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Episode 1097 July 5, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jim from Freemont, CA Comments

Jim's old JVC projection TV is going black, so he's in the market for a new TV. Should he buy an HDTV or go UHD? How can he future proof his purchase?

Scott says that viewing from 10' away, the optimum screen size is bigger than most would think - about 70". Scott says it isn't really necessary to buy a 4K TV right now. There's not that much content out for it and the standards like color gamut and standards aren't all that settled just yet. So a 4K TV he buys today may be obsolete tomorrow. Not only that, but some TVs upscale terribly. So it's a good idea to go with HD still.

The top three HD LCDs right now are Sony, Samsung, and LG in that order. And the money he saves from not buying 4K he can spend on getting backlit LEDs with local dimming. This provides for better screen uniformity.

Watch Frank from Riverview, FL Comments

Frank has a 65" LG 3D TV, but when he watches 3D from a device or a download, he gets a strange effect of the screen image shrinking down 1/3 of the size. It's like the entire screen image is letterboxed. Scott says it sounds like a defect in how the TV handles the streaming 3D content.

Scott says the worst kind of problems is intermittent issues because they're hard to diagnose. The chatroom says to update the firmware. Also the side by side 3D can get mixed up if the aspect ratio is not 16x9. The player software may have issues with mirroring between the player and the TV. It's a complicated chain of possible causes.

Watch Lee from Big Bear, CA Comments

Lee used to have a Sony TV that would lower the volume automatically during commercials. But his new Bravia LCD doesn't do that. In fact, it's worse now because he has to turn down the volume during the action and up during the dialog. Is there a way to equalize it? Scott says there may be a dynamic range compression feature in the home theater settings that can do it. Look under "sound adjustments" for "midnight mode" or "dynamic range compression." Scott says the issue has been that on commercials, the sound is dynamically compressed and that's what's causing the perceived loudness. The problem has gotten so bad, that congress passed the CALM act, which would require commercials to not be louder than the programming.

Scott also says that there are devices that have been made to normalize or regulate the volume. He can put it in between the cable/satellite box and his TV. SRS Labs has made one, as has SESCom. He can find them on Amazon here and here. Geffen also makes them.

The chatroom also says that is one. There's also the CYP AU-D8S SRS TruVolume.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jack from California Comments

Jack wants to know if there are better speakers than the ones he got in the 70s. Scott says that speaker technology has changed very little in the last 100 years. So there's really little point in replacing them, except that the flexible material used by the surround may need to be replaced.

Scott says the SP-BS22-LR speakers, which are made by Andrew Jones for Pioneer, are fantastic. They are an incredible value as they offer high performance for under $100 a piece.

Watch Bill from California Comments

Bill is an actor who worked on the Planet of the Apes TV series. He thinks that the new Planet of the Apes series is exploring the build up to where Charelton Heston visits the original Planet of the Apes. Could a retouch happen of the original film? Scott says that would be neat.

Watch Eric from Torrance, CA Comments

Eric mirrors his Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to his HDTV via NetGear. But if he roots it, it won't work. Are there any alternatives to the NetGear? Scott says that's a black art, but he could mirror to his laptop and then HDMI. The chatroom says that the laptop has to be running Chrome for that to happen. The chatroom also says the Google Chromecast won't mirror just yet. Eric could connect it via an MHL cable and then run it that way. Scott says that's "so 20th century." But there is a way and it also fits in his pocket, so as long as the TV has HDMI, he's good to go. Android L, however, will mirror once it comes out.

Scott did some research and he found that using a Chromecast with the app ALLCast will work with it mostly. He can also use an app called MiraCast. It will also work with Roku. What's interesting is that it sets up it's own wireless streaming through Android 4.0 through the Wi-Fi Direct protocol. The downside is that it's battery intensive since it relies on his phone. Samsung also has an app for mirroring, and it's reliant on his phone battery as well.

Watch Dillan from Calgary, Alberta Canada Comments

Dillon has downsized to a small apartment and is looking for a smaller home theater setup without compromising performance. Scott says that the Energy Take Classic SatSub system has tiny wireless cube speakers and subwoofers. Great for apartment living.

There's also a sound bar. There are plenty out there, some do a pseudo surround, but they're not all that good. But Pioneer has one designed by Andrew Jones called the Speaker Bar SP-SB23W. The chatroom says that the Yamaha Sound Projector is another option, and Scott says it has a really nice "pseudo surround" sound.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Glen from Baltimore, MD Comments

Glen wants to record digitally, but his DAT player has died. Scott says that there are plenty of ways to record digitally via the computer. But if he needs to run from an analog source like a record player, he'll need to get an analog to digital recorder, and high resolution audio isn't going to be part of it. He can clean it up, but there will be a bit of analog signal noise he'll have to deal with. He could have a service rip his LPs. There are also turntables that come with USB connections that go directly into the computer.

Watch Norman from Talahassee, FL Comments

Norman is disabled and is looking to get video from his Droid X to his TV. One solution is to use an HDMI cable. The chatroom says that the Chromecast is the cheapest solution at $35. But the Droid X is pretty old and likely doesn't mirror at all.

Watch Steve from Louisville, KY Comments

Steve's Pioneer Audio receiver finally bit the dust. He's looking to replace it and wants to connect Internet Radio to it. He's heard about the Onkyo NR646. Can he use the Roku in concert with it, or should he get smart capabilities in the receiver? Scott says it really depends on which app or service he wants to use, and whether or not it's on the receiver or the Roku. There might not be an option to get a receiver without those smart functions, as most TVs now have it.

The Chatroom recommends Denon. Scott agrees. Denon receivers are fabulous and that would definitely be the way to go. Yamaha is pretty good as well. Scott also recommends spending some time at, There's great reviews and forums that will point him in the right direction.

Watch David from San Diego, CA Comments

David bought a Pansonic VT55 and had it professionally calibrated. He's now looking at an OLED TV, but he's not sure it'll be around very long. Scott says that OLED is stunning. But they're not cheap by any means. And new models are going to be curved, also. Scott isn't much of a fan because with screen sizes below 110", it's just an unneeded feature. There's also the problem that OLED simply isn't going to be mainstream for awhile due to the cost and we don't know how long it will survive over the long term, especially with blue colors. Blue tends to age faster.

So, at the end of the day, OLEDs will simply not hit the mainstream for quite some time, if ever. A better option is a Samsung F8500 Plasma TV. He can still get them right now and that's where Scott would go.