home theater

What mesh router and TV should I buy?

Vizio P Series

Episode 1503

Doug from Albuquerque, NM

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.

Why doesn't my Sonos connect in party mode?

Sonos One

Episode 1502

Ricky from San Diego, CA

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.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1501

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.

Why did my TV stop supporting 4K streaming?

Vizio 4K TV

Episode 1499

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard got a Vizio 4K TV and suddenly it says his TV isn't capable of receiving 4K, when it has been for the last two years. Leo suspects there's a "handshake" problem between the DirecTV box and the TV itself, and it's usually the culprit of HDMI cables. He should try replacing the cable first. But he'll have to be sure to have a cable that is certified for high speeds of 18GB per second. Amazon sells them for about $10. He could also try another HDMI input to see if that fixes it.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1499

This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Vizio Sound Bar

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1497

Over at AVSForum, Scott has an article on how to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR. You basically need to either be a Comcast subscriber with the Infinity X1 service, or be a DirecTV subscriber. For Comcast, it will also be a one day delay, and in Spanish! Leo says that makes it useless in today's world. Layer 3, owned by T-Mobile also has coverage.

Streaming online, you can get the World Cup if you have a HiSense TV. There's an app for it that you can install.

How can I play my iTunes music with my home theater?

Sonos Connect

Episode 1495

Henry from Los Angeles, CA

Henry has a home theater system running iTunes for playing music and he wants to expand it to other rooms. But since Apple has discontinued the Airport, what can he do? Leo says that the good news is, there's a better way to do it. Apple has released the HomePod for that purpose, but Leo would wait since it's so new and early in its development. He recommends Sonos Connect. He can connect speakers to it, or he can buy Sonos speakers with the built-in connection. Then he can control it by phone or by Amazon Echo.