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.
Lucy is having issues hearing the audio on her TV. Leo says there may be a problem with the audio processor. It's likely not worth repairing, but he says that doesn't mean the TV is unusable. Get a new soundbar. She can get them for under $200. Leo recommends Vizio! The speakers in a TV are really meant to be an afterthought. That's why they're not very good. So getting a soundbar is a good option. If she buys it and it doesn't work, she can just return it. Then it's time to look for a new TV.
Greg is looking to get a 65" TV with decent sound. Suggestions? He'll be getting a soundbar later. Scott Wilkinson says that Sony makes the best OLED TVs with decent speakers. The design is actually the screen itself, with drivers behind them. But that's going to cost well over $1500. Better to get a soundbar for $100. That way it doesn't really matter what TV he buys.
Speakers on TVs are really an afterthought these days. The best choice is to pay a little less for the TV and then add the Soundbar now. Scott recommends Vizio or TCL. The TCL M Series is in Greg's price range.
Dean is looking for an 85" TV. Scott says that larger TVs are becoming a very common size, but an 85" TV isn't going to be cheap. The Samsung 85 Q80 is $3,000. Dean is confused, because for Black Friday, there are so many models to choose from. What's best? Scott recommends the following models:
Vizio M7 or higher
Samsung Q8 or higher
Sony M700 or higher. The 85" X900 is around $3500. Best Buy and Amazon have it for $2000. A killer deal!
Best review site for TVs is RTings.com. Which one would Scott pick? Scott would go for the Sony X900 or the Samsung Q80.
Larry is having trouble listening to dialog when he's watching TV. Leo says that today's modern movies and TV shows are mixed for surround sound, which is expected to come out of the center channel speaker. It's expecting that people have their own home theater systems that have multiple speakers for those channels. If one just relies on the TV speakers or a home stereo, that dialogue can get muddled as it's squashed together. One thing to do is make sure the TV isn't interpreting sound as surround. It'll be in sound settings. There may also be a setting to boost vocals.
Scott joins Leo to talk about a new soundbar. Normal soundbars are a long, thin device with multiple woofer and tweeter speakers built-in. You can also get an additional subwoofer that can even connect wirelessly. The Dali Katch One by DSP is a new soundbar that Scott reviewed at TechHive here. There are two sound modes, narrow and wide, and it's not cheap at $1000. You can pay extra for a subwoofer, but Scott says the Katch One is so good, you don't really need anything else.
Ron has a sound bar and a surround sound A/V receiver. Both require optical connections, but his A/V receiver doesn't have HDMI for his Blu-ray player. He only has one. What can he do? Is there an optical switcher or splitter? Leo says it should work that way. He may be able to just rewire everything, but buying a new A/V receiver that supports HDMI is the best solution long term. So an optical splitter may be his best choice short term. He shouldn't go too cheap on it, though.
Noah has bought a sound bar, but it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. Leo says if the sound bar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control from the Google Assistant. He could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. He should look to see if he can disable the eco, or power down mode.
Scott says that TVs have gotten so thin that speakers aren't capable of providing any appreciable sound because they aren't beefy enough to drive the sound. So a home theater system, or a sound bar, is now a must. But Scott says that if your TV only puts out stereo via Toslink (the optical connector), a surround sound sound bar isn't really going to help. So don't overspend on them.