Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I Cut the Cord?

FireTV Recast

Episode 1582

Tony from Huntington Beach, CA

Tony is tired of paying so much for cable and wants to cut the cord. How can he do it and get the same amount of programming?  Rich says that cord-cutting is the most popular question he gets, but it isn't' all that easy.  Even when consumers succeed, they end up paying as much or more for programming with subscriptions that they add ala carte. Also, a lot of TV programming require a log in for a cable or satellite service, etc.

Can I Watch YouTubeTV With Chromecast?

chromecast

Episode 1581

Tony from Riverside, CA

When Tony goes camping with his RV, he'd like to broadcast YouTube TV from his phone to his TV. Leo says that in theory, Chromecast will work because he's connected via WiFi. However, it requires being on the same WiFi network, so if the phone is using WiFi, it can't really do that because he will need internet for the Chromecast. Getting a "MyFi" router may be the solution, but it would have a separate cellular connection. But the good news is, it also has its own bandwidth data allotment. Get a MyFi from your carrier, then the phone can join that, and the Chromecast can be on it.

Can I Find a Remote for my Old AV Receiver?

Luxman

Episode 1577

Mike from Granada Hills, CA

Mike's Yamaha home theatre system lost its centre channel, so he plugged in an old Luxman AV receiver and he says that the sound is incredible. Leo says that the quality of amps has changed over the years, and he's not surprised. The digital-to-analogue converter is probably much better. The choice of DAC can make a huge difference. Can he get a remote for it? Leo says if it doesn't have a remote, then no universal remote will work, since there's no remote to emulate. But if he can find out that the model did support the remote, then he can. Check out HiFiEngine.com to check.

What's the Best Over-the-Air DVR?

TiVO

Episode 1577

Mike from Long Beach, CA

Mike is thinking of getting an over-the-air DVR and antenna. What's the best one to get? Leo says he's a TiVO fan, but it is the priciest option out there. There's also ChannelMaster, which is a nice OTA and they don't charge for the TV Guide. Silicon Dust also makes the HD Home Run. But Leo is a fan of TiVO because it lets him ad-skip. 

As for Antennas, check out TVFool.com and AntennaWeb.org.

What's Wrong with my TV Tuner?

X800e

Episode 1574

Frank from Van Nuys, California

Frank bought a Sony XBR 800e. Three weeks after his warranty expired, it started having trouble. Leo says that while the warranty is expired, it's close enough that if he calls them and pleads his case, Sony may be willing to extend the coverage and fix it, and it's likely just a tuner that's gone bad. The other option is to use a third-party tuner. Leo recommends a TiVo or Channel Master product.