home theater

Scott Wilkinson and the Big Event

Episode 1829

This week was the annual Value Electronics Great TV Shoot Out. Scott says that all the flagship models were put side by side in a darkened room, along with a professional "reference" monitor for comparison. They were all calibrated the same as well. Commercial and custom content was shown, as well as test patterns. Then, professionals were invited to come and give their impressions on which one was best. There were both 4K and 8K categories, as well as a projection category this year. 

Here's are the top three from each category:

Scott Wilkinson and the Great TV Shootout


Episode 1827

Scott joins Leo to preview the 2021 Value Electronics Great TV Shootout. The event will pit all the most popular TVs on the market and this will be the first year that 8K TVs will be part of the shootout. Other contenders will include super full-array local dimming models (SuperFALD), QLEDs, OLEDs, and LEDs. There will also be a separate shootout for ultra-short throw (UST) projectors.

Scott Wilkinson and Other People's Money


Episode 1823

Scott got an email from a listener wanting him to help spend his money for home theater. He wants a soundbar that is "simple, but awesome." If money is no object, then Scott recommends an 83" LG C1. Or the 85" Samsung QN85. The 85" TCL 8545 is $3,000. Or the Vizio P85 PX. Those are in the $3,000-5,000 range. Another option is an ultra-short throw projector. Leo has a HiSense and he loves it. And it comes with a screen. But most don't. The Optima p2, the Epson LS400. Good options.  The larger the space you have, the larger the screen you want. That's where a projector will be an advantage.

Scott Wilkinson, HiFi Hipster

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1819

Scott joins Leo to talk about Audeze Electro Static Headphones, which uses planar magnetics for an open, airy sound. But they aren't cheap at $4500. Oh, and you also have to buy a special pro bias amplifier as well. So expect to drop over $5K. Which is a lot cheaper than Sennheiser's $60 thousand cans! They were initially developed for patients who had to have MRIs, to keep them calm. Now the technology is consumer-grade and hopefully, the price will come down soon.

Scott says they sound amazing.

Scott Wilkinson gets demoed

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1817

Scott went to a demo this week of the Olympics being streamed live over the internet via OpenCloud. The noteworthy bit was that the live stream was being done in 8K at 60fps at 100MBps HEVC, and compressing it in real-time before being streamed online. The computer compressing it had 4 Intel Xenon processors to handle the heavy lifting and then outputting it to 8K HLG at 60fps. Scott was watching it on a 75" 8K TV.

What TV and Sound System Should I Get?

TV & Sound System

Episode 1816

Richard from Tampa, FL

Richard will be buying a new TV and sound system soon and wants to know what to get. Leo says to determine the size; you want bigger than you think. These days, 70" or more is better for movies. And if you can darken the room, then an OLED is ideal. But if the room has brighter ambient light, then an LCD screen is going to be best. So, it depends on the room you put it in. As for sound, a soundbar will work really well, but you want to get a subwoofer.

Can I Just Swap Out My TV in My Home Theater?

Samsung QNED QN65Q

Episode 1815

Laura from Goldendale, WA

Laura has a 17x20 living room with a 10-year-old TV that she wants to replace. What size should she get? She's looking at the Samsung QLED QN65Q. Will her speakers be plug-in-play to support them? Leo says yes. Whatever sources they have in the receiver will be supported. She just wants to be sure to plug the HDMI cable into the port that says "ARC." That's the Audio Return Channel, and it'll keep the audio in sync. If the TV doesn't support ARC, then she needs to opt for the optical connection, and some TVs are dropping that. If that's the case, she may need a new AVR. 

Scott Wilkinson and HDR Projectors

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1815

Scott joins Leo to talk about his latest article on HDR and video projectors. This is quite a challenge because projectors are traditionally not that bright. A lot of projectors can accept an HDR signal, but what do they do with it? You can set a projector so your dimmed parts look better, but the brighter parts get "clipped." So what can you do? You can simulate HDR by optimizing the projector and your room to give the HDR image the best chance to shine.

Scott Wilkinson and the QNED Controversy

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1810

Scott joins Leo to talk about LG's new QNED TVs, which have mini LEDs and a silly name. What QNED should mean is quantum dot LET emitters. But that's years away. But LG hijacked the term QNED to prevent Samsung from using it. It's just silly marketing. Having said that, the $3500 LG 3580 QNED is a pretty impressive TV, even though there's no content to take advantage of it. 

Scott also recommends going to RTings.com to read the latest reviews before buying one.