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Episode 949 February 2, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ashar from St. Johns, Canada Comments

Scott says that almost any Blu-ray player will do the job, but for the budget minded, Scott usually recommends Panasonic. Dave says Sony has a Blu-ray at Costco for $79 with all streaming services. He also likes Sony because they carry Amazon video on demand as an app.

Watch Ashar from St Johns, Canada Comments

The best thing to do on a budget is to get a sound bar. They're increasingly popular these days and do a decent job of simulating surround sound. For the money, the Vizio VHT215 is a good one and there's more coming that are very impressive. Yamahas also do a very good job with sim-surround sound bars.

Watch Ashar from St Johns, Canada Comments

Scott isn't sure, but if Ashar is comfortable with it, it may be. The chatroom says that the Raspberry Pi is more of a science fair project than a usable computer. A streaming stick is a better option. Roku has one, but he'd need a TV that has an MHL port. There are others though that would still be a better option than the Raspberry Pi.

Watch Mark from Santa Margarita, CA Comments

David recommends the Logitech Squeezebox. Mark has one but would like to get the music to his A/V receiver. Scott says if the NAS is DLNA compliant, like Synology's, he can use the DLNA receiver to pull the music off the NAS wirelessly. If the receiver isn't DLNA, then a blu-ray player may be an option. Head over to AVS Forum for tricks and tips on how to network and stream in the home. Scott also recommends AudioStream.com. AL in the chatroom recommends the Airport Express with Toss link to the receiver.

Watch Ed from Long Beach, CA Comments

Scott says he can mount a sound bar anywhere, but he'll want it close to the TV, preferrably above or below it. He can even mount them to the wall.

Do they use HDMI? Scott says usually, and they would need to have an audio codec to do that. There's also digital coax and optical as well. Dave says some would also need amplification and that would require an a/v receiver.

Watch David from Venice Beach, CA Comments

David has a Sanyo Z3 projector and a blue spot is appearing on the screen. Scott says that's a 9 year old projector and if he goes into the settings, he will see a timer setting that will tell him how many hours are on the bulb. It may just be time to replace it. Dave says that another issue may be that an LCD panel may be going out, and Scott thinks it may be the green panel. If that's the case, it's time to get a new projector.

Which one would be good? Scott says he could spend less than $3,000, but he hasn't found one that looks very good. Dave says that the Epson 5020 is less than $3,000 and they're pretty good. Scott does agree that Epson's mid-range models like the 3020 or the 5020 are fabulous.

Watch Tom from Anaheim, CA Comments

Tom needs to replace the CRT TV in his exercise room. Scott says since the room is likely bright, an LED LCD TV is going to be the best bet. He'll also want a matte finish screen and an LCD is best for that.

What about viewing angle? Scott says that since he needs a viewing angle off-axis, he'll want an LCD that has an IPS panel. LG, Vizio, and Panasonic all use those. As far as size goes, 47-50" is best for immersion. David Bix in the chatroom says that Toshiba 50L2200U TVs have excellent off axis angles, and the price is only around $500.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Tim from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Tim has a Samsung HDTV and Blu-ray Surround sound home theater in-a-box. He doesn't have a minijack in his player for headphones, and he's stuck running them from the TV.

David says that the Turtle Beach PX21 wireless speakers will work great running from the USB port on the Xbox - and he can use it to play his media.

The other option would be wireless headphones and Scott recommends spending time at InnerFidelity.com for reviews and suggestions. The Chatroom suggests HeadFi.org. The chatroom says that wireless gaming headsets usually have an optical out option that will work as well. Sony's Wireless headphones from WalMart have a volume control too.

Watch Jason from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Jason is looking at the Toshiba LCD TV in 32", is that a good brand?

Scott recommends Vizio for the budget conscious. He'll get a lot of bang for the buck. Dave agrees, but also adds that in that size range, most of the main brands are pretty equal. Scott says that Toshiba isn't bad, it's just not his first choice. What about RCA? Scott says they just started making TVs again, so they're an untested commodity at the moment. He should go with Vizio if he's on a budget.

Watch Alan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Alan is looking to get either a Panasonic UT50 or Samsung 550, both plasma sets. What bothers him is the internal speakers in these TV sets. Scott says that the internal sound of Samsung TVs in particular is very disappointing. The UT50 is a great TV, but don't expect good sound from that either. Dave says it's a matter of physics since TVs are so thin. A sound bar is a worthy accessory to make up for any HDTV sound short comings and the sound will be significantly better.

Watch Alan from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Neither Scott or David buy warranties. Usually, if a TV goes out, it goes out within the first year. If the warranty is only $50 it may be worth it. The chatroom says to check with his credit card because extended warranties are often offered as a perk.

Watch Richard from Burbank, CA Comments

Dave has a great Philips TV but from time to time, he hears a "cracking" sound. Dave thinks it may be a faulty power supply. Beatmaster in the chatroom says that Philips TV is the problem, there's been many defective models and a lot of returns. It's generally not worth fixing a broken TV, and Philips is getting out of consumer electronics, so they won't be motivated to fix it. The chatroom suggest going with a sound bar instead. Scott agrees that is the most cost effective solution to deal with the problem.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mark from Temecula, CA Comments

Mark's blu-ray player frequently will lose picture, but the audio will continue. David has had trouble with LG players and although it sounds like an HDCP issue (copy protection), it should affect both, not just one. It would be a good idea to borrow another blu-ray player and see if he can eliminate the TV as the culprit. Also, update the firmware if he can.

Watch David from Spring Hill, FL Comments

David is getting a new TV and he needs composite inputs for the devices he plans to connect it to (a DVD/VCR combo and a security camera). Scott says that these days, he'll be lucky if there's just one set of composite inputs. So the best solution is probably going to be a simple switch box. The chatroom suggests daisy chaining the DVD/VCR combo with the security camera and just switching to the input setting on it. Walmart has a DVD/VCR still for sale, and it has component inputs.

Watch Tanger from Los Angeles, Ca Comments

How does the Samsung Plasma compare to the Panasonic? Scott says that while the Panasonic is his preference, there's not much difference except maybe slightly better blacks for the Panasonic. Dave says that the Samsung has shinier glass. Panasonic is still his #1 choice, though.