Matt has a sound bar and all he has are HDMI and optical connections, but he doesn't have a TV that can connect to it. Leo says that the best option here is to connect it to an AV receiver. But your sound bar may fight each other. Scott Wilkinson says that if there's an optical port on your TV, you'd be in good shape. Otherwise, you're looking for an HDMI switch as your solution. Check MonoPrice.com or Amazon Basics.
Scott went to see Dunkirk in both 70mm IMAX and Dolby Cinema. He preferred 70mm though. Not a lot of deep blacks, but ultimately IMAX is best because that's how director Christopher Nolan shot it. And he shot it on the same beach in Dunkirk, Belgium with original aircraft and boats. The important point is that all the shots are framed within IMAX's square aspect ratio of 8x6. It makes it very immersive. Leo says it's a great movie, beautifully done. Scott agrees. And quite historic in it's depiction.
Vin wants to know if Bose makes a good sound bar for home theater. Leo says the benefit of Bose is that it has a wireless subwoofer. It sounds great, but he'll pay for it. It will also have to simulate surround sound, which will never be as good as a real home theater system. If he has a space challenge, a sound bar is a good alternative.
Yesterday was "cut the cord day." Started by TV maker TCL, it's the day to commemorate canceling your cable or satellite subscription in favor of streaming video online. But Scott says that while cord cutting is extremely popular, the options we're getting is really just another spin on the cable model. He hopes that someday we'll get true ala carte programming where you just pay for what you want. But currently, Sling, YouTube, Hulu, and DirecTV Now are all just "cable lite." And in many ways, you end up paying more or the same amount by cord cutting. That may be the whole idea.
Karen wants to know how to make her TV sound better, especially for vocals, which are hard to hear. Leo says that vocals are mixed to be part of the center channel and if she don't have a home theater system, it can be a common problem. Leo recommends getting a sound bar. Vizio makes a good affordable one. She should also get one with a subwoofer. Then she'll have the ability to hear the center channel better and can even turn up the center channel alone to help with dialog.
Leo and Scott talk about cleaning out and organizing the "techno spaghetti factory" that is wiring coming from all home theater stuff. There was also a lot of dust built up and Scott says it's a good idea to clean out that cruft at least once a year and use IEC standard power cables to keep everything consistent. Leo likes banana plugs, and Scott agrees, but many people don't like them because they tend to be easier to disconnect. They make it easy to swap out other tech, though.
Scott Wilkinson says that there's a link over at BaseheadSpeakers.com for the top ten loudest Bluetooth speakers. VaVaVoom is their top vote getter. Scott also says that there is now a new spec that will give home theater users a nice faux stereo sound from one speaker using computer software. RIVAAudio.com is the site.
Donald has several TVs, and when he watches streaming content, he has to turn up the volume all the way. Scott says that different methods have different audio levels and there's really not much he can do about that.
Dan got a new cable box with Spectrum, but after a week he started to get an HDMI error because his connection has been "compromised." Scott says that the first thing to try is to power cycle the cable box. That will reload all the standard default settings. It could also be a faulty cable. So replacing the HDMI cable could solve the issue. Scott also says that being an older TV, the connection could be choking. Or maybe the HDMI connector could be failing.
Richard would like to only have one remote control. He has a Harmony 1000, and it almost does the job, but it doesn't have a TV guide that can pop up. Is there a remote that can do that? Or can he use a tablet like an iPad? Scott says he'd have to have something in between that could take the Wi-Fi signal of his iPad and then transfer it into an IR signal.