soundbars

How could I get Google Assistant to turn on my sound bar?

Logitech Harmony Hub

Episode 1507

Noah from Grand Rapids, MI

Noah has bought a sound bar, but it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. Leo says if the sound bar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control from the Google Assistant. He could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. He should look to see if he can disable the eco, or power down mode.

What mesh router and TV should I buy?

Vizio P Series

Episode 1503

Doug from Albuquerque, NM

Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Vizio Sound Bar

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1446

Scott says that digital signal processing is at the heart of a soundbar, and they are great for small living rooms. Atmos is now making its way into soundbars and it's the least expensive way to significantly improve your sound, especially if your soundbar comes with a subwoofer. Leo says that there's a wide range of prices for soundbars, though, and Scott agrees. You get what you pay for. But there are some good budget brands out there including Vizio (of course) and Polk.

How can I hear dialog better on my TV?

Vizio 2017 36" 2.1 Soundbar

Episode 1400

Karen from Smith Center, KS

Karen wants to know how to make her TV sound better, especially for vocals, which are hard to hear. Leo says that vocals are mixed to be part of the center channel and if she don't have a home theater system, it can be a common problem. Leo recommends getting a sound bar. Vizio makes a good affordable one. She should also get one with a subwoofer. Then she'll have the ability to hear the center channel better and can even turn up the center channel alone to help with dialog.

Where can I get a soundbar with an audio jack?

Samsung HW-K360 2.1 Channel 130 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar (2016 Model)

Episode 1362

Lorne from Turlock, CA

Lorne uses headphones with his DirecTV set top box, but when he's streaming Netflix or Amazon content from his TV, he can't hear it through the headphones. Leo says he'll need to use the ARC (audio return channel) to the set top box. There should be a label on one of the TV's ports for that. That will send audio from the TV back into the set top box.

What TV should I buy on Black Friday?

Samsung UHD TV

Episode 1340

Rusty from San Diego, CA

Rusty is seeing ads for TVs on Black Friday and it's time to get him a new TV. Leo says that Black Friday deals are often house brands, cheaper models and sometimes last year's model that they're clearing out. If he is OK with that, then it comes down to how large a TV he needs. It comes down to how far away he will be sitting and how immersive he'll want it to be. If he wants to get 4K, then he'll have to look past the door busters. Moving forward, he'll want to get a TV that is UHD Premium. Samsung's SUHD TV predated UHD Premium, but it's pretty close to the standard.

How can I listen to TV while playing video games?

Xbox One

Episode 1333

Robert from Encinitas, CA

Robert wants to be able to listen to a TV broadcast while playing video games. Leo says that Robert will need to mix it. The Xbox should have separate audio output, though, and if the TIVO has an audio out, he can route that to a separate channel and then switch it from his AV receiver.

ScooterX in the chatroom found this at avsforum.com.