Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

TIVO To Put Ads on Your DVR Recordings

Tivo

Episode 1629

TIVO has announced that they are putting ads in front of every recording they make. Leo says that will be a death knell for the company, which has been struggling since the advent of video on demand. Leo also says it's ironic because TIVO also has a commercial skip button. It's outrageous because you spend hundreds of dollars for a TIVO, and then you pay for a monthly guide subscription. We shouldn't have to deal with ads from TIVO as a reward. Plus, we don't need DVRs anymore, and if we do, Leo says that Plex (a sponsor of the TWiT Network) on your Roku does just as good a job.

Scott Wilkinson ... 1 1/2 Times the Screen Height

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1628

Scott saw some content on a Samsung 8K TV last week, and he sat about one screen height away from the image (it's best at 1 1/2 times). It was so good he could barely see the pixels. Very sharp. The problem is, there is no real native 8K content, and probably won't be for a while. And Scott says that while the resolution was impressive, he couldn't see much of a difference between it and uncompressed 4K UHD blu-ray. But Scott says that the upscaling is where 8K really is at right now.

Scott Wilkinson ... to the next level

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1626

Scott just returned from CEDIA, and he saw some great projection TVs that take it to the next level. The first was Epson LS500. It's what Scott calls a "pixel wiggler" to achieve 4K. Compatible with HDR. 4000 lumens. It has separate HDMI and USB ports for streaming devices. It also comes with an ambient light rejecting screen. Cost starts at $5,000. Scott says it's a short-throw projector, laser-illuminated and even in ambient show floor light, it looked very impressive. 

LG also showed its 2nd Generation TV replacement, HU35LA.  It's 4K with pixel wiggling as well. 

What streaming box should I buy?

Apple TV

Episode 1627

Darryl from Orange County, CA

Darryl has upgraded his home theater and wants to know what 4K streaming device to get: FireStick, Roku, or even AppleTV? Leo says you want to be sure that your streaming device is HDR compatible, that's more important than 4K. The advantage to going with the AppleTV is that Apple will upgrade all your purchased content to 4K for free. That's a huge benefit. What Leo doesn't like about the FireTV is that Amazon relentlessly advertises to buy stuff. The other option is ROKU. Leo's favorite streaming device is ROKU. It supports 4K HDR with Dolby Vision. 

Scott Wilkinson and the Dead Period

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1624

Next week is the last great trade show for home theater. It's called CEDIA. The Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association. After that, we'll see a dead period until CES in January. But next week, Scott will be talking about all the new displays and projectors coming from Epson, Sony, and all the big names. Scott is really looking forward to what Wolf Cinema has come out with. They always have the best image on the screen from their projectors. But they aren't cheap at five figures. 

Scott Wilkinson, Tom Cruise and Chris McQuarrie

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1622

Scott joins Leo today to talk about the new initiative launched by television manufacturers to make Hollywood directors happy. Filmmakers complain about "motion smoothing" or "frame interpolation" which can create the "soap opera effect" that makes the image look far too crisp. It takes out the motion blur by adding additional frames to make the image sharper. It's great for sports events, but terrible for movies, and directors HATE it.

Scott Wilkinson ... stuck

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1620

Scott joins Leo to talk about LEDs that are stuck too bright on the screen. The question came from yours truly, James DeRuvo, who says several of his backlit LEDs are too bright on the screen. There are six LED lights that are brighter than the rest intermittently. Scott says that unfortunately, that's not an easy or affordable fix since it's in the screen. It would be cheaper to buy a new one.

How can I extend the range of bluetooth?

Bluetooth

Episode 1619

Jeff from Manhattan, NY

Jeff has seen old time radios that have had a bluetooth receiver put in them so you can use them as a cool, retro bluetooth speaker. Leo says those a really cool idea. Is there such thing as a bluetooth extender? Leo says there is, but bluetooth is designed to be short-range. WiFi is a lot better and has five times the range. There are plenty extenders though that boost the range. Miccus makes a bluetooth extender with 160-foot range for $40.

Check out these old time radio bluetooth receivers at Wavelengthantiques.com

Why is my TV screen blank?

Sony 43" X800E Series

Episode 1619

Felix from Garden Grove, CA

Felix has a Sony 4K TV and the screen is going black. He's only had it for two years. Leo says it sounds like it could be either a bad power supply or a failing component within the TV. Is the TVZ still under warranty? If so, contact Sony to get it replaced or repaired. But if it's not under warranty, it may not be worth repairing.