Larry has 12-year-old florescent backlit TV and it's time to upgrade to 4K. It's in a surround sound system with a Denon receiver and he would rather not upgrade that as well. Leo says there is an "upgrade cascade" that happens when there is a home theater system. If an AV system drives video, then users have to upgrade it. But if it's just running the audio, they'll be fine. Just use the optical out on a new TV. Upgrade the ROKU box to 4K capable. But what's even more important is the HDR support 4K brings.
Ed wants to get a wireless AV receiver for his home, that'll also work with the TV. Leo says that he uses Sonos... but nowadays, he can do the same thing Sonos does for less money. Leo says that he can get a pretty good AV receiver from Onkyo or Denon for around $400 that will stream as well, and then choose his own speakers. It really comes down to what's most important - sound quality or price point. Leo says that he can get better if he wants to pay for it. ELAC speakers will do that.
Scott joins Rich to talk about an issue connecting a tape deck to a modern AV receiver with no tape in/tape out option. Scott says older receivers had that feature to record and playback certain AV signals. But that went away about 20 years ago. No receiver that Scott knows supports that anymore. With modern streaming, nobody really records anymore. But with certain receivers, including the Marantz NR1509, you can still record it. Look for a preamp out or pre-out port.
Adam recently bought an LG OLED 65" TV. But using his Sony receiver with Dolby 5.1, should he plug everything into that first? Leo says that his general standard is to route everything through the AV receiver and then to the OLED. But if he is streaming from the TV itself, he will need an audio return channel (ARC) in order to get that audio through the home theatre system.
Ricky has Sonos, and after a recent update, he can't get his Sonos speakers to play in party mode. Leo says that may be due to it choosing a speaker to act as the main portal. Leo has had similar issues, and he solved it with a boosted Wi-Fi device. A recent update was supposed to fix all that. The more likely issue, though, could be plain old congestion. Everything has Wi-Fi now, and as a result, it causes rush hour. Leo recommends un-pairing everything.
Brian builds Raspberry Pi computers for everything from running DVRs (via Kodi) to routers. Leo says that Raspberry Pis are great and for $35, they're incredibly powerful. But his HDMI switch died recently, and it won't recognize his Pi anymore. Leo says that HDMI switchers are notoriously finicky. He'd be better off with an A/V receiver with multiple HDMI ports. It's the best way to go because the audio gets switched and stays in sync as well.
Mike is trying to connect his Echo to his Yamaha home stereo system, as well as his computer speakers. But when he starts playing it, it disconnects and plays on the Echo speaker. Leo says he'll have to set it up with the Echo app. The trick is to use the right command. He should be specific. For instance, he could tell it "Echo, play music in the living room."
Tom is having an issue with his Samsung 4K TV. The HDMI through his AV Receiver drops and he has to reacquire it. Leo says that it all comes down to his source. There's a feature called Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) that allows a streaming box to switch his AV Receiver automatically. It's annoying and happens to Leo all the time. So he should check his source in the AV Receiver. Then he should disable CEC everywhere. Samsung calls this feature "AnyNet Plus."
Adam has an A/V receiver, but it doesn't have HDMI. Can he still use it? Scott says not really, at least not for video. HDMI is the standard connection now in HDTVs, and if it doesn't have it, then he'll need a newer A/V receiver to handle the connection. If it had component, he may be able to get away with it, but it's not likely, and it still wouldn't be digital.
Joyce listens has a harder time listening to dialog on TV because everything else is louder. What can she do? Leo says shows are mixed for surround sound and if she doesn't have that, the spoken word can get overwhelmed by other sound and music. Some TVs and audio receivers have center channel settings that would allow her to turn up the center channel so she can hear it. Most TVs have that feature. If she doesn't have a center channel speaker, she should get one. It will help a lot.