Scott says that we've reached the point in streaming online that the convenience of it far outweighs the quality of the image, which is improving over time. The quality looks as good as a DVD, but not as good as a Blu-ray. Leo says that for most people, that's good enough to "cut the cable." That's why video rental stores are closing by the droves. Sure, you can rent recent movies on RedBox, but older films live on streaming. What's really causing streaming to lag is the speed at which the video is delivered. The US is 25th in the world in high speed internet access.
Paul would like to connect his old laptop to his HDTV, but he doesn't have a VGA input on his TV. Paul only has a VGA output on his laptop, though. Leo says ideally, he'd want to use HDMI. Many modern laptops can use DLNA or Wi-Fi Direct that plays video over the air. Apple calls their version of this "Airplay". Paul's laptop probably doesn't support it, though.
Scott is back from the Rennaisance Faire, where he enjoyed turkey legs, drank a flaggon of ale, and played his sackbutt horn. What's going on in home theater?
Kapeil bought a Blu-Ray player not too long ago and video from it looks plastic, like a soap opera. Leo says that Kapeil's Panasonic LCD TV is set to a high frame rate (either 120 or 240Hz), but the Blu-ray streams it as 30fps. So the TV "interpolates" by adding frames, and upconverts the video. Kapeil needs to go into the program settings and disable interpolation. Panasonic calls this "Smooth Motion".
Penny just put her home theater Mac Mini into a cabinet to childproof it and now it's overheating. Leo says that needs better airflow. Raising it off the cabinet shelf is a good idea, or take it out and put it higher up so it can stay cooler.
David built a home theater PC and when he boots up, his sound card doesn't remember the settings to be able to watch TV. Leo says that's been a common problem and can be very frustrating. There has to be a way to save settings somewhere, but Windows isn't offering to do that. Leo has a hunch it's the source that should be saving it, and that would be the sound card driver. The chatroom says that the user access control (UAC) will prevent remembering.
Scott says that Amazon is planning on releasing a competitor to the AppleTV and Roku. Leo says that while Amazon is doing it to control streaming options, it won't do anything different, so what's the point?
Scott has a couple questions about home theater setups in basements.
Stanford wants to know how to connect wireless headphones to his HDTV. Scott says there's always a minijack that allows you to plug headphones in. But you'll likely need an adapter which lets you plug it in. It'll be analog, but it'll work great.
Max bought a Panasonic VT50 and the sound is terrible. Leo says that TV manufacturers put speakers on TVs almost as an afterthought since a home theater system is now the norm. They just put the speakers in to say the TV has sound.