Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

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.

Scott Wilkinson and a few good movies

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1610

This week, Scott is going to Sony Pictures to see their Crystal LED technology. It's like a giant LED TV; the size of a movie theater. It looks super cool and will get much brighter than any projected image. That means the dynamic range is incredible. He'll be watching MIB International. Scott says that there is no HDR format for any other display system other than Dolby Cinema, so it'll be interesting to see how this will compare. 

How can I roll back my Android launcher?

Samsung Note 8

Episode 1609

Jack from Stone Mountain, GA

Jack uses a Samsung Note Android phone and he used to be able to do a list view of all the running apps. But now it's changed to a tiny screenshot. How can he change it back? Leo says that Google changed the way to display it, and it's at the system level in their launcher, and so there may not be a way to roll that back. But since Jack has a Samsung phone, he can use the Samsung app called GOOD LOCK in the Samsung Store and you can change it back using the Task Changer feature.

Scott Wilkinson ... delayed

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1608

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. 

Which Streaming Device Should I Get?

Roku

Episode 1608

Terry from Michigan

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.

Scott Wilkinson ... and the bad solution

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1606

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.

Which Soundbar Should I Buy?

SB46514.

Episode 1604

Rick from San Diego, CA

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.