Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

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.

What's a Good Projector for Watching Movies Outside?

Epson Home Cinema

Episode 1810

Brian from Rancho Cuca Monga, CA

Brian wants to project movies on the back of a house because it seems to be the best color for watching movies outside. What projector should he get? Leo says the brightest projector he can get! 25' is a great distance for a projector, and it won't be cheap to get one that can handle a long throw and have a brightness of over 1000 lumens. Epson makes a long throw projector called the Home Cinema that is 3300 lumens for around $600.

Scott Wilkinson and the QNED Controversy

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1810

Scott joins Leo to talk about LG's new QNED TVs, which have mini LEDs and a silly name. What QNED should mean is quantum dot LET emitters. But that's years away. But LG hijacked the term QNED to prevent Samsung from using it. It's just silly marketing. Having said that, the $3500 LG 3580 QNED is a pretty impressive TV, even though there's no content to take advantage of it. 

Scott also recommends going to RTings.com to read the latest reviews before buying one.

Should I Upgrade My Plasma TV to OLED?

Plasma TV

Episode 1809

Henry from Los Angeles, CA

Henry has a Pioneer Kuro Plasma TV, but it's really old now, so he's looking to upgrade to a larger Sony Bravia or LG OLED. Leo says that because Henry's living room can't be darkened, an OLED probably isn't the best choice. An LED LCD TV with full-array local dimming (FALD) would probably serve Henry better. That means the TV has backlighting, not just side lighting. Those are the main considerations. Either LG or Sony are great TVs. So get the one you really like best for the money.