Scott Wilkinson is in the house, having taken a trip up to Petaluma for today's show. Today's topic is laser projector TVs. With an extremely short throw and stunning colors, it's a great way to get a very large picture in your house, but it's very expensive. It could, in fact, replace regular TVs if it catches on and the price drops.
Charlie would like to pair his old Smart TV with the Amazon Alexa. How can he do that? Leo says the the Amazon Fire TV Cube may be a good option, it works with an IR blaster. But it won't turn the TV on, since the IR blaster loses connection. Leo recommends the Logitech Harmony Hub. It'll connect to his Echo, and then will work in between the Echo and his TV.
The 2018 Value Electronics Shoot out took place this week. There were two rounds of judging - the professional calibrator round, and then the enthusiast popular rounds. Then three awards are given. Scott says that the winner was the Sony XBR-65A9F OLED, which was crowned King of 2018 TVs, dethroning LG for the first time in nearly five years. Scott also said that OLED TVs, while a bit dimmer than LED TVs, placed first in every category over LED LCD TVs.
Scott says that at this year's CEDIA show, Amazon Alexa integration was everywhere, meaning that IOT (Internet of things) is becoming huge in home theater. Scott also said that LED video walls are making a move in home theater. Companies are making LEDs smaller, so that these LED video walls will become more natural to watch. The smaller ones with a tiny pixel distance (called pixel pitch) is called MicroLEDs. And its going to be huge in home theater video walls. The LED Wall screens are also going to be brighter, as high as 500 nits, but that can be dangerous for home viewing.
Scott Wilkinson just got back from the CEDIA show, and the theme this year was 8K in the home! But will we see 8K content with it? Scott says no, not for quite awhile. The 8K TVs that are coming out will be upscaling 4K to 8K. And in reality, the cost of an 8K TV is still in the 5-6 figure range for 8K projectors, and most are being sold for simulators. Sony is working on a technology that will make up to 4 4K projectors work in concert to project an 8K image. But it's still very expensive.
Ron has a sound bar and a surround sound A/V receiver. Both require optical connections, but his A/V receiver doesn't have HDMI for his Blu-ray player. He only has one. What can he do? Is there an optical switcher or splitter? Leo says it should work that way. He may be able to just rewire everything, but buying a new A/V receiver that supports HDMI is the best solution long term. So an optical splitter may be his best choice short term. He shouldn't go too cheap on it, though.
Scott is a certified home theater calibrator, having received his cert from THX, but ISF is also a good cert. He recently got a question about calibrating a BenQ projector for his home theater system. Where can he find one other than from Best Buy? Scott says that ISF has the contract to train Best Buy calibrators, but Scott wouldn't really worry about Best Buy. He would just get recommendations on who is the best in his area.
A few questions. Caller is having issues with his ARC in his home theater system. A SmarTV needs to be able to run audio from the TV to the home theater system without latency. That's where AV ARC (audio return) option comes in. But your home theater and TV has to support it. It is essentially sending the audio the other way along with HDMI system. It also needs CEC, consumer electronics control. You also need a high speed HDMI cable, and you have to be sure to plug it into the right HDMI port, which will be labeled HDMI ARC.
Scott had a chance to get a HiSense Dual Laser projector, but unfortunately, he has no room to set it up! Scott says that Moore's Law can apply to mirrors in a laser projector. They are incredibly tiny and are getting smaller all the time. The laser gets reflected and projected onto the screen with better resolution and color, which the mirrors flip back and forth in a phase called "Wobulation."
HiSense came to the Eastside studios today to install a short throw projection system that puts up to 100" screen from about a foot away. Scott says it uses lasers to draw the image on the screen, and it looks really impressive, even in ambient light. The projector also comes with a sound bar and sub woofer, and the audio quality is quite good. And it should be since it costs $10,000!