Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How long can I run an HDMI cable?

Episode 1376

Brian from Montebello, CA
HDMI Extender

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

Can I get a DVR for my TV antenna?

Episode 1376

Bill from Denver, CO
Tablo 2-Tuner

Bill cut the cable and is now using an antenna again. He'd like a DVR for it, and is wondering about the Tablo 2-Tuner DVR?

If Bill couldn't get over the air television, streaming would be his only real option if he's cutting the cord. But if he's within line of site of stations, Leo says the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun and the Channel Master are his best bets. Leo doesn't know much about the Tablo, and he recommends ChannelMaster, but the Tablo looks OK.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1372

Scott Wilkinson

Scott went and saw Beauty and the Beast this week. Scott says that the movie spends a lot of time in the dark and Scott recommends seeing it in Dolby Cinema to get the best possible impact. The high dynamic range really makes a difference. You can see "shadow detail" in the dark and the atmos soundtrack is wonderful. Very immersive. The photo realistic CGI of the Beast is terrific. Very interesting. Leo says some actors are worried about it, but other actors like the idea that they'll be immortal and their estate will be able to care for their descendants.

Is my Plasma TV worth fixing?

Chuck from San Diego, CA

Episode 1370

Chuck has a 7 year old Plasma that doesn't power up anymore. Can it be fixed, and is it worth it? Leo says it could be, but since no one makes plasmas anymore, it may be harder to find the parts. If he doesn't know what's wrong, it could be going down a rabbit hole. But that also means his plasma TV could be worth more for parts. And he can replace that TV for a few hundred dollars and it will look pretty good.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1370

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk home theater and has questions from the chatroom. Is there a great ultraHD BluRay? Scott says that Oppo is the best out there. It supports HDR10, Dolby Vision, and 4K. But it doesn't support streaming, and Oppo says that since people get streaming from other devices, that it wasn't necessary for Oppo to get caught up in that. They just focus on having the BluRay player still be best at playing discs. It's everything you want in a player, and at $550, it should. Another option is the Xbox One S, but it doesn't support DolbyVision yet.

Is there a portable video projector?

Karen from Pomona, CA

Episode 1369

Karen is a teacher who travels from school to school and wants to know if there's a portable projector? Leo says what she's looking for a pico projector. The wireless connection solution may vary depending on support. They're usually DLNA format. Go to ProjectorCentral.com. Search for pico projectors. Motorola's Moto Z has an add on mod for a projector that attaches to the back of the phone.

Scott Wilkinson ... Stuck on a wall

Episode 1368

Scott went to a recent LG TV event and he saw some really great TVs that LG calls darn near perfect. And they're super thin too, with Wallpaper TV is 4mm from the bezel to the wall. So it's almost like a painting. So thin, that it requires a separate box for all the electronics, and the W7 model incorporates a sound bar into that electronics box package. Leo says he'd rather have a monitor that he can bring his own party to. Scott does says to be fair the Soundbar does sound pretty good though.

Why can't I play Blu-rays?

Episode 1367

John from Fallbrook, CA
Blu-ray

John has a home theater made by Samsung, and he's having issue playing Blu-rays. Leo says it's possible that copy protection is causing it to not be able to play because his player isn't connected to the internet. If it's not connected to the internet, it assumes the Blu-ray's key has been revoked, even when it hasn't been.

John should change out his cable for his Blu-ray player. That could be causing it. A dead or faulty cable can cause the HDCP copy protection issues as well.