home theater

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1446

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that digital signal processing is at the heart of a soundbar, and they are great for small living rooms. Atmos is now making its way into soundbars and it's the least expensive way to significantly improve your sound, especially if your soundbar comes with a subwoofer. Leo says that there's a wide range of prices for soundbars, though, and Scott agrees. You get what you pay for. But there are some good budget brands out there including Vizio (of course) and Polk.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1444

Scott Wilkinson

Leo finally got to see Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee. Shown at 120 fps, Leo says it was almost like a stage play. But the problem with it is that because it was shot at such a high frame rate, the actors looked wooden, and because they used very little makeup, you see them how they really look. It's disconcerting, and Leo doesn't think it worked. Scott, though, disagrees and thinks it's an experiment that pushes the boundaries of what we are used to in cinema. Scott says we also have 100 years of watching movies at 24 fps.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1440

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that the latest TV shootout, now sponsored by CE Week, was decided on a vote by professional colorists, but the difference is the same — LG won. Sony and Samsung were a close second and third, though. What's the difference between the Sony and Samsung OLED? Scott says that the processing is better, but likely not worth paying $1,000 more for. While he bought the Sony himself, he would have no problem buying an LG and they are offering some pretty killer Black Friday deals. A 55" LG B7 is selling for $1499 during Black Friday. That's a fantastic deal. The 65" B7 is $2,299.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1438

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins Leo to talk about the OLED burn-in problem that some LG phone users have been complaining about. Scott says that OLED TV makers have been using a technique called "pixel shifting" or "pixel orbiting" to combat burn-in since the pixels are subtly and constantly changing. Now phone makers are using the same technique. But it's odd because Leo says that both Samsung and Apple are using OLED screens and there haven't been many complaints. Scott says as long as you don't have the same TV image on for hours at a time, burn-in won't be an issue.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1436

Scott WIlkinson

Leo got the Apple TV 4K yesterday and says it looks really good. Scott says there's some really great stuff in it and he thinks it could be a Roku killer. It's very polished and crisp. Scott says that the one problem the Apple TV 4K has is that the up conversion feature isn't the best and as such, anything you watch that isn't 4K at 60p doesn't look all that great. Apple is planning to address the problem with a TVOS firmware update 11.02 which will feature "auto switching" that will fix the up convert problem.

Vizio has great customer service.

Episode 1434

Jim from Charleston, WV
VIZIO D-Series 55” Class Full‑Array LED TV

Jim was having an issue with a blue line on the bottom of his Vizio and they shipped out a replacement TV with professional installation to replace the TV. It was a great customer service experience. Leo says that's a fantastic thing that rarely happens these days. Margins have shrunk so drastically that we lose that kind of support service. Vizio also has a really good product, so they're standing behind it.

Do I need surround speakers in my home theater system?

Episode 1432

David from Mira Loma, CA
Dolby Surround

David has a home theater system and the speakers are already built into the house, but he needs surround speakers. Leo says he can do that and then just wire them into his home theater system. It'll be the rear surround in a 7.1 Dolby system. Or, if he doesn't want to do that, he should just go with Dolby 5.1. He'll be just fine with that. He'll need to re calibrate, too. Of course, he could go all in and do Dolby Atmos at home, too.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1432

Scott Wilkinson

What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott Wilkinson says that most of the Ultra Blu-ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well, but it won't be as good because of bitrate. It'll top out at about 25 Mbps streaming, and it's data compressed, while 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR Blu-rays can be a challenge.