home theater

Who makes the best affordable 4K Projector?

Abraham from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1242

Abraham is looking for an affordable 4K Projector. His budget is $3,000 to $4,000. Leo says that Sony makes several 4K projectors in that price range, but Epson is Leo's favorite. Their Cinema line is the best out there. But he should remember that 4K is more expensive because of the higher resolution. Look at native resolution, not enhanced. Leo says there's very little 4K content and what is out there is usually streamed online and is heavily compressed. It's not quite time yet for 4K and he would advise going 1080p for now.

Can I still get a Black Friday deal on a TV?

Abby from Burbank, CA

Episode 1242

Abby's TV is starting to die and they want to buy a new 50" LCD TV. Sadly, they missed Black Friday. Leo says the good news is that Samsung's Black Friday deal runs until the end of the month, so she's not out of luck yet. And they're selling them for half price. Should they buy a 4K TV? Leo says he isn't really sure it's time for it yet, as there's still no content for it. She could stream Netflix with it at 4K, but it's going to kill her bandwidth. Also, she'd have to get a 4K Blu-ray player, but there won't be many available until next year.

How can I stream audio through my TV?

Episode 1242

Mike from Fontana, CA
Chromecast Audio

Mike wants to expand the range of his television by streaming via the internet. Leo says that since Mike wants to play internet radio through his home theater system, the Chromecast Audio would be the best option. He can then browse to the internet radio station (if supported) and then connect to it. Roku has a lot more stations available, but if he has to get a website up to stream with it, then Chromecast is the simplest way to go. If he wants to connect the computer to it, then using Miracast would work.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1237

Scott took a call from a guy next week about headphones with surround sound. Subsequently, he's heard about Sony's MDR-DS7500. They're wireless headphones that you can hear surround sound with. Not cheap at $300, but an option. Also, Scott heard that Sennheiser is bringing back the Orpheus headphones, which are $55,000! WHAT?! They're electrostatic and have transistors built into the cans themselves. Sure, they're probably the best headphones in the world, but for that cost, give me a break. Can you really hear the difference, objectively?

Why does Netflix play audio so low?

Robbie from California

Episode 1235

Robbie has been having issue with the Netflix app in his Phillips TV. The audio is really low. Scott says that's not uncommon for TVs -- they're not very smart. He recommends connecting the Roku separately and running Netflix through that. If it does the same thing, then he may need to go into the audio settings and see if there's a limiter or something that's enabled.

Are there good surround sound headphones?

Dave from Riverside, CA

Episode 1235

Dave lives in an apartment complex and has a surround sound home theater system, but sadly he can't use it because of his neighbors complaining. Are there surround sound headphones? Scott says there's a few ways to go about that. He could simulate it with a DTS Headphone X algorithm, but it has to be included in the AV receiver. Dolby has Dolby Headphone, which is another AV option. Mozaex makes a set of headphones that are surround, but they're not cheap. The Smith Realizer is the Rolls Royce of surround sound simulation which he would plug his headphones into. But it's about $3,000!

What's a good midrange TV?

Episode 1235

Bill from Yucca Valley, CA
VIZIO M55-C2 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Bill is looking to buy a midrange TV around Black Friday. He's thinking about Hitachi's 1080p 55 inch TV. Scott says that Hitachi got out of the TV business awhile ago, so chances are it will be an old model, and Scott would be hesitant about that.

Scott says that for a high quality, low cost TV, he recommends Vizio -- especially from the M-Series and up. The M Series is terrific if he can stretch his budget a tad beyond $400.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1233

Scott Wilkinson

There's a scandal brewing over at Amazon, where the online retailer has pulled all listings to sell Apple TV or Google's Chromecast because there's no app to support Amazon streaming. They also won't allow third parties to sell them. That's scandalous, but Leo says that while it's rather bad form, a store has the right to carry what it wants to sell, so there's really not much to do about it. Scott also says it shows just how serious they are about streaming TV.