Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Mill Valley, CA Comments

Steve got a new TV and he wants to integrate it into his sound system. Leo says that the centerpiece of the modern era is the TV, and we're trying to duplicate the experience with surround sound. Leo says that the existing receiver will probably not work. Steve will need an A/V receiver. He doesn't want rear speakers, though. Leo says Steve at least needs a subwoofer and a center channel. He should get the TV at eye level and have the speakers on either side of it. He could use a "phantom" center speaker. Not nearly as good, but it will do the job.

Scott Wilkinson says that he won't want to cheap out on a center channel, though, because most of the dialogue comes from it. He'll want it to be the same tonal signature as the main L/R speakers. Steve doesn't have to start over with the speakers, but he should find another similar speaker that he has for the center channel and definitely get a new A/V Receiver. What about a non powered sound bar? Leo says he wouldn't do that. He already has good speakers to build on. There's no need to forsake them for the pseudo-surround experience of a sound bar. If he's going to do that, go Dolby 5.1 and get the surround speakers. The Pioneer sound bar SPSB23W is pretty good though. There's also Pioneer bookshelf speakers, SP-BS21-LR. They're not too expensive and work really well.

Leo has two sound systems set up in the house. He uses the Aperion 5.1 system, and Emotiva. Both made in the US, and are high quality. Sell direct for affordability. Leo's very happy with them, especially the Aperion. Scott agrees but also adds the Energy speakers - The Energy Take Classic System. Tiny speakers with a subwoofer. The chatroom also suggests Dayton Audio.

Watch Tom from Warren, OH Comments

Tom is looking for Leo's suggestion about fire alarms and suppression. Leo went out to the local alarm company and had them do it. But there are some interesting choices that also offer full home automation with motion activated cameras that will tell the house to heat up and turn on the lights when he gets home. He can do it himself, but he'll lose the monitoring advantages.

He can create a setup that will allow him to control his home automation from his cell phone. There's also programmable thermostats like the Nest. We'll see more from CES this week.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mark from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Mark upgraded his Google Nexus 5 with Lollipop, but he's finding the battery life isn't as good. Leo says it should be, as there were significant changes designed to improved battery life like toning down the screen, and adjusting "wake locks" turning on everything to download email. Lollipop consolidates those into a group so they do it all at the same time. There could be other reasons and Leo recommends doing a device reset. He should also look for apps that wake up the phone and set them to never update unless he is using the app. Also, using navigation software will kill battery life as well.

According to the chatroom, there is an update to Android 5.0.1 that addresses the Nexus 5 battery life issue. Mark is also wondering about chargers -- will a 2 amp charger make a difference? Leo says it depends on the phone and it will only take as much juice as it needs. So it may help.

Watch Gary from North Dakota Comments

Gary likes to play with Raspberry Pi computers and would like to get the smallest UltraHD screen he can for the sleeper in his truck. Leo says that's a great project for a trucker to play with. Leo says that the Raspberry Pi computers are great and for $35, they're dirt cheap and great for the hobbyist.

Leo uses the Blackmagic 8" SmartView UltraHD screens, but they aren't cheap. They are broadcast quality monitors that are 4K. He can also get dual 8" displays. They're rackable, which could be good for his truck cab. They take SDI, so he'll need an adapter, but that won't be expensive.

He can also use his iPad as a second screen with an app called Duet Display.

Watch Andy from Tennessee Comments

Andy has to replace his old flip phone, and he wants a smart phone with a good camera. Leo says that the smartphones have gotten really good, especially with cameras, but they don't have an optical zoom. Is there one as good as a DSLR? Leo says no, he won't get one as good as a Nikon, for sure.

Leo says that the iPhone has the best looking pictures, but it's only an 8 MP camera. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and S5 has surpurb detail with a 16 MP sensor. Leo says it may be a better idea to just get a point and shoot camera for shooting. The Nokia 1020 Windows Phone has a great 41 MP camera.

Watch Dave from Temecula, CA Comments

Dave wants to know how he can get music from his Droid Mini to play through his speakers in his motorcycle. Leo says that a wired cassette adapter is the best option since FM modulators can be problematic in areas where radio station traffic is really crowded. Wired is always preferable.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Wayne from Hemmit, CA Comments

Wayne is going to hike the Pacific Trail, which is about 2,700 miles. He has an iPhone 4 but he needs a charger for it that is both lightweight, portable, and self sustaining. Leo says that he got his son a solar charger, but Wayne needs to understand that they're not terribly efficient and an all day charge may get only get him few hours of phone time.

The Goal Zero Switch 8 solar recharging kit is about $100 from REI. Another interesting idea is a hydrogen fuel cell. But that needs fuel to start the reaction. He may also want to check out the Flame Stower, which is a stove that allows him to cook and charge his phone at the same time! There's also a hand crank radio that will allow him to charge the phone.

Watch Laura from Tejunga, CA Comments

Laura upgraded to the new iPhone 6 with Verizon, but she can't get her email to work on the new phone. Leo says one thing she can do is backup the old phone, and then restore it to the new one. That will move the settings over automatically. Laura says she keeps putting in her email password and it rejects it. Leo suspects Laura is just having issues typing her password with the new keyboard and suggests changing her password to an easier to type, but not easy to guess password.

Verizon has a PDF that shows how to setup a Verizon email account on iPhone here.

Watch Juriel from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Juriel wants to send text messages with a BCC, and is wondering if there's a way to do that. Leo says he doesn't think so. He can always just copy and paste. There's group SMS messaging, but it won't be blind carbon copy. There are apps like WhatsApp, but the recipient would have to have the same app to use it.

There's a service called Vegaro that sends reminders via text. The chatroom also says that every carrier has an email address for text messaging. So he can send it via BCC that way. It's usually the (phonenumber)@(carrier).com. But Juriel would need to find out from the carrier the format to use. MightyText will do it, as will Google Voice.

Watch Dwayne from Hollywood, CA Comments

Dwayne is 75 and has become an actor. He has to learn dialogue sometimes at the last minute and he needs something to help him. Leo says that using an iPad and the app Scene Partner helps actors to get "off book," by recording lines and then use those recordings to interact and learn the scene easier. is designed to be prompted via Bluetooth.