Donald is dealing with a horizontal crop issue on his TV. He tried to change the aspect ratio, but all he seems to be able to do is zoom it in, which doesn't help. Leo says that there could be a fit screen option that's been enabled. It could be called Zoom or Stretch. Underscan may also be the option. Try looking for that and disable it. Also, look for 1-for-1 / 1:1.or 16:9. Some movies may end up with letterboxing however. If it does, then zooming it will distort the image and crop off the image like that. So check your aspect ratio settings.
Theresa's 7 year old LCD TV has gone black, and if she looks up close, she can still see an image. Can she fix it? Scott says that the backlit LED panel has gone out and it's really not worth fixing. For less money, she can just buy a better 4K TV. If she's on a budget, TCL and Vizio are the best options.
Don wants to get a TV for the outdoors, but they seem to be four times as much. Leo says that's because TVs are designed for the darkness of a living room or home theater. So getting an outdoor centric TV requires better capability to see in bright, ambient light. There's also weatherproofing issues. Don should check out OuterAudio.com. They recommend the high end SunBright TV for outdoor TVs. Sunlight can also damage TVs.
Sam has a Panasonic Viera Plasma and wants to know if he should repair it or replace it. Leo says that if the repair is cheap enough (like $100) then it's worth a try. Plasmas are great. But LCDs have gotten much better and with new power consumption requirements, Plasma sales dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable to make them. And now, OLED is emerging and is getting cheaper.
Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED.
The day before the Super Bowl is the biggest TV buying day of the year — even bigger than Black Friday. That's because it's also the end of the model year and they want to clear out the old models to make room for the new models. Leo says that there are some times you want to wait for the latest and greatest, but right now is not that time. LCD and OLED TVs are still dominant and will be for a few more years until MicroLEDs take hold. So if you were waiting, don't! If you have an HD TV and wonder if you should buy 4K, now is the time because of HDR 4K TVs.
Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about the Super Bowl and the commercials that everyone wants to see. Scott says that the Super Bowl is the most watched TV show of the year and half are watching the game for the commercials. This year, there's some interesting new things, including TIVO marking each commercial break so that you can skip the game and go to the commercials directly.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how January is the big time to buy a new TV because the NFL playoffs are in full swing and people want their new TV before the Super Bowl. It's also the time that TVs get discounted because TVs we see announced at CES will begin selling in the Spring. Is there any upgrade we'll see in 2018 worth waiting for? Scott says maybe not, but CES always has something new coming and Scott has heard of something that is really exciting. But on the whole, Scott only expects incremental improvements, or what Leo calls "fins" this year.
Jim was having an issue with a blue line on the bottom of his Vizio and they shipped out a replacement TV with professional installation to replace the TV. It was a great customer service experience. Leo says that's a fantastic thing that rarely happens these days. Margins have shrunk so drastically that we lose that kind of support service. Vizio also has a really good product, so they're standing behind it.
Gary got an Insignia HDTV, but it won't let him directly enter channels on the remote. Leo says that at under $200, it's likely that the TV doesn't have direct channel entry on the remote control and it was done to cut costs by reducing features. It may not even have a tuner. He would need to use his cable or streaming box that has a tuner built-in that could do that.