home theater

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1388

Scott Wilkinson

Angus wants to hook up some old speakers to his 32" HDTV. What's the most affordable way to do this? Leo says who cares if the picture is small, if the sound is big? Scott agrees and says that the best solution is to get the most affordable A/V speaker or amp you can afford and hook it up. Make sure it has an optical/digital input (also known as TOSLINK). Scott checked at LifeWire, and they say the Pioneer VSX 531 for $200 is the best value for the money.

Why is my sound bar volume so low?

Episode 1387

Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA
Energy Power™ Bar One Soundbar

Ryan connects his sound bar to his TV through the headphone jack and over time, it gets harder to hear. He can have it turned up to 90% and it sounds like it's barely on. Leo says that he should try changing the sound on the TV, not the sound bar. It should raise or lower it.

There may be a setting in the TV's sound settings to treat it as a line out. That could fix it. Connecting to the optical jack is the solution, if he can, because it's a fixed level.

Can I leave my TVs on?

Monica from California

Episode 1381

Monica wants to know if she should turn off her TV when she leaves the room or can she leave them on as she moves from room to room? Leo says that TVs use a lot of power. LCDs use the least amount, though. It's about the same as a light bulb. So it's OK power wise. It won't hurt the TV at all since they're rated for over 50,000 hours each.

Should I buy a refurbished A/V receiver?

Episode 1378

Steve from San Diego, CA
Yamaha RX-V575P

Steve is looking to buy a refurbished Yamaha receiver. Leo says that refurbished devices are best bought from the original manufacturer. That way he can still get a warranty to go with it. All too often, they are brand new devices that were returned, and as such, can't be resold as new. So they're sold as refurbished instead. If he's looking for a great deal, refurbished is the way to go. He should just make sure to get it from the original manufacturer.

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

Episode 1372

Susan from Yorba Linda, CA
TPLink 2-Port Gigabit Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit

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.