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Technical Articles and Editorials

Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark Setup and Test Disc - Version 2

Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark, Version 2Readers of Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity are likely familiar with the names Stacey Spears and Don Munsil. They authored the Secrets DVD Benchmark and brought to light issues like Chroma Upsampling Errors, as well as our recent HDMI Benchmark for Blu-ray players. They also authored the Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark Blu-ray test disc. Version 2 of their HD Benchmark disc is now available, and reviewed here.

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Subwoofers: A Brief Look at the Effectiveness of Using a Subwoofer in a Music System

Subwoofers: A brief look at the Effectiveness of a Subwoofer in a Music SystemBefore turning to the review of the NHT subwoofer (review to be published next week) let me give you an overview of the merits of a subwoofer in a context restricted solely to music or restricted to music as part of a soundtrack.

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TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 3

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 3

It is useful to have the Blu-ray player read downloaded MP3, FLAC, and WAV files off a memory stick. If the player is well designed, the MP3 files should display information on the work and the performer on the TV screen. FLAC files encoded at sampling rates of 96kHz, or a sampling rate or 192kHz, should be bit-accurate at the both the S/PDIF or HDMI outputs. Be careful; many Blu-ray players do not support FLAC data files.

Most Blu-ray players USB ports will also work with Hard Drives. Another option on many Blu-ray players is to find music across a computer network if you establish an Ethernet connection for the Blu-ray player to your computer router. Special software must be resident on the computers. How to do this is way out of the scope of this article.

It is most important that your Blu-ray player should read MP3, FLAC or WAV files that are burned to DVD on a computer.......

See Sidebar: The Impracticality of Analog or DSD signal-transfer in multichannel

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The Inner World of LCD TVs - Part I

The Inner World of LCD TVs, Part 1(Source: Oleg Lavrentovich, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University)

When you go shopping for a flat-panel television these days, the vast majority of available models are LCD TVs. Today's LCDs are super-slim, super-bright, and super-colorful thanks to many improvements made since Sharp introduced the first commercial LCD TV—with a screen measuring a whopping 14 inches—in 1988.

But exactly how does an LCD TV work?

 

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TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 2

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third-Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 2

It is not practical to connect your Universal Blu-ray Player to your AVR using an analog connection if you want to listen in multichannel. For similar reasons you should accept that the multichannel DSD data off an SACD is going to have to be transcoded at some point to LPCM. S/PDIF is also not a connection option in multichannel. Options you had in the stereo world are just not workable in the multichannel universe. All of this is explained in the Sidebar: What you need to know to be a multichannel Geek

So what features do we want in the Universal Blu-ray Players HDMI transmission system?

See Sidebar: What you need to know to be a multichannel Geek

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Integrating High-End Two-Channel Audio into Home Theater without Compromise

For those of us who enjoy two-channel (stereo) audio using a high-end system, but also like our home theater with surround sound, how to integrate the two setups without compromising the stereo high-end system has been a conundrum. In this article, I will show you how to have both systems interconnected, but not compromise the sound when you want to listen to your stereo CDs, or SACD in stereo.

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TVs? We Don't Need no Stinking TVs - Third Generation Multi-channel Audio - Part 1

TVs? We don't need no Stinking TVs - Third Generation Multichannel Audio - Part 1

Conceptually, multichannel audio makes abundant sense. Practically, however, it has failed with a critical mass of listeners. Quadrasonic sound, circa 1971, was the first setback. While modern analysis of optimal multichannel reproduction now reveals the unfavorable placement of the rear channels, its primary undoing was the intractable challenge of lifting four high-quality discrete channels off a vinyl record.

Ten years ago, the industry tried again with optical disc media. A format war, coupled with the need for special equipment, resulted in little consumer interest, which was already a crowded space with the advent of home theater and portable MP3 players. The Blu-ray audio disc is the new promising third iteration owing to its seamless compatibility with home theater installations.

The audiophile and videophile have not merged into one species........This three-part series outlines the general concepts of an audiophile-friendly third-generation multichannel audio system.

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Design and Circuitry of Stereo Integrated Amplifier, including Digital Room Correction and Dual Subwwofer Bass Management

Design and Circuitry of Stereo Integrated Amplifier, including Digital Room Correction and Dual Subwwofer Bass Management

In depth analysis and discussion of the design and circuitry of a stereo integrated amplifier, including digital room correction and dual subwoofer bass management:  evaluating the HK 990 Stereo Integrated Amplifier.

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CalMAN Calibration Bootcamp: A Crash Course in the Science of Calibration

SpectraCal Calibration Bootcamp: A Crash Course in the Science of Calibration

In May, 2010, Senior Editor Chris Heinonen and I published an article here on Secrets looking at some of the popular consumer targeted video calibration software options. We tried the free HCFR program as well as the incredibly popular CalMAN platform marketed by SpectraCal, and a new entry, ChromaPure.

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Editorial: Notes on Converting SACD Music Tracks to PCM in Disc Players

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EDITORIAL: Notes on Converting SACD Music Tracks to PCM in Disc Players. There has been a lot of discussion about how high a sampling rate that should be employed when a player converts SACD music track bitstreams to PCM.............

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Editorial: Playing Downloaded High Resolution Music Albums on a Universal Player Instead of Your Computer

editorial-banner-7-8-10Although SACDs and DVD-As have not succeeded as much as music studios had thought, and audiophiles had hoped, they are still being released in small quantities, particularly by independent labels. However, there is another alternative, which is downloading the high rez albums if they are not available commercially on discs in stores.

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