home theater

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.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1269

Scott Wilkinson

Scott has discovered that DirecTV will be broadcasting the Masters Golf Tournament in 4K on April 7-10th. It will be their first UHD broadcast. Leo wonders how much that signal will be compressed. Scott contacted DirecTV and found that they will be using AGVC as the codec. But he also found out that DirecTV won't say what the bitrate is. Leo says it's like Netflix doing the same thing, and it ends up being awfully compressed and leaves people with an inaccurate and negative impression of what 4K really is. Scott also says that high dynamic range will be missing as well.

How can I connect my home theater wirelessly?

Episode 1267

Greg from San Jose, CA
DVDO Air3C

Greg has a new HDTV and he doesn't want wires. How can he go wireless with his home theater unit? Scott says that a company called DVDO makes a wireless HDMI system called Air3C. It's around $200 for a transmitter and receiver, which uses the 60 GHz band. That means the transmitter and receiver must be more or less in line of sight with each other and can't be used to transmit from one room to another.