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.
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.
Paul created a "man cave" with a great home theater system, but now he's getting a 60" Samsung UHD TV for the family room. He wants to get a good, budget sound bar. Leo says that one of the best out there is from Vizio.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ron is looking for a wireless soundbar with rear speakers. Is Bose good? Scott says that he's not a fan of Bose, except for their noise cancelling headphones. Samsung just came out with a good soundbar with wireless rear speakers with Atmos, though, and that's what he'd get.