HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
In home theater news, Scott Wilkinson says that Chromecast and Roku have announced support for HDR 10+ high dynamic range content. Scott says this update is far more important than any boosting of resolution past 4K. Increasing the dynamic range can easily be seen from across the room, while a boost in resolution will not. So it'll have a much bigger impact to the viewer.
Jeff calls in to warn that if you use an OLED TV as a computer monitor, you run the risk of burn-in from window elements like menu bars that are always on. That makes using an OLED a bad choice for a monitor. Leo agrees and suggests a 4K LCD TV with the highest refresh rate you can get.
Ken recently automated his home with Google Nest, but the problem he's having is that when he's asking his phone to take a picture, he's told by Google Nest that they can't do that. Leo says that's a common issue as sometimes, Google doesn't know where to process a request. That goes away over time as Nest learns speech patterns. It also helps to be more specific in commands.
In a prerecorded event that lasted almost an hour on the dot, Apple held their annual Spring Event and introduced the latest M1 iMac, M1 iPad Pros, updates to AppleTV, and finally the launch of the Apple Air Tags. Apple also announced a purple iPhone, and the ability for customers to build credit through the Apple Card. The Apple Air Tags will signal where your lost devices are, from keys to just about anything. Apple also added that any time an iOS device comes within range of an Air Tag, the tag will phone home and let the owner know where they are. That's pretty cool.
This week's gadget is the ZoVox AccuVoice, which makes the dialogue in old movies understandable again. It's different from other voice boosting systems that focus on equalization. AccuVoice combines compression, consonant-range boost, formant enhancement, minimization of bass output -- plus other proprietary techniques they prefer not to divulge. The AV157 uses 12 levels of dialogue boost – 6 stages of AccuVoice boost plus 6 stages of their new SuperVoice technology.
Scott joins Leo to talk about a huge announcement at the Apple Spring Forward event. It's part of the new AppleTV (TVOS and iOS 14.5 respectively) and it's called automatic color balance. How it works is that users can pair their iPhone X to the AppleTV, and the AppleTV will calibrate your TV to make your streaming image closer to how content has been color balanced. The app will calibrate the color and gray scale by taking the phone and putting it up against your TV, and the forward-facing sensor will then tell the Apple TV to adjust its output based on what it's reading from the iPhone.
Scott recently posted a review of Clear Crescent Wireless Speakers, which support Airplay 2, which carries a much higher bitrate than Bluetooth. It uses WiFi instead, meaning you need to be on the same network. But it's far superior in sound quality with 1.3GB/s streaming bandwidth. It also simulates a wide field audio spectrum. It also has party mode and Chromecast.
Joe would like to connect a pair of headphones to his LG TV. But when he does, the volume is very faint. Does he need some sort of amplifier? Leo says that most TVs get their audio from HDMI and the Audio Return Channel. If Joe has a home theater system or AV receiver, it's better to plug into that instead of the TV. What Leo thinks is maybe Joe needs to enable the setting in the TV menu. There are headphone amplifiers. Check out headphones.com for suggestions on which to get. There's plenty of options out there.
Ken got a new Vizio TV for Christmas, and he uses closed captioning. But it appears in the middle of the picture. Nobody seems to know how to move it to the bottom, where it belongs. Leo says that it could be a setting on the TV that does it. It depends on where the closed captioning is coming from. Check out this tech note from Vizio. Press CC on the remote. Then the menu.
John is having issues with power outages and is worried that it will brick his devices. Leo advises getting an uninterruptable power supply. That will guard against not only outages, but the power surges that arrive after the power comes back on. Leo likes TripLite. But there's also APS. John will want to avoid relying solely on power strips. They don't really do anything. But a UPS will preserve power until he can turn on the gas generator, or unplug devices.