Talk me into (our out of) some 1099's - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Talk me into (our out of) some 1099's

I'm on the fence on some 1099's for my LCR. I've read all the threads about them, made it through most of the "hey guys,...." thread, and their own thread. I think we all pretty much know how well reviewed they are - but I'm stuck on a few things that are keeping me from making the plunge. Most of these questions are related to the fact that I'm not an uber speaker guy with a dedicated room as many are on here. I'm rolling in a 5,000 cuft basement, which is shared by our office and kid's playroom. The walls are yellow, there is a wooden school bus parked behind my couch, and I usually have to throw toys off my couch to even watch tv. And my current LCR speakers are Polk Monitor 70's you get the point... current listening is 90% HT, 10% music

Here are my concerns - I'd appreciate any and all input.

1) I am not a reference volume person. Typical TV watching is at -35, and if I get wild and crazy during a movie I might push it to -25. Louder than that is uncomfortable to me. My understanding is these were made to produce high quality sound and do it loud. Can they do the same outstanding job at more moderate volumes?

2) I often hear the high sensitivity speakers expose poor quality recordings comment. DirecTV and Netflix are our primary watching mediums. Out internet limits Netflix to 480 standard definition most days. BluRays are a once a week at most experience. We stream music on Pandora and via Airplay. If I have a choice between a speaker that "disguises" poorer quality source material (because I think I probably have a lot of it), vs. one that sounds awesome on high quality but exposes the poorer quality stuff - I'm feeling like I should think about leaning to the first.

I think that pretty well sums my concerns up. The size weighs on me too, but it is what it is. But if I put these monsters in this room, they are going to have to absolutely blow my wife away with sound quality. She's usually pretty tolerant, but these take up a lot of real estate. At one point I was considering starting with a 1099 center and seeing how it sounded, and then either going with two more of them or the Fusion 10 for L/R. The Fusions would give me a bit more room to play with. But that was before I realized that the 1099 had a limited life. So I feel like I need to make an all in or nothing decision.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/input/alternate DIY speaker suggestions. I'm probably very guilty of overthinking this, but hey.. the decision process is 1/2 the fun...
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:42 PM
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They'll sound good at moderate volumes.

Honestly 480p netflix will sound really bad. These will make you hear ever imperfection in the sound.

with your low listening volumes and non-high quality content I wouldn't recommend any of the SEOS designs. I think your speakers are just fine.

You need good quality content with good quality speakers, otherwise it's pointless.


If you want an audio upgrade I'd get some subs.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:10 PM
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Get em , they will blow you away. I can help you with your netflix problem. Just pm me.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:19 PM
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I agree with Bassment's comments, sad as it is. A couple of points for your consideration though, 1099's will sound great even at moderate volumes, (as Bassment already said) and the difference with how much better dialog clarity is compared to my previous center (Polk CS2), is incredible. I also had Monitor 70's for fronts. Yes, the 1099's are bigger in width and it can make a big difference in how big they feel in the room, but the Monitor 70's are not exactly small speakers either. I don't have a dedicated room either, but I'm kind of nuts and my wife loves cranking music so I get away with having a giant sized system in a shared space living room/dining room/foyer area. Back to the original point though, if your future watching/listening habits are not likely to change, I think any nice SEOS design will bring out the flaws enough in low quality content that you may end up unhappy compared to where you are now.

EDIT: I saw that Chalugadp chimed in here too while I was typing. I also agree with him! LOL
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:24 PM
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I sold my Polk 70's and 45' last week after I built my 1099's. I do have a dedicated room, and they are behind a screen, so space wasn't a factor of mine, but if I could, I would actually rather have them in front so I could see them. I think they look awesome kinda of intimidating to have all these drivers staring at you.

As far as the quality, so far I have been pleased. I also sold my HSU VTF -15 last week, so I'm o lyrics running with an old Onkyo HTIB 10" sub, so when I crank the volume, the 1099's are a bit overpowering, but once my 2 SI 18's are built, I'm confident that will be fixed.

All that to say, based on your conditions and usage, I would agree that these may be overkill for what you need. Unless you have future plans to have a dedicated room or the ability for better quality content and volumes, looking elsewhere might better suit your needs and wallet.

EDIT: I see you're in Madison. If you feel like a road trip, I'm in the Minneapolis area and you can come take a listen if you'd like.

Last edited by Nabukicks; 08-28-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:34 PM
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Not sure how they are overkill . At 80-90dbs the clarity of the midrange is stellar. The drums are dynamic and guitars lifelike . Voices are clean and clear. They will crush your polks and do a burnout on them.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:37 PM
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accurate reproduction of bad quality audio is still bad quality audio though.
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Old 08-28-2014, 01:54 PM
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OP - Given your constraints, I'd say don't do it. Yes, these speakers are generating a lot of excitement and buzz (in a good way ), however, that doesn't mean, they are the "right" speaker in every situation.

In our current house, I can't even use them to a fraction of their full potential, and if it wasn't for the fact that we'll moving into a new house in a few months, I probably wouldn't have gone this route either. Yes, they are amazing speakers, but they are big, heavy, and do not make make compromises for bad recordings. That latter part IS a factor.

Me? I have over 2TB of uncompressed FLAC music.. and most movies that we watch are blurays. We rarely watch TV in the theater downstairs (other than some sports, but those are high quality broadcasts), we have a TV in the family room, that we use. If we had one single place to watch everything, the 1099s would have made for a tough choice.

That said, I'm totally pumped, that I'll have FIVE of these on my front end... I'm just tickled to see how it sounds.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:52 PM
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OP. completely overkill...do not buy the 1099's.
If you listen to -35 to -25 then with the 1099's you will listen to -45 to -35.
It be a complete waste of money and energy!

I agree with bassment, just get some subs.

PS. This has been extremely hard for me to tell you not to buy the 1099's.
FYI, I make love to mine!

My Build Thread
Equipment Speakers:
3x 1099's for LCR duty
4x Fusion 8's for surround duty
8x subs: 4x FTW21's and 4x SI18's
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:10 PM
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If you really want to build something and want an upgrade, maybe one of the smaller diysg kits would work.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
accurate reproduction of bad quality audio is still bad quality audio though.
He's not going to have bad audio after I hep him out. Netflix is a joke.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by G-Money1572 View Post
1) I am not a reference volume person. Typical TV watching is at -35, and if I get wild and crazy during a movie I might push it to -25. Louder than that is uncomfortable to me. My understanding is these were made to produce high quality sound and do it loud. Can they do the same outstanding job at more moderate volumes?
You might be surprised when you have speakers that can be turned up without distortion. You might be naturally reacting to the distortion you're hearing at louder volumes. With high sensitivity speakers, you can turn it up louder and not realize how loud it is because it's so clean. My previous speakers would distort before reference but I (and my wife) now listen at louder levels than before.

Last edited by Audio Geek; 08-28-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post
He's not going to have bad audio after I hep him out. Netflix is a joke.
I hope you're not suggesting piracy.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:53 PM
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I hope you're not suggesting piracy.
Oh my God.... I'm going to hell. [emoji48]
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:38 PM
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My Build Thread
Equipment Speakers:
3x 1099's for LCR duty
4x Fusion 8's for surround duty
8x subs: 4x FTW21's and 4x SI18's
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:55 PM
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On a rocket ship!.....lol
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Fatshaft View Post
OP. completely overkill...do not buy the 1099's.
If you listen to -35 to -25 then with the 1099's you will listen to -45 to -35.
It be a complete waste of money and energy!

I agree with bassment, just get some subs.

PS. This has been extremely hard for me to tell you not to buy the 1099's.
FYI, I make love to mine!
Aren't you worried that over time the bottom chamber will become overstuffed? (or the top chamber if you are very tall)
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:37 AM
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Driving thru the night . More likely to get killed by a moose.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok...OP here again. I think we've hit a milestone here at the DIY forum.I've been lurking here since about March. This is the first time I've EVER seen the DIY crazies (said with due loving respect...) talk someone downwards on a speaker/sub selection. The typical pattern is "I think I might want to DIY a 12" sub", which quickly morphs into the OP building a monster system of 8 SI 24"s.

Anyway, I do really appreciate the input so far. It seems like the consensusis that the lack of quality sources is going to degrade my 1099 (or any SEOS speaker) experience. Which bums me out because I just finished a set of Volt 10’s for surrounds and I was excited about continuing my DIY journey. But I also don’t want to waste a bunch of $$ for no improvement. So I'll ask a generic question about the SEOS speakers. Given the same lower quality source, which will sound better if the Monitors and a SEOS speaker is side by side? If they are going to be similar, I don't mind building a speaker that has headroom that can be utilized when I play better content. But I think what I'm getting here is that it's going to be the Monitors coming out ahead. Which I guess is one of the compromises of a high sensitivity speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
If you want an audio upgrade I'd get some subs.
I’m working on that right now. Been waiting on Parts Express’ Labor Day sale to get $25 off my inuke3000 DSP. Not quite settled on a design or woofer yet –thinking I’m going to go with a SI 15 or 18.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabukicks View Post
I see you're in Madison. If you feel like a roadtrip, I'm in the Minneapolis area and you can come take a listen if you'dlike.
Appreciate the offer! With football season on us, and me having tickets, it’s going to be a while till I’m able to escape for a road trip. Saturday = my football time. Sunday = mandatory familytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatshaft View Post
If you listen to -35 to -25 then with the 1099's you will listen to -45 to -35.
So this is a concept I’ve struggled with, and haven’t been able to get to the bottom of. I always thought that the-25 indicated the actual sound level off of reference, and that -25 on a higher sensitivity speaker would be at the same apparent sound level as a lower sensitivity one. The amp would simply send less juice to get there. I’m no expert though, so I’m probably off on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Geek View Post
You might be surprised when you have speakers that can be turned up without distortion. You might be naturally reacting to the distortion you're hearing at louder volumes.
This is one of the core things I’ve been struggling with. A few years ago, one of my roommates bought some high $$ speakers. I have no clue what they were, because I didn’t care much about audio back then. The first song I heard on them was Evanescence’sFallen album, and he cranked it. Now I’m not an Evanescence fan by any means, but the clarity and piercing (in a good way) quality of the vocals just put chills down my spine. I remember how that sounded, and use it as a measuring stick. My current system won’t even come close to touching it. It’s muddy – and I know that’s a subjective term – but it’s the best way to describe it. I was in band/orchestra most of my school days, so I have a good ear. So it makes me wonder if I am reacting to that distortion. My wife was a hard core band geek, so her ear is better than mine.

All I know is someday, I want a system that can match what I heard back then. It may not be that time, or maybe I need to think about a different DIY speaker.

Last edited by G-Money1572; 08-29-2014 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:01 AM
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Just curious why you chose the 1099s?

It sounds like you don't listen to your content very loud. With kids there probably isn't much time to blast at reference anyways. However, you could step up in sound quality assuming a good sub compliment with any number of the DIYSG offerings.

IMO anything over the Alchemy will give you an improvement in SQ, above that its a matter of how loud do you wanna go. The 1099 is the highest sensitivity speaker currently offered, I just can't see why someone would need all that for the listening levels you mentioned.

I do however understand, it really isn't about NEED though, is it?
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:04 AM
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Yes, as long as you calibrate your receiver -25 will be the same volume level on any speaker. A high sensitivity speaker is just easier on the amplifier to drive, which leads to less distortion and higher SPL capability.

People definitely will listen louder to high quality, low distortion speakers. Generally when a (typical, commercial) speaker gets "too loud", it's not actually too loud, it just sounds really bad from distortion.

You seem to care about audio, but you have all these bad quality sources and seem to not want to get better ones? Do you have HDTV? If you can get a different video source than 480p netflix I'd say you should get the 1099.

Is your set-up calibrated properly? Even at -25, I find that uncomfortably QUIET to watch a movie. You can tell there's just so much impact missing at that level. I'd say for people who like "quiet", with high distortion speakers, -15 would be what they prefer.

You already have Volt-10's and are building some nice subs, might as well just finish off the awesome set-up. When you have something that awesome I think you will tend to watch more blu-rays and pass on the lower quality stuff
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Just curious why you chose the 1099s? I do however understand, it really isn't about NEED though, is it?
I'll admit I jumped on the 1099 bandwagon without knowing much, and learned about the sensitivity impacts after I fell in love. And everyone is right - I don't really NEED them and they are overkill. So maybe the better exercise is figuring out what DIY speaker falls in a good sweet spot for me. Sounds like Alchemy and up may be somewhere to start? I've got time to think about that - the subs are going to take me a while to build.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
You already have Volt-10's and are building some nice subs, might as well just finish off the awesome set-up. When you have something that awesome I think you will tend to watch more blu-rays and pass on the lower quality stuff
I have my 1099's finished, 2 SI 18'S arriving on Wednesday, and will order volt 10's as soon as they are back in stock. I cant tell you the last time I watched a dvd. I would almost rather not watch a movie at all than watch a dvd. I am a HD snob i guess. My wife used to think I was crazy, but has recently been able to tell the difference and appreciates the higher quality video and sound. IMO, content quality really does play a large part in the enjoyment of this hobby.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:29 AM
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I have my 1099's finished, 2 SI 18'S arriving on Wednesday, and will order volt 10's as soon as they are back in stock. I cant tell you the last time I watched a dvd. I would almost rather not watch a movie at all than watch a dvd. I am a HD snob i guess. My wife used to think I was crazy, but has recently been able to tell the difference and appreciates the higher quality video and sound. IMO, content quality really does play a large part in the enjoyment of this hobby.
I completely agree I only watch blu-rays and I cancelled HD satellite because the audio quality isn't good enough. What I mean is once he buys them he will not want to listen to low quality stuff.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:52 AM
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More likely to get killed by a moose.
Seeing an angry moose swim across the pacific ocean at burrard inlet or fraser river and stomp around downtown vancouver would be an interesting sight to behold, although highly unlikely.

Or... I wonder if the moosieses take bridges and pay the toll fees?
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:57 AM
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Was in prince George at the time I wrote that [emoji33]
Very common there.
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by G-Money1572 View Post
So I'll ask a generic question about the SEOS speakers. Given the same lower quality source, which will sound better if the Monitors and a SEOS speaker is side by side?
Maybe this will help some:




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Old 08-29-2014, 10:20 AM
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[QUOTE=G-Money1572;26959193]I'm on the fence on some 1099's for my LCR. I've read all the threads about them, made it through most of the "hey guys,...." thread, and their own thread. I think we all pretty much know how well reviewed they are - but I'm stuck on a few things that are keeping me from making the plunge. Most of these questions are related to the fact that I'm not an uber speaker guy with a dedicated room as many are on here. I'm rolling in a 5,000 cuft basement, which is shared by our office and kid's playroom. The walls are yellow, there is a wooden school bus parked behind my couch, and I usually have to throw toys off my couch to even watch tv. And my current LCR speakers are Polk Monitor 70's you get the point... current listening is 90% HT, 10% music

Here are my concerns - I'd appreciate any and all input.

Build yourself a real sub, that would be the best bang for your buck to start. A pair or good 15's or 18's in the right box will change you forever. Adding good bass is the #1 way to increase enjoyment in your entertainment space. I assume you are looking to improve your system since you are looking on this forum.

The Polks are fine speakers.
I think you will find that you prefer listening at lower volumes because most regular speakers do not sound so good at higher volume. The drivers or the amp runs out of steam and things start sounding not so good.
Going to a SEOS design I think you will find yourself listening at higher volumes since there is very little distortion and since they are very efficient your normal receiver will power them to concert levels no problem.
I use a SEOS design the 88's from the DIYsoundgroup and listen at low volume all the time, I like to be able to have a conversation over the TV and have found the low volume clarity of the SEOS design to be much better than my bookshelf speakers. IMO the SEOS design is just plain better at low and high volume.
You may want to check out some of the smaller SEOS designs the 1099's are a top of the hill model with huge capabilities to match. A smaller design could give you all you want and be much kinder on your wallet.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassment View Post
You seem to care about audio, but you have all these bad quality sources and seem to not want to get better ones? Do you have HDTV? If you can get a different video source than 480p netflix I'd say you should get the 1099. Is your set-up calibrated properly? Even at -25, I find that uncomfortably QUIET to watch a movie. You can tell there's just so much impact missing at that level. I'd say for people who like "quiet", with high distortion speakers, -15 would be what they prefer.You already have Volt-10's and are building some nice subs, might as well just finish off the awesome set-up. When you have something that awesome I think you will tend to watch more blu-rays and pass on the lower quality stuff

I'm open to getting new sources, I didn't meant to insinuate I wasn't. I was mainly trying to outline our life today. We do have HDTV through DirecTV. DirecTV comes in at what - 720P if I remember right? As far as Netflix goes, we live in the boonies and DSL is our only option, we get a whopping 1-3mbs down and we are glad to get it. Which is why we get throttling on Netflix. I am in contact with Chaluga on the alternative mentioned earlier in the thread. On the music front, I think it's a case of slowly working through 20 years of CD rips and seeing what I can do to upgrade them. Pandora is what it is - it's convenient and provides variety. We'll probably continue to use it for those reasons. What I'm not open to is a dedicated HT room. I drool over what I see on here, it's just not in my cards.


My setup is calibrated as well as YPAO can do it. I'll leave it at that. My plan was to get some subs built, then go the REW route. I need to get the SPL meter, etc.


Appreciate the input! I can't even begin to list all the thing I've learned while lurking on this forum the last six months. Learning about the SEOS speakers, subwoofers, etc. has been a fun ride.
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Old 08-30-2014, 07:39 AM
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I can relate to the low sound and video quality from cable and dish companies. It sucks. I try to always go the BluRay route when possible, although, I am a horror film addict and lots of those only come in DVD form, and most of them are fairly low on the mixing sound quality front. I have never messed with any thing like NetFlix, so I am not sure how the sound quality of a streamed movie from them would sound? Better than Direct TV or standard cable? I will likely break down and buy a Roku-3 soon as the wifey request we have something due to me recently becoming a cable "cord cutter".
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