home theater

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1289

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk 4K TV. Leo's getting ready to buy a new OLED TV and Scott recommends going with LG. It has high dynamic range but also supports both standards Ultra HD Premium and HDR 10. Then you can stream no matter what standard services like Vudu support. The G6 is great, but the B6 is more affordable and if you don't need the included sound bar that the G6 has, the B6 is a better bargain.

Can I test the signal strength of an HDMI connection?

Episode 1286

Jay from Providence, NC
Monoprice HDMI signal tester

Jay wants to test his HDMI signal strength because he can't use his Mac with his TV. Monoprice has an HDMI tester. Leo thinks it's more likely a cable compatibility issue, though. He'll need to have the most recent HDMI spec and if his Mac is too old, that could be the issue. Apple doesn't want to really support copy protection issues.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1283

So the Jungle Book came out and Leo says it's fantastic. But they made the deliberate choice to make a combination live action for the human actors, and then CGI for the rest of the animals in the Jungle. The reason is something called "the uncanny valley," which states that as humans, we are so fine tuned to how a human being should look and if it's the slightest bit off, we instantly see how fake it is. We don't get that with animals or other animated characters. So in the Jungle Book, it completely works.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1277

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is for the hard of hearing. It's called the Turtle Beach HyperSound Clear Audio System. It provides high directional sound that will beam clear sound to a "sweet spot" for people to be able to hear it. It's not cheap at about $1700, but what's interesting is that everyone else can hear the stereo at normal volume. It's a bit pricey, but when you consider the cost of hearing aids, it suddenly looks more affordable.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1275

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about the new Dolby Atmos Soundbar. The idea of superior sound is to get a greater sense of immersion and Atmos adds to the effect of surround sound. It puts the sound above you so that it comes at you from every direction. Atmos does this by bouncing the audio off the ceiling. Then, using DSP, it can create a simulated surround sound effect. Leo wonders if it would be better to have two really good stereo speakers, rather than 7 surround sound speakers that may not be as good. Scott says that is a good argument. But the center channel is where the voice should be.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1273

Scott Wilkinson

Scott has big news that Vizio has changed the name of the game in big screen TVs. On Tuesday, Vizio announced the P-Series, which has much of the R-Series features for 1/3 of the price. It comes with HDR with Dolby Vision, and it will get a firmware update in 90 days that will give users HDR10 as well. This is huge because it should drastically drop the price of HDR 4K TVs fairly quickly.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1271

Scott Wilkinson

Leo hears that there's a new Atmos Sound Bar. Is it worth it? Scott says that the new UltraHD Premium Spec supports Atmos in the home and it should sound great. And more UHD Blu-ray titles are coming out. Sony is one of four studios that have released UHD Blu-rays as well as Fox, Universal and Lionsgate. So we're coming up to the transition of a new format in home entertainment. Scott even believes that the move to UHD will be faster than when we transitioned from DVD to Blu-ray. And it won't be that much more on the onset.

Which is the best UHDTV for high dynamic range?

Gary from Los Ange

Episode 1269

Gary wonders if the new LG G6 series can enjoy HDR through Samsung's new Blu-ray player. It has to have HDMI 2.0a. But with DOlby Vision it only needs HDMI 2.0. Scott says that is correct. But what about the Vizio Reference series? It doesn't have HDMI 2.0a. Leo says that's because it's last year's model. So it can only receive Dolby Vision HDR, not HDR 10, which is what the Samsung Blu-ray player does. So Scott says to get the LG G6 TV. It does both. Will Vizio upgrade it with firmware? Scott says not likely. It's a hardware difference.

Which HDTV should I buy for good sound?

Episode 1269

Paul from Tarzana, CA
Vizio M Series 43" 4K UHD TV

Paul can't decide between the Vizio and Samsung 32" HDTVs. Leo says he owns both and he thinks that Vizio has the better 'smart' software, and Scott agrees. As for audio quality, Scott says it's not that good on either TV. Leo agrees and says that none of the TV manufacturers put much thought into the speakers since they expect users to already have home theater systems.