Sam has a Panasonic Viera Plasma and wants to know if he should repair it or replace it. Leo says that if the repair is cheap enough (like $100) then it's worth a try. Plasmas are great. But LCDs have gotten much better and with new power consumption requirements, Plasma sales dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable to make them. And now, OLED is emerging and is getting cheaper.
Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED.
The day before the Super Bowl is the biggest TV buying day of the year — even bigger than Black Friday. That's because it's also the end of the model year and they want to clear out the old models to make room for the new models. Leo says that there are some times you want to wait for the latest and greatest, but right now is not that time. LCD and OLED TVs are still dominant and will be for a few more years until MicroLEDs take hold. So if you were waiting, don't! If you have an HD TV and wonder if you should buy 4K, now is the time because of HDR 4K TVs.
Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about the Super Bowl and the commercials that everyone wants to see. Scott says that the Super Bowl is the most watched TV show of the year and half are watching the game for the commercials. This year, there's some interesting new things, including TIVO marking each commercial break so that you can skip the game and go to the commercials directly.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how January is the big time to buy a new TV because the NFL playoffs are in full swing and people want their new TV before the Super Bowl. It's also the time that TVs get discounted because TVs we see announced at CES will begin selling in the Spring. Is there any upgrade we'll see in 2018 worth waiting for? Scott says maybe not, but CES always has something new coming and Scott has heard of something that is really exciting. But on the whole, Scott only expects incremental improvements, or what Leo calls "fins" this year.
Jim was having an issue with a blue line on the bottom of his Vizio and they shipped out a replacement TV with professional installation to replace the TV. It was a great customer service experience. Leo says that's a fantastic thing that rarely happens these days. Margins have shrunk so drastically that we lose that kind of support service. Vizio also has a really good product, so they're standing behind it.
Gary got an Insignia HDTV, but it won't let him directly enter channels on the remote. Leo says that at under $200, it's likely that the TV doesn't have direct channel entry on the remote control and it was done to cut costs by reducing features. It may not even have a tuner. He would need to use his cable or streaming box that has a tuner built-in that could do that.
Aaron Vizio has been rebooting frequently. Is this an ongoing problem with Vizio? Rich says no, he still recommends Vizio because it offers a lot of bang for the buck, and for $1200, Aaron can get a great one.
JR wants to know what would be the easiest way to set up a slideshow presentation that he can show on an HDTV. Leo says that many TVs have USB slots, but it depends if the software supports running photo slideshows. JR could use AirPlay with his iPhone and keep the slideshow on it. Or he can make a movie of the slideshow and the TV could play it.
Kent bought a sound bar for his older Samsung TV. He uses a Chromecast and Roku Stick with it, but he can't get audio to work. Scott Wilkinson says that the optical out for the old Samsung is probably only for the TV's internal tuner since it's older than the advent of streaming media. There could be a setting in the menus, but he's better off going with HDMI input.