Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How Can I Get 5.1 Dolby Streaming With Live TV?

Dolby Digital

Episode 1767

Kent from Huntington Beach, CA

Kent has upgraded his home theater system, and he's noticed that all the streaming services aren't streaming in 5.1 surround sound. Leo says that SLING will stream in 5.1 when available, but that's the real trick. If it's available. And even then, live TV is just in stereo. On-demand though, you can get 5.1. Netflix does it. The issue is just live TV, and that's only in stereo.  

What Antenna Can I Get After I Cut the Cable?

Locast

Episode 1766

Dave from Diamond Bar, CA

Dave is cutting the cable and wants to look into getting an indoor antenna. Leo says to first check out Locast.org. He can stream live local TV. It'll work on Roku, the computer, and the phone. And if he wants to avoid being nagged for donations, he can pay $5 a month for the service. A lot cheaper than DirecTV's $150 a month. He can also consider YouTubeTV. For $65 a month, he will get live and local channels, plus select cable stations. Roku also has a lot of free channels like PlutoTV. PeacockTV has a free tier.

Scott Wilkinson ... Super Bowl TV Deals

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1766

Better than Black Friday, the week before the Super Bowl is the best time to buy a new TV. Scott joins Leo to talk about the best TVs and the best deals available right now. Most of the TVs are closer to the end of the annual product cycle. So many of the deals are near the end of life in order to clear them out for the next generation.  Some of these deals are great deals, while others, not so much.

Why Doesn't ATSC3 Work With My DVR?

ATSC 1.0 vs 3.0

Episode 1765

John from Nashville, TN

John has a TV with ATSC 3.0, but ATSC3 doesn't work with his DVR. Only the ATSC 1.0 side works. Leo says that most broadcasters aren't even using ATSC3 yet. It could be an incompatible file format. If your DVR supports ATSC3, then Leo says a call to the manufacturer is in order. Welcome to the world of being an early adopter. It's the early days of ATSC3 though, so in time, the issue should correct itself.

Why's My TV Volume Control Stuck?

Firestick

Episode 1764

Ron from Downey, CA

Ron has a 40" Samsung TV with an Amazon Firestick. He can't raise the volume up or down. It's just stuck where it is. Leo says that it's likely an issue with the TV, not the Firestick. Leo says that he thinks that there's an issue with the TV's CEC option, which allows him to control the TV with the Firestick remote. What he suggests is to disconnect the Firestick and see if the volume issue persists. If it doesn't, then he knows there's an issue with the Firestick. 

How Can I Get the Company, Dish, To Stop Charging Me To Use My Own Hardware?

Dish Company

Episode 1763

Jerry from Hatfield, PA

Jerry complained to the FCC about having to pay to use his own satellite equipment. A few days later, he got a call from Dish, assuring him that he's being charged half because he is a preferred customer. And they explained that it's not the equipment, it that he's using a DVR inside the equipment. And they see them separate. Leo says it sounds like DISH is exploiting a loophole. The trick is to make complaints en masse.

What's the Best TV Out There: LCD or OLED?

TV

Episode 1761

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom is wondering if there's a new TV technology coming out. Leo says that there are two kinds of TVs right now, LCD/LED and OLED. LCD has different flavors, including LED, MiniLED, QLED. But the next generation is microLED, which will be like OLED, but the LEDs are really super tiny. Samsung has a 108" model for $156,000 that is more of a technology demonstrator. But we'll be seeing them more affordably on the horizon soon. 

Can I Still Get a 3D TV?

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3020

Episode 1761

Mario from San Fernando, CA

Mario is looking to get a new 3D flatscreen. Leo says good luck as 3D capable flatscreens died a quick death about two years ago. RIP 3D TV!

Mario's is concerned that since his Sony Bravia 3D TV is getting older, he soon won't watch his 3D BluRays. Leo says you can still watch them in 2D though. But if you want 3D, then make sure your existing 3D TV keeps working.

One alternative, you can use the theater experience of Occulus Quest 2 and other VR headsets to watch 3D movies. 

Scott Wilkinson and the new version

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1760

Scott joins Leo to talk about CES this year, and he says there's been a ton of news already. Leading the way is micro and mini LEDs, the latest version of LCD TV technology. Instead of hundreds or thousands of LEDs, there are now tens of thousands. And that translates to more accurate color and dynamic range. This year will be the year of mini LEDs with LG announcing the QNLED model of 4K TVs, and Samsung showcasing their NEO LED.