After learning about Walter
page on Editing & Sound
) and his
development of 5.1 surround sound I set about improving my
home theater system.
Watching "The Cell
(IMDB) with 5.1 is a completely new experience. This is
a movie that's visually stunning, but there's so much more
information with the 5.1 it's like watching a new movie.
Old Sony GX909ES A/V Receiver
The old Sony GX909ES only has
composite video (yellow RCA) jacks and sounded mushy when
processing 5.1 surround (maybe because the input was stereo
audio (red and white RCA jacks)? The speaker banana
jacks are on 3/4" centers allowing the use of dual banana
plugs on the speaker wires (at both ends since the speakers
also have 3/4" c-c banana jacks). When the remote was
used to control the volume the knob rotated. There is a
switched outlet in the upper right on the back. Used
with Super VHS tape, karaoke, audio cassette, DVD. Has
various sound "colorizing" equalization settings (buttons
along bottom). The AM loop antenna looks identical to the one
that comes on the Pioneer receiver.
Pioneer VSX-1019AH Audio/Video Receiver
Although called a receiver (it
has an AM and FM radio function, the main purpose is to switch
various Audio/Video sources to a display and act as an audio
power amplifier to drive speakers.
The new Pioneer VSX-1019AH Audio/Video receiver took a few
days to get operational.
The first problem was the speaker banana jacks are NOT on 3/4"
centers requiring the purchase of a bunch of banana plugs and
cutting off the old plugs so individual plugs could be
installed for the five speakers.
The next problem was the remote where there are TWO buttons
marked "Receiver". This makes interpreting the
directions difficult. The upper left corner button (1 on
pg 11 of the manual) is the On-Off switch for the
VSX-1019AH. The lower right button (16 on pg 11 of the
manual) means that the following button presses are directed
to the VSX-1019AH rather than to some other device (it's a
The second problem was where to plug in the rear speakers for
5.1 sound. The default speaker arrangement is for 7.1
surround sound so it wasn't clear how to do 5.1, i.e. should
the rear speakers be connected to the left and right jacks or
to the rear jacks. The connections that support 5.1 are:
Normal, Front Bi-Amp, Zone2 and SpeakerB according to the
The rest of the wiring was just moved from the Sony
GX909E. No matter what was done, including getting the
MCACC speaker calibration to pass, the rear speakers would NOT
provide 5.1 surround sound. There is no telephone help
from Pioneer for this unit that I've been able to find.
The manual does not help in troubleshooting this
problem. t this point only the DVD player was connected
using composite video (3 coax cables) and stereo audio (two
coax cables) and various ways of connecting the speakers was
tried, all to no avail.
The next problem was that the On Screen Display (OSD) was out
of sync and could not be used. The monitor is being
driven using composite video (three coax cables). This
is a bug in the VSX-1019AH. The workaround was to run a
single video (yellow color code coax) cable to another input
on the monitor. This requires retuning the monitor
channel whenever you want to use the VSX-1019AH OSD then
tuning back to the program channel.
Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration Circuit (MCACC) uses a
supplied microphone to listen to each speaker and adjust it's
loudness, time delay, equalization, etc. for optimal
performance. The system also checks the wiring
polarity. This system sometimes gets the speaker
polarity wrong, not sure why. When that happens select
the next step or continue.
The solution to the missing 5.1 rear speaker operation was to
remove the audio feed (red & white coax) from the DVD and
replace it with a digital feed (single RCA cable) AND repeated
pressing of the "STANDARD" button until "Neural THX"
appears. I'm using the opening scene "Ghost Helicopter"
Apocalypse Now collector's edition DVD as a test where the
sound sequentially is heard in each of the five speakers.
Philips 60PP9202 Rear-projection HDTV
Good up to 1080i/480p. The
convergence went bad
a year or two ago caused by failure
of the dirve ICs.
When the DVD is set to output 480p that's what goes to the
monitor. When the DVD player outputs 480i that's what
goes to the monitor, so the Pioneer A/V receiver does not
automatically upconvert. Maybe there's a setting for
Died 15 Jan 2011 - Screen does not light up, clicking
sound. Probably a power supply problem, but the with the
new smaller TV sets on the market it's not worth the effort to
Nov 2011 - Got a Sony MRW-EA7
universal Multi-Card memory card reader with USB
interface. A USB cable allows it to be easily accessible
from the front of the set. The idea is to allow someone
to see their digital photographs on this screen. It
supports over four dozen card types.
28 Sep 2011 - Spent a couple of hours on the phone with Sony
advanced support trying to be able to view photos on the Sony
directly. I can now view photos by using the "My Media"
option from the LG BD 390
It sees the shared folder in My Network Places as does any
wireless device in my house. But in order for the Sony
to display a photo a "DLNA server" (Wiki
) needs to
be running on my desktop. For example when Twonky is
downloaded and run I can see photos on the Sony. But
that is unacceptable since Twonky needs to always be running,
i.e. it's in the system tray all the time using up computer
The thing that's driving me is that the image quality of this
set is phenomenal. I'm currently learning how to use my
Nikon D300s DSLR camera and have discovered RAW image files
that contain 14 bits per color channel. The Sony only
displays .jpg files which are 8 bits per color channel, a lot
lower quality image. Digital NeGative files (Wiki
DNG) contain much more than TIF including all the color
channel bits. I think that TIF (Wiki
) can also
support more color deepth than jpg. The idea is that
members of the local camera club could bring their laptop and
show very high quality photos on the Sony screen.
This is a Costco model number. Note: When you buy
high end items at Costco using their American Express card you
get a couple of more years on the full warrenty (something
that's worth hundreds of dollars).
In order to make use of the better image quality of .tif files
I got an Apple TV
This is a small hardware box that supports .tif files.
July 22 2011 - Using Nikon D300s digital SLR to make Red-Blue
colored glasses (Anaglyph 3-D
3D still image based on YouTube
July 14 2011 - Searching Amazon for "3D" in Movies they are
mostly animated, documentary or horror. Avatar in 3D
goes for $126!. Be careful, very few of the Avatar
Blu-ray disks are 3D. Most of the 3D at amazon is the
old colored glasses (Wiki: Anaglyph
). Note: When a computer is used, like
in animation or CGI, it doesn't cost much more to get a 3D
rendering. Documentaries can be shot using a 3D
camera. But studio 3D shooting is much more complex for
some reason. The Sony HDR-TD10
camcorder does NOT output any 3D files, so the only way you
can see 3D images taken by this camera is to connect the
camera to a 3D HD set using an HDMI cable, what a
bummer. Confirmed this with Sony. Maybe
their next 3D HD camera will be better.
July 2011 - spent about an hour trying to get info from Sony
about how to watch 3D that could be fed from the wireless
network. It requires a Digital Living Network Alliance
server device on the network. This is a Sony backed, but
open source, protocol. Windows 7 with Media Player 12
might do this, or maybe Windows XP with Media Player 11 (12
does not work on XP). If you know more let me know
May 2011 - Tried to watch 3D on Youtube (Youtube is supported
on the Sony TV) but the "3D" icon does not appear under the
Menu \ Videos \ Youtube \ Search "How
to watch 3D videos on YouTube" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNuKAaC337U
Phoned Sony, but all representatives were busy so hung up
since I'm paying for the phone call.
Sent them an email asking how to see YouTube 3D videos.
visible on desktop computer.
Sony says that this set does NOT support YouTube 3D (i.e.
YouTube is colored glasses (Anaglyph
) only as of July 2011). See the Sony
web page. It's not clear why there is a
side-by-side and a over-under display mode.
2015 - I still have not found a reasonably priced 3D TV camera
that can produce files that allow reasonably priced
editing. Microsoft Movie maker allows combining stills,
titles and video into a final file that can be uploaded to
YouTube or watched on your TV.
The quality of the 2D image is much much better than the old
projection set. Even DVDs look fantastic. But the
difference between a DVD and a Blu-ray is hard to discern.
You're able to see things that were overlooked when played in
a lower resolution. The quality improvement may be due
to displaying 1080p @ 24 frames/second, i.e. matching the
movie recording exactly instead of doing a conversion.
A huge part of the high quality image is because of
the degradation of the image due to HDCP copy
(see HDMI below). DVD and
Blu-ray players downgrade their image quality if the
output device is not HDCP compliant. Only the
HDMI output can be compliant so if any other output is
used the image gets downgraded.
When most people watch DVDs they use something other
than an HDMI connection so the DVD quality is
downgraded. When someone buys a Blu-ray player
they also get HDMI cables. But if you have a DVD
player that has HDMI output and have a compliant
TV/monitor then you will most likely see a very much
I have a few movies in both DVD and Blu-ray versions
and could not tell which is which and doubt anyone
|At the right, top to
Pioneer VSX-1019AH Audio/Video
LG BD390 - 1080p High-definition 2D
Blu-ray/DVD/CD Disc Player
(replaced with the Oppo 3D Blu-ray
Panasonic DVD-F84 5-disk DVD/CD Changer
JVC TD-W309 Dual Audio Cassette Deck
Pioneer CLD-V820 Laser Karaoke Deck
JVC HR-S5100U Super VHS Deck
|On the left edge in
this photo (right side when seen from the front) there
are manual control buttons.
To the right are the various input connectors.
Click image for larger image.
If cursor is (+) click again.
17 Jan 2011 - Got this Sony from
Costco (using the Amex card to extend the warranty to 3
years). Choose this model because it's received 5 star
reviews, and comes with two pair of 3D glasses, the 3D
transmitter for the glasses and has built-in WiFi. Also
got a pair of the latest (HDMI 1.4) cables, one from the
Blu-ray player to the receiver and one from the receiver to
the 3D HD TV. It also has a pseudo 3D mode. Note:
I don't yet have a 3D Blu-ray player. If the TV gets an
HDMI signal that's a 3D source it will automatically switch to
3D mode. But you can press the "3D" button on the remote
when watching a 2D movie and it will go into the pseudo 3D
mode. With the glasses on you do see some depth into the
screen, but never out in front of the screen.
The picture is fantastic in all respects. Sony has what
it calls Dynamic Edge LED Backlight. The Samsung matrix
LED sets of a couple of years ago had a fantastic image by
dimming the LEDs in an area of the screen that was dark.
But, since the LCD screen is being scanned edge lights can be
dynamically dimmed to provide a similar enhancement of the
When fed Netflix from my existing WiFi receiver the images are
much better than when driving the old rear projection
screen. Not sure why, but it's an added benefit of this
The only minor problem was that during setup (first power on)
the on screen instructions said to press "+" to set the
time/date. I pressed the "+" for Volume and the "+" for
channel but that did not work. I later figured out that
they meant the "+" in the center of the naviation switch.
I've had this set for a few months and am still amazed at the
image quality. My existing DVDs look as good as Blu-ray
movies. I have the BD390
output 1080/24p which is the best setting for movies since it
requires no format conversions. It may be that the BD390
is doing a great job or it may be that the Sony 3D HD set is
doing a great job. Note: I still (March 2011)
say that a DVD or Blu-ray look about the same.
HDFury2 HDMI to Composite converter
In order to get the HDMI
equipment to output 1080i (or 1080p) video for the Philips
rear projection HDTV a converter is needed. Need to get
a 2 meter HDMI cable since this unit will end up very close to
the input terminals on the back of the HDTV.
The small screws that connect the supplied cable to the unit
are impossible for adult hands to access and even with tools
they are impossible to seat. They may be
When playing copy protected media the output is at 480p, but
when not copy protected the output can be as high as
1080p. One solution is to use this converter and the
other is to make a copy of the movie using something like DVDFab
that removes the
Video & Audio Connections (Wiki)
Composite Video (Yellow RCA Jack,
sometimes a 1/8" Jack) (Wiki)
This is the first generation
method of transferring a video signal. It's a 75 Ohm
cable with RCA plugs on each end. The receiving device
should terminate the cable in 75 Ohms. Some monitors
have a pass through capability where the impedance is high
but the last monitor in the chain needs to terminate the
cable. This is an analog signal that combined all the
video information. The problem with combining all the
information on one cable is that they interfere with each
other. The audio connections need to be made using
some separate method.
S-Video (4 Pin DIN type connector) (Wiki)
The Luminance (Y) and Chroma
(C) signals are run on separate coax lines which greatly
improves the quality of the picture. Some devices have
a switch associated with the S-Video jack so that when a
S-Video plug is inserted the associated Composite Video
(yellow RCA jack is electrically disconnected).
Therefore if you fed the yellow RCA jack a signal and there
is a S-Video cable connected to the same port number the
signal on the yellow RCA jack may NOT be an active
input. The audio connections needs to be made using
some separate method.
Component Video (Red, Blue &
Green RCA Jacks) (Wiki)
for either Red, Green & Blue or YPbPr.
||YPbPr RCA Jacks
There are two flavors of this
analog format. The older one is Red, Green & Blue
color video with the sync on a separate cable or combined
with the Green (Sync On Green: SoG). HP used the
latter with their color workstation
and used BNC connectors.
The more modern flavor for home video equipment is YPbPr.
equipment does not support 1080P over component video
although it should work.
The audio connections need to be made using some
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia
Type A plug connector.
Type A receptacle connector.
This is the current (2009) high end connector that carries
signals for both audio and analog video as well as two way
control signals allowing the boxes to talk to each other.
There is a 2-way digital dialog between the source and sink
boxes. For example in the case of a monitor the source
asks if the monitor is HDCP (copy protection compliant, WiKi
in addition to technical details. When the monitor
says it is compliant then the source will feed it 1080p
video. Note the actual video could be either analog or
digital (Wiki: DVI
1.0 December 9, 2002 and is a single-cable digital
audio/video connector interface with a maximum TMDS
bandwidth of 4.9 Gbit/s
1.2 August 8, 2005 and added support for One Bit Audio
1.3 June 22, 2006 and increased the single-link bandwidth to
340 MHz (10.2 Gbit/s) CAT1 cable is 74.25 MHz
& CAT2 cable is 340 MHz, 3D @ 1080p
1.4 May 28, 2009 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K
(3840×2160p at 24Hz/25Hz/30Hz and 4096×2160p at 24Hz, which
is a resolution used with digital theaters); an HDMI
Ethernet Channel, which allows for a 100 Mb/s
between the two HDMI connected devices; and introduces an
Audio Return Channel, 3D Over HDMI (HDMI 1.3 devices will
only support this for 1080i
TOSLINK or Optical Cable (Wiki)
Fiber optic cable for audio.
|This was developed to
allow higher quality audio connections, like for DAT
recorders and is supported by the Poineer A/V
I'm using Toslink to feed the audio out of the Sony 3D
HD set to the Surround Sound audio system in order to
support Sony Playstation games (with HDMI feed to the
3D HD set) and watching video directly on the Sony 3D
HD set by means of wireless internet feed to the 3D HD
Video Formats (Wiki)
Conventional color TV is 480i where the "i" means
interlaced. Interlaced means that there is one frame
with the odd numbered lines that takes 1/60 second then there
is another 1/60 second frame with the even numbered
lines. This system also knows as NTSC has a frame rate
that is fast enough to not flicker and minimizes the bandwidth
required to transmit the signal over the air. The aspect
ratio is 4:3.
This is the current high end digital video format where the
"p" means progressive scan. The complete frame is
displayed in 1/60 second or less. This image has about
five times the bandwidth of the standard TV image.
1080p comes in different frame rates. 1080p/60 Hz is a
TV type standard and is the oldest. 1080p/24 Hz is
a movie type standard and the older 1080p monitors may not
support it. If you want to watch Direct TV HD movies you
want 1080p/24 Hz capability. There are also 30 Hz (half
of 60) and 25 Hz (half of 50) frame rates.
Note that to get 1080p a HDMI cable needs to be used for all
of the video path between the source and monitor or a
converter like the HDFury (HDFury2, etc.).
Conventional TV was 480i and the field rate was 60 Hz, made up
of two fields so it took 1/30 of a second to see all of a
frame. When the video format is 480p the image is
displayed as a full frame every 1/60 of a second, i.e. it's
In order to use alternate left-right eye type 3D the frame
rate needs to be a minimum of 120 Hz and 240 Hz is better.
Movies that are shot on film are at at frame rate of 24 frames
per second (24 Hz) and so require translation when viewed at
30 or 60 Hz. But some sets support 24 Hz viewing
allowing watching a DVD or Blu-ray movie without translation.
For sports events the high frame rates should portray fast
action with less blurring than slower frame rates (don't have
a source of live sports so it's a best guess).
The most common film format is 35mm 24 fps (Frames Per Second)
and the U.S. video rates are related to the A.C. power grid
frequency of 60 Hz (Cycles Per Second). So when a movie
is transferred to a video format (Wiki: Telecine
using what's called "2:3 pulldown"
. Most equipment
that processes progressive scan video has some capability of
up converting the video from a standard DVD into a progressive
scan format. The simplest of these is to convert 480i to
480p. This can double the quality of the image and makes
a very noticeable improvement over a stock 480i image.
The point is that you should not throw away all your DVDs and
replace them with Blu-ray disks since when played on modern
equipment the DVD will look much better than it did on 480i
Also the current flat screen displays will accept 24 fps
directly without any conversions, which also makes movies look
Yamaha YST-SW315 Amplified Sub Woofer
The Sub Woofer adds the non
directional low frequency sound that home sized speakers
typically do not reproduce well. This is a bottom firing
speaker which makes the sound less directional than a front
firing unit. The pioneer receiver has 90 Watts per
speaker so this one was chosen to have a little more (250
Watts). The MCACC was run again which will turn on the
Sub Woofer channel and readjust the equalization of the other
speakers and set a crossover frequency. If the volume
knob is turned much higher than 50% the MCACC fails with a
message that the sub woofer needs to be turned down.
I have had no luck with the "audio standby". It's
supposed to turn off the main power and turn it back on when
sounds that the sub woofer should be processing. The
controls that effect it are the OFF-LOW-HIGH switch and the
HIGH-CUT knob. No combination I've tried works.
The problem being that it turns off OK, but then never turns
23 Dec 2009 - The audio standby problem was related to
allowing the A/V receiver to assign the left and right
speakers as LARGE. That means that the left and right
speakers are getting the low bass frequencies rather than send
them to the sub woofer. Once all the speakers are set to
SMALL or to THX (depending on which flavor of MCACC is used)
causes the bass frequencies to be sent to the sub woofer and
the audio standby works with the switch in the low position.
Also the system sounds much better with the sub woofer now
doing it's thing. The reason that the A/V receiver does
not assign the speakers to small automatically is that there
is provision for Bi-Amplification of the left and right
channels where there would be two sub woofers.
Tanaka and Yoshida, "Active Servo Technology", Oct. 1990,
Japanese Publication: Yamaha YST-SW 1000 Super Woofer Tone
Quality, pp. 1-3,--Radio Technology--p. 91.
4908870 Motional load driver, Katsuo Nagi
(Yamaha Corp.), Mar 13, 1990, 381/96
; 381/59 -
4943956 Driving apparatus, Masao Noro
(Yamaha Corp.), Jul 24, 1990, 367/137
381/96 - electronics matched to speaker and enclosure
4987564 Acoustic apparatus, Kenji
(Yamaha Corp.), Jan 22, 1991, 367/140
; 181/160; 181/182; 181/184; 381/96 -
5280543 Acoustic apparatus and driving apparatus constituting
the same, Kenji Yokoyama et al
(Yamaha Corp.), Jan 18, 1994, 381/96
; 381/59; 381/76
5313525 Acoustic apparatus with secondary quarterwave
resonator, Michael A. Klasco (Yamaha Corp.), May 17, 1994, 381/350
; 181/156 -
6731765 Loudspeaker device, Hiromi Sotome
(Yamaha Corp.), May 4, 2004, 381/160
381/186; 381/300 -
7.1 Surround Speaker Setup
(in conjunction with Walter Murch (Wiki
during the making of Apocalypse) developed 5.1 surround
sound. The "5" refers to the Left, Center, Right, Left
Rear and Right Rear speakers and the ".1" refers to the sub
woofer. Later 7.1 Surround sound came out where there
are Left Side and Right Side speakers added. The Dolby
Home Theater Speaker Guide
web pages currently have
information about 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 Sound schemes.
Left and Right Speaker Location
These speakers will sound
better if they have their front face forward of the monitor,
not behind it like in the Fig 1
top of this web page.
Small vs. Large Size Speakers
When the Pioneer
does the full auto advanced
MCACC speaker calibration it classifies the Left and Right
speakers as "Large". This may be a bug in it's
software because when a sub woofer is being used they should
be classified as "Small". In the lower level MCACC
speaker calibrations there is an option that can be set to
YES if you have THX speakers and that switches them to
small, but you can use RECEIVER ->HOME ->Manual SP
Setup to change the left and right speakers to small.
Then all the sound that's below the crossover frequency for
all 5 speakers gets sent to the sub woofer.
YST-SW315 Amplified Sub Woofer
has an adjustment for
what frequencies it passes and I've set it to 140 Hz, i.e.
the highest frequency it will handle. Did this for two
reasons. First to try and get the auto standby
function to work, but that did not pan out so now it's on
all the time. Second, the center, and rear speakers
are very small and even the left and right speakers don't
have that good a base response. Note the Voice of the Theater
speaker has a 900 Hz
After making the above changes the sound is noticeably
2-Way Wall Speaker (to the left and
right of seating)
There are two speaker openings one facing
left and the other facing right. The wire is against
the wall and there is solid speaker box facing the wall,
ceiling away from wall and the floor. Two grill cloth
covers facing left and right. The green lines give an
idea where the sound goes.
This type is speaker is good for the surround speakers to
the left and right of the seating position. They are
NOT good for the rear speakers that need to send the sound
90 degrees from the wall.
If you look closely two round holes behind the grill cloth
can be seen. The green lines were only drawn from the
top circle, but should have also been drawn from the bottom
1-Way Wall Speaker
By 1-Way I'm referring to sound coming from just one face,
not two faces like the side speakers shown above
9 Jan 2010 - Got on eBay "New Pair
400W Acoustic Audio Surround Sound Speakers NR
from seller thedeepdiscount
and installed them according to the 7.1 diagram at Dolby
Labs for home theater systems. Also moved the Left
Front and Right Front speakers further apart to match the
angles given by Dolby labs. Home Depot has 16 ga
speaker wire in 100 foot rolls ( a dollar lower cost than
on a 100 foot spool) for under $25. Note you don't
need anything fancier or more expensive.
The system now sounds 100%++ better than it did before
moving the front speakers and adding the rear
speakers. i.e. there's now 7.1 surround (8
Front: Right and Left & Center
Side: Right and Left
Rear Right and Left
Sub Woofer - rotated the box so the port is now facing the
corner of the room.
DVD Setup Menu
Some DVDs have an option in
the Setup Audio menu for different sound encoding
schemes. For example Dolby stereo may be the default
and Dolby 5.1 is an option. In other cases the
choice is between the default Dolby 5.1 analog surround
and Dolby 5.1 digital. So on the older DVDs it's
best to check the Audio Setup to see if a higher quality
sound is available. It seems that newer DVDs default
to the highest quality.
DVD Audio Modes
DVDs made at different times
have different audio features. By pressing the Audio
button on the player remote control the audio mode is
displayed. Pressing it repeatedly cycles the audio
mode. I've found DVDs that have a default of 2
channel stereo, but also have 5.1 surround. So you
need to press the audio button to be sure you are getting
the 5.1 surround sound.
The Voice of the Theater®
This is a photo of one
of the pair of speakers I bought around 1970. The photo
was taken by my son who now has them. To put some scale
on the photo remember the woofer is 15" and the cabinet is 52"
high x 30" wide x 24" deep and weighs 170 pounds.
They were mounted into recessed boxes designed into the house
by George Cody (architect & Toy
)a nd a frame holding special speaker grill
cloth was in front of them. They are not designed to be
In my first home "Hi-Fi" system
the speakers were Altec
Lansing Voice of the Theater
. The key design idea
is that at the crossover frequency of 900 Hz the sound from
both the horn and 15" woofer are in phase. To get that
to happen the woofer voice coil and the horn diaphragm are in
the same vertical plane. That requires the woofer is
mounted back from the front of the box and the gap is filled
with an exponential horn. There was an option in horn
placement, either the horn is mounted inside the box or
mounted on top of the box and a filler strip is added to be
woofer reflex port opening. The filler makes the
effective reflex port opening the same area as when the horn
is inside the box.
These speakers will produce a 1 kHz tone from a 1 milliwatt
source that can be heard across a living room. They are
correctly advertized as having "Outstanding
. This was a problem when the
audio amplifier was an H.H. Scott (forget the model, but it
was the best then available) because the hum and noise
specification is based on full power output. Don't
remember the details but the idea is say a 100 Watt per
channel rating and a hum and noise spec of -80 dBV. So
100 Watts -80 dBV is about 20 milli volts which is very
noticeable. The dynamic range of a speaker system
depends on the difference between the lowest and highest sound
levels of sound it can produce with some specified
distortion. These speakers have a huge dynamic range.
The cure was to return the Scott and get MacIntosh
electronics. It took two boxes, one for the AM/FM radio
phono and tape pre-amplifier and one for the audio power
amplifier. They had frames that could be installed on
the wood panel of my house and by pressing a couple of buttons
either box would slide forward.
LG BD390 - 1080p High-definition Blu-ray
2013 - It turns out that there was a LAN cable from my office
to the garage that was used to connect to a WIN 3.0 computer
and it's no longer in use. So by drilling a hole between
the garage and family room and plugging the cable into the DB
390 then in Setup\Network selecting the wired connection
instead of the WiFi connection it's now running from the LAN
The motivation for doing this was to get rid of the poor
connection interruptions, but it turns out that the quality
bar graph is showing about 80% (typically 50% when on WiFi)
and also the picture quality is now HD. So I'd recommend
using a wired LAN connection as opposed to the easier but
lower quality WiFi WiFi connection.
May 2011 - Tried to watch 3D on Youtube but the "3D" icon does
not appear below the video that let's you choose Cyan-Red or
True Color mode. Called LG support who didn't know
anything, but suggested that since this Blu-ray player is not
rated for 3D it might not work.
Connecting to the router is straight forward. It finds
my home wifi network and shows that it's WEP. Pressing
ENTER brings up the password screen. Then the network is
ng an HDMI cable that probably sent 1080p video to the Philips
monitor which it can not display. So connecting the
BD390 to the receiver using component video and optical audio
allows watching on the monitor.
When YouTube is watched the video is 1080i and the monitor
convergence needed to be adjusted. This was the first
time since the repair
1080i video was used.
YouTube works fine, but Netflix will not work with the Starband
Netflix says you need a minimum of 1.4 Mbits/sec and this
service is specified at 1500 bits/second, but it starts out
slower so Netflix never starts.
Borrowed the unrated version of Hancock on Blu-ray. It
will only play using the receiver DVD input, i.e. with
component video not HDMI because HDMI feeds my monitor 1080p
which it does not support. BUT, it does feed the monitor
1080i on the DVD input. 1080i looks FANTASTIC compared
to 720p or 480p let alone 480i (normal TV).
The BD-Live feature on the Hancock BD does NOT play on
Starband. Probably the same data rate issue as for
Netflix movie downloads.
So the only good thing about the internet connection to the
Blu-ray player is that it updated it's own firmware.
When a DVD is played and a HDCP (copy protection) HDMI monitor
is connected the resolution of the HDMI output can be
controlled by the BD390 at up to 1080p. To get this to
work (with the old rear projection TV set) I've ordered the
HDFury2 that converts HDMI inputs to composite outputs.
Note that DVD movies have enough information in them to allow
up-converting to much higher resolution. When the source
is not copy protected the BD390 does use 1080i output on the
composite jacks, that's why YouTube runs at 1080i. But
when playing a Netflix DVD the composite output is only 480p.
April 19, 2010 - Received a PAL DVD from Austria "Azorian: The Raising of the K-129
neighbor's Denton Blu-Ray machine. The label is marked:
Dolby Digital 5.1, PAL, 16:9, Region:0.
Universal 3D Blu-ray Player
4 Feb 2013 have on order a 3D Blu-ray player. This
player gets great reviews and I had some gift coupons so
it's on order along with a 3D version of Avatar.
6 Feb 2013 - see above for the
addition of a wired LAN connection to the existing BD390
Blu-ray player and the improvement in Netflix quality.
Issue 1. When watching Avatar in 3D the sound
stopped, but when watching in 2D the sound was there.
This was caused by the dual HDMI outputs. The Pioneer
VSX-1019AH Audio/Video Receiver not being
able to process the 3D signal on the HDMI2 output. The
fix was to download the newest firmware for the BDP-103 then
Video Setup \ 3D Setting \ Blank HDMI2 select YES.
This feeds audio only to the VSX-1019AH and leaves HDMI1
feeding 3D HD video directly to the Sony TV set.
Issue 2. The Motorola
Electrify 2 cell phone (and the iPod touch) can both generate
1080P videos so there needs to be a way to display
these. I tried using the Apple TV but the WiFi
connection does not have enough bandwidth which was one of
the motivations for adding a wired LAN connection to the
Home Theater equipment.
Netflix seems to have fewer buffering problems since
using a LAN cable between the router and the
BDP-103. But when watching Netflix using WiFi on the
Sony flat screen it seems to work OK. So the benefit
of the hard wired LAN to the Oppo is questionable.
The solution to this problem involves adding a streaming
server, see the OPPO
DLNA Media Streaming FAQ - BDP-93
Media Files FAQ What kind of user created media is
Oppo recomends the oshare DLNA server - SourceForce
Download the zip file and expanding it,
then running oshare.exe
allowing the firewall to allow access
select the folder on the shared network to allow
leaving oshare running on the desktop computer
select network from the oppo home page
select the desired folder and file to play.
The 1080p video I made on the Electrify
2 phone played with fantastic quality and sound with
OPPO BDP-103 Frequently Asked Questions - Oppo
BDP-103 multiregion DIY kit - PRO - this kit supports
auto DVD region free operation and using the remote to change
the player region by pressing 1, 2 or 3.
Issue 3. The Hugo 3D Blu-ray disk would not play
because it was a UK region version and the stock BDP-103
plays only U.S. region disks.
Issue 4. Some DVDs are hard or impossible to get in the
U.S. but are available with a different region code and in a
different video format. So it's handy to have a DVD
region free player. The Oppo BDP-103 ( and my prior DVD
players will play different (probably all) video formats
PAL, SECAM) and
output a U.S. format that my monitor can display.
It seems the U.S. has censors (not called that, but that's the
effect) that limit what we can see. But region free
players can get around some of that.
If you want to make the BD-103 DVD Region Free this can be
done using a software update (that needs to be redone if you
set your player back to factory defaults or update it's
DVD Region Codes
The world is divided up into 6 DVD regions (Wiki)
and when a new movie is released it is released in
each region in some sequence. AFAIK this is done
to lower the cost of making film prints. So the
reels of film are moved from region to region as the
film gets shown in different regions. There is
also a pecking order of release something like movie
theaters, Pay Per View cable (and now internet), then
DVD/Blu-ray. To prevent people in regions from
seeing the DVD until it's their turn the DVDs are
region coded and most DVD players are coded with the
region where they are sold. Although there are
"region free" DVD players.
Blu-Ray Region Codes
Blu-ray disks use a different, but similar region code
scheme where there are 4 regions (A/1, B/2, C/3 or
Note: You can burn either a CD-ROM or DVD, but it
must be burned as an iso image, not a data file.
1. Download the Super-Disk.iso file for your model player from
for example this
one for the BD-103.
2. Burn the file as an iso image, not as data. If you
look at the directory of the disk after it's burned and see a
folder "Super" and inside that folder you see:
then you have correctly burned an iso image. When this disk is
put into the Oppo player it will eject after a couple of
seconds. You now have a region free player.
But if you see:
then you have burned a data disk. If this disk in
put into the Oppo player the TV screen will show Data Disk and
will not do anything.
(on order 20 Feb 2013
The Philips 60PP9202 rear
projection set does not support 1080p video and is very bulky,
i.e. takes up a lot of space in the room. By upgrading
to a flat panel display that will fit above the fireplace
mantle (37" max height if tight to the wall, much larger if in
front of the mantle) the viewing distance will be increased
from 12' to 16'.
Supports 480i (normal TV), 480p, 720p, 1080i. (not 1080p but
maybe others below 1080i?)
When the HDFury2 HDMI to Composite converter (above) is used
with the Philips 60PP9202 the image is much better than the
480p image it was getting from the DVD and Blu-ray players and
now I no longer see a need to get a flat panel display.
I've heard a rumor (Jan 2010) that the next thing will be 3-D
There are four display technologies for home theater:
1. Projection - Comes in rear, like the Philips
and conventional projector and screen systems. The image
forming device might be an LCD or the TI tilting mirror
method. There are some multi screen movie theaters
) that are using electronic projectors instead of
2. LCD - lowest cost and performance. Limited viewing
angle. The common back light is Cold Cathode Fluorescent
Lamp (CCFL) which is very energy efficient.
Samsung LN40B540 40", 1920x1080,
60,000:1, 60 Hz $ 650
Samsung LN52B610 52", 1920x1080, 80,000:1 120 Hz $1500
3a. LED matrix back-light LCD
Sharp LC-C52700UN 52" 1920x1080,2,000,000:1,
120 Hz, $2000 <- this is a LED backlight LCD panel NOT an
Samsung UN55B6000, UN55B7000, UHN55B8000 all get very good
reviews and have excellent contrast rations (many million:1)
but a narrow sweep spot for deep blacks. They get that
by controling the brightness of the LEDs.
3b LED sidelight LCD
These do not have the contrast
enhancement feature like the LED matrix displays and to are
about the same as the plain LCD displays
3c LCD with Dynamic LEd
sidelight - this is what the Sony Bravia 3D does.
4. Plasma -medium cost and high performance (power hungry,
Samsung PN58B540 58", 1920x1080, 2,000,000:1, 600 Hz,
5. OLED - high cost and high
performance (lower power than plasma, better image)
Prototype Nov 2009 with 7 inch
An automotive drop light from
Home Depot was lower in cost than the Harbor Freight drop
light and came with a 25 foot cord. It reaches from a
switched outlet to behind the monitor and with a 25 watt lamp
lights the room enough to easily walk around but does no make
a reflection on the screen.
DVD vs Blu-ray
My theory is that they are so
close to the same most people can't tell the difference.
That's why the forced downgrading of the image quality built
into HDCP for analog outputs. i.e. when you watch a DVD
and use an analog connection for video you will be seeing a
480p image not an HD image. Note a single layer DVD is
4.7 GB and holds a movie and not much else. A Blu-ray
disk holds 25 GB which is only 5 times the capacity.
Blu-ray typically has special features so the ratio of the
storage used for just the movie between DVD and Blu-ray is
probably less than 4 times. For most things like this a
barley noticeable change is 4 times and so the difference is
in the barley noticeable area, not in the wow category.
I got "The Cell" on Blu-ray to see what the difference is
between DVD and Blu-ray. Just looking at the Blu-ray I
didn't see any difference. Next to pause them both at
the start, one in the DVD player and one in the Blu-ray
player, then start them at the same time to allow switching
back and forth. On second thought it would be better to
offset them in time by maybe 10 seconds so you could see the
same exact images.
Jan 2010 - Got a 19" Samsung TV Model 933HD+
( the lowest price
Samsung at Costco). I choose this one because it's a
Samsung and their top of the line sets are often cited as
having the best images of all sets. The idea is to see
if the difference between 1080i and 1080p. And with the
factory settings there is some improvement in the image when
seen at a distance, but when viewed closer there are some
artifacts related to the basic screen resolution being 1366 x
When reading the reviews of the various LCD sets on the Costco
web page it's clear that almost all the people writing the
reviews have not adjusted or calibrated the set they are
reviewing, i.e. they're using the factory default
settings. The problem is that there isn't a single set
that will have excellent images when used for watching movies,
sports, computer games and as a computer monitor.
14 June 2011 - I've been watching the Sony
set for a number of months using both DVDs and
Blu-ray disks in the LG BD390
The player uses HDMI to feed the Pioneer
VSX-1019AH Audio/Video Receiver
which uses an HDMI cable
to feed the Sony 3D HD
set. I mention this
because it's vital that HDMI be used in all the connections
between the player and the screen, if not the HDCP (copy
protection compliant) feature of the player will downgrade the
video image. DVDs look fantastic when viewed under these
conditions, way better than component
video (or poorer connection types such as S-Video
There's a very slight improvement when watching some Blu-ray
disks where the source material has the higher quality.
But for most things a DVD or Blu-ray version are about the
The Fifth Element Blu-ray has better sound than the DVD
version when loaded and played, but the DVD version has better
sound when it's manually selected, i.e. the player does not
automatically select the surround sound track.
The wavelength of the laser light used to read/burn optical
disks determines the size of the "pit" the represents a data
bit. The shorter the wavelength the smaller the pit and
the more bits per disk.
Samsung 933HD Plus Wall Mounted HDTV
This 18½" HDTV is being wall
mounted using the 75x75mm VESA (Wiki
hole pattern (either 6-32x½" or 4-0.7x12 mm screws into the
back of the TV).
The instructions said to drill a 3/16" dia hole 2½" inches
deep for the two mounting screws, but that's way too small a
drill, ended up with a #6 and can just tighten them.
|Sanus Vuepoint Model
F10 TV Wall Mount
Small VESA TV wall mount at Wal Mart.
The two bars and the large black nuts and bolts are
only used for a 100mm hi x 200 mm wide VESA TV set,
not used for this small set.
|Samsung 933HD with F10
Mounted on back
The white dust on the TV is from drilling the dry wall
|Harbor Freight 95914
Color Sound TV Camera
|Samsung 933HD mounted
high on the wall
Driveway image on screen