Scott wants to chime in on Net Neutrality since it does affect Home Theater Geeks who rely on streaming video. If there had been tiered access, it could affect our entertainment options. Leo says that there hasn't really been a prime example of this, save Comcast and Verizon shaking down Netflix for "interconnect." But that's a prime example of what Scott calls "Paid prioritization." And Net Neutrality should stop that. But the ISPs are going to sue against the new rules as well. So it's not over yet.
Scott got an email from a viewer that wants to hold viewing parties. He wants to create a 150' screen, but the problem is that the room he uses has windows. How can he black them out? Leo suggests curtains. Scott agrees and says that Black Out shades are even better. Fixed and custom made inserts that will black out those windows when you insert them into the Window frame. That's the best idea. Scott also recommends the Epson 5030UB projector $2300, and there's Elite Screen's 150" with Cinegrade 5D screen material. Leo also recommends screens from MonoPrice.com. They're very affordable.
Scott chimed in on the last call from Addy in London, who wanted to know what the best headphones were for under $40. Scott recommended checking out the "Wall of Fame" at innerfidelity.com. Here are the in-ear headphones Scott recommends:
John has to replace his A/V receiver. He's lost two in the last few months. Leo says that sounds like an indication of "brown power" that's surging or spiking. Scott agrees, and says a power conditioner would be a good thing to get. It's not cheap, but it could help. Scott also says that if speakers are designed to use a specific receiver and he tries to plug them into a different one, it could strain the receiver more than it should.
Robert just upgraded his TV and he needs a sound bar. Leo says that Pioneer makes one designed by Andrew Jones which is surprisingly affordable for the quality sound it provides. But he'll want to be sure he gets one with a subwoofer. He'll have to be realistic as to what he's getting because it's not going to be surround. But as far as sound bars go, the Pioneer SP-SB23W is the one to get.
Scott has a few questions this week. Matias from Sweden has a pair of Mirage OM6 Speakers, BMW Surrounds, and he was thinking about getting a Mirage center channel speaker. Scott says that's a good idea. He'll want to match his speakers as much as possible and it's a good idea to make sure he keeps the speakers out in the open because they are omni directional. That allows for bouncing sound off the walls and that gives it a nature tonal quality.
HDTVs, by default, come set up to be put on display in a showroom. The settings are cranked up to the extreme, with vibrant and bright colors designed to catch your eye among a sea of TVs. While it may seem desirable, it doesn't provide for much of a cinematic experience and is not at all accurate to colors in the real world. This is why calibrating the TV can make it a much better experience overall.
This week, Scott joins us to talk about how this week is one of the biggest weeks to buy a new TV. The Super Bowl is one of the things that keeps live TV going, and streaming the big game has been done over the last few years. According to Variety, NBC will be streaming the big game as part of an 11 hour block on NBCUniversal.com. There will also be 4K cameras shooting the action for instant replay, so they can zoom in and still have high def images. Leo would love to see a UHD version of the game.
Jeff has great bandwidth - 100Mbps down - but when he's streaming on his TV, he gets constant buffering. Leo says that smart apps on a TV are terrible. So Leo advises avoiding them and going with a streaming box like the Roku. Jeff says it's also happening with the Fire TV, though. Jeff is mostly having a hard time streaming DirecTV content. He has a SWiM box which is connected over the LAN in his house to his DirecTV receiver. There shouldn't ever be buffering, so Leo thinks it's the SWiM box.
Jeff has an old Magnavox Plasma TV and he's in the market for a new TV. Leo says that plasma has gone away largely because of the power requirements. And thanks to the State of California's low power requirements for TVs, nobody really makes them anymore. Jeff has a budget of $1,000 and would like a TV that's at least 55".