HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Kevin wants to know if he can turn his Xbox into a DVR. Leo says that he'd need to get a TV connection and a program that could do it, and the Xbox Store only allows for recording video game moments. Plex is in the Microsoft store and may work. But Leo isn't sure what the recording capability is. Microsoft was going to do it back in 2015, but cancelled the feature.
Charlie would like to pair his old Smart TV with the Amazon Alexa. How can he do that? Leo says the the Amazon Fire TV Cube may be a good option, it works with an IR blaster. But it won't turn the TV on, since the IR blaster loses connection. Leo recommends the Logitech Harmony Hub. It'll connect to his Echo, and then will work in between the Echo and his TV.
John has heard of a small stick like the Fire Stick that can pickup local TV stations. Leo says it's a hacked Amazon Fire Stick that has been modded to include Kodi. It has software that can also pirate pay TV services. So, it's very illegal. And the legitimate live TV channels are from overseas, like the Croatian Soccer League. Not the NFL.
Murray has a Sony XBR 930D 4K TV, and it has horizontal lines across the bottom of the screen. Then it looks like it has a double image after awhile. Leo says it sounds like a hardware failure. Scott says that it sounds like LCDs are stuck open, or that the edge backlighting on the 930 are running a muck. Bottom line, it's broken. He may be able to have it repaired under warranty since it's under 2 years old. But if not, it'll likely cost more to fix it than buying a new TV.
The 2018 Value Electronics Shoot out took place this week. There were two rounds of judging - the professional calibrator round, and then the enthusiast popular rounds. Then three awards are given. Scott says that the winner was the Sony XBR-65A9F OLED, which was crowned King of 2018 TVs, dethroning LG for the first time in nearly five years. Scott also said that OLED TVs, while a bit dimmer than LED TVs, placed first in every category over LED LCD TVs.
GJ wants to know how to record over the air signals. Rich says that Amazon now has the Fire TV Recast, which records over the air programs, and he can set it with the Amazon Echo. Then he can stream them to all of his devices via WiFi. But he would need an antenna.
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Scott says that at this year's CEDIA show, Amazon Alexa integration was everywhere, meaning that IOT (Internet of things) is becoming huge in home theater. Scott also said that LED video walls are making a move in home theater. Companies are making LEDs smaller, so that these LED video walls will become more natural to watch. The smaller ones with a tiny pixel distance (called pixel pitch) is called MicroLEDs. And its going to be huge in home theater video walls. The LED Wall screens are also going to be brighter, as high as 500 nits, but that can be dangerous for home viewing.
Ben has a Fire TV and wants to know if he can watch videos from his computer. Rich says that he can grab an external hard drive, then add it to Fire TV on the network and use VLC Media Client play the movies from that. Otherwise, he'll have to consider a network attached storage and a media client.
Vincent has an Nvidia Shield and the Channel Master over-the-air DVR and he's loving it. He's glad he cut the cable. But he wants to upgrade from his old Samsung 1080i TV. What should he get? Rich says that all he really needs on a TV these days is an HDMI and Coax input for his antenna. He doesn't even need a smart TV because they rarely get updated. It's better to get a TV without smart features and a Roku or Apple TV. There is one exception, though. Roku enabled smartTVs are worth it because they do get updated. Amazon also offers TVs with Fire TV built in.