Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I manage my Netflix account to save data?

Chris from Toledo, OH

Episode 1137

Chris recently bought an LG 4K TV. He's been enjoying Netflix and he's noticed his data has shot through the roof. Leo says that's not surprising. And if the cost went up, it's likely because Chris used more data streaming. Leo says that Chris can change the settings in his Netflix account to avoid streaming at the maximum bandwidth, but it won't look as good on that 4K TV!

Scott Wilkinson ... Calibrated

Episode 1137

Scott joins to talk about HiResolution music. He likes to go to AIX Music because they record original music with mainstream musicians. He's also up north for a few days and enjoyed the Monterey Syphony Orchestra live. And he says that going live is like a gourmet meal while MP3s are like fast food. And listening to a symphony is unamplified. And the emotional reaction you get from it is amazing. Amplified can have a similar reaction, if it's mixed right. But all too often, it's too loud.

How can I stream concerts online to my TV?

Episode 1136

Jo from Riverside, CA
Roku Stick

Jo likes music and is interested in Umphrey's McGee. Leo says they're a fun group. Jo wants to watch streaming concerts on her television. Leo says that the Google Chromecast is the way to go. It's only $35. She'll use her laptop or smartphone to choose the content, and then it will hand off the content to the TV. Then she'll be watching on her TV, but controlling it with the phone.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1135

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson saw Interstellar and says that Christopher Nolan used a wide variety of aspect ratios to maximize the impact of moments in the film. From wide screen for intimate moments to tall for outer space moments. It's available in six different formats from IMAX film to 4K digital. Scott says that Nolan is definitely a filmophile. He doesn't like immersive audio, so he didn't mix in Dolby Atmos. And he doesn't like 3D. It's a pure movie experience.

How can I cut the cable with Xbox Media Center?

Episode 1134

Brian from Winterhaven, FL
HDHomeRun Prime

Brian has Verizon FIOS and he doesn't like the extra charges for every box. He's been thinking about cutting the cord. Leo says that there's a technology called MOCAA (Multimedia Over Coax Alliance), which allows all boxes on the same coax to get all of the data. TIVO and Media Extender support it, but it's not supported by Microsoft anymore, so there's no future there.

Why do I get buzzing in my home theater speakers?

Episode 1133

Matt from Savannah, GA

Matt has a set of speakers plugged into his TV and he gets some loud buzzing noises. If he unplugs them, the buzzing goes away. Leo says that's called a "ground loop," and it could be a loose wire that's causing it. An optical connection would solve it, but he'd need a receiver and speakers that support it. Leo says that it's likely an issue in his wall and only an electrician can fix that. But it sounds like the electrical wire isn't grounded.

How should I position my speakers?

Episode 1133

Linella from Los Angeles, CA
Bookshelf speaker

Linella has several bookshelf speakers that have round holes in the front or back. What are they for? How close can she have them to the wall or furniture, or even each other? Leo says that a lot of speakers have a bass port vent. Scott says they are intended to change the bass characteristics to make them smoother. If the hole is in the back, she won't want them against the wall. She'll want them at least 6 inches away to give the sound room to resonate. If it's in the front, then she can put it up against the wall no problem. So it really just depends.