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Episode 1328 October 2, 2016

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Roger from Goleta, CA Comments

Roger is looking to get an OLED TV and he hears that not all LG OLED models are equal. Scott doesn't think that's true. It's likely that they use the same panel, but the higher end models may have better quality panels, so that may be the difference.

Watch Gary from Laguna Nigel, CA Comments

Gary is a bird photographer and he wants to know if there is a phone that can switch between Verizon and AT&T. If Gary has an unlocked phone, he can swap out SIM cards as necessary and the iPhone will switch from carrier to carrier. If he's in good standing with his carrier he can request that they unlock it. Or he can just buy one unlocked.

Google has Project Fi, which can switch to whatever the strongest carrier is, but the iPhone can't do that.

Watch Kevin from Wichita, KS Comments

Kevin bought an OLED HDR TV and he's worried that with two different HDR formats, it will soon be obsolete. Scott doesn't think so. In fact, HDR 10 is an open standard and most TV makers will support it. Dolby Vision, however, is a required license. All content streaming in HDR is supported by HDR 10 as is HDR Blu-ray. Even rival Dolby Vision supports HDR 10 so if a TV doesn't recognize Dolby, it will play HDR 10. So it'll most likely survive long into the future.

Watch Warren from Torrance, CA Comments

Warren is looking for a good soundbar for a bedroom TV. Scott says almost anything is better than the TV's internal speakers. Having said that, there are good options out there. There's also a sound base. Scott really likes Samsung's Soundbar system, which comes with surround sound that is Dolby Atmos capable. ZVOX is a good option. Vizio makes a Sound base. It comes down to how much he'll want to spend. Vizio is a good midrange product.

Watch Warren from Torrance, CA Comments

Scott says that it depends on the model. Some have better off-axis than others. The same is true for LCD TVs. LCDs can be brighter, and there are better choices in a brighter room over a darker room where OLED is better. LCD is less expensive, as well.

Watch Alan from Laguna Nigel, CA Comments

Alan's wondering why people are buying 4K TVs when there isn't a lot of content available in 4K yet. Scott says it's because manufacturers are all making 4K TVs, and aren't even really making 1080p TVs anymore. While he's right about there not being a lot of native 4K content yet, it is growing and there is some. When you don't have 4K content, the TV will upscale it, and then the question becomes what TV has the best upscalers. So when reading reviews, look for how the reviewers evaluate the upscalers.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brian from Anchorage, AL Comments

Brian's family shares a single iTunes account and he wants to know the advantage of going with family sharing. Jason says he'll gain the advantages of using different settings for different accounts, including setting buying limits, ratings, etc. The downside is that he won't get to share the iCloud space. Additionally, in-app purchases aren't sharable. So if it isn't broke, Jason says don't fix it. He should stick with what he has.

Brian also wants suggestions for streaming classical music. Scott says that Tidal is a good service because it streams in lossless CD quality. Jason says that Kirk McElhearn from iTunes is a classical music expert. Search for him and Brian will find a ton of articles on where to get it and how.

Watch Michael from Encinitas, CA Comments

Michael is looking at a Vizio M-Series TV, but doesn't know if it's the 2016 model. Scott says it is. Is calibration important? It can be. The more you spend on a TV, the more important calibration is, and the less of a financial hit it is. For the Vizio M series, which is under $2,000, Scott says it's not worth spending another $300 to $500 for a professional calibration. Michael can get 80% of the way there himself by buying a $30 disc from Amazon. The one Scott recommends is the Disney World of Wonder disc. This will take him through the steps to set the basic picture controls, including Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint, and Sharpness. Color and tint usually don't need to be changed.

Michael is also looking for a soundbar to go with the new TV for around $200 to $300. Scott says the Vizio soundbars are perfectly adequate and will give him better sound quality than the sound from the TV itself.

Watch Michael from Encinitas, CA Comments

Michael has an old iPad 2 and is looking to upgrade it. He also wants to get a MacBook. Which is best for him? Jason says that the iPad Pro is more expensive but it supports the Apple Pencil and and external keyboard. They still sell the older models, including the iPad Air 2, though. They're $100 cheaper than a year ago.

As for the MacBook, the word on the street is that MacBook Pros will be updated at the end of the month. So if he wants a higher end Mac laptop, then he can choose that. They also recently updated the MacBook Air, so he can go with that or the Retina MacBook. It's a good idea to wait and see what happens, though.

Watch Lori from Napa Valley, CA Comments

Lori has a budget Vizio TV and she sees a subtle diagonal pattern when there's a bright background. It's distracting. Scott says to go into the menu and look under 16:9 to see if overscanning is enabled. Overscanning can cause scaling and artifacting, too. Scott doesn't see any way to turn that off, so she may want to contact Vizio about it.

Watch Lori from Napa Valley, CA Comments

Lori is having a problem with her iPad 2. She syncs it over Wi-Fi, but lately when she tries to plug it in to her PC, it won't let her sync. It just requests to restore to a backup. Jason says that the PC is looking at the iPad as if it's a new one and can't identify it. Updating iTunes on the PC and iOS on the iPad could help. The iPad 2 doesn't support iOS 10, though. She may be at the end of the line there. If it offers to set it up as a new iPad, that may be OK, as it pulls the data off the iPad and syncs it. That can be scary, so Lori should have iCloud backup enabled. If the Wi-Fi sync is failing, then it's a related problem. She should do an iCloud backup first.

Another option is to reset her settings. Don't erase it, but clear out the settings so that the PC could maybe see it again. She should also look under settings to see what's syncing and how. She can find that under Contacts.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch James from Redlands, CA Comments

James has an older 1080p HDTV and wonders if he should upgrade it if he buys the XBox One S. Scott says not really. If his TV is 1080p at 120 hz, that's a nice TV. Scott believes that the XBox One S just upscales to 4K, and doesn't show native 4K. It can play true 4K Blu-ray, though. So it depends on how badly he wants to watch 4K. If he does, then he should upgrade it all. If not, then there's no point.

What about speakers? Speakers in a TV are terrible. Manufacturers figure that the buyer will have a home theater system or soundbar. So don't be in a hurry to upgrade unless he really wants to. Then if he does, he may as well upgrade the XBox One S as well.

James has an Android phone and his fiance has an iPhone. How can they video conference? Jason says that Google's new Duo app is the way to go.

Watch Glen from Louisiana Comments

Glen wants to know how much resolution a DVD really has compared to a Blu-ray. Scott says DVDs are standard definition which is 720x480. Blu-ray can be 1920x1080 and above. How will it upscale? Scott says the newer his tv, the more it will upscale. If he buys a 4K TV, it will be about 10 times the resolution. The more upscaling it does, the more problems can happen. Scott says he may consider streaming from PBS. It may be in HD, rather than SD.

(Image: By User:Wanted, User:Ochro [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

Watch Louie from Orange County, CA Comments

Louie wants to know if there's a higher quality CD for audio. Scott says that SACD or Super Audio CD is one. It was meant to succeed CD, but online music distribution pretty much killed it. He can still get them online and they do offer better audio specs than CDs do. How do they compare to Blu-ray audio? It's just a different technology, with Blu-ray audio using PCM to store a lot more data, while SACD uses DSD. Blu-ray audio has better specs up to 24 bits, while CD audio is 18bits. He can also get greater dynamic and frequency range.

Louie wants to know if he should buy the Andrew Jones speakers for his high power amps. Scott says he can't go wrong with Andrew Jones products. He works for ELAC now and the speakers that they make are super great and not very expensive.

Watch Jimmy from California Comments

Jimmy is looking for a good microphone that can make his voice sound like a saxophone. He tried the Roland JV-1010 and it was close, but is there a better microphone for this? Scott says that the G10 is a pitch to MIDI interface and it could cause the latency that Jimmy was experiencing. Scott doesn't know of anything new that will improve on his performance. Pitch to MIDI conversion is what does it and it has to convert the audio to MIDI, which results in latency. It takes a certain amount of processing to do that.

He could potentially get something custom made, but he can't change the laws of physics. It just takes time to detect and convert pitches into a MIDI message. He could try modifying a guitar to MIDI converter.

Scott recommends checking out There's a few threads there on this topic and they recommend Sonuus for this. They're in the UK.

Watch Ray from California Comments

Ray has a bunch of remotes and he hates having to switch between them. He's about to update to a 4K TV and wants to know if he can control everything with one voice operated remote control? Could the Amazon Echo do that? The Logitech Harmony remote is the best way to go. They also have a separate IR emitter that talks to the RF in the Amazon Echo.