Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why won't my Amazon Fire TV work with my AV receiver?

Episode 1102

Joe from Austin, TX
Denon AV Receiver

Joe got an Amazon Fire TV, but when he plugs it into his Denon AV receiver it doesn't work. Leo says he likes the Denon AV receiver and can't imagine why it wouldn't work. Everything in the chain is "HDCP" complaint for copy protection. So it should work just fine.

Leo thinks it may be a bad port or bad cable. Make sure the settings from the Fire TV and the TV itself are matched. If one is 1080i and the other is 1080p, then the handshake could fail. Turn everything off and unplug it. Then plug each thing in one at a time, ending with the TV.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1101

Scott Wilkinson

Scott had a guest on Home Theater Geeks this week named Michael Fremer. He is a pure audiophile and enjoys it because of his "golden ears" (being able to pick up on subtle musical cues). He says that high resolution audio is a great development. Leo says that paying more for HiRes audio is a subjective thing. Most won't be able to really enjoy it like someone with golden ears, but if it sounds better to him, then it's worth it.

What's wrong with my Vizio TV?

Episode 1100

Don from Cranston, RI
Vizio E Series

Don bought a Vizio E Series TV, but some of the content doesn't look very good, even after calibrating it. Leo says the E Series is Vizio's "economy" model. He's watching TV over FiOS, and everything looks washed out and hazy. Don wonders if it's because this is a 60Hz TV, as opposed to the M Series which is capable of 120Hz. Leo says that won't improve anything. All television is 60Hz, but 120 and 240 hz TVs will interpolate the signal to compensate for it, which can make it look plastic-like.

How can I rip my DVDs to a hard drive?

Episode 1099

Joe from Van Nuys, CA
DVD

Joe wants to rip his DVD collection and put it on an external hard drive. How big of a hard drive will he need? Leo says that regular DVDs have 4.7 GB of space, if he wants to keep all of the data from the DVD. But if he just wants the movie itself, then it won't take up as much space.

Joe should get Handbrake and VLC Media Client. Then if he encodes the movie and strips out everything else, he'll have a movie at about 1 GB. He could store a lot more movies that way.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1099

Scott is back to talk about Vizio's new 70" LED LCD screen. Scott likes it because it's great value for the money and offers local dimming through back lit zones which allow for more accurate blacks and colors on the screen. Vizio has also officially killed 3D as an option on their screen. Scott says if you look at the model number that ends in the letter "A," it's a 2013 model, and "B" is a 2014 model. And 2014 models will be back lit, not edge lit. So look for "B" models. Also, 70" TVs are ideal for viewing at 10 feet. If you can afford it, that's what you should get.

If money were no object, what 60-65 inch LED TV would you get?

Episode 1098

Roger from Torrance, CA
Sony X950B

Scott says he would get the Sony X950B 4K TV. Roger says that one won't work for him. David adds in that if money were no object, he'd get an OLED TV, but that would be a curved screen. Scott says he might opt for the LG 77" for $30,000, but Roger apparently is at least a little price conscious. Scott thinks that at 77", a curved screen might be ok. LG's screens also are only slightly curved, not as curved as Samsung's displays. The Vizio Reference Series will be making a 65" display, and both Scott and David recommend waiting for that one.

Should I hard wire my Roku box?

Jonathan from Rochester, NY

Episode 1098

Jonathan has DSL internet, and is wondering if there's an advantage to hard wiring his Roku rather than having it wireless. Scott says yes, hard wire is better because of the possibility for interference in the Wi-Fi spectrum. David says that if he's not having video dropouts, hard wiring won't improve the video quality. It'll just give him a more consistent stream. He also has an A/V receiver wired to his speakers.

Why are my TV speakers cutting out when I plug in my headphones?

Mark from Rhode Island

Episode 1098

Mark's mom won a new TV at work and he's been tasked with hooking it up. They also want to have the sound transmitted to a wireless headset for his father. But when he plugs it in, it turns off the speakers on the TV. Suggestions? Scott says that's a common problem and there may be a setting for audio submenus that will give the option to leave the internal speakers on. Scott says that since Mark uses a splitter, it's likely causing the TV to turn off the internal speakers.

What speakers should I get to mix my audio?

Episode 1098

JR from Detroit, MI
Cambridge Audio DAC Magic

JR is building a gaming system and he wants to add some great audio. What about the JBL speakers? The one's he's looking at are made in china and he's concerned about the build quality. Scott says that just because they're made in China doesn't mean they're no good. There's good and bad speakers from anywhere. Scott would recommend going with larger 8" woofers to go deeper in the bass. He also needs a digital audio converter.