Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why can't I get local channels on DirecTV Now?

Episode 1482

Roger from Florida
Remote

Roger is a cord cutter, who uses an antenna to watch live television. He's just at the edge of the range and sometimes the signal drops out. He decided to go with DirecTV Now and there's still no local channels. Leo says it depends on where he is. Roger's DSL line shows that he's 75 miles away from he actually is, and so DirecTV Now won't give him local channels. Leo says IP Geo location is notoriously inaccurate, at most a best guess. Leo says that AT&T needs to fix that, because they're using a lousy IP location service.

Should I get an all-in-one computer with an i7?

Episode 1481

Mark from Akron, OH
all-in-one PC

Mark wants to know if all-in-one computers are a good deal. Leo says that Apple changed the game with the iMac and now other PC makers offer them to. They're elegant looking, but some are difficult to expand and upgrade. All-in-ones have thermal constraints as well, and some all-in-ones have a throttled processor because of the heat issue. But if he gets one, he should spring for the SSD and at least 8GB of RAM. It'll help his performance dramatically. That's really where performance is needed anyway. Then he should keep his data on a spinning external drive.

What's a good VPN?

Episode 1480

Larry from California
http://blackholecloud.com/

Larry went to NAB and saw the SONY Crystal LED (CLED) video wall - 18x32' 8K display. This is likely going to be a technology for billboards, video walls, movie theaters, and other hugely expensive applications.

What's a good, secure VPN? Leo recommends Tiny Hardware Firewall's Blackhole VPN. They don't log anything, nor do they report stuff.

Is my Roku busted?

Episode 1479

Alan from Lynn, MA
roku.com

Alan has a Roku Ultra, and after a month, it's starting to get out of sync, and it doesn't matter what app he's using. The video speeds up, but the audio stays the same. Alan has called Roku and they said to remove the apps and reinstall them. Unfortunately, it didn't fix the problem. Leo has a hunch it's a defective Roku device. Leo would demand they replace it. It may be a bandwidth issue, but Leo isn't convinced.

Scott Wilkinson ... Groove-y

Episode 1479

AVSForum.com

Scott joins Leo to talk about how Vinyl records are making a comeback. Over 14 million vinyl records were sold last year, a 9% increase and over 12% growth over the last decade. He saw a news item about a company in Austria that has created a new way to make records. Scott says a ceramic stamper is able to make the same record from the first to 10,000th pressing, making it less frequent to replace it. There's also a new format called HD Vinyl, which claims to expand dynamic range of a recording by 30%.

Why does my VHS player produce such a dim image?

Episode 1478

Dan from Washington
VHS tape

Dan wants to get a VHS to DVD player. Leo says that analog VHS is really low in resolution. It's only standard definition at 480 lines, and it's interlaced. We're now at 10 times that. But on an LCD screen, they are dimmer and scan progressively. The DVD side is 480p. It's a little brighter and the LCD screen tries to upscale the resolution. It improves it, but there's only so much he can do. It's really just old technology and it's time to move on. The reality is that VHS and DVD are both going away as most people are preferring streaming media now.

Can I get rid of the ghosting on my OLED TV?

Episode 1477

Norm from Fort Pierce, FL
LG OLED C6

Norm has an LG OLED C6 TV. It's the curved one. He loves the HDR and Dolby Vision. He got the Comcast 4K X1 DVR as well, and he's been enjoying the replay of the Olympics in 4K HDR. But there is a drawback — he's seeing some ghosting. Leo says that he can reset that by turning it off for a few days. OLED doesn't have permanent burn-in, so letting it rest for awhile can solve the problem, in theory anyway.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1477

Scott Wilkinson

Bad news in home theater as OPPO has announced they are closing their doors, gradually ceasing operations. So the question is, do you buy an existing OPPO player or not? Scott says that they will be honoring their 2-year warranties on existing purchases. But after that, it's all over for what many considered to be one of the best manufacturers of DVD players in the world. Leo says that's because streaming has albeit taken over physical media and most people aren't buying DVDs anymore.