Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

What soundbar should I buy?

Vizio 2.1 Sound Bar SB3821-C6

Episode 1749

Paul from Seaside, CA

Paul recently bought an LG CX 4K TV, and it's incredible. Now he needs a good soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos. He has a high, pitched ceiling. Leo says that Atmos doesn't benefit from a high vaulted ceiling. Especially when tilted. The only way to benefit would be to hang separate speakers closer to the ceiling. A normal 5.1 or 7.1 system would be better for Paul's living room.  And you want to make sure you get a subwoofer. Leo and Scott agree that the Vizio line of soundbars is ideal for the money. Scott recommends the SB3851 or SB4251. Get the M series.

Scott Wilkinson ... High and Low

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1749

Scott joins Leo to talk about this year's Black Friday deals. There was a ton of great Black Friday deals, but Scott says a lot of them were very low-end models. Most were edge-lit LCD TVs. Not a great way to watch TV, but they are cheap. Scott recommends looking at Series 5 TCL LCDs, though. Still affordable and a model up. Vizio's M Series is comparable, as is the Hi-Sense H8 series. If you can find them on black Friday sales, and this year the sales are going for far longer than just one day, then go for it. 

Why Don't My Headphones Work When I Stream Netflix?

Netflix

Episode 1748

Terry from Valley Center, CA

Terry recently switched from Dish to DirecTV. But when he uses his wireless headphones, they won't work when he streams Netflix from the TV. He's got them connected to his TV audio out jack and a splitter/converter. The soundbar works via optical, and Leo thinks that the optical is now cutting off the TV output jack. Leo says that you need a splitter that will split optical (which is light). Terry's splitter is likely failing.

Why Isn't My Subwoofer Working?

RCA Connector Cables

Episode 1748

Stan from Victorville, CA

Stan is having issues with his home theater system subwoofer. No bass at all. Leo says that there are two ways to connect your subwoofer.  A single RCA jack or an LFE connection (for low frequency).

But it could also be a setting in Netflix. Make sure you have your Netflix app set for surround. Make sure the highest quality is also selected. Also, check the settings in your streaming box. 

What Soundbar Can Replace a Dying Home Theater System?

Pioneer FS-EB70

Episode 1748

Gantry from Huntington Beach, CA

Gantry is looking to replace his old sound system, which recently died. He's seeing 3D soundbars, atmos soundbars, and more. What system should he get? Leo says you could buy a new center channel to replace the channel that is broken. Soundbars aren't as good as 5.1 Dolby surround systems. But if you don't want to rewire it, or get a new AV receiver, then a soundbar is a good alternative. Leo says that Vizio makes a great line of soundbars in all budgets. They are even Atmos capable with upward-firing speakers. 

Can I create sound all around the house using Amazon Echo speakers?

Episode 1747

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul wants to be able to hook up a friend's Amazon Alexa device to his CD system, so he can create a speaker system in every house. Leo says that the Amazon FireTV Cube has an IR blaster that can command your devices from anywhere in the house. But to broadcast the signal on the Echo devices may be a challenge. If they had an audio-in jack, then that would be the easiest. Doing it digitally from your computer and streaming music would be even easier.  But to play physical media over an Echo system is a challenge.

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.

What TV should I get for gaming?

Episode 1747

Steven from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Steven recently picked up an XBox X for gaming. He wants to play Fortnight in 4K at 120hz. What's a good TV for that? Leo says the TCL 6 Series is a good choice. Scott says that the HiSense H series will also give you a lot of bang for your buck. LG uses HDMI 2.1, which will future proof your gaming experience. So that may be a better choice. The downside is, most of LG's budget LCD TVs aren't that great. Get the OLED if you can afford it. The 65" LG OLED CX is around $1900 on Amazon. Nice TV.

Scott Wilkinson ... Calibrated

Episode 1747

Scott joins Leo to talk about TV calibration. Scott says that most TVs have a THX or Cinema Mode that is pretty good. Use the Disney WOW calibration DVD and you can get your TV dialed in about 80% of what a professional calibrator can do. 

Scott also says that at 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

Best review site for TVs is RTings.com.