home theater

Do I need surround speakers in my home theater system?

Episode 1432

David from Mira Loma, CA
Dolby Surround

David has a home theater system and the speakers are already built into the house, but he needs surround speakers. Leo says he can do that and then just wire them into his home theater system. It'll be the rear surround in a 7.1 Dolby system. Or, if he doesn't want to do that, he should just go with Dolby 5.1. He'll be just fine with that. He'll need to re calibrate, too. Of course, he could go all in and do Dolby Atmos at home, too.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1432

Scott Wilkinson

What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott Wilkinson says that most of the Ultra Blu-ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well, but it won't be as good because of bitrate. It'll top out at about 25 Mbps streaming, and it's data compressed, while 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR Blu-rays can be a challenge.

Is Dolby Atmos really worth thousands for home theater?

Episode 1431

Scott from Orange County, CA
Dolby Atmos logo

Scott was in a big box store with a listening room and listened to a Dolby Atmos at Home demo and he was blown away. But is it worth thousands to outfit his home theater with it? Leo says no. Many modern AV Receivers now support Atmos. It's a standard like Dolby 5.1 was. The main difference is that Atmos at Home bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive audio experience. Leo says he can use dual HDMI outputs that would give him the ability to create a similar experience.

Why is my SmarTV browser out of date?

Episode 1427

Manny from Florida
LG Blu-ray Player

Manny has an LG 4K TV and Blu-ray player. But when he uses the web browser, he gets a message that it's out of date. Leo says that's not surprising and he doesn't think he can solve that issue since browsers in Blu-ray Players aren't updated all that much. Manny should try using the browser in his SmarTV. It uses WebOS and that's supposed to be update-able. At least it should be updated more often than his Blu-ray.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1426

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about a recent article he wrote on AVS Forum about whether 8K is already around the corner. We're going to see them at CES next January, you can bet. Scott says that 8K is a lot closer than we think, but that's only from the perspective of the TV manufacturers who want to sell upgraded TVs. Content is nowhere near around that same 8K corner. Scott says that TV manufacturers can do it so quickly because it won't cost them very much to transition to it in the LED lines.

Why did I have to pay to get my Roku box to work?

Episode 1425

Cynthia from Redlands, CA
Roku Premiere

Cynthia cut the cord for a Roku about eight months ago. Now everything has stopped working and she has to pay to turn it back on. Rich says that Cynthia may have been bit by a phishing scam. He suggests having the credit card company charge it back. She shouldn't have to pay to reauthorize the box. She'll pay for the subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. But not for the box itself since she already bought it. Then she should do a factory reset on the Roku. That will make it work like the first day she bought it. She should try to watch out for scams in the future.