HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott went and saw the manga based sci fi action film ALITA BATTLE ANGEL this week. Scott says the story is pretty bad, but he saw it for the technology used in making the film, to see how it was presented. And it was pretty impressive. The actor who played Alita was completely CGI'd, so she had to wear a motion capture suit for the entire film. But the character still runs into the "uncanny valley," which means it doesn't look real, no matter how close they get it. But Scott says it works because Alita is supposed to be a synthetic character.
Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about the producers and engineers' wing of the recording academy, which hands out the Grammy Awards. They put on a party during Grammy week every year. It was at the Village Recorders, a venerable and famous old recording studio. They honor someone every year, and give them something similar to a lifetime achievement award, and this year it went to Willie Nelson.
Max is having issues with his TV speakers on his Vizio D series TV. He keeps hearing audio coming out, even when it's off. Leo says that today's modern TVs don't really turn off anymore. They just go into a very low power mode. Leo suspects that Max's Xfinity cable box woke his TV up through HDMI. Leo recommends putting the Vizio into Eco mode and it will turn off. Then, he should turn off CEC in his TV settings.
Ed is going to cut the cable. He installed an antenna and now, he can't seem to get a signal because his old TV is analog. Leo says you can get a digital adapter that will bring in the digital signal and convert it to an analog signal. Is there a portable one? Walmart sells them for around $10-30 dollars. There's even one that records. Any DVR that has an analog out will do it as well.
Two good sites to help you - TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org. You'll be able to enter your address and it will give you a list of channels you can get and what antenna would be best for you.
Scott says that this weekend is a great time to buy a new TV, ahead of the Super Bowl. But this year, the deals aren't as good as they were during Black Friday last november. But they're still pretty good. The LG B8 55" OLED is selling for $1500, $800 off. The 65" model is $1000 off. The next step is the C8, and the 55" is only $200 more. But Scott says it has a more powerful processor and the upscales are better. So it'll look better and is definitely worth spending the extra money for. Samsung's 55" QLED is 24% off at Best Buy, but you can get an even better deal at Costco or Sam's Club.
Neil bought a new 50" Samsung U7100 50" 4K TV. He bought a sound bar and an Apple TV to go with it, and it's all controlled by the Logitech Harmony Hub. Every time he turns on the Hub, however, the TV wants to take over with its smart TV menu, not the Apple TV menu. Leo says that's super annoying. Leo suggests that the Hub is sending a command that the TV is misinterpreting.
Scott is back from CES and this week he wants to talk about the audio gadgets he saw. A lot of the high end audio was at the Venetian Hotel. But Scott says that audio had a much smaller presence at CES this year, and Scott thinks that audio companies are going to be going to regional shows to offer their goods rather than spend a ton of money at CES. And it's difficult to rise above the noise at a larger convention. Smaller, regional shows offer a big fish in a small pond kind of vibe.
Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.
Scott put in his customary 28 miles of walking during CES and he saw some really cool TVs. One thing he saw was a TV with Dual Layer Modulation LEDs, which uses two LED screens to deepen color and dynamic range. The one behind is black and white only, which is used to dim each pixel separately. The contrast ratios are approaching 1 million to one! HiSense had one with 3000 nits of brightness and a black level of .0003. MicroLEDs were also huge. Samsung showed off a 75" 4K microLED that was huge.
Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.