AV Rant #566: Don’t Call Me Tommy
Our Listeners of the Week are Nathan and Henry for their donations, our 30 Patreon Patrons, including Fred R., and Fred also mentioned us to SVS when he received his Prime Elevation speakers.
Tom has a quick update on his Thiel Audio Aurora Tour wireless speaker review; a DTS Play-Fi update fixed the WiFi issue he described last week. And thanks to Fred C. for correcting our pronunciation of Thiel.
In the news, Logitech will replace all Harmony Link devices with a free Harmony Hub replacement since the Link will become non-functional on . Via Matt G., Disney will charge less than Netflix for their streaming service, but already plans to increase prices as their content library grows. Matt also suggests checking out Techmoan, and a 3-Sided Cat Scratcher to distract any speaker-destroying cats. And Herb from Cross-Spectrum Labs wants to alert potential customers that UMIK-1 measurement microphones are presently in short supply, so please be prepared for a wait time if you order.
Scott S. shared that he’s going with our advice for a 65-inch Vizio M Series TV and AV Receiver in his gaming room, along with a Yamaha YAS-207 SoundBar for a different, casual setup. Daniel B. admits he’s a bit embarrassed, but our constant nagging about setting all speakers to “small” with an 80Hz crossover got him to reexamine his connections and discover that his subwoofer had been plugged into the wrong pre-out for the past eight years. Don G. suggests the Android Polarity Checker or iOS Speaker Polarity apps to verify that your speakers are correctly wired in phase. He also mentions the simple AA battery test where pressing the positive lead to the top “button” of the battery while pressing the negative lead to the flat bottom of the battery should result in the woofer pushing outward. Infinite Gary received his new JVC DLA-RS640 projector, but he isn’t certain he likes it better than his Runco. Ryan T. took a spare pair of bookshelf speakers, propped them at an angle on some doorstops, and fired them at his ceiling as makeshift Atmos Modules, which surprisingly kind of works. And Tom K. shared his method for installing Ascend Acoustics HTM-200SE speakers in his theater columns for Bill who wants to do something similar.
Marc N. is experiencing a huge drop off in volume, bass, and sound quality whenever he watches Netflix, so we urge him to use a bitstream audio output to ensure it isn’t a source decoding issue. Josh S. wants to upgrade his AV Receiver, but he also needs a new subwoofer. In addition, he has plans for a different room in the future, so we recommend he buys an SVS PC-2000 or HSU ULS-15 MK2 to nicely handle both his current and future spaces, while getting an inexpensive Denon AVR-X1300W from Accessories4Less to keep the price down now, and allow him to upgrade again later. And Michael wants to know if the Xbox One X will serve as a good Ultra HD Blu-ray player for his non-HDR 4K TV, and according to John Archer from Forbes, Xbox One X has HDR problems and Atmos problems, but Microsoft is working on a fix.
Byron S. wonders if stacking and aligning two projectors could deliver brighter HDR, but we think there are some additional complications. Sam P. has what we assume must be a Roku Premiere+ that he says delivers HDR when plugged directly into his LG OLED, but HDR doesn’t pass through his Marantz SR7010, so we mention an HDMI Ultra HD Deep Color setting that needs to be activated in his LG TV. And Tom D. is planning a large home theater, so we discuss ideal room dimensions, screen size, seating distances, speaker placement, and subwoofer capabilities.
Jonathan F. gets our thoughts on Regal Cinemas surge pricing, and whether Ultra HD Blu-rays look better than 1080p Blu-rays on an SDR display. Geoff R. wants to know what’s been updated in the Marantz SR6012 AV Receiver over the SR6011, other than HEOS. And Tommy gets confirmation that the KEF R-Series is an upgrade over his Polk RTi speakers, but we slightly disagree about which model of Center speaker he should get.
Nick B. spotted Josh Ricci’s in-room measurements of subwoofers over at data-bass.com, so we discuss their usefulness and how well they line up with expectations based on calculations from the CEA 2010 measurements. Bill wants an over-the-air tuner, so we run through the options of a Tivo Roamio OTA, Channel Master DVR+, SiliconDust HD HomeRunnetwork tuner, or an inexpensive 1byone ATSC Converter. Bill also measured an improvement when using two subwoofers vs. one, but it wasn’t super audible, although we point him towards an SVS PC-2000 to match with his existing sub all the same. And Brandon N. used two Receivers to solve his Zone 2 setup, but inside his theater, we discuss dual subwoofer placement, using sealed and ported subs together, avoiding running Front Towers full range, and generalizing the sound quality of an entire brand.
Nathan D. gets some clarification about Atmos speaker placement and whether overhead sounds are ever played out of the floor-level speakers. Jeb B. gets confirmation that we think Focal Bird speakers, dual SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, and a Denon AVR-X1300W will be an excellent setup in a small room. Then we tackle the decision between a 55-inch LG OLED vs. a 65-inch Vizio P-Series for about the same price, which we end up side-stepping by suggesting a 75-inch Vizio M-Series.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!