HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott says that at this year's CEDIA show, Amazon Alexa integration was everywhere, meaning that IOT (Internet of things) is becoming huge in home theater. Scott also said that LED video walls are making a move in home theater. Companies are making LEDs smaller, so that these LED video walls will become more natural to watch. The smaller ones with a tiny pixel distance (called pixel pitch) is called MicroLEDs. And its going to be huge in home theater video walls. The LED Wall screens are also going to be brighter, as high as 500 nits, but that can be dangerous for home viewing.
Ben has a Fire TV and wants to know if he can watch videos from his computer. Rich says that he can grab an external hard drive, then add it to Fire TV on the network and use VLC Media Client play the movies from that. Otherwise, he'll have to consider a network attached storage and a media client.
Vincent has an Nvidia Shield and the Channel Master over-the-air DVR and he's loving it. He's glad he cut the cable. But he wants to upgrade from his old Samsung 1080i TV. What should he get? Rich says that all he really needs on a TV these days is an HDMI and Coax input for his antenna. He doesn't even need a smart TV because they rarely get updated. It's better to get a TV without smart features and a Roku or Apple TV. There is one exception, though. Roku enabled smartTVs are worth it because they do get updated. Amazon also offers TVs with Fire TV built in.
Scott Wilkinson just got back from the CEDIA show, and the theme this year was 8K in the home! But will we see 8K content with it? Scott says no, not for quite awhile. The 8K TVs that are coming out will be upscaling 4K to 8K. And in reality, the cost of an 8K TV is still in the 5-6 figure range for 8K projectors, and most are being sold for simulators. Sony is working on a technology that will make up to 4 4K projectors work in concert to project an 8K image. But it's still very expensive.
Max wants to know if the Amazon Fire Stick is a good deal. Leo says he's not a fan because it's geared towards marketing Amazon Products. Same goes for Apple and its Apple TV. The Roku, on the other hand, has more channels and isn't trying to sell him anything. He prefers the Roku box over the stick.
Ron has a sound bar and a surround sound A/V receiver. Both require optical connections, but his A/V receiver doesn't have HDMI for his Blu-ray player. He only has one. What can he do? Is there an optical switcher or splitter? Leo says it should work that way. He may be able to just rewire everything, but buying a new A/V receiver that supports HDMI is the best solution long term. So an optical splitter may be his best choice short term. He shouldn't go too cheap on it, though.
Scott is a certified home theater calibrator, having received his cert from THX, but ISF is also a good cert. He recently got a question about calibrating a BenQ projector for his home theater system. Where can he find one other than from Best Buy? Scott says that ISF has the contract to train Best Buy calibrators, but Scott wouldn't really worry about Best Buy. He would just get recommendations on who is the best in his area.
Jason bought a Panasonic Viera 4K TV two years ago. What he wants to know if he buys a newer Samsung 4K TV, will it be as good? Leo says in fact, it'll be better. Todays' 4K TVs have HDR, which is great for color and dynamic range. Leo says they're all pretty good now and you can't even notice upscaling on lower resolution content. So buy all means, pick up a Samsung.
Suzie is retired and called to cancel her cable, so she can stream. But when she did, the cable company doubled her interest costs! Leo says that's what they do, to punish you for getting rid of their TV service. Leo says you can always get an antenna and try and watch broadcast, but depending on where you live, you could be too far away. Check out TVFool.com to see what TV stations are available. They'll also recommend an antenna. AntennaWeb.org is another. Cut the cable!
A few questions. Caller is having issues with his ARC in his home theater system. A SmarTV needs to be able to run audio from the TV to the home theater system without latency. That's where AV ARC (audio return) option comes in. But your home theater and TV has to support it. It is essentially sending the audio the other way along with HDMI system. It also needs CEC, consumer electronics control. You also need a high speed HDMI cable, and you have to be sure to plug it into the right HDMI port, which will be labeled HDMI ARC.