Scott took a call from a guy next week about headphones with surround sound. Subsequently, he's heard about Sony's MDR-DS7500. They're wireless headphones that you can hear surround sound with. Not cheap at $300, but an option. Also, Scott heard that Sennheiser is bringing back the Orpheus headphones, which are $55,000! WHAT?! They're electrostatic and have transistors built into the cans themselves. Sure, they're probably the best headphones in the world, but for that cost, give me a break. Can you really hear the difference, objectively?
Amin wants to know who makes a good in-ceiling speaker for surround sound. Scott has multiple suggestions of companies that would make good speakers for this:
Robbie has been having issue with the Netflix app in his Phillips TV. The audio is really low. Scott says that's not uncommon for TVs -- they're not very smart. He recommends connecting the Roku separately and running Netflix through that. If it does the same thing, then he may need to go into the audio settings and see if there's a limiter or something that's enabled.
Dave lives in an apartment complex and has a surround sound home theater system, but sadly he can't use it because of his neighbors complaining. Are there surround sound headphones? Scott says there's a few ways to go about that. He could simulate it with a DTS Headphone X algorithm, but it has to be included in the AV receiver. Dolby has Dolby Headphone, which is another AV option. Mozaex makes a set of headphones that are surround, but they're not cheap. The Smith Realizer is the Rolls Royce of surround sound simulation which he would plug his headphones into. But it's about $3,000!
Bill is looking to buy a midrange TV around Black Friday. He's thinking about Hitachi's 1080p 55 inch TV. Scott says that Hitachi got out of the TV business awhile ago, so chances are it will be an old model, and Scott would be hesitant about that.
There's a scandal brewing over at Amazon, where the online retailer has pulled all listings to sell Apple TV or Google's Chromecast because there's no app to support Amazon streaming. They also won't allow third parties to sell them. That's scandalous, but Leo says that while it's rather bad form, a store has the right to carry what it wants to sell, so there's really not much to do about it. Scott also says it shows just how serious they are about streaming TV.
Scott says that there's a movement underway to be able to watch movies in virtual reality. But that comes with it's own set of problems, chief of which is the sound, which would require a head tracking system to change the ton of the audio as you move around. And that would also mean a processor intensive issue.
Scott is in Dallas for the Custom Entertainment Design Information Association Show, or CEDIA, where he's been seeing a lot of new home theater stuff including laser projectors. Epson introduced a low cost one last year and this year Sony joins the list. But by "low cost," Scott says that they cost around $10,000. Even the huge commercial cinema projector companies are starting to look at home theater projection, but not everyone can afford their $150-400,000 price tags. More affordable options are high brightness projectors, which offer improved illumination, for around $3,000 to 4,000.
Scott got to see The Martian in high dynamic range at a theater in Los Angeles. But the interesting part is that AMC decided not to show the film in 3D HFR. So if you want to see it in 3D, you'll have to see it in regular theaters. Scott believes that it has to do with sterilizing Dolby 3D glasses, and also because AMC has a contract with RealD for 3D presentation. So you won't be able to see it in 3D HFR, unfortunately. But even then, it's definitely worth seeing.