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March 30, 2011

A/V Question: Dolby Digital/dts Decoder

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 9:28 am

Q. My question may sound stupid, because I’m just a beginner in audio/video. Do I need to buy a DVD player with a built-in Dolby Digital dts 5.1-channel decoder? And if so, must I also buy an A/V receiver with a built-in Dolby Digital/dts decoder? Or would this be redundant? — G. F.

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March 17, 2011

LCD or Plasma as the Best TV Display Technology?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , , — Alan @ 6:41 pm

Q. Which TV display technology is best? LCD or Plasma? Some store sales people claim that plasma sets use twice as much power as LCD sets. Others say that plasma screens have better “blacks”. Can you enlighten me?

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March 1, 2011

Speaker Delay: How to Set Up Surround Sound Speakers?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 4:04 pm

Q. I have two QS8s in the rear corners of my room. I’m confused by the speaker setup menu in my Yammi RXV 1300 receiver. When it asks how many feet away for the QS8 surround speakers, is it asking the distance from the mains, or how many feet away from my listening position? I believe this deals with speaker delay? How is this done? — Dan

A. The Yamaha speaker setup menu is asking you the distance in feet between your listening position and the QS8 surrounds. The reason you must set this correctly involves compensation for a peculiarity of human hearing–our tendency to locate a close-up sound before one that’s a little farther away.

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February 24, 2011

Why is “delay” important for DVD-Audio or SACD surround music systems?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 7:59 am

Q. I keep seeing criticisms on audio forums of the new DVD-Audio and SACD high-resolution audio formats that suggest that “they have no bass management or delay.” I know what bass management is, but why is “delay” important for DVD-Audio or SACD surround music systems?  What is DVD audio delay? — M.B.

A. One of the most acute abilities of human hearing is our knack for instantly sensing the direction and intensity of specific sounds. If we lacked this ability, there wouldn’t be much fun in stereo or home theater multi-channel surround sound, and more important, this directional hearing ability plays a huge role in self-preservation.

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