Scott is going to the Grammys this weekend and he says the best part of the awards show is all the live performances. He also says that it's the Super Bowl of music and it's a great time to think about upgrading your home theater system. Leo has an AV receiver with Dolby 5.1. He's perfectly happy with the surround, center channel, two channel speakers, and a subwoofer. But you don't want to next to the surround speakers because you'll hear that more than the center channel dialogue.
Larry bought a Rasperry Pi 3 to create a media center. Leo says it's a great deal at $35 and it also comes with a copy of Minecraft for the kids. It works with the ARM Cortex processor. Should he get one with an Octocore? Leo says no, that's just marketing. The Raspberry Pi 3 doesn't need that for what it does.
While most people will be watching the Super Bowl tomorrow, Scott will be recording the game for the commercials, and watching the Puppy Bowl instead because he's just not into football. He loves the commercials, though. If you are into football, however, there are several options for watching the game.
Chuck wants to know if he can listen to Leo's show on the Amazon Echo. Leo says yes, but he'll have ask it to listen via TuneIn. Chuck also wants to know if his Mitsubishi rear projection TV can hook up to his Sonos and also play through wireless headphones? Leo says that because of the age, it probably can't play both streams at the same time. If it could, it would have competing volumes.
A week before the Super Bowl is the best time to buy a new TV, and Scott has written an article at AVS Forum on the Eight best TVs for Hosting a Super Bowl Party. People think Black Friday is the best time to buy a new TV, but it's actually just before the Super Bowl because that's the first quarter of the year, and just before the new models come out. The top TV on Scott's list is the LG B6 ($1898-2997) OLED TV. There's also a budget LG UH7700 for $897.
Joe installed a TV, Blu-ray player, and a Yahama A/V receiver for his friend, but they couldn't get the audio return channel to work. Leo says one of the HDMI ports on the TV should be labeled ARC. They'd plug that into a port on the receiver, and usually it just works. Joe went through the settings in the Yamaha and he had to turn on HDMI control. After doing that, the Blu-ray player now wakes up anytime he changes the input. This is called CEC, and it automatically turns on the TV and sets the input to that device when you turn it on.
Robert has an LG HDTV that is only six years and has died. Is it worth repairing? Scott says not really. It's actually cheaper these days to just replace the TV. Robert says that his LG has four HDMI connectors, but he's lucky to find just two in today's modern TVs. Leo suggests just getting an AV Receiver and that will handle the multiple HDMI connectors. Can he trust LG moving forward? Scott says yes.
Scott says that while Dolby Vision is nothing new, it's the most important thing coming out of CES because it's now almost a standard feature in home theater products. It does has to compete with HDR 10, Technicolor's Version, and the BBC's HLG, but most will support HDR 10 and Dolby. We're going to see not only HDR capable TVs, but Blu-ray players as well. Leo says that format wars are frustrating and that nobody really has learned from format wars of the past. Scott says that TVs will likely have multiple decoders and support both.
Scott is back from CES and he put 25.5 miles on his feet, and that's just in the Central Hall! He saw the latest QLED system, which creates more white light to pass through the LCD panel and get color from filters. Quantum dots, however, aren't really LEDs, they're just really small dots of a material that can then absorb light and radiate another color. Scott says that OLED TV prices have remained consistent, while the quality of the screens has improved. OLED is still the best screen you can get.
James is in the process of building a home theater/recreation room combination. He's still building the walls, so wiring right now will be easy to do. Leo recommends not doing wireless, he should have everything wired. He should have wired internet to all of those devices as well. The room is 17' by 13', and the 17' wall has a fireplace in the middle with a TV above it. He plans to keep the TV there. The only negative to it is that it forces people to look up higher, but he has a reclining chair, so that makes it a little easier.