Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why did I have to pay to get my Roku box to work?

Episode 1425

Cynthia from Redlands, CA
Roku Premiere

Cynthia cut the cord for a Roku about eight months ago. Now everything has stopped working and she has to pay to turn it back on. Rich says that Cynthia may have been bit by a phishing scam. He suggests having the credit card company charge it back. She shouldn't have to pay to reauthorize the box. She'll pay for the subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. But not for the box itself since she already bought it. Then she should do a factory reset on the Roku. That will make it work like the first day she bought it. She should try to watch out for scams in the future.

Can I use my Echo to control my stereo?

Steve from Wichita, KS

Episode 1423

Steve is visually impaired and he wants to know if he can use the Amazon Echo to control his Sonos stereo system. Leo says yes! You can set it to the auxiliary input and then you can use the Echo to control it. That's the way to do it. The Apple Home Pod will also be able to do it in December. Go for the DOT though. Leo has his DOT connected to his and it works great.

Why is my TV reception so bad?

Episode 1422

John from Bay City, MI
HDHomeRun Prime

John has cut the cord and he's having trouble streaming live sports with an over-the-air antenna. He says that the antenna plugged into the TV is ideal, but the HDHomeRun and Tablo have issues. That points to the culprit, then. Leo says LCDs have issues with live movement and a higher refresh rate will smooth that out. John should look for a higher frame rate in his TV's settings.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1422

Scott Wilkinson

Scott went to the CEDIA convention last week and he's seeing more 4K projectors out there. Most of them are 1080p, but will accept a 4K signal that is a faux 4K because they "wiggle the pixels" (called Wobulation). There are a few true 4K projectors, but they're over $30,000. Scott also says there's no point in waiting for full 4K because it's going to be awhile before they are affordable, and by then, it'll be something completely different. Has projection seen better days? Scott doesn't think so. It's still the best way to get that cinematic immersive experience.

Should I sell my Sonos home theater gear or upgrade?

Episode 1419

Jim from Orange County, CA
Sonos Play:5

Jim doesn't know if he should sell his Sonos stuff or wait. Leo says that there's going to be a Sonos event in the next month, and there's a new Play 5 speaker coming with voice command. So it wouldn't hurt to keep his powder dry until he knows what Sonos has in mind, and if they have new gear, the old gear will go down in price.

What's the best tuner for my HDTV?

Episode 1419

Michael from San Juan Capistrano, CA
TiVo Roamio

Michael put up an HDTV antenna, and for eight months he saved hundreds over a cable bill. Leo says it's also a lot better because it's not compressed. He used it on his new 65" HD TV. But his tuner died. What does Leo recommend to replace the bad tuner he had? Leo says that Hauppauge has one. Most of the tuners are mostly commodity brands. Leo's guessing that there's one factory in China that makes them and slaps different nameplates on them.