Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I set up a multiroom speaker system?

Sonos One

Episode 1503

Mike from Huntington Beach, CA

Mike would like to be able to control multiple speakers in an open house with his iPhone. Is that doable? Leo says that the key is keeping all the speakers in sync. Sonos was the first to do it right with multi-room sound. All speakers are completely wireless and can be put into party mode, where all are playing the same music in sync. Sonos isn't cheap though.

What mesh router and TV should I buy?

Vizio P Series

Episode 1503

Doug from Albuquerque, NM

Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.

Why doesn't my Sonos connect in party mode?

Sonos One

Episode 1502

Ricky from San Diego, CA

Ricky has Sonos, and after a recent update, he can't get his Sonos speakers to play in party mode. Leo says that may be due to it choosing a speaker to act as the main portal. Leo has had similar issues, and he solved it with a boosted Wi-Fi device. A recent update was supposed to fix all that. The more likely issue, though, could be plain old congestion. Everything has Wi-Fi now, and as a result, it causes rush hour. Leo recommends un-pairing everything.

How can I save media files from my DVR?

DVR

Episode 1502

John from Anaheim, CA

John has fiddling with the RG45 jack on his DVR and discovered that he could play his programs through his Roku device from it. He could also copy them to his PC and play them through Kodi. Can he convert them from there? Leo says that TTS is a "muxed" file that he can play, and it's probably MPEG 2. Almost anything that can read video files, like HandBrake, could do it. VLC definitely could play it. The DTCP.IP files, though, will need a special player.

What 4K TV should I buy?

LG B7

Episode 1501

Tom from Oceanside, CA

Tom is buying a new TV today and wants to know what to get. Leo says it depends on his budget. If he's spending a few thousand, then OLED is the way to go. Better yet, he should get a larger size than he would think. If he's at less than a 10' viewing distance, 55" is OK, but Leo likes 70". HDR makes a significant difference if he likes to watch movies. 4K, for sure. But everything else in the chain has to be 4K HDR in order to get the benefit.

Can I sell an old computer?

Apple I

Episode 1501

Randy from Temecula, CA

Randy has an old handheld computer and wants to know if he can sell it. Leo says that most old computers eventually become worthless as far as the market goes, but if it's a unique item, like one of the first computers sealed in a box, then it becomes kind of a museum piece. That could make it worth something. The original Apple 1, for instance, is worthless form a computing point of view, but from a nostalgic, historical point of view, it's worth about $300,000 right now.

Check eBay under the completed listings. That will tell him what he can get for it.

Why does my video stream stutter sometimes?

Ethernet Cable

Episode 1501

Louis from Santa Ana, CA

Louis is watching baseball games streaming online and sometimes the feed stalls. Leo says that's called buffering, and sometimes a packet drops and the feed will wait to see if it shows up out of order. Then it will insert it and move on. Sometimes, though, it just gives up and continues. There are some causes of this, including congestion from a wireless connection. But Louis can get a dual band router and use the 5Ghz band, or just connect to the router with an ethernet connection. The stream will be more reliable that way.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1501

Scott wants to talk about movie subscription services. MoviePass started the trend with an all you can watch subscription plan that allows you to watch one movie a day. But Scott says that they are in serious financial straights, losing money on every sale. It has, however, prompted more subscription services including AMC's Stubs A List. The cost is $20 a month, for three movies a week, plus upgrades to popcorn and drinks, and the ability to watch upcharged screenings like IMAX or Dolby Cinema.