Blu-Ray

How can I rip my DVDs?

Apple iPhone X

Episode 1504

Darwin from Broken Arrow, OK

Darwin wonders what the FBI used to crack open the iPhone of a terrorist. Leo says that the FBI won't say. Leo suspects they went to an Israeli firm called Celebrite, which can unlock older iPhones with four digit codes. Which is why Apple changed the code to a six digit code and patched vulnerabilities that would allow them to bypass it. If Darwin can prove that he owns his personal iPhone, Apple can open it for him. But if it's his sister's, there's no guarantee that Apple will. But if he can prove ownership or relational link, it's possible.

Is 4K Blu-ray worth investing in?

Billy Lynn's Long  Halftime Walk

Episode 1444

Isaac from Clinton, MS

Isaac has a nice Sony home theater system. But with 4K, he wants to know if the difference in quality is worth rebuilding it in 4K. Leo says that Blu-ray is not only 4 times the resolution as 1080p, it also has the high dynamic range and that's more important. If his home theater supports HDR, then there's no problem. If not, he may want to think about it. Moving forward, he can start picking up UHD HDR Blu-rays for his collection. Billy Lynn, Master and Commander, the BBC Earth series — all are excellent.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1432

What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott Wilkinson says that most of the Ultra Blu-ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well, but it won't be as good because of bitrate. It'll top out at about 25 Mbps streaming, and it's data compressed, while 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR Blu-rays can be a challenge.

Why can't my Blu-ray player pick up my Wi-Fi signal?

TPLink 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit

Episode 1372

Susan from Yorba Linda, CA

Susan is having trouble streaming with her Blu-ray player and her TV. Leo says it could be that the Blu-ray's Wi-Fi isn't working too well. She may need to move her hotspot closer to the TV itself. It may also be that there's congestion on the 2.4 Ghz band, and her TV won't pick up the 5.0 Ghz band. She should try using her mobile phone as a hotspot and see if it picks it up. If it does, then the Wi-Fi spot is either too far away or is congested and swamped by other signals.

Can I play movies from an SD card on my Blu-ray player?

SanDisk Connect 64GB Wireless Media Drive

Episode 1347

Jim from Maryland

Jim has all his movies backed up on his network. He'd like to use an SD card to plug in and watch that way. Leo says he can, but he'll have to be sure it's in a specific format by the Blu-ray player, so check he should check his manual. If he's wanting it for travel, he should check out the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. Its designed to connect to a smartphone and then he can stream to the TV via DNLA. It has a 10 hour battery life too, which is great for a road trip.

Why is the volume level of dialog so inconsistent on Blu-ray discs?

Episode 1341

Joe from Ventura, CA

Joe wants to know why the volume of dialog audio tracks so inconsistent whenever he plays Blu-rays. It's very annoying. Leo says that the TV speakers don't understand the channel information in order to route the audio properly. Dialog is mixed to come out of a center channel, so it doesn't get reproduced as intended. The TV may have a setting that can address this, but having a home theater system is a better way to go.

How much upscaling does a 4K TV do to a DVD?

DVD

Episode 1328

Glen from Louisiana

Glen wants to know how much resolution a DVD really has compared to a Blu-ray. Scott says DVDs are standard definition which is 720x480. Blu-ray can be 1920x1080 and above. How will it upscale? Scott says the newer his tv, the more it will upscale. If he buys a 4K TV, it will be about 10 times the resolution. The more upscaling it does, the more problems can happen. Scott says he may consider streaming from PBS. It may be in HD, rather than SD.

Should I upgrade my TV for the XBox One S?

Xbox One S

Episode 1328

James from Redlands, CA

James has an older 1080p HDTV and wonders if he should upgrade it if he buys the XBox One S. Scott says not really. If his TV is 1080p at 120 hz, that's a nice TV. Scott believes that the XBox One S just upscales to 4K, and doesn't show native 4K. It can play true 4K Blu-ray, though. So it depends on how badly he wants to watch 4K. If he does, then he should upgrade it all. If not, then there's no point.