Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I pay music to all rooms in my house?

Episode 1652

David from Anaheim, CA

David wants to stream music to multiple rooms in his house. MultiRoom music is a challenge because it has to sync from room to room with no latency. But it is doable with Amazon Echo. You can get a dot in each room and add some speakers and it'll work. Echo is smart enough that you can even command it to play in different rooms as well. The Amazon Echo Input connects to your own speakers, and right now it's only $10.

Scott Wilkinson ... Calibrated

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1650

Scott got an email from a listener about a Sony X900F TV and wants to know if he can improve the picture quality and how. Scott says that there's a new disc from Spiers and Munsel called "UHD-HDR Benchmark." It's a 4K Blu-ray that will enable the user to calibrate and optimize their TV to the best possible performance without having to hire a professional. He also wants to be able to control his TV and his soundbar with the same remote. Scott says that is hard to do since their Sony remote is not a universal remote. Leo says you can maybe turn on CEC and it could control your soundbar.

Scott Wilkinson and the never ending sale

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1648

Black Friday may have passed, but with Cyber Monday just two days away, Scott is back with another round of killer home theater deals. Scott says that Best Buy has been open later this weekend, and the larger TVs are very cheap ... 75" for $750!  Unbelievable deals, sure, but Scott warns that you may end up with compromised performance. If you can't really see the difference, it may not have that huge an impact, but to the educated home theater eye, once you learn what to look for, you can't unsee the flaws. So when it comes to BlackFriday deals, sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Scott Wilkinson ... Black Friday Deals 2019

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1647

Scott joins Leo after a brief bout with Larengitus, to talk with Leo about this year's Black Friday deals. Scott says that while rumors are that Black Friday deals are for products just made for Black Friday, he says that isn't true at all. They are mostly for overstock, last year's models, and even this year's models. Abe's of Maine has killer deals on OLED TVs, including the LG C9, for 52% off. 65" C9 $1750.

In the speaker category, the Sony Core SSCS3 and the CS5 Bookshelf are 50% off at Best Buy. You can even buy a Sony Atmos system for half off. Klipsh is also 50% off.

Why can't I use my TIVO with a cable card?

Tivo

Episode 1645

Gary from Rockford, IL

Gary got a TIVO Bolt six months ago that uses a cable card, but it's now stuck in "guided setup" with his zip being wrong. How can he reset it? Leo suspects that particular Bolt is defective, perhaps with a faulty hard drive. But Leo replaced his, and it's wasn't the hard drive. So the next option is the power supply. But it sounds like the Bolt isn't all that reliable.

But Mike B in the chatroom says that your cable card may not be correctly configured. Go to your cable store and either ask for a new one or repair that card to your account. 

Can I Get a Wireless Surround Sound System?

VIZIO

Episode 1644

Blackie from Needles, CA

Blackie would like to create a surround sound system with a minimum of wires. Doable? Scott says that there are wireless systems that work quite well. He'd probably still want to wire the front speakers. But the surround speakers and subwoofer can be wireless. Vizio's soundbar as a dedicated wireless subwoofer and surround speakers could work. But they'll need to be plugged in or be connected to the subwoofer, which would be in the back of the room.

Why is 4K upscaling so bad?

Sony Bravia Smart TV X950G

Episode 1643

Greg from Apple Valley, CA

Greg was looking to upgrade to a new 4K TV, and got a Sony Bravia, and found the upscaling was terrible when watching live TV. A year later, the TV has gone out and he has to replace it. Will he have an issue with another 4K TV? Or should he just try and get and older 1080p TV. Rich is not a fan of upscaling, and the native resolution will always be better because upscaling can't invent resolution that's got clarity. Just watch it the way it is, unless it's a 4K native signal. Netflix and Amazon Prime, for instance, stream in 4K. But TV channels vary from 720-1080i-1080p. 

Why is My TV Image Going Out?

 P50 Vizio

Episode 1642

Rich from West LA, CA

Rich bought a P50 Vizio that died after 6 months. He got a replacement, which lasted about a year and a half. Then the replacement died. All sound, no picture (intermittently). He's also been having issues with HDMI. Scott says that Vizio's have a known issue with failing HDMI ports. So try and plug into another one. But more often, the power supplies fail, so that maybe the problem. Rich adds to monitor the problem and maybe add surge protection. But also get back in touch with Vizio. The warranty may enable a return.