Donald has several TVs, and when he watches streaming content, he has to turn up the volume all the way. Scott says that different methods have different audio levels and there's really not much he can do about that.
Dan got a new cable box with Spectrum, but after a week he started to get an HDMI error because his connection has been "compromised." Scott says that the first thing to try is to power cycle the cable box. That will reload all the standard default settings. It could also be a faulty cable. So replacing the HDMI cable could solve the issue. Scott also says that being an older TV, the connection could be choking. Or maybe the HDMI connector could be failing.
Richard would like to only have one remote control. He has a Harmony 1000, and it almost does the job, but it doesn't have a TV guide that can pop up. Is there a remote that can do that? Or can he use a tablet like an iPad? Scott says he'd have to have something in between that could take the Wi-Fi signal of his iPad and then transfer it into an IR signal.
Adam has an A/V receiver, but it doesn't have HDMI. Can he still use it? Scott says not really, at least not for video. HDMI is the standard connection now in HDTVs, and if it doesn't have it, then he'll need a newer A/V receiver to handle the connection. If it had component, he may be able to get away with it, but it's not likely, and it still wouldn't be digital.
This week during the gaming conference E3, Microsoft announced the most powerful gaming console ever made. It's called the Xbox One X, and it's smaller, heavier, liquid cooled and more powerful than any other console on the market. It also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player with HDR support built-in. Scott says that the HDR capability of the player is really more important than the resolution simply because most people won't really see the difference unless they have a screen that's 70" or larger. But HDR is really noticeable, even on sets under that size.
Scott Wilkinson fills in for Leo this week. So get your home theater questions ready to go!
Dan's mother is having trouble hearing the audio on her TV, and he wants to get her a sound bar. What's a good, yet affordable option? Leo says that the Vizio Smartcast SB3851 is one of the best sound bars according to the WireCutter. It's $250 and it comes with a subwoofer. It's a great deal. They also recommend the Yamaha YAS-106 Sound Bar with dual built-in subwoofers.
Scott says it's getting harder for elderly viewers to enjoy the home theater TV experience. There's a problem with poor sound mixing on TV sets that makes the dialog difficult to hear. And the speakers on today's TVs are terrible. That's why Scott recommends a sound bar or sound base that goes in front of the TV. The Sound Base will allow you to put the TV on top of it and it won't block the TV's remote. ZVox has a sound base that has a feature called "AccuVoice," which makes it easier for older viewers to hear the dialog.
Paul would like to know what's a good TV with on board sound. Scott says there aren't many, but Sony's OLED XBR-A1E is the best. It uses the screen itself as the speaker and it sounds surprisingly good. But at 55", 65", or 75", it's not cheap. Absent that, Paul should plan on buying a good sound bar or home theater system because most TVs have terrible on board sound.