HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Neil bought a new 50" Samsung U7100 50" 4K TV. He bought a sound bar and an Apple TV to go with it, and it's all controlled by the Logitech Harmony Hub. Every time he turns on the Hub, however, the TV wants to take over with its smart TV menu, not the Apple TV menu. Leo says that's super annoying. Leo suggests that the Hub is sending a command that the TV is misinterpreting.
Scott is back from CES and this week he wants to talk about the audio gadgets he saw. A lot of the high end audio was at the Venetian Hotel. But Scott says that audio had a much smaller presence at CES this year, and Scott thinks that audio companies are going to be going to regional shows to offer their goods rather than spend a ton of money at CES. And it's difficult to rise above the noise at a larger convention. Smaller, regional shows offer a big fish in a small pond kind of vibe.
Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.
Scott put in his customary 28 miles of walking during CES and he saw some really cool TVs. One thing he saw was a TV with Dual Layer Modulation LEDs, which uses two LED screens to deepen color and dynamic range. The one behind is black and white only, which is used to dim each pixel separately. The contrast ratios are approaching 1 million to one! HiSense had one with 3000 nits of brightness and a black level of .0003. MicroLEDs were also huge. Samsung showed off a 75" 4K microLED that was huge.
Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.
Vino wants to know if he can delete the apps on his Roku box. Leo says to click on the asterisk and select the app, and he can delete them from there.
Scott says that next week is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and he expects a ton of 8K TVs will be showcased. But they'll be extremely expensive and there's no real 8K content. So it'll be a while before it's worth investing in an 8K TV. The real improvement will be the new HDMI 2.1 standard. So any new TV should have that component architecture to it, and it will offer an increased bitrate of 48MBps. There will be improved low latency and variable frame rate as well. HMDI 2.1 will require new cables as well, but it will be fully backward compatible.
Ken has an older Chromecast, and he thinks it may have died. He's tried pressing the reset button and nothing happens. Leo says he probably will have to press it and hold it. But it may also be a bad HDMI plug. If it is bad, the good news is, they're cheap. $35.
Rob can't seem to get Dolby Atmos out of his TV. Leo says that most TVs don't support Dolby Atmos, so he may need to get a new player and receiver that supports it. He'll also have to have enough speakers, including two "up firing" speaks in order to get Atmos at Home. The latest Apple TV just had Atmos at Home enabled. Roku's higher end players also support it. Netflix has a list of streaming devices supporting Atmos here.