Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why is streaming of AppleTV+ so bad?

Episode 1831

Jim from Glendale, CA

Jim has a Sony Bravia 4K TV. But he keeps having issues streaming his AppleTV.  Leo says that AppleTV can stream up to 30MBps, and that's a lot to cover through your wifi. Leo recommends hardwiring it. That will avoid any congestion. Or pick up a WiFi 6 router. That could make your signal more prolific. If you're talking about the AppleTV+ software on your Sony Bravia, Leo recommends trying the AppleTV hardware. Apps on a Smart TV aren't all that great and are rarely updated. And talk is, that the AppleTV+ app isn't that will written.

Is There a DVR for OTA Recording?


Episode 1829

Jeff from Pasadena, CA

Jeff is amazed by the uncompressed quality of HDTV you can get with a TV antenna. Leo says that's because the signal is sent over the airwaves uncompressed. You don't get that with cable or streaming. But is there a DVR for over-the-air recording? Leo says yes, there are a few. TIVO makes one. ChannelMaster is very popular. And then there's the SiliconDust HDHomeRun. Leo likes the HDHomeRun the best. One box can feed multiple TV and mobile devices around the entire house. But it's just a box.

Scott Wilkinson and the Big Event

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1829

This week was the annual Value Electronics Great TV Shoot Out. Scott says that all the flagship models were put side by side in a darkened room, along with a professional "reference" monitor for comparison. They were all calibrated the same as well. Commercial and custom content was shown, as well as test patterns. Then, professionals were invited to come and give their impressions on which one was best. There were both 4K and 8K categories, as well as a projection category this year. 

Here's are the top three from each category:

Why's My TV Streaming Experiencing Buffering?


Episode 1827

Matthew from Murietta, CA

Matt is having buffering issues when streaming on his TV. Leo says that buffering shouldn't happen that often. But if the packets arrive out of order, buffering occurs as the TV is waiting for the missing packets to put them in order. If it's dropping packets, users miss content. That's why a stream usually buffers 30 seconds ahead, just in case packets arrive out of order. Check out Fast.com to see if it is getting enough bandwidth. Also speedtest.net and the DSL reports speedtest.

Scott Wilkinson and the Great TV Shootout


Episode 1827

Scott joins Leo to preview the 2021 Value Electronics Great TV Shootout. The event will pit all the most popular TVs on the market and this will be the first year that 8K TVs will be part of the shootout. Other contenders will include super full-array local dimming models (SuperFALD), QLEDs, OLEDs, and LEDs. There will also be a separate shootout for ultra-short throw (UST) projectors.

Why Has My AV Speaker Gone Out?


Episode 1825

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard's optical speakers are suddenly malfunctioning with only one speaker working. Leo says if the wires are connected, then it could be a bad speaker wire. They can fail. The speaker can also fail. Do the easy thing first ... replace the wires. Also, try using a different device like a turntable. That will eliminate the receiver. Also, change the connections from left to right. If the other speaker goes out and the current speaker has sound again, then the AV receiver may be going out.

Scott Wilkinson ... a little compressed

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1825

Scott joins Leo to talk about the new AptX lossless high-resolution Bluetooth standard that was announced this week. Scott adds that while it does have a little compression, the AptX developers state they can recover the original quality of the sound. But it's not really high resolution. As for headphones, Scott uses OneMore's Stylish Bluetooth headphones. They sound great. But when he really wants to hear high-resolution audio, he sticks to wired headphones. 

But don't expect Aptx on your iPhone any time soon. They use Apple lossless, AAC over Bluetooth. 

Are Expensive Speakers Worth the $$$?


Episode 1823

Scott from Ventura, CA

Scott wants to know if expensive analog speakers and turntables are worth the money. Leo says that they may or may not. Oftentimes, they look better than they sound. But analog speakers will sound "warmer," which may be ideal if he's got a great vinyl collection. Then again, if he's older, the money he's paying for audio quality may be lost due to hearing loss. Especially if listening with hearing aids. Hearing aids aren't designed for HiFi sound. They're designed for talking. But Leo says that HiFi hearing aids may be coming soon since hearing aids are about to become over the counter.

Scott Wilkinson and Other People's Money


Episode 1823

Scott got an email from a listener wanting him to help spend his money for home theater. He wants a soundbar that is "simple, but awesome." If money is no object, then Scott recommends an 83" LG C1. Or the 85" Samsung QN85. The 85" TCL 8545 is $3,000. Or the Vizio P85 PX. Those are in the $3,000-5,000 range. Another option is an ultra-short throw projector. Leo has a HiSense and he loves it. And it comes with a screen. But most don't. The Optima p2, the Epson LS400. Good options.  The larger the space you have, the larger the screen you want. That's where a projector will be an advantage.