Perennial Panny Questions Love your segment on The Tech Guy radio show and your podcasts. I'm thinking about buying a 50- or 55-inch plasma or LCD. I heard you mention that the Panasonic plasmas have rising black levels. Do you know if the 2010 Panasonic TC-P50G25 or TC-P50VT25 have the same issue, or have they fixed it? I watched some of the interviews from CES, and the Panasonic people said that their 2010 models are based on Pioneer Kuro technology.
It's What's Up Front That Counts I have an Onkyo TX-NR807 receiver, which provides seven channels of amplification, and it can do 7.1, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, and Audyssey DSX. Which of these surround formats do you recommend?
Superkid I recently bought a 58-inch Samsung plasma for only $1200, and I loved itthat is, until my 4-year-old threw a small toy and cracked the screen. This totally disabled the TV; it would not even turn on. Is it normal for plasma screens to crack so easily, and if so, are LCD TVs more durable? Thank goodness I was able to return the TV and get a full refund, but I do not have the money to take another chance like that. I have a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old in the house, so what should I do to protect the TV?
To Boldly Go Like you, I am a fan of Star Trek (the original series) on Blu-ray, and I'm wondering if other TV shows I love will possibly be transferred to Blu-ray. What is required for old shows like these to go from standard-definition to high def? Can any show be converted to Blu-ray or do they have to be recorded in a particular format? What does the process involve?
Fanatic Fans We are currently in the process of setting up a home-theater room with one projector and three 32-inch TVs, and we want to be able to watch four different sports channels at the same time. Do we need four separate cable boxes to do this, or can something else, such as some kind of matrix, solve the problem?
Technology Migration I was in Best Buy this morning, and one of the salespeople mentioned that Panasonic has purchased the Kuro technology from Pioneer. Is there any truth to this, and if so, is Panasonic going to use the technology in the 2010 plasmas?
Dire Need I have an old Akai 55-inch HDTV rear-projection TV. Is there a calibration program I can download to a DVD and use to calibrate the color? It is in dire need. Other than that, it works well, and I really don't want to get a new TV as long as this one works.
So Many Questions! I am buying a new TV soon, and I'm looking at the Samsung B8000, but on Leo Laporte's radio show, you keep talking about the B8500. Is the 8500 really $500-$1000 better than the 8000? Am I going to notice the difference?
We Don't Need No Stinkin' Boxes! A satellite signal comes into your house and goes to the satellite receiver via coax, right? Why can't you connect the coax directly to an HDTV and get a high-def signal? Also, why do Dish and DirecTV advertise "full HD" when the signal is 1080i?
Ill-Advised Combo I have a very large room with high ceilings and a loft, and I have a 5.1 system with satellite speakers. Will a Polk SurroundBar 360 work together with the speaker system I have, or does it work only by itself?
Projecting 3D I know that this was the year of 3D displays at CES, but all of those were LCDs and plasmas. Has there been any word from projector manufacturers producing 3D-ready home-theater projectors? I'm sure the effect will be much more spectacular than any flat panel.
HDMI-less My father-in-law had a home-theater system installed a couple of years ago and would like to add a Blu-ray player. He asked me to hook it up, but I'm running into a problem with his system. The receiver is a Yamaha RX-V659, which only has component-video switching. I want to avoid running a separate HDMI cable to the TV and having him switch sources on the TV and receiver separately. Will connecting a Blu-ray player via component video cause the player to downconvert copy-protected disks to 480i? Do the majority of Blu-ray titles have HDCP?
Defending RPTV I think you're a little harsh on rear-projection HDTVs. They've changed. For instance, the 67-inch Samsung I bought last year has no lamp and no color wheel. It's lit by three LEDs that fire their color beams directly at the DLP chip. No lamp to replace, no mechanical troublemaker. Also, the picture fully retains its brightness within an arc that is realistic for most home viewing.
More Power! Years ago, I was told that there were several ways to rate the power output from an amplifier, but only one of those ratings was the "true" measureRMS or continuous power. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) got into the act back in the 1970s, requiring all amps over 5 or 10 watts to be rated in RMS watts with both channels driven. That requirement was lifted in the '80s, and now when I read power output specs, I don't know if they are RMS (root mean square), IHF (Institute of High Fidelity), or something else. Could you clarify this confusion?