Home Theater

How can I cast video from my computer to my TV?

Episode 1346

Nick from Thousand Oaks, CA
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Nick has a Samsung TV and he wants to cast videos from his computer or tablet. Leo says that most TVs support DNLA, which would enable him to stream to the TV. Samsung calls it "Samsung Link" or "All Share." He should Google the TV model and "DLNA" or "Miracast" and he will find out how he can do it. It may also be called "screen mirroring."

Most Windows devices and tablets will support DLNA. The Samsung Galaxy Note would be a good tablet choice, as are the Galaxy Tabs. Leo likes the Galaxy Tab S2. Any Bluetooth keyboard will work also, and the TV will support it.

Why won't my TV remote work anymore?

Episode 1346

Hutch from Irvine, CA
Peel Remote

Hutch has a really old TV and he's hooked up an antenna to it with a digital tuner. He's tried connecting his phone to it with the Peel remote system because it has a remote app, but now all he gets is snow. Leo says that it worked once and it sounds like it's forgotten what the remote code is. It could have changed the source or that it sent a code that won't allow him to access TV channels. Leo says the problem is in the setup.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1343

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the Vizio M Series 50" Ultra HDR TV with Dolby Vision. Somes with SmartCast, which is Google Chromecast built in. Also comes with a 6" Android tablet as it's ultimate remote and Chromecast interface. Four HDMI ports to connect Cable/Satellite boxes, Bluray/DVD players, Gaming Consoles and Computers. You can even use the virtual keyboard on the tablet to name the inputs. Be aware though this is what VIZIO calls a Tuner-Free Display. Since most households today stream or watch live TV from cable and satellite boxes which don't require a tuner, you probably won't care.

Why is the volume level of dialog so inconsistent on Blu-ray discs?

Joe from Ventura, CA

Episode 1341

Joe wants to know why the volume of dialog audio tracks so inconsistent whenever he plays Blu-rays. It's very annoying. Leo says that the TV speakers don't understand the channel information in order to route the audio properly. Dialog is mixed to come out of a center channel, so it doesn't get reproduced as intended. The TV may have a setting that can address this, but having a home theater system is a better way to go.

Should I buy a Sony 4K TV?

Episode 1341

Chad from Long Beach, CA
LG B6 OLED

Chad is looking to get the XBox Scorpio next year to upgrade his game console but he wants to upgrade his TV first. Leo says that this will trigger the upgrade cascade with all of his other devices. Sony's 4K TV is very nice, and Scott Wilkinson says nice things about it. It misses the UHD Premium spec, however. Leo says it may be HDR 10, but Leo says he'll want a TV that supports the whole spec, not just one or the other. Sony always goes their own way with proprietary technology. That's a legitimate concern.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1341

Scott says we've been seeing Black Friday ads all month and Cyber Monday is now all month long. This is a good way to score a store brand TV for a bedroom or guest room. Scott advises sticking with deals you can get on name brands, just look down a few model tiers. Scott is also not seeing that many deals on 4K TVs this time around. 4K doesn't matter in terms of the detail you can on a TV at smaller screen sizes, but 4K also will minimize artifacts. Moving forward, 4K is the way to go, and more content is out now to make it worth it.

Can I buy an HD antenna for watching local channels?

Jim from Florida

Episode 1342

Jim remembers a call a few weeks ago about cord cutting and local channels. Could he buy an HD antenna for that? Leo says maybe, but only if he's in an area with line of sight to a TV transmitter in his area. The more rural you are, the more difficult that is.

Jim should check out TVFool.com or AntennaWeb.org to see not only what channels he can get in his area, but what antennas will work best.