There's a discussion going on between whether dynamic mode or movie mode is the best for TV watching. Scott says that dynamic mode doesn't show content in the manner the creator intended, while movie mode gets you a lot closer to that. Leo says he tried it for a week and it was just way too bright. It also causes a loss in detail to watch in dynamic mode and Scott says that bright spots (called blooming) will begin to appear and if you're using an OLED screen, you'll wear it out faster. Another thing that can help is a bias light behind your TV. It helps for less eye fatigue.
Noah has bought a sound bar, but it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. Leo says if the sound bar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control from the Google Assistant. He could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. He should look to see if he can disable the eco, or power down mode.
Scott got an email about how an old Sony Stereo with Sansui Speakers can work with modern sources. How can he get something that can bridge the gap from his phone, or Network Attached Storage, to his old stereo? He'd rather not use Bluetooth, but Scott says that it's easier to deal with and there are tons of audio adapters for Bluetooth. Amazon Basics makes one for $20.
Scott says that TVs have gotten so thin that speakers aren't capable of providing any appreciable sound because they aren't beefy enough to drive the sound. So a home theater system, or a sound bar, is now a must. But Scott says that if your TV only puts out stereo via Toslink (the optical connector), a surround sound sound bar isn't really going to help. So don't overspend on them.
Scott joins Leo to help Doug from Albuquerque, NM figure out what TV to buy. Scott says that the "spousal acceptance factor" is high on big flat screens, but not on speakers all over the house. So for Doug, a soundbar is probably best. As for the TV, Doug's living room is in a bright area, with plenty of windows, so Scott says an LED LCD TV is going to be the best option.
Brian wants to know if the Amazon Fire TV Cube is a good buy. He's looking for voice control. Leo says it works about as good as the Echo, so it has any shortcomings that the Echo does. But for controlling a home theater system, it works quite well.
Doug just bought a new, two story house and he needs a mesh router. What's the best? Leo says that mesh routers have taken over because Wi-Fi congestion causes devices to drop off. It's not uncommon to have over 50 devices connected to Wi-Fi! And that doesn't include neighbors. So Doug will need a better router to handle that traffic. Leo says the three best mesh routers for his money are the Netgear Obi, the Plume, and the Eero.
Ricky has Sonos, and after a recent update, he can't get his Sonos speakers to play in party mode. Leo says that may be due to it choosing a speaker to act as the main portal. Leo has had similar issues, and he solved it with a boosted Wi-Fi device. A recent update was supposed to fix all that. The more likely issue, though, could be plain old congestion. Everything has Wi-Fi now, and as a result, it causes rush hour. Leo recommends un-pairing everything.
Ellie bought a pair of Apple HomePods but she can't use them both in concert with her Apple TV. They won't pair. Apple says it's still in "beta." Leo says at $359 a piece, they shouldn't be in beta, that's for sure! Leo says that there are better options out there. HomePod is limited to just Apple.
Scott wants to talk about movie subscription services. MoviePass started the trend with an all you can watch subscription plan that allows you to watch one movie a day. But Scott says that they are in serious financial straights, losing money on every sale. It has, however, prompted more subscription services including AMC's Stubs A List. The cost is $20 a month, for three movies a week, plus upgrades to popcorn and drinks, and the ability to watch upcharged screenings like IMAX or Dolby Cinema.