Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Pete from Fullerton, CA Comments

Pete has a Denon A/V 5.1 Receiver, but it's missing HDMI. He would hate to have to replace it, so he's wondering if there's a connector he can put in between to use HDMI. Scott says he can use component - they are red, green and blue RCA plugs.

David says he could run HDMI to the TV and then run optical or coax through his receiver for the audio. Will it have sync issues? Scott says it's usually fine, but he can adjust that through the TV settings. The big issue is that the TV takes the 5.1 surround and down mixes it to two channel stereo. Then he'd have to re-expand it to a faux surround. David says he can run out optical from his cable/satellite to the AVR, but it's complex with switching the receiver and the TV. At the end of the day, though, Scott recommends just upgrading the receiver. He can always put his current one in another room.

Pete has another receiver for outdoors that died and he replaced it. It only plays A speakers alone or B speakers alone. But not both together. Scott says that it's likely just not powerful enough to handle that kind of setup with really long cables running to the speakers.

Watch Charles from New York, NY Comments

Charles is annoyed with Netflix' attempts to encode movies in mono that are being decoded into stereo. He's also noticing that old movies on Blu-ray are doing the same thing. Is there a new 2 channel stereo to 5.1 surround conversion technology going on? David says that there are certain older movies that have remixed in Blu-ray and it's likely those are the movies that have been used, and Netflix is likely using that remixed master. Scott says that Dolby Pro-Logic can also take a standard stereo signal and spread it out over Dolby 5.1 surround.

Watch Tom from Harrisburg, PA Comments

Tom wants to know if we'll ever be able to see 4K TV over the air, because the broadcast channels have a limited amount of bandwidth. Scott says it is a challenge. In Japan, they are experimenting with technology that would embed an 8K signal inside the broadcast spectrum and they've managed to send the signal up to 17 miles. Part of the solution is through compression. Doesn't that kill the quality? Scott says they're not adding or interpolating information, they're just removing repetitive data and squeezing it. Quality and resolution will be lost that way. Scott doesn't think we'll see 4K broadcasts any time soon as a result. It'll largely be through streaming. And even then, it's compressed heavily. At least we have HD in the broadcast realm, if you're within line of sight.

At the end of the day, if you want high resolution, you need new cable laid. David says that even then, cable companies are going to want to charge us for it. Scott says that the audience really doesn't care, as they prefer convenience over quality.

Watch Roger from Torrance, CA Comments

Scott says he would get the Sony X950B 4K TV. Roger says that one won't work for him. David adds in that if money were no object, he'd get an OLED TV, but that would be a curved screen. Scott says he might opt for the LG 77" for $30,000, but Roger apparently is at least a little price conscious. Scott thinks that at 77", a curved screen might be ok. LG's screens also are only slightly curved, not as curved as Samsung's displays. The Vizio Reference Series will be making a 65" display, and both Scott and David recommend waiting for that one.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Bret from Woodbridge, NJ Comments

Bret wants to do true mirroring from his tablet. Is there an app that will do that for him? Scott says that Google I/O is working on true casting or mirroring to Android devices later this year. He could either use AllCast or MiraCast with a separate device like RocketFish or Netgear's Push2TV. MiraCast is beneficial because it uses it's own separate adhoc Wi-Fi network instead. David says that another issue is that Wi-Fi uses 2.4 Ghz and so does just about every other home device. So there's congestion. This is why using a dual band router that can take advantage of the 5Ghz band is helpful.

Watch Carla from Irvine, CA Comments

Carla is getting ready to head over to Best Buy to buy a new HDTV because her Samsung DLP TV is dying. She's looking at a 55" TV and she doesn't really want anything bigger. Scott says it depends on how far she sits from the TV. Her budget is $1000. Scott says if she can darken the room, she can get a 60" Samsung F5300 plasma for about $800. Scott says it's very nice, but when she has a perfectly white screen, it may have a slight pinkish tinge along the bottom of the screen. But it wouldn't really be noticable on any content.

What about LCDs? Are they better? And what's an LED TV? Scott says that LCD and LED TVs are the same these days. LCD TVs use LEDs to backlight the LCD screen. The ones with backlit, local dimming are the best. In that price range, Vizio is a great value. The M Series in particular - M552i-B2 is $899 and the M551D-A2R is $999. Scott says that the A2R is a 2013 model and that's edge lit. Carla should avoid that one, and go with the B2 model as that has full array LED backlighting with local dimming.

What about the Samsung S6300? Scott says it's edge lit and he doesn't recommend them as much.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch James from Pennsylvania Comments

James has an old Onkyo TXNR808 A/V receiver that he's looking to replace. What would Scott recommend, and can he add a secondary amp to boost the power to his main speakers? Scott says he can add an amp, but he won't really get more power. Most receivers have a pre-amp out which he can then use with a separate, dedicated amp. But it's important to know the impedance of the speakers. The lower impedance, the more power he'll need.

The Emotiva PrePro is around $500, and David says he should check out the UPA700 or the UNC200. Scott agrees, saying it's a very budget conscious brand with good performance.

Watch Chris from Lake Elsinore, CA Comments

Chris is getting ready to upgrade his home theater system. He's looking at a 500 watt system. Will the 14 gauge wiring in his house handle it? Scott says that 12 gauge is what he usually recommends, and David says that 14 gauge should handle it no problem. Since it's a home theater in a box, it's 100 watts per channel, so that his wiring will be more than enough. The Chatroom says to make sure that the amp isn't a class D because that has strange wattage. But since it's a basic RCA HTIB, that's likely not an issue.

Chris also wants to know if regular HD is good for super slo motion video or should he go up to 4K? Scott says no, regular HD will do the job just fine.

Watch JR from Detroit, MI Comments

JR is building a gaming system and he wants to add some great audio. What about the JBL speakers? The one's he's looking at are made in china and he's concerned about the build quality. Scott says that just because they're made in China doesn't mean they're no good. There's good and bad speakers from anywhere. Scott would recommend going with larger 8" woofers to go deeper in the bass. He also needs a digital audio converter. Scott says that Cambridge Audio makes a good one and the chatroom suggests DAC Magic.

Watch Mark from Rhode Island Comments

Mark's mom won a new TV at work and he's been tasked with hooking it up. They also want to have the sound transmitted to a wireless headset for his father. But when he plugs it in, it turns off the speakers on the TV. Suggestions? Scott says that's a common problem and there may be a setting for audio submenus that will give the option to leave the internal speakers on. Scott says that since Mark uses a splitter, it's likely causing the TV to turn off the internal speakers.

David recommends not using the headphone jack, but use the RCA connectors in the back with headphone adapter to route to the base station. Should he use a digital optical converter? Scott says that may be the best and easiest way to solve the issue. They only cost around $40.

Watch Roger from Torrance, CA Comments

Roger is eager for the Vizio Reference Series. Scott says that everyone is looking forward to that new line of 4K UHD TVs with high dynamic range. But he thinks it'll be towards the end of the year. Roger also bought a Panasonic VT60, but the sound is terrible.

Roger saw a list of the top sound bars rated by Consumer Reports, and wanted to see if Scott had tested any of them. The top three were the Sonos Playbar, the Samsung HW850 and the Sony HTST7. Scott says the Sony HTST7 is highly regarded. David also points out that Consumer Reports tends to put more cost conscious products higher than more expensive ones that may sound better.

Watch Jonathan from Rochester, NY Comments

Jonathan has DSL internet, and is wondering if there's an advantage to hard wiring his Roku rather than having it wireless. Scott says yes, hard wire is better because of the possibility for interference in the Wi-Fi spectrum. David says that if he's not having video dropouts, hard wiring won't improve the video quality. It'll just give him a more consistent stream. He also has an A/V receiver wired to his speakers.

Should he opt for wireless speakers? Scott says that Atlantic and Hyperion have wireless signals that he can route to wireless powered speakers. But without them, then no. He would need wires.