HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Jeffrey got a mesh router and he's having issues with his Sonos home theater system. Leo says that it's always a challenge to use Sonos with mesh, but he can get it done. Keeping the Sonos in Boost mode and updating his firmware will help. Leo has a few links to read up on:
Chuck is in a new house with a larger room and he wants to know where to put his speakers for surround sound. It's a long room with a 65" screen. Scott says if he can keep his chairs square to the TV, he can then put the surround speakers behind him. But Chuck has the TV cornered and that makes it a very difficult. So he'd probably have to move the TV over another wall and then try to block out the main windows when he's watching TV. Or he could put the surrounds in, or on the ceiling. That can be a challenge because he'll have to run wires through the attic.
Scott just saw Spider-Man into the Spiderverse and he really enjoyed it. It's basically about an evil villain that breaks down the walls between universes and unites all the Spider-Man's to battle him.
Greg has a DVD/VCR combo, but it only plays in black and white. Leo says that the likely culprit is a bad composite cable (red, white, yellow). So he should replace that. They're pretty cheap. ScooterX in the chatroom says that in the memo of the DVD player, there's a setting that could be affecting it. The TV may be using the same jacks for component as it does for composite. He should check his menu settings. TomsGuide has information on how to do that.
Dan is ready to cut the cord and wants to know what equipment he needs. Which antenna should he buy? Leo says it depends on where he lives, and what stations he can get. There are two websites he should check out: TVFool and Antenna Web. Both sites will tell him what stations will be available based on his address, and will make recommendations on what is the best antenna for his situation. Yagi makes some of the best directional antennas, though.
Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.
John is having trouble chrome casting with an app called Hoopla. Leo says that it's likely a rights issue, and Hoopla is preventing it on the Chromecast, but works with the iPad. Hoopla has apps for Roku and Apple TV, and they work more consistently. Leo's guessing it's a problem with Hoopla and poor Chromecast implementation.
Don recently bought a new LG TV, and he likes to watch TV with ear phones, but his wife doesn't. When he uses the earphone jack, it shuts off the speakers. What can he do? Leo says the easiest way to do it is to use dual audio outputs. Leo recommends a sound bar that he can plug into the optical port, and then he can use the headphones with the headphone jack. Vizio makes a good budget sound bar for around $100. The other option is an analog splitter.
Rich recently bought a 4K TV, now he's having issues watching Blu-ray DVDs that are non 4K, because it's a bit "jerky." Leo says it's called "decoding hesitation." Scott says that the very first Samsung Blu-ray players had problems with resolution and detail. It's also related to upscaling. What's odd is that it's inconsistent, happening every 5-10 seconds. Leo also says the Blu-ray player is losing sync when decoding the data stream. A better player will fix the problem, and if Rich is looking to get the next component in his new 4K system, the Blu-ray player is where to start.
Scott says that there are now 4K HDR projectors, and you can get them under $5,000. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't considering where the prices were last year. Sony makes one that uses a technique called E-Shift, or 4K enhancement. The pixels 'wiggle' back and forth and can create close to 4K using 1080p imagers. It's pretty impressive. Scott says that the black levels are key to making the image really pop, and JVC is better with black levels than Sony. TheDLA-X790R is the one with great native contrast ratio and deep blacks.