Never Enough Inputs I recently purchased a Toshiba 46-inch LCD TV, which has four HDMI inputs. Unfortunately, I need more than that. I own an Apple TV, Mac Mini, PS3, XBox 360, and Boxee Box, and I will soon get a Roku XDS player. I want to get an HDMI receiver that has at least six HDMI inputs and one or two outputs to accommodate all these devices. I have decent home theater speakers connected to an audio receiver, which I don't intend to upgrade at the moment.
So here's my question: What HDMI receiver would you recommend? I don't want to spend a lot on it, but I want something that gets the job done. My budget is around $150-$200.
Whither 4K? When I got my first real job, I decided to buy a big TV, so I got a 65-inch Mitsubishi rear- projection TV that accepts 1080i signals. As the years have passed, 1080p showed up as well as HDMI and other features. I started looking around and decided I wanted a Pioneer Kuro, but then Pioneer stopped making them. From everything I've read, Panasonic plasmas can't match the Kuro in picture quality, and I couldn't care less about 3D.
So, here are my questions. Should I wait for 4K to become mainstream? Do you know when such TV sets might become available? Do you have any idea what the 2011 line of Panasonics will be?
We're in the Money My wife and I have gone into business for ourselves, and we plan to be making 6 or 7 figures in a few years. So, I'll finally get my own home theater. Where do I start? I like Martin Logan electrostatic speakers, which I saw and heard at Fry's. I also saw an 82-inch Mitsubishi DLP rear-projection TV, but the LED TVs looked so much better. As far as projection is concerned, is it too soon for 4K?
Calibration Challenge I've been listening to you on Leo Laporte's radio show for years. One of your pet subjects is the correct calibration of HDTVs. I would like to challenge you on this. I have previously accepted your advice, but now with multiple media sources running into my TV, I find that one setting doesn't suit all of them. I'm sure that accurate calibration is fine in a perfect world, but because media quality often changes, I have to change the picture settings to suit the media in order to fully appreciate the viewing experience.
In the last two installments of Ask Home Theater, I wrote that the Sony STR-DA4600ES and DA5600ES A/V receivers can convert HDMI sources to 1080i component video for a remote room. My source at Sony was confident about this, and I took his word for it. However, reader Dan couldn't find anything about this feature in the DA5600ES manual. Was my Sony contact wrong?
Video Skypeasaurus I'd like to create a four-TV setup in my media room. Rather than purchasing one large TV, I thought I might buy four medium-size TVs and tie them together so each one can display a quarter of a single program or four separate programs such as football games. Leo Laporte uses a similar system with four PC monitors that show his TWiT logo across all four screens or several individual guests, such as yourself, via Skype.
In The Zone As digital HDMI connections (and their associated HDCP requirements) become the default for A/V gear, I wonder if the days of a second HD zone on AVRs are behind us? Or are the manufacturers planning to address the current limitation of sending only SD video to a second zone? Will I be forced to buy an HDMI matrix?
Clutter Cutter We have a budget of about $600 for a sound system to go with our new Panasonic TC-P54G25 plasma TV. We are looking for a system without a lot of clutter. Is there something with a subwoofer and just a couple of speakers, or do we need many speakers? Our TV room measures 22x22 feet.
3D Quandary I'm looking for a 3D TV in the 55- to 65-inch range. I was leaning toward the Panasonic TC-P65VT25 until a salesperson at Best Buy told me the Samsung PN63C8000 is better, plus it includes a Blu-ray player. I thought Panasonic made the best plasmas. Also, which is better for 3DLCD, LED, or plasma? Is Sony, Samsung, or Panasonic the best brand?
Secret Handshake I have an LG 50PK750 plasma TV connected to a Sony Blu-ray player via HDMI. When i switch inputs from the cable box to the BD player, I may or may not get sound. It seems to work more often if I switch the input and then power up the player. No one I've talked to, including an LG tech, has any knowledge or advice about this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Job Training In looking for a good part-time job (hopefully working into full time), I ran into a guy who advised that I take a video-calibration technician course. Who is best to teach this? I heard that an ISF course is available through a school in Colorado. I have also heard you and Leo Laporte chat about THX in glowing tones, and I see online they hold courses in Las Vegas and Dallas.