Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why doesn't my 4K TV stream Netflix in 4K?

Roku Streaming Stick+

Episode 1493

Steve from California

Steve is frustrated with his Vizio 4K smart TV, which has a Netflix app, but it only supports 1080p and not 4K. Leo says that's because the TV is using an older version of the Netflix app. Leo recommends getting a Roku or Apple TV and then use the 4K version of the app, and it will stream in 4K. This is why Leo prefers so-called "dumb" TVs which don't have smart apps. He uses a Roku, which gets updated far more often and supports 4K apps.

Why can't I adjust the aspect ratio in my streaming app?

Sony TV

Episode 1492

John from Boston, MA

John is trying to stream movies using the FilmStruck app and they all end up 16:9. What can he do? Leo says that the Sony TV that John has uses a variety of aspect ratios. One setting is dot for dot or 1-to-1. That will give him the image it was meant to have. But the TV app is overriding that setting. It sounds like it's a shortcoming of John's smart TV. This is why Leo isn't a fan of smart TVs. Leo recommends using a Roku or cast it from his phone so that it won't override the TV aspect ratio settings.

Do I need the LastPass app to use it on my phone?

LastPass

Episode 1492

Manny from Vero Beach, FL

Should he use LastPass on his phone? Does he need the app? Leo says that the app is just a convenience, but it's not really necessary. Android will autofill apps with LastPass, iOS not so much.

Manny also wants to know if Sonos will adopt Dolby Atmos at Home as a standard. Leo says they haven't. Atmos has that upward firing speaker design for the home, but so far, Sonos hasn't adopted it.

(Disclaimer: LastPass is a sponsor)

Do I have to record every episode on my TiVo Bolt?

TiVo Bolt

Episode 1491

Scott from Dallas, TX

Scott has a 500GB TiVo Bolt and wants to set it up to just save the recent week's worth of recordings, not every single recording forever. Leo says it's in the settings. He can set it to just keep a week's worth and delete the rest, as well as to delete when it starts to run out of space. Can he upgrade the hard drive? Leo says yes. He will also probably have to "bless" the hard drive so that TiVo will read it. Leo recommends contacting Weaknees.com.

Can I connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick to a hotel TV?

Amazon Fire Stick

Episode 1490

Rick from Poinciana, FL

Rick wants to know how he can bring his Amazon Fire Stick with him when he travels and plug it into the TV where he stays. Leo says that older TVs will require an HDMI to Composite converter, but newer TVs have HDMI ports. So he could just plug them in. Many hotel Wi-Fi hotspots require captive portal registration to use it, and the signal really isn't that good. Also some older TVs may not be HDCP compliant.

Why is my Apple TV shutting down?

https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-tv/apple-tv-4k

Episode 1487

Matt from Spokane, WA

Matt's 4K Apple TV runs for an hour and then shuts down. Leo says that it's possible that the TV is overheating and it shuts down as a protective measure. So Matt should make sure there's plenty of airflow. He can also use canned air to blow out any dust accumulation. There could also be a memory leak that's causing it to crash. Leo really recommends making a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple store to tell them it's overheating after an hour. Since it's still under warranty, they could just give him another one.

Why can't I play music using my Echo Dot and my Home Theater?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131292477@N08/25219116374/

Episode 1487

Ryan from Sacramento, CA

Ryan uses Amazon's Echo Dots and he tries to connect them to his home theater system, but when he tells them to play multi room, the music plays from the Dots only. Leo says the problem could be Bluetooth latency from wirelessly playing from one Dot to another, causing an echo chamber. Leo says using a hardwire option would probably make it work. It could be an intentional design decision that triggers via Bluetooth limitations.

Should I upgrade from my plasma TV?

LG OLED B7A

Episode 1485

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED.