HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Jim wants to avoid having to use multiple remote controls. Will his cable box remote take over for the TV remote? Scott says it's all in the programming. He'll have to have the right code in there and sometimes it's trial and error to get it right.
Can he also have it control the sound bar? Scott says that could be a challenge. But if any remote can do it all, Scott recommends the Logitech Harmony remote.
Jim wants to get a 4K UHD TV that offers split screen or picture-in-picture support. Scott says most TV manufacturers have dropped that option as TVs have gotten thinner, and other features like HDR have gotten more popular. No TV can really support split screen anymore. Computer monitors can do it. An external device may be able to do it, but that's an additional cost. He should also consider that split screens will clip or crop the image so he wouldn't see the entire screen.
This week during the gaming conference E3, Microsoft announced the most powerful gaming console ever made. It's called the Xbox One X, and it's smaller, heavier, liquid cooled and more powerful than any other console on the market. It also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player with HDR support built-in. Scott says that the HDR capability of the player is really more important than the resolution simply because most people won't really see the difference unless they have a screen that's 70" or larger. But HDR is really noticeable, even on sets under that size.
Scott Wilkinson fills in for Leo this week. So get your home theater questions ready to go!
Dan's mother is having trouble hearing the audio on her TV, and he wants to get her a sound bar. What's a good, yet affordable option? Leo says that the Vizio Smartcast SB3851 is one of the best sound bars according to the WireCutter. It's $250 and it comes with a subwoofer. It's a great deal. They also recommend the Yamaha YAS-106 Sound Bar with dual built-in subwoofers.
David is a teacher and he wants to use Netflix as a teaching aid, but the school district won't allow streaming it into the classroom. What can he do as a work around? Leo says that there really isn't one, as he would have to have permission from the district. He could bypass the school's internet by using his cellular data and making his mobile device a hotspot.
Scott says it's getting harder for elderly viewers to enjoy the home theater TV experience. There's a problem with poor sound mixing on TV sets that makes the dialog difficult to hear. And the speakers on today's TVs are terrible. That's why Scott recommends a sound bar or sound base that goes in front of the TV. The Sound Base will allow you to put the TV on top of it and it won't block the TV's remote. ZVox has a sound base that has a feature called "AccuVoice," which makes it easier for older viewers to hear the dialog.
Andy is trying to do Facebook Live with multiple cameras, but he gets a delay every time he switches through the HDMI switcher. Leo says that an HDMI switcher is not the same as a switcher in a control room, and it can cause latency. Leo says that Blackmagic makes a video hardware switcher that is very low priced to get into this game. It's called the ATEM Switcher.
Paul would like to know what's a good TV with on board sound. Scott says there aren't many, but Sony's OLED XBR-A1E is the best. It uses the screen itself as the speaker and it sounds surprisingly good. But at 55", 65", or 75", it's not cheap. Absent that, Paul should plan on buying a good sound bar or home theater system because most TVs have terrible on board sound.