home theater

Why did I have to pay to get my Roku box to work?

Episode 1425

Cynthia from Redlands, CA
Roku Premiere

Cynthia cut the cord for a Roku about eight months ago. Now everything has stopped working and she has to pay to turn it back on. Rich says that Cynthia may have been bit by a phishing scam. He suggests having the credit card company charge it back. She shouldn't have to pay to reauthorize the box. She'll pay for the subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. But not for the box itself since she already bought it. Then she should do a factory reset on the Roku. That will make it work like the first day she bought it. She should try to watch out for scams in the future.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1422

Scott Wilkinson

Scott went to the CEDIA convention last week and he's seeing more 4K projectors out there. Most of them are 1080p, but will accept a 4K signal that is a faux 4K because they "wiggle the pixels" (called Wobulation). There are a few true 4K projectors, but they're over $30,000. Scott also says there's no point in waiting for full 4K because it's going to be awhile before they are affordable, and by then, it'll be something completely different. Has projection seen better days? Scott doesn't think so. It's still the best way to get that cinematic immersive experience.

Should I sell my Sonos home theater gear or upgrade?

Episode 1419

Jim from Orange County, CA
Sonos Play:5

Jim doesn't know if he should sell his Sonos stuff or wait. Leo says that there's going to be a Sonos event in the next month, and there's a new Play 5 speaker coming with voice command. So it wouldn't hurt to keep his powder dry until he knows what Sonos has in mind, and if they have new gear, the old gear will go down in price.

What's the best tuner for my HDTV?

Episode 1419

Michael from San Juan Capistrano, CA
TiVo Roamio

Michael put up an HDTV antenna, and for eight months he saved hundreds over a cable bill. Leo says it's also a lot better because it's not compressed. He used it on his new 65" HD TV. But his tuner died. What does Leo recommend to replace the bad tuner he had? Leo says that Hauppauge has one. Most of the tuners are mostly commodity brands. Leo's guessing that there's one factory in China that makes them and slaps different nameplates on them.

Why doesn't my Amazon Fire Stick work with my TV?

Episode 1418

Steve from Simi Valley, CA
Amazon Fire Stick

Steve can't seem to get his Amazon Fire Stick to work on his TV, but it works fine in his other TV. Leo says that the older TV may not have the latest HDMI standard and so the Fire Stick can't "handshake" with the TV. There could be a firmware update to his TV, so he should look into that. He could also try unplugging his TV, let it set for a minute, then plug in his Fire Stick and turn it back on. That way it could handshake from scratch. The other issue may be copy protection. If his TV is old enough that it isn't HDCP compliant, it could be that the Fire Stick won't support it.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1418

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is getting ready to go to the annual CIDIA show for home theater, and this year, it's going to have a huge presence for the so-called "Internet of things," where just about every device you have is smart and connected to the internet. Scott says that voice command is really starting to get popular in home theater equipment and accessories. We'll probably see major home theater devices with voice command built in. Apple is going to be announcing a new Apple TV in the next few weeks, plus updates to the upcoming Apple HomePod.

How can I get my sound bar to work with my TV?

Episode 1416

Kent from Irvine, CA
Denon AVR-S510BT

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.