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.
Scott has been reviewing the LG 55C8 OLED TV and he's pretty impressed with it. It has an automatic calibration utility, but you'd need the meter and software to do it. Once you have that, it will run the calibration and set your TV automatically. There is a bug, however, found by the gang at AVS Forum, but SpectraCal, the company that wrote the auto calibration app, is fixing it. The bug only affects 100% saturated colors, so it has minimum effect since content rarely includes colors that are 100% saturated.
Sam has a Panasonic Viera Plasma and wants to know if he should repair it or replace it. Leo says that if the repair is cheap enough (like $100) then it's worth a try. Plasmas are great. But LCDs have gotten much better and with new power consumption requirements, Plasma sales dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable to make them. And now, OLED is emerging and is getting cheaper.
Scott says that high dynamic range on a projector TV is years behind HDR on flat panel TVs, so some projector users have chosen to wait to upgrade to 4K until the technology catches up. And that makes total sense. Scott also was disappointed with the visual look of Solo: A Star Wars Story. He was expecting great high dynamic range, but instead, it was rather washed out, and it turns out it was an artistic choice by Ron Howard, the director. Leo said it sounded great in Atmos though. Scott agrees, but it was rather harsh.
Ryan uses Amazon's Echo Dots and he tries to connect them to his home theater system, but when he tells them to play multi room, the music plays from the Dots only. Leo says the problem could be Bluetooth latency from wirelessly playing from one Dot to another, causing an echo chamber. Leo says using a hardwire option would probably make it work. It could be an intentional design decision that triggers via Bluetooth limitations.
Scott says that when deciding between a smart TV or a TV with a Roku Box. The Roku is easier to update and expand. You can add some apps to your TV, but updates really are few and far between. Leo agrees. He prefers just a monitor and lets the streaming box like Roku handle all the content.
Best Buy is also having a killer one day sale today, and you can get a new 4K TV for under $400.
With summer coming, it's a great time to think about having an outdoor cinema experience with a projector. Projectors give you that immersive, cinematic experience, but everything needs to be dark in order to enjoy it like you do at a movie. Nighttime screenings in the backyard are great for that. But indoors, that's where things get different. Ambient light can really affect projectors. Also, you need a "short throw" projector in most rooms in order to get a large enough image on the wall. A good ambient light rejecting screen is also important.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how Vinyl records are making a comeback. Over 14 million vinyl records were sold last year, a 9% increase and over 12% growth over the last decade. He saw a news item about a company in Austria that has created a new way to make records. Scott says a ceramic stamper is able to make the same record from the first to 10,000th pressing, making it less frequent to replace it. There's also a new format called HD Vinyl, which claims to expand dynamic range of a recording by 30%.
Bad news in home theater as OPPO has announced they are closing their doors, gradually ceasing operations. So the question is, do you buy an existing OPPO player or not? Scott says that they will be honoring their 2-year warranties on existing purchases. But after that, it's all over for what many considered to be one of the best manufacturers of DVD players in the world. Leo says that's because streaming has albeit taken over physical media and most people aren't buying DVDs anymore.