HDTV

What's the best tuner for my HDTV?

Episode 1419

Michael from San Juan Capistrano, CA
TiVo Roamio

Michael put up an HDTV antenna, and for eight months he saved hundreds over a cable bill. Leo says it's also a lot better because it's not compressed. He used it on his new 65" HD TV. But his tuner died. What does Leo recommend to replace the bad tuner he had? Leo says that Hauppauge has one. Most of the tuners are mostly commodity brands. Leo's guessing that there's one factory in China that makes them and slaps different nameplates on them.

How can I reduce eye strain when watching TV?

Episode 1396

Dave from San Diego, CA
Ambient TV bias light

Joe wants to know if backlighting or bias lighting will help combat eye strain while watching TV. Scott says that in a dark room, he'll get a better image, but with HDTVs being brighter, it can cause eye strain. That's why a bias or backlight helps. It shines a light behind the TV onto the wall and it smoothes out the light that your eyes see, so that your eyes aren't working as hard. It has to be a certain shade of white, though — D65. 10% of the peak brightness of the TV. The best place to get a bias light is CinemaQuestinc.com.

Should I calibrate my TV?

Episode 1396

Tracy from Manhattan Beach, CA
Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics

Tracy just replaced his Pioneer Kuro with an LG B7 OLED TV. Scott says it's a pity he had to, because it was the best TV ever made, but all good things come to an end. Should he calibrate the LG OLED? Scott says he can pay a professional to calibrate his TV, but he can get about 80% of the way by selecting the "Cinema" mode in the settings. He can also get HD Blu-ray DV Essentials to help dial in the settings.

Is there a TV with split screen?

Episode 1396

Jim from Washington, D.C.
4K TV

Jim wants to get a 4K UHD TV that offers split screen or picture-in-picture support. Scott says most TV manufacturers have dropped that option as TVs have gotten thinner, and other features like HDR have gotten more popular. No TV can really support split screen anymore. Computer monitors can do it. An external device may be able to do it, but that's an additional cost. He should also consider that split screens will clip or crop the image so he wouldn't see the entire screen.

Is my Plasma TV dead?

Episode 1380

Miles from Long Beach, CA

Miles' HDTV suffered a power outage and now his HDMI port isn't working. Leo says a power surge likely wiped out the HDMI ports. He should check if he has another HDMI input that he can use. Leo says there may be a fuse that has blown and a repair man could replace it. That could restore his HDMI. If not, it's not an easy or affordably fixable thing. A 64" plasma is worth at least trying to get fixed. The chatroom says to make sure the polarity and grounding is correct on his plugs. An electrician can test for that.

Is my Plasma TV worth fixing?

Chuck from San Diego, CA

Episode 1370

Chuck has a 7 year old Plasma that doesn't power up anymore. Can it be fixed, and is it worth it? Leo says it could be, but since no one makes plasmas anymore, it may be harder to find the parts. If he doesn't know what's wrong, it could be going down a rabbit hole. But that also means his plasma TV could be worth more for parts. And he can replace that TV for a few hundred dollars and it will look pretty good.

Why did my antenna stop getting one of my channels?

Episode 1354

Jill from Los Alamitos, CA
Digital TV antenna

Jill watches TV using an antenna over the roof. Leo says that's the best quality HDTV because it isn't compressed. Suddenly, however, channel 2 (2.1) is missing on her TVs, while her mom still has them. Leo says that Jill is likely on an edge area where it can work, but may not work at other times. She should check out TVFool.com and it will tell her what channels are available in her area. One TV may have a more sensitive tuner than the other, or it could be that less cable is also used, minimizing attenuation.

Can I mount my LCD to the fireplace?

Episode 1331

Darren from Los Angeles, CA
Above Fireplace Pull-Down Full-Motion TV Wall Mount

Darren's living room is all glass and the only place to put his TV is above the fireplace. Scott isn't much of a fan of that because the viewing angle is hard on the neck. Will it be bad for the TV though? It shouldn't be affected by heat because a fireplace is protected from heat transfer into the walls. The chatroom says to take the fireplace out and put the TV there.