climbing and meet Tom in person!
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