sound bars

What's the best 85" TV?

Episode 1747

Dean from California

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.

Why Can't I Hear Dialog In My TV?

soundbar

Episode 1733

Larry from Tustin, CA

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 Wilkinson and the Sony Screen Soundbar

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1711

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 DSPĀ 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.

Can I split an optical connection on my home theater devices?

Optical Splitter

Episode 1521

Ron from Downey, CA

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.

How could I get Google Assistant to turn on my sound bar?

Logitech Harmony Hub

Episode 1507

Noah from Grand Rapids, MI

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.

What mesh router and TV should I buy?

Vizio P Series

Episode 1503

Doug from Albuquerque, NM

Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1499

This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Vizio Sound Bar

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.