home theater

Calibrate Your HDTV

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.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1155

Scott Wilkinson

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.

How can I troubleshoot my streaming buffering issues?

Episode 1153

Jeff from San Tan Valley, AZ
Buffering

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.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1153

Scott Wilkinson

Scott continues his CES retrospective, but now he's got the 'CES Crud,' which you usually get when you travel to Las Vegas with 100,000 of your closest friends. Scott found it interesting that curved panels are all the rage, especially in Korea and China. Meanwhile, Japan still hangs on to flat screens.

Is the Harmony remote a good option for making home theater systems simple?

Episode 1152

Paul from Lake Forest, CA
Logitech Harmony 650 Remote

Paul got his mother a Harmony remote to make using her TV system easier to use. Leo says he'll want to be sure he sets it up right. That's the complicated part. Logitech has an online database that will allow him to connect it to the internet program it. He can also program custom buttons for his favorite shows, so Paul's mother could just press one button and everything would turn on as it should.

Why does my home theater sound so bad?

Episode 1151

Mike from Birmingham, AL
FiiO digital to analog converter

Mike is planning to build a home theater PC. But when he's running Pandora online, he can control the volume on the PC, the amp and Pandora, but the sound is terrible. What is he doing wrong? Leo says that he'll want to use line-out, not headphone out. Line out has a fixed nominal volume, allowing him to adjust it from the amp. Even better, he could use digital out. FiiO makes a great digital analog converter

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1149

Scott Wilkinson

Steve got a new TV and he wants to integrate it into his sound system. Leo says that the centerpiece of the modern era is the TV, and we're trying to duplicate the experience with surround sound. Leo says that the existing receiver will probably not work. Steve will need an A/V receiver. He doesn't want rear speakers, though. Leo says Steve at least needs a subwoofer and a center channel. He should get the TV at eye level and have the speakers on either side of it. He could use a "phantom" center speaker. Not nearly as good, but it will do the job.

How can I connect my HDTV into my existing sound system?

Episode 1149

Steve from Mill Valley, CA
Pioneer bookshelf speakers

Steve got a new TV and he wants to integrate it into his sound system. Leo says that the centerpiece of the modern era is the TV, and we're trying to duplicate the experience with surround sound. Leo says that the existing receiver will probably not work. Steve will need an A/V receiver. He doesn't want rear speakers, though. Leo says Steve at least needs a subwoofer and a center channel. He should get the TV at eye level and have the speakers on either side of it. He could use a "phantom" center speaker. Not nearly as good, but it will do the job.