Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson ... Installed part II

Episode 1117

Scott is calling in from the CEDIA show, which is a custom design and installation show for home theater. He's been able to hear Dolby Atmos at home, which uses speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create a simulated 3D sound and he says it's pretty amazing. And the good news is that you don't have to upgrade your blu-ray player at all, you can just choose the Atmos sound track. But you will have to upgrade your AV receiver, which will set you back about $1000. But you can keep your speakers and just invest in the up-firing modules. So it's a half upgrade of your system.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1115

This week, Scott will be attending the CDIA show. That stands for Custom Designers and Installers Assoc. It's where Scott usually sees what's on the horizon for home theater projection. And what's he's really excited about is that he'll get to see a ton manufacturers put out systems with Dolby Atmos for the home. Scott says he's found it to be very effective in the theaters and he's looking forward to it being in the home. There's also another system competing with Atmos called ORO.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1113

Scott Wilkinson

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 the lossless compression like FLAC? 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 it's true.

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.