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In yesterday's post I showed you a picture of the home theater rack and described the two P10 Power Plants and the two Emotiva multi-channel power amps driving the system. Today let's continue filling in the blanks. The main processor for the system is the surprisingly affordable and spectacularly good Marantz AV8802 Prepro. The new 8802 has fully balanced outputs, discrete electronics for each of its 11 channels of audio and really good processing. It's a great match for the Emotiva amps and was recommended to me by their designer, Dan Laufman. Dan's got an ear for such things and his recommendation is spot on. Of course I went with the Oppo 103D BluRay player, there really aren't any better choices I would consider. This is a great player and it too is affordable. I don't have that many BluRays, and only a handful of DVDs to play, so the Oppo doesn't get too much use. One of the first BluRays I purchased was the Director's cut version of Avatar. In the opening sequence, before they land on Pandora, the shot of the spaceship with the planet reflected in its solar panels is nothing short of breathtaking. I do not run the BluRay through the Marantz video processor. At the insistence of my designer, Robert Dreher, the HDMI output of the Oppo is fed directly into the projector, a JVC DLA X700R 4K. The JVC has two HDMI inputs and the URC wireless remote control system we installed automatically selects the appropriate inputs. We went with the JVC for its stunning black levels and picture quality. And it was a great decision. Most of my sources, however, are not so spectacular. Over the years I've amassed a nice collection of ripped DVD movies that populate my hard drives. Playing them back has always been a challenge, not so much the playing of them but the equipment to select them and make it easy. One of the promises I made to Terri when the theater was installed was how easy it would be to operate, unlike every other TV contraption we've managed to have with multiple remote controls. How then to view and stream movies easily? That's tomorrow's subject.
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Paul McGowan

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