Home > Podcast > AVR #185: Ridiculously Special Feat. Rob and Ted

AVR #185: Ridiculously Special Feat. Rob and Ted

June 17th, 2010

Welcome to an AV Rant podcast episode like no other! With Tom and Dina both away on amazing summer adventures, long time AV Rant listeners, Ted and Rob take the reins and churn out a fan-made episode of epic length and verbosity! We get to know Ted a little bit and find out how he wrote and recorded AV Rant’s awesome outro music. We discuss acoustic treatment and calibration at length, and the different ways that we approach the topic when talking to AV newbies. Ted gives his impressions of the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray calibration disc. Rob talks about the various pros and cons of the major flatpanel technologies, rants about his disappointment with 2010 televisions, and expresses his hope that Vizio (of all companies) might just turn things around. We close things out with our thoughts on 3D and the stupid, stupid ways in which 3D is being marketed and sold to consumers. TV manufacturers, HDMI, DirecTV, even the HT Guys: no one is safe! Thanks so much to Tom, Dina and Clint for this opportunity. Both Ted and Rob had a great time! We would love to read your feedback in the comments or over at the AV Rant Facebook fan page! Thanks for listening and don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley. To see our (mostly) complete collection of show videos, click here. To get our iPhone app, visit the iTunes store.

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  1. wesley63
    June 17th, 2010 at 22:23 | #1

    Excellent job, guys!!! Only one problem: now I am thinking seriously about room treatments. Thanks a lot for spending my money.

  2. Jason
    June 18th, 2010 at 04:37 | #2

    Well done, I enjoyed the show very much. Casual but interesting conversation.

  3. June 18th, 2010 at 06:48 | #3

    Thanks, guys!

    @wesley, you won’t regret treatments! Start with bass trapping for sure… 😉

  4. June 18th, 2010 at 10:33 | #4

    Really really good guys… I was pleasantly surprised. Ron kept the pace going and Ted fleshed out the podcast. I did laugh because a few times Rob referred to the podcast as “our” and “we.” I didn’t know he was an official staffer. 😉

    Audio sounded great and you kept the “ums” down to a minimum.

    Loved the bleep… I wish I could do a show where more of that was allowed. Maybe AV After Darker. LOL

  5. June 18th, 2010 at 11:00 | #5

    I meant rob… not ron.

    Don’t start judging me!

  6. Rob
    June 18th, 2010 at 16:24 | #6

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m really glad that folks are enjoying it!

    I’m still looking to put together a second episode!

    If anyone is interested, just shoot me an email or a tweet: FirstReflect is my handle everywhere: gmail, Twitter, skype, etc.

    I’m free all day Sunday as well as all day Tues, Wed and Thurs. I’d like to get things recorded and sent off to Tom and Clint by Tuesday night, if possible, so that they have time to add the music and make any necessary edits.

    Hope to hear from anyone who is interested! And if you don’t want to record a whole podcast, that’s no problem! I’m more than happy to play make-shift host for anyone 🙂

  7. Sugarbear
    June 19th, 2010 at 20:06 | #7

    Indeed – excellent job guys! I wish I was half as interesting to listen to.

  8. xego
    June 19th, 2010 at 22:56 | #8

    Just found the podcast and I really think it is great! Thanks for putting it out there.

  9. jsbanks
    June 20th, 2010 at 12:51 | #9

    Good show, lots of content. Could not agree more about displays. We have actually taken a step backwards with the Pioneer black level debacle and the LCD retreat from local dimming.

  10. Glenn
    June 21st, 2010 at 09:04 | #10

    Good job guys! I wouldn’t have wanted to step into Tom’s shoes, but you pulled it off. Great topics and lots of good info.

  11. Downtowner
    June 23rd, 2010 at 06:20 | #11

    What a great show! I really enjoyed the technical discussions and I learned something about how bitstreaming high-def audio can sometimes overtax the AVR and result in lower resolution than if the Blu-ray player does the decoding first. The HDTV discussions were also very informative and cutting-edge. Keep it up guys!

  12. Jon
    June 23rd, 2010 at 23:13 | #12

    Rob: Great to hear you again!
    Ted: Loved the acoustics discussion. I would enjoy more of that. I realize Tom did a whole show, but that was a while ago. You guys were a pleasure to listen to and I love the tips, like using lpcm instead of bitstream, start with bass traps, etc.
    Thanks for filling in.

  13. Rob
    June 23rd, 2010 at 23:52 | #13

    Thanks so much to everyone! I hope folks aren’t going to get sick of me because I’m back again this week! This time, with Leif Hurst, who’s built a terrific DIY dedicated theater and had a lot of really interesting info!

  14. June 24th, 2010 at 15:27 | #14

    I think what rally saddens me is how much better Rob sounds than me when I fill in…. sigh… lol.

  15. Rob
    June 26th, 2010 at 00:37 | #15

    @Clint – all you have to do to sound like me is:

    1) be single


    2) save up all of your podcasting ideas for an entire year until an opportunity presents itself


  16. jedrgy
    June 28th, 2010 at 09:22 | #16

    Good podcast guys… One mistake you did make is about sampling rate of the DTS-MA and TrueHD. Most DTS-MA and TrueHD tracks are encoded at 48 kHz/24-Bit not 96 kHz. Your bluray player is probably up sampling them to 96 kHz when it sends them out PCM. I seriously doubt you will hear an audible difference either way unless your bluray screws up the up sampling and ends up adding noise or something to the signal.

    Also, Ted you talked about first reflection panels and then bass traps I think you side behind your HT. Are you talking about behind your front speakers and TV or behind your listening position?

  17. Rob
    June 28th, 2010 at 13:57 | #17

    Thanks, Jedrgy!

    You’re quite right that most movie Blu-rays are 48kHz sampling with either 16 or 24-bit bitrate. But a lot of concert Blu-rays are 96kHz sampled tracks, typically 24-bit 🙂

    I’m a big fan of concerts on Blu-ray – many of them look and sound spectacular!

    My BD player is not upsampling. For those BD concerts, I simply prefer to use the internal decoding so that I can have the player send 5.1 or 7.1 PCM at 96/24 rather than the TrueHD or DTS-HD bitstream. As I said, my Onkyo receiver can fully process that 96/24 PCM, but if I sent the bitstream, it either wouldn’t fully process the 96/24 bitstream or I would have to have the BD player downsample to 48/24.

    As to whether or not I can really hear the difference between 48/24 and 96/24? In all honesty, only in extremely rare instances have I perceived any difference. And even then, I couldn’t say with certainty that I could reliably pick it out blind 100% of the time :p But I still like to avoid downsampling in any case 🙂

  18. jedrgy
    June 28th, 2010 at 20:57 | #18


    That’s true! Sorry, I assumed you meant movies…

    I did want to try and defend Pioneers MCACC real quick as well. I don’t remember if Ted mentioned what model of Pioneer that he has but the MCACC is like Audyssey where you have different levels of calibration.

    The base level MCACC doesn’t have any EQ built into it.
    The mid level MCACC has a 9 band EQ.
    The advanced MCACC not only has super fine distance and level control but you have the option of manually setting the EQ.

    The manual EQ lets you set Freq, Gain, Width and you can print out graphs! I haven’t used an Audyessy system that was built into a receiver that gave you that much manual control over the EQ. That translates to hours of fun for a someone who likes to tinker. Anyway, I’m not trying to dog Audyessy, I just wanted to let people know MCACC isn’t all bad.

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