HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Don recently bought a new LG TV, and he likes to watch TV with ear phones, but his wife doesn't. When he uses the earphone jack, it shuts off the speakers. What can he do? Leo says the easiest way to do it is to use dual audio outputs. Leo recommends a sound bar that he can plug into the optical port, and then he can use the headphones with the headphone jack. Vizio makes a good budget sound bar for around $100. The other option is an analog splitter.
Rich recently bought a 4K TV, now he's having issues watching Blu-ray DVDs that are non 4K, because it's a bit "jerky." Leo says it's called "decoding hesitation." Scott says that the very first Samsung Blu-ray players had problems with resolution and detail. It's also related to upscaling. What's odd is that it's inconsistent, happening every 5-10 seconds. Leo also says the Blu-ray player is losing sync when decoding the data stream. A better player will fix the problem, and if Rich is looking to get the next component in his new 4K system, the Blu-ray player is where to start.
Scott says that there are now 4K HDR projectors, and you can get them under $5,000. It sounds like a lot, but it really isn't considering where the prices were last year. Sony makes one that uses a technique called E-Shift, or 4K enhancement. The pixels 'wiggle' back and forth and can create close to 4K using 1080p imagers. It's pretty impressive. Scott says that the black levels are key to making the image really pop, and JVC is better with black levels than Sony. TheDLA-X790R is the one with great native contrast ratio and deep blacks.
This week, Scott says that Tom Cruise came out this week against "motion smoothing" in modern TVs and encourages fans to turn off frame interpolation on their TVs before watching Mission Impossible: Fallout on Blu-ray. Scott says it isn't trivial to find the feature and turn it off either. It's called something different with every manufacturer. On top of that, it's turned on by default. Motion smoothing, Vivid mode, or frame interpolation, sharpens your image, which can be helpful in watching sports or action movies.
Marcello wants to get a new 4K TV to go with his new home. Should he wait for HDMI 2.1? Leo says the only real reason to wait for HDMI 2.1 is to buy an 8K TV, which isn't really practical right now because they're too expensive and there's no content for them. It's still a few years away. The more important feature is HDR. So there's no real reason to wait. If money is no object for Marcello, then the LG C8 OLED is the best TV ever. But it's $8,000 for a 70". If he can afford it, it's gorgeous display.
Larry has to find a way to cut the cable and save money. His cable DVR service is over $200 a month now. Leo says that's ridiculous. He can go over-the-air with an antenna and get a TiVo. As long as he gets clear reception. Then anything he doesn't get he can stream online.
Over Black Friday weekend, shoppers used their mobile devices to buy over a billion dollars in products. Total retail sales for November is 38 billion dollars. Are TVs better to buy during the Super Bowl, rather than Black Friday? Scott says maybe. They are later in the product cycle and the deals are to clear out models for the new models. So TVs are a better bargain the week before the Super Bowl. But Black Friday deals are pretty good for TVs if you need one.
Austin's TIVO DVR isn't working, except for flashing lights. Leo says there's a place in LA called WeakKnees, which can replace his hard drive. There's also FixMyTIVO.com, which says it could be a bad hard drive or a bad motherboard. If it's a bad hard drive, he can get a hard drive kit to replace it. But if it's a bad motherboard, then he'll have to buy a new device.
Bernie wants to know if HDMI is the same as optical for audio quality. Leo says that both connections are digital, so it's the same quality. Optical will give him Atmos and other multi channel stereo options as well.