home theater

Whats' a good wireless home theater system?

Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ

Episode 1414

Jonathan wants to have a link a bluetooth speaker with his TV. Leo says the problem you're going to run into is latency, as the sound goes out of sync. BOSE uses RF and it works quite well. But it's not cheap. The Bose Soundlink model could be pretty good, but Leo says you have to be sure it's designed for AV, and he doesn't think they are. It's music only. Leo says that it would be better to get a soundbar with surround speakers. That would be a better option. Sonos is another option, but it's also a but pricey.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1412

Scott Wilkinson

Is it worth waiting for a Dolby Vision TV? Scott says that some support HDR10 and some are starting to support Dolby Vision. HDR10 is open source, while Dolby Vision is licensed. But Dolby is much better in its high dynamic range because it uses more data. How do you get it? Scott says that only one external streaming device supports Dolby Vision at the moment and that's the Chromecast Ultra. The LG B6 OLED is also Dolby Vision capable.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1408

Scott Wilkinson

This week was the Flat Panel Shoot Out for HDTVs, and Scott has the results. This year, the shootout took place in association with CE week and featured mostly flagship TVs in a head to head evaluation. All TVs were professionally calibrated and fed the same TV feed. Then professional colorists made the determination of what TVs were best. There was also a Sony 30" OLED Broadcast video monitor which was used as the standard to compare to.

How can I connect multiple devices to my sound bar?

Episode 1406

Matt from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
4x1 HDMI Switcher

Matt has a newer sound bar, and he wants to connect multiple devices to it. Leo says that the best option here is to connect it to an AV receiver, but because his sound bar is powered, it was fighting with it. He also doesn't have an optical port on his TV, so he needs to have a way to connect that to the sound bar also.

Scott Wilkinson says that he'll need to be looking for an HDMI switch as his solution. Matt should check MonoPrice.com or Amazon Basics.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1406

Scott Wilkinson

Scott went to see Dunkirk in both 70mm IMAX and Dolby Cinema. He preferred 70mm though. Not a lot of deep blacks, but ultimately IMAX is best because that's how director Christopher Nolan shot it. And he shot it on the same beach in Dunkirk, Belgium with original aircraft and boats. The important point is that all the shots are framed within IMAX's square aspect ratio of 8x6. It makes it very immersive. Leo says it's a great movie, beautifully done. Scott agrees. And quite historic in its depiction.

What's the best sound bar?

Episode 1402

Vin from Corona, CA
Vizio Smart Cast Sound Bar

Vin wants to know if Bose makes a good sound bar for home theater. Leo says the benefit of Bose is that it has a wireless subwoofer. It sounds great, but he'll pay for it. It will also have to simulate surround sound, which will never be as good as a real home theater system. If he has a space challenge, a sound bar is a good alternative.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1402

Scott Wilkinson

Yesterday was "cut the cord day." Started by TV maker TCL, it's the day to commemorate canceling your cable or satellite subscription in favor of streaming video online. But Scott says that while cord cutting is extremely popular, the options we're getting is really just another spin on the cable model. He hopes that someday we'll get true ala carte programming where you just pay for what you want. But currently, Sling, YouTube, Hulu, and DirecTV Now are all just "cable lite." And in many ways, you end up paying more or the same amount by cord cutting. That may be the whole idea.

How can I hear dialog better on my TV?

Episode 1400

Karen from Smith Center, KS
Vizio 2017 36" 2.1 Soundbar

Karen wants to know how to make her TV sound better, especially for vocals, which are hard to hear. Leo says that vocals are mixed to be part of the center channel and if she don't have a home theater system, it can be a common problem. Leo recommends getting a sound bar. Vizio makes a good affordable one. She should also get one with a subwoofer. Then she'll have the ability to hear the center channel better and can even turn up the center channel alone to help with dialog.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1400

Scott Wilkinson

Leo and Scott talk about cleaning out and organizing the "techno spaghetti factory" that is wiring coming from all home theater stuff. There was also a lot of dust built up and Scott says it's a good idea to clean out that cruft at least once a year and use IEC standard power cables to keep everything consistent. Leo likes banana plugs, and Scott agrees, but many people don't like them because they tend to be easier to disconnect. They make it easy to swap out other tech, though.