Scott is getting ready to go to the annual CIDIA show for home theater, and this year, it's going to have a huge presence for the so-called "Internet of things," where just about every device you have is smart and connected to the internet. Scott says that voice command is really starting to get popular in home theater equipment and accessories. We'll probably see major home theater devices with voice command built in. Apple is going to be announcing a new Apple TV in the next few weeks, plus updates to the upcoming Apple HomePod.
Kent bought a sound bar for his older Samsung TV. He uses a Chromecast and Roku Stick with it, but he can't get audio to work. Scott Wilkinson says that the optical out for the old Samsung is probably only for the TV's internal tuner since it's older than the advent of streaming media. There could be a setting in the menus, but he's better off going with HDMI input.
Scott joins us with news that Apple is going to invest a billion dollars into original programming, having hired away several executives from Sony and WGN Cable. Facebook is also getting into their own original programming, and of course YouTube has YouTube Red and is offering their own live TV streaming service. Netflix is also going to spend upwards of seven billion, making it larger than HBO. Disney is also leaving Netflix to start their own streaming service(s) as well. So the streaming industry has blown up in the last few months.
Jonathan wants to link a Bluetooth speaker to his TV. Leo says the problem he's going to run into is latency, as the sound goes out of sync. Bose uses RF and it works quite well, but it's not cheap. The Bose SoundLink could be pretty good, but Leo says he'll have to be sure it's designed for AV, and he doesn't think they are. It's music only.
Is it worth waiting for a Dolby Vision TV? Scott says that some support HDR10 and some are starting to support Dolby Vision. HDR10 is open source, while Dolby Vision is licensed. But Dolby is much better in its high dynamic range because it uses more data. How do you get it? Scott says that only one external streaming device supports Dolby Vision at the moment and that's the Chromecast Ultra. The LG B6 OLED is also Dolby Vision capable.
Today, Scott joins Leo to talk about Dynamic Range, which is known as the difference in the deepest blacks and the brightest whites. It's all about brightness. OLED, for instance, can achieve zero nits on their blacks, and then the highest nits in brightness for its brights (called Candellas).
This week was the Flat Panel Shoot Out for HDTVs, and Scott has the results. This year, the shootout took place in association with CE week and featured mostly flagship TVs in a head to head evaluation. All TVs were professionally calibrated and fed the same TV feed. Then professional colorists made the determination of what TVs were best. There was also a Sony 30" OLED Broadcast video monitor which was used as the standard to compare to.
Matt has a newer sound bar, and he wants to connect multiple devices to it. Leo says that the best option here is to connect it to an AV receiver, but because his sound bar is powered, it was fighting with it. He also doesn't have an optical port on his TV, so he needs to have a way to connect that to the sound bar also.
Scott Wilkinson says that he'll need to be looking for an HDMI switch as his solution. Matt should check MonoPrice.com or Amazon Basics.
Scott went to see Dunkirk in both 70mm IMAX and Dolby Cinema. He preferred 70mm though. Not a lot of deep blacks, but ultimately IMAX is best because that's how director Christopher Nolan shot it. And he shot it on the same beach in Dunkirk, Belgium with original aircraft and boats. The important point is that all the shots are framed within IMAX's square aspect ratio of 8x6. It makes it very immersive. Leo says it's a great movie, beautifully done. Scott agrees. And quite historic in its depiction.
Vin wants to know if Bose makes a good sound bar for home theater. Leo says the benefit of Bose is that it has a wireless subwoofer. It sounds great, but he'll pay for it. It will also have to simulate surround sound, which will never be as good as a real home theater system. If he has a space challenge, a sound bar is a good alternative.