home theater

Why Can't I Get Sound With Amazon FireTV Stick?

https://amzn.to/39ahdhX

Episode 1679

Buzz from Huntington Beach, CA

Buzz bought an Amazon Fire Stick and has an old Yamaha Receiver for it, but it doesn't have HDMI. He's managed to connect it, but he gets no audio. Leo says that most TVs have one HDMI/ARC. That's the Audio Return Channel. He wants to plug the FireStick there. But he also wants to also use the optical connection for sound. That's what Buzz did, but it doesn't work on the Firestick. Everything else is fine. The audio settings may need to be changed. Look at the TV setup.  Try using the PCM Audio setting.

Scott Wilkinson ... Throttled

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1679

During this period of social distancing, everyone is streaming. As such, Netflix has had to lower the resolution quality of streaming down to SD in Europe in order to handle the load. That's a significant degradation if you have a 4K TV. Will it happen here? Scott wouldn't be surprised if it does. As more people shelter in place, they'll be watching more, and streaming more. Coupled with working at home, kids having virtual classes online, internet traffic is going way up. Leo says one way around this is to cache content. 

Scott Wilkinson - Popular Scientist

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1677

Scott Wilkinson is featured in this month's Popular Science, talking about the high dynamic audio range and how it's constantly needing to be adjusted when watching a movie at home. Scott ways that movies in the theaters are loud, but the spec is 85dBa, with peaks of 120dBa. The acoustic makes up the loudness, though. But when you get home, you don't have that luxury unless you've built it in. So you're constantly turning it up for dialog, and turning it down for things like explosions.

Scott Wilkinson ... Can you Tell the Difference?

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1673

Scott says that TV makers are leading the way to 8K TVs now. But the question is, can the human eye even see the difference between 4K and 8K? Scott says probably not. In fact, Warner Brothers tested 130 people and found that most people either couldn't tell the difference or found 8K TVs only slightly better. And some judged 4K better than 8K. But that could actually be a blind guess. People with 2010 vision sitting 5' from the screen could see the difference, but only slightly. So Scott says we've reached the limit of how the human eye can see the resolution. 

Should I get a SONOS or an AV Receiver for Streaming?

AV Receiver

Episode 1671

Ed from Ontario, CA

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 Wilkinson ... Professionally Retreated

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1671

Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about the HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Springs. 500 Hollywood professionals from directors to cameramen, to post-production people. All talking about new techniques in moving making. One was making a short film in a single day. Scott says that while shooting the demonstration film was the near real-time upload of every shot scene to the cloud for editing in post. Using proxies.  Proxies enable you to create an "edit decision list" that can then be applied to the higher resolution footage to create the final cut.

Scott Wilkinson ... up in smoke

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1669

Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about one of the last vinyl record manufacturers, Apollo, being destroyed by fire. Apollo was responsible for making 74% of the lacquer masters that are used to create master vinyl recorders. Is this a big deal? Scott says that the sale of vinyl records has been rising every year for the last four or five years, and with a loss of this vinyl factory, it could mean that the cost of vinyl will go up dramatically. Can it be rebuilt? Maybe, but it'll be very difficult.

Why Aren't My Gaming Headphones Playing Surround Sound When I Watch TV?

ARCTIS 7

Episode 1667

Chris from Santa Barbara, CA

Chris wants to know why surround sound for gaming is different from Dolby 5.1 surround on his headphones.  Leo wonders if the gaming audio is set up to use an app to give surround in the headphones vs. just listening to the system. Scott says that has to do with the bitstream that has to be decoded and the app is required. So if he's watching TV with his gaming headphones, he may not get surround. That's why Leo suggests hardware encoding. Even if he figures out a workaround though, Chris will likely be going to have lag.