This year, the Academy Awards is going to be hostless, as the Academy seeks to avoid controversy generated by comedians who have questionable posts on social media. Leo says what he likes about the Oscars is that people in the craft of each category vote for that category, and best picture. Scott is going to be watching the awards on his SONY 65" OLED TV.
Rich recently bought a 4K TV, now he's having issues watching Blu-ray DVDs that are non 4K, because it's a bit "jerky." Leo says it's called "decoding hesitation." Scott says that the very first Samsung Blu-ray players had problems with resolution and detail. It's also related to upscaling. What's odd is that it's inconsistent, happening every 5-10 seconds. Leo also says the Blu-ray player is losing sync when decoding the data stream. A better player will fix the problem, and if Rich is looking to get the next component in his new 4K system, the Blu-ray player is where to start.
Black Friday Deals are looking very good this year:
Al has an old receiver and he wants to connect his TV to it. He bought one, but he's not getting sound from the TV. If he connects it to the Blu-ray player, though, it works just fine. Leo says that he'll need to go into the LG menu setup and disable the onboard speakers in favor of external speaker output. Another possibility is the DAC may not understand the TV signal because it's encoded, while the BluRay Player is using unencoded PCM audio. Al should figure out what audio the Blu-Ray is sending out and see if he can duplicate that setting on the DAC.
Darwin wonders what the FBI used to crack open the iPhone of a terrorist. Leo says that the FBI won't say. Leo suspects they went to an Israeli firm called Celebrite, which can unlock older iPhones with four digit codes. Which is why Apple changed the code to a six digit code and patched vulnerabilities that would allow them to bypass it. If Darwin can prove that he owns his personal iPhone, Apple can open it for him. But if it's his sister's, there's no guarantee that Apple will. But if he can prove ownership or relational link, it's possible.
Isaac has a nice Sony home theater system. But with 4K, he wants to know if the difference in quality is worth rebuilding it in 4K. Leo says that Blu-ray is not only 4 times the resolution as 1080p, it also has the high dynamic range and that's more important. If his home theater supports HDR, then there's no problem. If not, he may want to think about it. Moving forward, he can start picking up UHD HDR Blu-rays for his collection. Billy Lynn, Master and Commander, the BBC Earth series — all are excellent.
What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott Wilkinson says that most of the Ultra Blu-ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well, but it won't be as good because of bitrate. It'll top out at about 25 Mbps streaming, and it's data compressed, while 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR Blu-rays can be a challenge.
Mike says that Blu-ray players have dual HDMI ports because some legacy receivers don't support the higher bit rate HDMI 2.0a standard. So you can plug into the older HDMI port instead. But then you lose 4K capability.
Leo got the latest BBC series Planet Earth 2 on Blu-ray and he says it's stunning. Scott says that they shot the film on the RED cameras, which have incredible dynamic range and recorded at a higher resolution at 60p before downscaling to 4K for the Blu-ray.