Scott keeps getting questions about when to buy a new Ultra High Definition TV, and he says it's all in the timing. Unless you're an early adopter that has money to burn on a new TV every year or two, the timing just isn't right to get a 4K TV. Sure, prices have dropped, but there isn't a standard that is wide spread just yet. Plus, with four times the resolution, you either have to get a screen that is over 70" or you have to sit up to half as close. Otherwise, you lose the benefit of the additional resolution and you may as well own an HDTV.
Doug wants to know if he can use an HDMI splitter to divide his Slingbox with his Roku Box and control both. Leo says no because he won't be able to control them. Older Slingboxes have up to five HDMI ports in the back (the Slingbox 500 only has one), so if he has an older Slingbox, he could daisy chain them and control them. But Doug should remember that only one person can control it.
Scott really wants to see Inside Out because it's being shown in high dynamic range laser projection. But he's busy getting ready for CE Week, the midterm CES conference in New York. While there, he's also going to attend the Value Electronics TV Panel shootout between the best TVs from each of the manufacturers. Joe Kane is also doing a presentation on High Dynamic Range TV, which Scott says looks stunning, and that Samsung will be first out of the gate to offer an HDR TV.
Jerry is upset that Microsoft has discontinued Windows Media Center. Leo says that's because Microsoft wants to drive users to the XBox One, where they will be offering options similar to Windows Media Center.
Leo says the HDHomeRun PRIME is a cable top box that uses a cable card to do many of the same functions as Windows Media Center for $150. He'll be able to take his cable card out of his computer and into the HDHomeRun PRIME.
Scott says that Andrew Jones has some new, budget speakers that perform way above their price range. WAY above, as Scott puts it. But he also hears that Jones has left Pioneer and got to ELAC, a German turntable and speaker company. ELAC wants to get back into the US market so Jones has designed some even better speakers than he ever has at Pioneer. The new speakers are called the Elac Debut line and Scott says that the B5's and B6s are really nice. There's also floor speakers (F5) and Center (C5s).
Scott joins us to talk about streaming in 4K and how it isn't really 4K quality. You would need a 4K TV, but it barely reaches Blu-ray quality. So you end up spending extra money for the same quality you have from your Blu-ray player. Samsung, though, has a new line of 4K TVs that offer high dynamic range (HDR) quality. The problem is, there are five different standards for 4K HDR, including a standard by SMPTE and 4 proprietary standards like Dolby Vision. So Scott says it's still not time to buy 4K. But soon you won't have much of a choice.
This week on HTG, Scott is having on Jim Hellman, an expert in high dynamic range cinema and how it's really making the movie image pop and will be a main focus in the standards of 4K and ultra high definition.
Scott says that HDR will change the way we see movies. But Leo believes that it could be much ado about nothing since people are generally happy with their HDTVs. Scott says that HDR has the promise to drive people back to the theaters, rather than wait to watch movies on their home theater system.
Scott is going to see Disney's Tomorrowland this week and he gets to see it in Dolby Cinema, Dolby's new Laser projection system. Scott says that Tomorrowland is the first movie to be featured with Dolby's new High Dynamic Range format. Scott says that HDR may just get more people to go back to the movies, rather than just rely on their HD Home theater systems to watch a movie.
Scott spend the week watching Avengers: Age of Ultron in various versions, including 3D and laser projected. He's coming around to Leo's point of view that 3D just isn't that great a format. Laser projection, by contrast, gives you a brighter image, and when it's Laser 3D, it works quite well unless you wear prescription glasses, where the polished inner surface bounces light around and the reflection is quite distracting. So he's quickly starting to see Leo's point. Leo likes the idea of immersion, and the more realistic a movie the better.
Brian has a home theater setup with a home theater PC and he's worried that Windows has abandoned the Home Theater PC concept, including Windows Media Center. Leo says that it has been a long time coming since Microsoft has killed Windows home server in favor of Windows 8. Now killing Windows Media Center is just part of that. Microsoft doesn't want to be in the media center business, they want customers to get an XBox One.