Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Can I Use My iPhone With Google Fi?

 Google Fi

Episode 1817

Ron from Kansas City, MO

Ron is having issues with TMobile and he's thinking of moving to Google Fi. But he uses an iPhone. Leo says that Google Fi works with the latest iPhone, but it'll still be T-Mobile service or WiFi. And it may even be worse as Google Fi service is an MVNO and T-Mobile will likely prioritize their own customers over MVNO service customers. But Leo uses both services and he doesn't really notice it. For Verizon, try Vizbl.

Scott Wilkinson gets demoed

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1817

Scott went to a demo this week of the Olympics being streamed live over the internet via OpenCloud. The noteworthy bit was that the live stream was being done in 8K at 60fps at 100MBps HEVC, and compressing it in real-time before being streamed online. The computer compressing it had 4 Intel Xenon processors to handle the heavy lifting and then outputting it to 8K HLG at 60fps. Scott was watching it on a 75" 8K TV.

What TV and Sound System Should I Get?

TV & Sound System

Episode 1816

Richard from Tampa, FL

Richard will be buying a new TV and sound system soon and wants to know what to get. Leo says to determine the size; you want bigger than you think. These days, 70" or more is better for movies. And if you can darken the room, then an OLED is ideal. But if the room has brighter ambient light, then an LCD screen is going to be best. So, it depends on the room you put it in. As for sound, a soundbar will work really well, but you want to get a subwoofer.

Scott Wilkinson and HDR Projectors

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1815

Scott joins Leo to talk about his latest article on HDR and video projectors. This is quite a challenge because projectors are traditionally not that bright. A lot of projectors can accept an HDR signal, but what do they do with it? You can set a projector so your dimmed parts look better, but the brighter parts get "clipped." So what can you do? You can simulate HDR by optimizing the projector and your room to give the HDR image the best chance to shine.

Why Do Streaming Sticks Overheat?

Roku TV Stick

Episode 1814

Steven from Tustin, CA

Steven is suddenly getting a warning on his TV that his Roku Stick is getting too warm and could shut down. He unplugged it and cooled it down, and has now added an extender to keep its distance. Leo says that he stopped using the Roku stick because they tend to overheat and crash. It's the same with the FireTV Stick and others. They overheat normally, and that's not good for electronics. Using an extender is a good idea, but Leo prefers using the stand-alone Roku Ultra 4K box.  If you like a stick though, the Google Chromecast is the way to go.

Scott Wilkinson ... Totally Hip

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1813

Scott joins Leo to talk about how to watch the Tokyo Olympics. This year, you can watch the games in 8K in Tokyo (though it's upconverted from 1080p), or if you have Comcast, you can watch it in 4K HDR through Xfinity, as well as through the NBCSports app. But only if your cable provider is a part of their network. YouTubeTV is also offering live streaming the games in 4K HDR, but you have to pay an extra $20 a month for the privilege after a free 30-day trial.  So you can do the trial, watch the games, and then cancel. Others, including NBC, are broadcasting in 1080p.

What is ATSC 3?

ATSC 3

Episode 1812

Chuck from Rochester Hills, MI

Chuck bought a new TV, and it's supposed to be a next-gen TV. What does that mean? Leo says it likely uses the new ATSC 3 tuner standard, which will enable viewers to watch HD TV over the air and interactivity. Users will be able to watch 4K HDR and Dolby vision as well. TV stations have to support it, though. You'll also want to get a good sound system, like a soundbar. Leo likes Vizio for the most bang for the buck. Make sure you get it with a subwoofer.

What 4K TV is Best & Under $1000?

TCL 

Episode 1811

Janice from California

Janice wants to get a new TV to replace an old 32" HD TV. Leo says that TCL makes a great 65" 4K TV for under $1,000. But Janice will also need to get a soundbar. Vizio makes a great soundbar for the money. So work that into the budget as well. What if money is no object? Leo says that OLED is really the way to go. LG and Sony make the best OLEDs. But they are expensive. What she will really want is an LED LCD TV with full-array local dimming (FALD). That'll give the best color and resolution.