home theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1143

Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1141

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that going to a live concert should be the benchmark for comparison of recorded music. There is nothing like a live performance for hitting the listener more on an emotional level. In fact, data shows that the brain is more active listening to live music than an mp3 which tosses out 90% of the audio quality. A high end audio company called Meridian has just announced a new technology that will provide "master quality authenticated" capture to make sure listeners hear exactly how the music was recorded and mixed.

What speaker would be best for home theater and music?

Episode 1140

Charlie from Los Angeles, CA
Sonos Play:5

Charlie would like to get a sound bar for his home theater since he lives in an apartment complex, but he also wants to use it for music. Leo says that the Sonos System is ideal for this, but it's not cheap. It can connect to his TV and he can also use it for music. It's very flexible to tie in his iPhone or iPad as well. It's equivalent to the Bose, which could cost a bit more. Leo loves them, and he has several in the house. And what's really cool is that he could connect it to his stereo and it becomes another Sonos outlet.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1137

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins to talk about high resolution music. He likes to go to AIX Records because they record original music with mainstream musicians. He's also up north for a few days and enjoyed the Monterey Symphony Orchestra live. Scott says that going live is like a gourmet meal while MP3s are like fast food. Listening to a symphony is unamplified. And the emotional reaction you get from it is amazing. Amplified can have a similar reaction, if it's mixed right. But all too often, it's too loud.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1135

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson saw Interstellar and says that Christopher Nolan used a wide variety of aspect ratios to maximize the impact of moments in the film. From wide screen for intimate moments to tall for outer space moments. It's available in six different formats from IMAX film to 4K digital. Scott says that Nolan is definitely a filmophile. He doesn't like immersive audio, so he didn't mix in Dolby Atmos. And he doesn't like 3D. It's a pure movie experience.

Why do I get buzzing in my home theater speakers?

Episode 1133

Matt from Savannah, GA
Speakers

Matt has a set of speakers plugged into his TV and he gets some loud buzzing noises. If he unplugs them, the buzzing goes away. Leo says that's called a "ground loop," and it could be a loose wire that's causing it. An optical connection would solve it, but he'd need a receiver and speakers that support it. Leo says that it's likely an issue in his wall and only an electrician can fix that. But it sounds like the electrical wire isn't grounded.

How should I position my speakers?

Episode 1133

Linella from Los Angeles, CA
Bookshelf speaker

Linella has several bookshelf speakers that have round holes in the front or back. What are they for? How close can she have them to the wall or furniture, or even each other? Leo says that a lot of speakers have a bass port vent. Scott says they are intended to change the bass characteristics to make them smoother. If the hole is in the back, she won't want them against the wall. She'll want them at least 6 inches away to give the sound room to resonate. If it's in the front, then she can put it up against the wall no problem. So it really just depends.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1133

Scott Wilkinson

Scott had the inventor of Auro3D Immersive Audio, Otto Von Balen, on Home Theater Geeks this week and immersive audio is becoming a huge trend thanks to Dolby Atmos' success last year. Auro puts additional speakers higher on the wall so that the audio doesn't get lost bouncing off the wall. Scott says that what's needed is a standard that all immersive systems can operate under, and SMPTE is working hard to adopt one.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1129

Scott Wilkinson

Scott was at the SMPTE Tech Conference this week and saw the new high dynamic range video displays. HDR video is the latest hot thing, and it creates some incredible high dynamic range of the image. Leo says our brains do HDR really well, but it's a challenge in video. Scott says that high dynamic range cameras are going to be needed and the latest generations of digital cinema cameras have over 14 stops of dynamic range. So they can do it. It requires 12 bit color, but the current video systems are only 8 bit.