Automatic Speaker Calibration Doesn’t Always Work – Home theater receivers and preamps usually come with some sort of automatic speaker setup and calibration system such as: Audyssey, MCACC, DCAC, YPAO, ADAPTiQ, Trinnov. Often using a calibration mic and test tones, the system automatically determines the speaker sizes, distances, setting volume levels, EQ, crossover points, etc. It’s a good idea, but often won’t work in your particular room. The environment may not be quiet enough, the placement of the mic might be wrong, a speaker might be wired out of phase. Doing the setup manually might often be the most accurate. The Audyssey site has some useful information about their system which could also fit others.
Pioneer Elite Receivers Add Control and Connectivity – Two new Pioneer Elite AV receivers—VSX-42 and VSX-60—are 7.1 and 7.2-channel respectively, and incorporate AirPlay, DLNA Certification, Bluetooth Audio Streaming, optional Wi-Fi connectivity, vTuner Internet radio, Pandora, SiriusXM Radio, free apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, Anchor Bay video processing, Pioneer Stream Smoother video technology, and Advanced Video Adjust technology. Both models have 192K/24-bit DACs, and the VSX-60 adds Advanced MCACC, Phase Control Plus, PQLS Bit Stream and Virtual Depth. Phase Control allows slight delay of the main channel signals to compensate for lag in subwoofer signals, PQLS eliminates distortion caused by digital bitstream timing errors, and Virtual Modes can simulate sound coming from various room areas without additional speakers being connected.
Power Surges and Home Electronics – Experts warn consumers to have surge protection for the electronics in their home, or risk losing them due to possible surge damage. This is even more vital in the areas of the nation frequently subject to lighting strikes. Though they can destroy electronics and appliances, lighting is by no means the most common cause of power surges. Most homes experience surges daily from their own appliances and electronics that consume power. Though not as powerful as lightning, they can still damage items over the course of time. High demand on the general power grid, and local blown transformers can also cause serious power surges. All homes should have a “good ground” in place and a protector installed at the electric panel for the whole house. You’ll need an electrician to check this. The second type of protection happens at the point of usage, where electronic components are plugged in. These are surge strips or power bars, which can also be useful to turn off all wall-wart-type power supplies that don’t need to be on when you are not using your AV system. But all power strips don’t provide surge protection, and there are many levels of protection available, so research what you are getting. And most of the high-end AC-processing devices do not include surge protection. Also bear in mind that some of the warranties don’t include lightning protection, and make sure the strip is U.L.-approved.
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