HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
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.
Scott Wilkinson saw Wonder Woman last night at a smaller Dolby Cinema theater. Scott enjoyed it in Dolby, but he says that the film is too long. It is, however, a great depiction of a female hero that isn't over sexualized like most women are. Meanwhile, Leo saw Game of Thrones for the first time in 4K HDR. He realized that he's seeing much of the details, and it really shows how much the actor's characters are aged. It's so realistic that maybe they should stop using makeup when shooting in high def or beyond.
Bob was a Time Warner Cable client, but now he's with Spectrum and his "enhanced DVR" box is starting to fail. Leo says that chances are, it's the hard drive that's starting to fail. How can he get the shows off before he returns them? They say there's no way to do it since the data is encrypted. Leo says that the cable won't help him get those off because they are afraid of piracy. If it's a cloud based DVR, then he'd be OK. If not, he's out of luck.
Joyce listens has a harder time listening to dialog on TV because everything else is louder. What can she do? Leo says shows are mixed for surround sound and if she doesn't have that, the spoken word can get overwhelmed by other sound and music. Some TVs and audio receivers have center channel settings that would allow her to turn up the center channel so she can hear it. Most TVs have that feature. If she doesn't have a center channel speaker, she should get one. It will help a lot.
This week is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and on Home Theater Geeks, Scott had as his guest one of the original sound recorders/designers for the film, Mike Minkler. He talks about the first use of front to back panning in sound and how George Lucas was very particular on how the film would sound in theaters.