Scott joins Leo today to talk home theater, especially in calibrating it for great sound. Leo's friend Pete has a question about sound when you're older. He's noticed that TV dialogue is muddled. He bought a Pioneer soundbar by Andrew Jones to compensate. Leo thinks you can boost the center channel because that's where the dialogue comes from, and Scott agrees. Also, in the receiver, you can boost the center channel.
Scott is back with questions about how 4K will affect 3D and what glasses would be best. Sony uses both, but Samsung and LG both use passive technology. Vizio went with the passive glasses in 2013, but this year they dumped 3D altogether. Scott says he likes passive glasses because they're lighter and the TVs are more affordable. Passive is brighter, but even then it only lets in 50% of the light. Active glasses lets in only 30% of the light, and you have to recharge them or change the batteries. Scott also says the one good thing is that 4K offers 1080p in each eye for 3D.
Mark just bought a Vizio SmartTV and he wants to get an inexpensive home theater system to go with it. Leo says the best thing to do is buy an A/V receiver that can drive up to 5 speakers plus a sub woofer. A lot of people opt for the Sound Bar option because they don't have to deal with wires. He should get one with a subwoofer to go with it.
Matt just bought a new Samsung Plasma 3D TV with surround sound. The TV isn't working with the surround sound, though. Leo says Matt has to have the ARC Audio return channel. It'll be designated on the side of the TV, and it may not be on HDMI input 1. It probably is input 2. He doesn't really need a special cable, he just needs to enable it. He should look for ARC on the TV itself. Another way is to connect the speakers with optical cables.
Scott wants to talk about all the technology at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and that one of the snowflakes that transforms into the Olympic rings failed to open. Rumor has it that President Vladimir Putin tried to pressure NBC to photoshop it in to save face. Scott also says that the coolest thing about the ceremonies was the video projection on the floor which used 120 projectors suspended in the ceiling that were totally "edge-blended" to be one huge seamless image.
Scott got to spend time back stage at the Grammy's yesterday. He said that what's cool about the Grammy's is the live performances. He's heard that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last two surviving Beatles, may perform together. They also broadcast in 5.1 Dolby, so that's cool.
Question: Eric has a small theater room 10'x9'. He'd like to use a projector. What should he get and what screen size?
Scott has a computer running Windows XP. It's his calibration computer and he doesn't put it online. Leo says that there isn't anything wrong with that as long as it's not used online. This week's question is: What is the best HDTV Calibration utility to buy? Scott says he really likes Disney's World of Wonder (WOW) Disc. It's hosted by Goofy and they walk you through the process of calibrating your TV in a fun, Disney way. Scott says that it has an excellent walk-through with some great demo content.
Max bought a Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV. Leo says those TVs are great. Max paid the Geek squad to come out and calibrate it. Leo says Max was probably lucky, as it's unlikely the Geek squad is professionally trained for monitor calibration. It's best to get it out of dynamic mode. "Movie mode" is best, then he should play with the contrast and color until it's to his liking.
Dave wants to upgrade his projector for movies. Leo recommends the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030. Quality is great, and there's several HDMI connections. He'll want to make sure it has sufficient "throw," and he should be mindful of the cost of replacement lamps. Epson says it should last about 6,000 hours. They aren't cheap when they do need to be replaced, though.