Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1113

Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back lossless compression like ELAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if true. Scott says it's also not hard to upsample the clips by using a spectrum analyzer.

Should I jailbreak my Apple TV?

Episode 1110

Sonny from Torrance, CA
Apple TV Remote

Sonny has an unused 2nd generation Apple TV and he's thinking of selling it on eBay. He's seeing on eBay that they're selling for $200-300 dollars jailbroken. Leo says to take the money and run! Then he can buy a new one and pocket the change. Leo also points out that eBay values can be misleading. Just because people ask for an amount, doesn't mean they'll get it.

How long will DVD or Blu-ray discs last?

Episode 1109

George from Santa Monica, CA
DVD

George wants to know how long Blu-ray and DVD discs will last. Leo says that the promise of DVDs and CDs is that they would last forever. But that has ended up not being true since they scratch and become unreadable as the reflective surface corrodes. Burned DVDs, however, are different and fade over a shorter time because the dyes that are used to burn the data will fade.

Scott Wilkinson and the Value Challenge

Episode 1109

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about the annual Value Electronics Flat Panel Challenge. The challenge pits the top LCD, Plasma and other flat screen TVs one on one in a huge shoot out to determine what is the bottom line best HDTV on the market. They invite professional calibrators, consumers, bloggers and journalists to join them for two days of testing and for the first time, they'll be streaming the challenge live.

Why does my blu-ray player freeze up?

Sara from Santa Monica, CA

Episode 1107

Sara's Blu-ray player freezes up about an hour in and won't go forward. Leo says that Blu-ray players are essentially computers and it could easily be that the laser is dirty or damaged. And blu-ray players are cheap, so just buy another one. But if it's part of your Sony PS3, then it would be worth getting it cleaned. But a stand alone Blu-ray player? Just replace it. The chatroom also says that a firmware update could be necessary.

Why won't my monitors work when I turn on my printer?

Episode 1105

Fred from Redding, PA
APC BE550G Back-UPS ES 8 Outlet 550VA 120V

Fred has a monitor that suddenly went out. So he replaced it with a TV and now it's gone out as well. Leo says that the original monitor may not be bad, it could be the cable. It could be a bad cable or the refresh rate settings in his computer may be incorrect. But since it happened when he turned on his printer, his power connections could be to blame and putting in an AV power supply could be helpful. They have surge suppression that will filter the power and keep it consistent.

Scott Wilkinson and the UHD Color Gamut

Episode 1105

This week on Home Theater Geeks, Scott had Joe Kane as his guest to talk about hi definition color space in television. Leo says that it's a good show to watch because the next generation TVs will not only have higher resolution and frame rates, but also color space that goes beyond the limits of the human eye. Scott says that current TVs don't reproduce red very well. It tends to look more orange. But the new Ultra HD TVs will. Sadly, the content will have to catch up and expand their range of colors to take advantage of that color gamut.