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.
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.
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.
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.
Murray has an Apple TV 4K and it's not working with his LG TV unless he reboots it. Leo says it's probably an HDMI handshake issue. It could be a bad HDMI cable. Or worse, a bad HDMI port. Apple says to hold the menu/volume buttons down for 5 seconds. The Apple TV will run through resolutions until one wakes it up.
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.