Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

What is a Good Soundbar for a Condo?

VIZIO

Episode 1693

Chris from Burbank, CA

Chris lives in a condo and he wants a good soundbar that won't drive the neighbors nuts. Leo says that the low-frequency stuff from a subwoofer tends to go right through walls. He can get soundbars with subwoofers, even wireless ones. And they provide a richer sound from that soundbar. And there's a soundbar for every budget. Vizio is a great performance price for the money. Under $300. He can even get one supporting Atmos at Home. Klipsch is another brand. 

How Can I Get 4k With My AV Receiver?

Denon

Episode 1693

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry has 12-year-old florescent backlit TV and it's time to upgrade to 4K. It's in a surround sound system with a Denon receiver and he would rather not upgrade that as well. Leo says there is an "upgrade cascade" that happens when there is a home theater system. If an AV system drives video, then users have to upgrade it. But if it's just running the audio, they'll be fine. Just use the optical out on a new TV. Upgrade the ROKU box to 4K capable. But what's even more important is the HDR support 4K brings.

What's a Good Way to Project Lyrics at Church?

Projector

Episode 1693

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny's church needs a way to show hymn lyrics, sermon notes, and bible verses to the entire congregation in a 4,000-foot sanctuary after the church reopens. Leo and Scott agree that he won't want a TV to show it because a 98" TV would cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, while a projector capable of projecting to 100" or larger is very affordable. Scott says he will also want to get an ambient light rejecting screen to help during the daylight hours.

Scott Wilkinson ... Revoked

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1693

Scott joins Leo and chimes in on a court case over whether people actually "own" the DVDs and digital media that they buy. In the fine print, it says that you don't really own your media, you own a license to play that media, which can be revoked at any time. But Leo says that physical media is an actual thing you own and can hand down to your heirs. Scott agrees and believes that's why physical media continues to hang on. People like to own things. The other advantage of digital media is that it can be transferred from one media format to another.

What TV Should I Buy?

TCL

Episode 1691

Charles from Virginia Beach, VA

Charles wants to get a new TV. But he's confused. LED. LCD. OLED? Leo says there are really only two technologies OLED and LED. LEDs are less expensive and work better in bright ambient light. OLEDs are better image quality and color, but he will need to darken the room. Then there's resolution. Most TVs now are 4K. That translates to a sharper image and with HDR, there's bolder colors and better blacks. It also gives better detail in bright light or darker scenes. Leo recommends TCL, it has Roku built-in and they are very affordable. Another option is HiSense.

Why is the Dialogue Track on My Soundbar Muddy?

SB400

Episode 1691

David from Orange, CA

David has a JBL SB400 and the audio is inconsistent, and muddy, especially for dialogue. It's maddening. Leo says that most TV programming is now mixed for surround sound and as such, the dialogue channel can sound muddier thanks with Dolby 5.1 enabled soundbars. If running through the ARC audio return channel, that can also contribute to it. Scott recommends going into the audio menu of the TV and look for the ARC setting. See if it sends 5.1 or 2.1. Choose 2.1 for that Soundbar since it doesn't have a center channel. 

What Brand of Outdoor TV Should I Get?

SunBrite

Episode 1691

Jeff from New York City, CA

Jeff is looking to get an outdoor TV and heard about SunBrite. Is that a good brand?  Scott says that they make fine TVs that are very bright LCD TVs, and hardened for the weather. SkyView is another. Leo also advises getting an enclosure like the TV Shield and adding a ROKU stick or Fire TV stick. While the TV may be weather resistant, the Roku or FireTV stick would not be. So getting an enclosure would protect those electronics as well. Check out the TVShield enclosure. 

Scott Wilkinson - quantum dotted

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1691

Scott Wilkinson reports that Samsung Display will stop making LCD panels by the end of next year. The parent company, Samsung Electronics, will still make LCD TVs, getting their panels from elsewhere. But what they are going to be doing is focusing solely on QLED, quantum dot LED panels. Scott says that they are LCD TVs with a quantum dot backlight. It takes blue OLED material and passes it through quantum dot material, converting it to blue, red, or green. It's a process called Quantum Dot Conversion, or QDCC. And it'll hit the market next year. Samsung will also be making a QD OLED. 

Do I need a new Apple TV?

Apple TV

Episode 1690

Judy from Puerto Ranch, CA

Judy has a ten-year-old Sony Bravia TV with an original AppleTV. But it buffers a lot. Would a newer Apple TV eliminate that? Leo says it's more likely your internet connection, but it could also be your wifi connection to the Apple TV. There could be a lot of congestion on that 2.4 GHz band. It's time for a new Apple TV, for sure. How does she enable subtitles with her TV? Leo says you have to do it in the Apple TV as well.