Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1501

Scott wants to talk about movie subscription services. MoviePass started the trend with an all you can watch subscription plan that allows you to watch one movie a day. But Scott says that they are in serious financial straights, losing money on every sale. It has, however, prompted more subscription services including AMC's Stubs A List. The cost is $20 a month, for three movies a week, plus upgrades to popcorn and drinks, and the ability to watch upcharged screenings like IMAX or Dolby Cinema.

How can I control multiple TV monitors separately by remote?

SimpleControl

Episode 1500

Andrew from Nome, AK

Andrew wants to be able to control several monitors separately by remote, but with regular IR remotes, everything he does will affect all of the TVs. Leo says ideally he'd like to be able to do this in software without the remote. Leo says it would be nice if those monitors had a serial port for control. There are remote apps that use Wi-Fi with a phone. Openhab has some documentation for controlling TVs using a serial protocol.

How can I connect my laptop to my TV and watch YouTube?

Apple AirPort

Episode 1500

Sandy from Lomita, CA

Sandy wants to watch video from her laptop on her TV. Leo says that most laptops have an HDMI port and she can connect it directly. She says it won't work at home, but it will at work. Leo says the Apple AirPort is Wi-Fi, so she can connect wirelessly through the AirPort and then direct it to her TV via DNLA, if her TV supports Wi-Fi. She can connect via Wi-Fi and then set up her Sony TV to connect to the Wi-Fi as well. Once both devices are connected by the AirPort, she'll be able to do it.

Why did my TV stop supporting 4K streaming?

Vizio 4K TV

Episode 1499

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard got a Vizio 4K TV and suddenly it says his TV isn't capable of receiving 4K, when it has been for the last two years. Leo suspects there's a "handshake" problem between the DirecTV box and the TV itself, and it's usually the culprit of HDMI cables. He should try replacing the cable first. But he'll have to be sure to have a cable that is certified for high speeds of 18GB per second. Amazon sells them for about $10. He could also try another HDMI input to see if that fixes it.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1499

This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Vizio Sound Bar

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1497

Over at AVSForum, Scott has an article on how to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR. You basically need to either be a Comcast subscriber with the Infinity X1 service, or be a DirecTV subscriber. For Comcast, it will also be a one day delay, and in Spanish! Leo says that makes it useless in today's world. Layer 3, owned by T-Mobile also has coverage.

Streaming online, you can get the World Cup if you have a HiSense TV. There's an app for it that you can install.