Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson ... up in smoke

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 have 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. 

Can I still get a "dumb" TV?

"Smart" TV

Episode 1666

Rich from Santa Clarita, CA

Rich doesn't want a smart tv. Can he get a "dumb" TV anymore? Leo says not really. TV companies actually make money off the TVs online activity, and so they make all TVs that way. You can dumb down your TV by not connecting that TV to the internet. And use a third party box like Roku. Or even an inexpensive Chromecast. The best "dumbish" TV is Vizio, though. 

Why is my TV "fluttering?"

Apple TV

Episode 1666

Jack from Riverside, CA

Jack is having a "fluttering" issue with his AppleTV, where it goes to black. Spectrum says it's a box problem, and it should be rebooted. Apple says it shouldn't. Leo says that Apple is wrong; he has to reboot his AppleTV all the time. It's easy by pressing the menu and home button at the same time for five seconds. Stuttering can also indicate a bandwidth issue. Samsung also says his TV is out of date as well. But Leo says that it's probably not the TV. He suspects that his carrier Spectrum and a bad app. Uninstall the app and reinstall it. Also, try using a wired ethernet connection.

How Can I Cut Cable and Still Watch TV?

TIVO

Episode 1665

Daniel from Chatsworth, CA

Daniels' cable bill keeps rising. He uses TIVO. Is there a service where he can still use his TIVO and not pay for cable? Leo says he can get an over the air TIVO, and if he has that, he can put up an antenna and still record local channels. Check out tvfool.com and AntennaWeb.org to find out what he can get over the air in the area and what antenna is best.

What 70"+ TV Should I Buy?

Samsung Q70

Episode 1665

Ed from Tulsa, OK

Ed is looking for a 70" plus TV. What's the sweet spot for where to sit and which model should he buy? He can't find any mention of full-array local dimming. Scott says some do include the spec, some don't. But that doesn't mean that aren't FALD. The Samsung 70" Q70 is FALD, as is the Q80 and Q90. Scott also says the Sony X50 isn't, but the X950 is. Most LG TVs are edge-lit. 15 feet is ideal for and 80-85" TV.

Scott Wilkinson and the Super Stream

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1665

Scott Wilkinson joins Leo to talk about the Super Bowl and how he usually just watches the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. But this year, he's interested in the game because of the 4K HDR streaming options you can enjoy. Leo says it's through the Roku Ultra and the FoxSports app. It'll also be broadcast in 60p. So 4K 60p and HDR. But it almost didn't happen, as Fox Sports and Roku had to sign a last-minute deal to enable it to happen. But Roku isn't the only option. Amazon Fire enabled sticks and TVs will also be able to do it.

Scott Wilkinson ... in a different space

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1661

Scott joins Leo to talk about 360 reality audio, launched by Sony. Scott says SONY goes so far as to take the shape of the human ear into consideration when designing spatial audio, to make the experience more lifelike and Scott says it works best with Sony headphones. The challenge, though, is that there is a lack of content, as mixing must be done to create the spatial separation of each track in the audio experience.