Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1289

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk 4K TV. Leo's getting ready to buy a new OLED TV and Scott recommends going with LG. It has high dynamic range but also supports both standards Ultra HD Premium and HDR 10. Then you can stream no matter what standard services like Vudu support. The G6 is great, but the B6 is more affordable and if you don't need the included sound bar that the G6 has, the B6 is a better bargain.

Why can't my smart TV connect to the internet?

Greg from Kansas

Episode 1288

Greg is in a rural area and he has a Panasonic Viera LCD. He got a new Asus router, but it won't work with it. Leo says he doesn't like smart TVs because they're dumber than a box of rocks. It's obvious that it can't connect. He could try running an ethernet cable to it. That's how Leo connects his Viera. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for the TV to realize it's online, so let it sit for awhile. If he can get onto any channel, then he can eliminate a hardware issue.

Can I test the signal strength of an HDMI connection?

Episode 1286

Jay from Providence, NC
Monoprice HDMI signal tester

Jay wants to test his HDMI signal strength because he can't use his Mac with his TV. Monoprice has an HDMI tester. Leo thinks it's more likely a cable compatibility issue, though. He'll need to have the most recent HDMI spec and if his Mac is too old, that could be the issue. Apple doesn't want to really support copy protection issues.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1283

So the Jungle Book came out and Leo says it's fantastic. But they made the deliberate choice to make a combination live action for the human actors, and then CGI for the rest of the animals in the Jungle. The reason is something called "the uncanny valley," which states that as humans, we are so fine tuned to how a human being should look and if it's the slightest bit off, we instantly see how fake it is. We don't get that with animals or other animated characters. So in the Jungle Book, it completely works.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1281

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is back from NAB and he went early to attend the "Future of Cinema" conference. He saw a film by Ang Lee that was shot in native 3D on a pair of Sony F65 Cinema Cameras at 120fps. 5 times more than standard 24p. Scott says that for showcasing the film in conventional theaters at 120 fps, they will have to project it in 2K. Some say it looks like video, not a movie. But Scott says that's because we're so used to the way it's looked for the last 100 years. Now that we have better technology, we should keep moving forward. And theaters can always down shift the frame rate.

What's a good projector for outdoor movies?

John from Menifee, CA

Episode 1279

John is looking to get a projector for home theater that he can use outdoors and he's been looking at the specs, like Lumens. Leo says that specs can sometimes be used against him because of how a company measures those specs. Lumens are a perfect example. Many measure based on the color white, but others measure across the entire spectrum. But he'll also want to measure "throw," or how far it will send out the image and stay in focus. He should also consider sound. There's also the choice of DILA, LED via mirrors. There's very good projectors in all areas. Leo likes Epson.

How can I create a media server network?

Seth from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1279

Seth wants to set up a home media server for a friend. He has an array of hard drives that connect via Thunderbolt and wants to share those with everyone else in the house. Can he do that or does he have to migrate to a separate NAS? Leo says that a Home Media Server is a kind of NAS that can be an older computer or even a hard drive that runs Apple Media Player or even Windows Media Player. In fact, many routers can do this as well. Apple's Airport can do this. But the best idea is just to get a Network Attached Storage and run the home media server software that comes with it.

Why can't I use my new Apple TV?

Episode 1279

Otto from Oceanside, CA
Apple TV

Otto bought a 4th generation Apple TV, but when he launched Hulu, he doesn't get to watch the content because it blacks out. This also happens on HBO and Netflix. When he plugs in the older Apple TV, it works just fine. Leo says it could be an issue with the HDMI cable or even the port not supporting the new Apple TV. Leo also says it may be a copy protection issue through HDCP with his TV and the premium copy protected content. The TV may be misinterpreting the signal as well since Otto is using multiple HDMI inputs.