HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott went to an Aerosmith concert and was amazed at the quality of the video projection. He also learned that if you pay enough for your ticket, you can sit on the stage, listen with a pair of in-ear monitors, and listen to either the house mix or Steven Tyler's monitor mix. You can also get a free iPod. Cost ... starting at $800. Leo says that's not surprising at all. Concert tickets are really expensive now, pricing out a lot of younger fans.
Terry wants to buy a device to cast to his home office TV. Would the Chromecast work or should he buy the FireTV Stick? Leo says that the Chromecast is a great device, but it doesn't stand on its own. He'll have to navigate to what he wants to watch on a phone and then cast to the Chromecast device. Stand-alone devices like Roku and AppleTV can act as their own independent devices. As for FireTV, Leo says it really serves as a portal to sell stuff from Amazon, so he's not much of a fan. Leo says ROKU Ultra is a better choice all the way around and will also stream in 4K.
Doug got an HDMI switcher for his TV. Would it work with Atmos? Scott says it would, and at $4 from AliExpress, the price is right.
Scott Wilkinson recently did an article on how soundbars have the design flaw of using only a single HDMI port. But what if you have multiple HDMI devices you want to connect? Scott was reviewing an LG Atmos Soundbar, when he discovered the drawback. Looking around, he discovered the same problem with other soundbars as well. Leo says you can use Optical, and that makes sense. But Scott says the optical output is limited and doesn't support Dolby Atmos. The only thing that carries the Atmos bitstream is HDMI.
Rick wants to get a 77" LG OLED TV for his home theatre. His problem is that he needs a soundbar system that supports Dolby Atmos at home, and must have wireless speakers. Scott says there are a variety of soundbars that will do what Rick needs, including one he's reviewing right now from LG (the SL8YG). You can also buy a separate surround speaker package. But it's not cheap. Cost is $850 plus $200 for the wireless surround package. Vizio also makes a wireless soundbar system with up-firing Atmos speakers: Model SB46514.
Scott has been reviewing in-ear monitor earphones of late, and the good thing about them is that they seal the monitor in your ear so you don't have to have the volume turned up so loud. Scott recently tested a pair from 1 More, which makes mostly wired models. But this set of wireless ones is their first foray into the market and can be charged by putting them into a case. Much like AirPods. Are they good as a wired model? Scott says almost, but not quite.
Tom purchased a new OLED TV and it brought him to do research into the average diameter of an atomic nucleus and cutting circuit lines. Tom wants to know how production facilities are able to cut circuit lines so small and address the wiring grid within so that they don't overlap one another. Leo tells Tom that the process is called Microlithography, which he explains is similar to the idea of silk screening: Painters paint on a screen of silk and then apply ink to it, and the ink goes through the part of the silk that isn't painted. It's a fascinating process.
Tom is watching TV and he gets pixelation while streaming. When he switches to an antenna, he gets the same problem. What gives? Leo says that's due to the digital broadcast. Digital signals don't degrade gracefully. It just gets bad. And it could be a host of things from the antenna, to bandwidth, to the streaming box. Leo has a hunch it's the service that's streaming the programming to him.
How is YouTube getting such a clean signal? Leo says they may be using fiber directly from a network.
Scott joins us to talk about how the Sony OLED TV won the great Value Electronics Shootout. He's written a great article about it here. Also, this week, Scott attended a monthly meeting of SMPTE, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, about immersive technologies. Scott says that the talk was about how 3D is essentially simulated. How do you get an authentic holographic presentation? The current solution is through Light Fields.
This year, Scott Wilkinson was MC at the annual Value Electronics TV Shootout in New York. The test was done using TVs own on board Netflix apps to keep everything even. There was even a blu-ray player which used a switcher to send the signal to each TV. Top contenders for 2019 included the LG C9 OLED, Samsung Q90R, Sony A9G OLED, and the Sony Z9F LED LCD TV. There was also the Sony X800 Pro Reference monitor used for comparison to see how close each TV came to it. All 4K, HDR. There eight professional color grading pros judging.