Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Should I Connect All Home Theater Devices to My AV Receiver Before the TV?

LG

Episode 1618

Adam from Clairmont, CA

Adam recently bought an LG OLED 65" TV. But using his Sony receiver with Dolby 5.1, should he plug everything into that first? Leo says that his general standard is to route everything through the AV receiver and then to the OLED. But if he is streaming from the TV itself, he will need an audio return channel (ARC) in order to get that audio through the home theatre system.

How Can I Remotely Control Devices?

Fire TV Cube

Episode 1618

Brock from Bellingham, WA

Brock wants to be able to turn off appliances and lights remotely for his elderly mother. He wants to be able to see her with a Wyze cam and then remotely control devices from where he lives. Leo says that's a great idea. One thing is, that if she has a Fire TV Cube, it's voice-activated, so if she can speak, she can tell the TV to turn on/off and change channels. But if that's an issue, he can change the channel remotely using the Infinity X1.

Scott Wilkinson ... actively cancelled

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1616

This week, Scott is talking about the Audeara A-01 headphones, which comes with an app that will give you a hearing test and then optimize your audio experience based on the results. It has active noise cancellation as well. You can also apply a hearing curve setting that will help you to hear the music better without turning the volume up.  Price is around $300. So they're not cheap, but for what they offer, it's a pretty good deal. And it sounds better with noise cancelling on than off. 

Why Won't My Roku Authenticate?

Roku

Episode 1614

Pat from Austin, TX

Pat wants to watch Fox News on Roku, and he hates that he has to jump through hoops to unlock it by entering a password. It's a pain. Leo says that many are using activation codes that they can navigate on from a mobile device. But if he's truly cut the cable, he may be out of luck. The true problem, though, is this guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude on the part of the content providers. This kind of protection doesn't stop pirates at all. Just people who do the right thing.

Scott Wilkinson ... interpolated

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1614

Leo wants to talk about the Vulture article on how motion smoothing or frame interpolation is ruining cinema at home. Scott agrees that we've been conditioned to believe that watching a movie at 24fps is the best, but in reality, that was just the least expensive frame rate to save money on filming with motion picture film. There are plenty of directors, like Ang Lee, James Cameron, and Peter Jackson prefer shooting at higher frame rates.

Can I Get TV from an Antenna Anymore?

AntennaWeb.org

Episode 1612

Hans from Los Angeles, CA

Hans has cut the cable, and now he wants to get an antenna and get his TV that way. Leo says that modern TVs can handle it because they have their own tuner, but he'll need the right antenna and adapter. Check out AntennaWeb.org and TVFool.com. Both will tell him what he'll need for the area and where to point the antenna.  Since Hans is in LA, he can point his antenna towards Mount Wilson and get a large portion of channels, and with uncompressed HD too.

Scott Wilkinson ... on the wall

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1612

Scott joins us to talk about the next generation of TV displays, called microLED. Tiny LED lights that are .003 square mm which is what TV manufacturers are going to need to get to the next level of sharpness. And it looks perfectly smooth and beautiful. but they're super expensive, which is why we won't see them in homes for a few years. But when they do, the stand-alone TV will be a thing of the past, and we'll see video walls in homes. It's coming. Scott saw an example of it at Sony last week, 16' wide by 9' tall.

How can I pick up local TV stations with my antenna?

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Episode 1611

Bob from Louisville, TN

Bob has been a cord cutter for nearly a decade. However, local TV is important to him and he's used an antenna for OTA signals for awhile. However, the FCC has sold off a lot of that spectrum, making it harder to pick up signals using his antenna. Leo says that FCC is also asking stations to move frequencies so they can sell off more of the spectrum. In most cases, all you need to do is run a re-scan on your TV to get the new station frequencies. You may need to do it several times. The FCC has a site that gives you the information here.

Can I fix my flatscreen TV?

Samsung N5300 Smart TV

Episode 1611

Clay from Highland, CA

Sam's Samsung HD TV turns off after about 10 seconds. He's googled it and sees things from replacing the remote to replacing the motherboard in the TV altogether. Can he DIY it? Videos say he can.  Leo says that today's modern flatscreens aren't very fixable at all. Even if they could repair it, it's likely going to cost more than the TV is worth. It's not like the old days when you can get a TV repairman out to fix it. 

Leo suggests looking at a 4K OLED.

How did they project the Saturn V on the Washington Monument?

Apollo Saturn V

Episode 1610

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence saw the giant Apollo Saturn V image that was projected on the Washington Monument and wanted to know how they did that. Leo says it was probably done with laser projection. It's state of the art, very cool, and nearly life-size too. Not only that, but they're also showing the Lunar Module landing on the moon. Overall, great use for the Washington Monument as a back drop and a great way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Saturn V.

You can see it on YouTube now.