Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1523

Scott Wilkinson just got back from the CEDIA show, and the theme this year was 8K in the home! But will we see 8K content with it? Scott says no, not for quite awhile. The 8K TVs that are coming out will be upscaling 4K to 8K. And in reality, the cost of an 8K TV is still in the 5-6 figure range for 8K projectors, and most are being sold for simulators. Sony is working on a technology that will make up to 4 4K projectors work in concert to project an 8K image. But it's still very expensive.

Can I split an optical connection on my home theater devices?

Optical Splitter

Episode 1521

Ron from Downey, CA

Ron has a sound bar and a surround sound A/V receiver. Both require optical connections, but his A/V receiver doesn't have HDMI for his Blu-ray player. He only has one. What can he do? Is there an optical switcher or splitter? Leo says it should work that way. He may be able to just rewire everything, but buying a new A/V receiver that supports HDMI is the best solution long term. So an optical splitter may be his best choice short term. He shouldn't go too cheap on it, though.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1521

Scott is a certified home theater calibrator, having received his cert from THX, but ISF is also a good cert. He recently got a question about calibrating a BenQ projector for his home theater system. Where can he find one other than from Best Buy? Scott says that ISF has the contract to train Best Buy calibrators, but Scott wouldn't really worry about Best Buy. He would just get recommendations on who is the best in his area.

Is Samsung as good as Panasonic with 4K TVs?

Episode 1520

Jason from Fontana, CA

Jason bought a Panasonic Viera 4K TV two years ago. What he wants to know if he buys a newer Samsung 4K TV, will it be as good? Leo says in fact, it'll be better. Todays' 4K TVs have HDR, which is great for color and dynamic range. Leo says they're all pretty good now and you can't even notice upscaling on lower resolution content. So buy all means, pick up a Samsung.

How can I get TV for free?

Episode 1519

Suzie from Florida

Suzie is retired and called to cancel her cable, so she can stream. But when she did, the cable company doubled her interest costs! Leo says that's what they do, to punish you for getting rid of their TV service. Leo says you can always get an antenna and try and watch broadcast, but depending on where you live, you could be too far away. Check out TVFool.com to see what TV stations are available. They'll also recommend an antenna. AntennaWeb.org is another. Cut the cable!

Scott Wilkinson ... Returning

Episode 1519

A few questions. Caller is having issues with his ARC in his home theater system. A SmarTV needs to be able to run audio from the TV to the home theater system without latency. That's where AV ARC (audio return) option comes in. But your home theater and TV has to support it. It is essentially sending the audio the other way along with HDMI system. It also needs CEC, consumer electronics control. You also need a high speed HDMI cable, and you have to be sure to plug it into the right HDMI port, which will be labeled HDMI ARC.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1517

Questions - Wayne wants to get a 4K TV. What model should he get, the Vizio P Series or the Sony Bravia? The Sony X900F is about $2000, and the Vizio P Series is close to the same price. Scott says don't get the X850F, even though it's $500 cheaper. It has an edge lit LED backlight, and that could cause uneven lighting. The X900F and the Vizio P series use full array local dimming, so it's illumination is more uniform and has better contrast. Worth the extra money.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1515

Scott had a chance to get a HiSense Dual Laser projector, but unfortunately, he has no room to set it up! Scott says that Moore's Law can apply to mirrors in a laser projector. They are incredibly tiny and are getting smaller all the time. The laser gets reflected and projected onto the screen with better resolution and color, which the mirrors flip back and forth in a phase called "Wobulation."

Why is the sound on my TV bad on one channel?


Episode 1513

Larry from El Cajon, CA

Larry bought a used TV and the audio doesn't work on one channel, except for commercials! Leo says that could be due to secondary audio programming (SAP). The channel may not support that. He should try turning that off. He should try using some headphones and see if they work. If he can hear the channel, it's clearly something wrong with the audio processing on the TV, or with the speaker setup. He should set up mono sound and see if that works.