Jim was having an issue with a blue line on the bottom of his Vizio and they shipped out a replacement TV with professional installation to replace the TV. It was a great customer service experience. Leo says that's a fantastic thing that rarely happens these days. Margins have shrunk so drastically that we lose that kind of support service. Vizio also has a really good product, so they're standing behind it.
Scott says that there's a dreaded disease in home theater, and technology in general, called upgrade-itus. Sure, TV manufacturers come out with new models that address customer comments and wants, as well as new features, but for the basics, there's really nothing anything new this year over last. Just more whistles and bells.
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.
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.
Mike says that Blu-ray players have dual HDMI ports because some legacy receivers don't support the higher bit rate HDMI 2.0a standard. So you can plug into the older HDMI port instead. But then you lose 4K capability.
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.
Scott says that Vizio has a new higher end 65" UHD LED TV that includes Dolby Vision and HDR10 for $1200. Scott says it's a great TV and if he had a gripe, it's that the black levels aren't as dark as they could be. But for the price, it's a fantastic buy.
Scott joins us this week to talk about how HDR and 4K is about as good as it gets and moving forward, it's only going to be a "numbers game" as TV manufacturers try to lure you back into the showroom with fancy resolution numbers. But Scott says our eyes can only see so much, and the content is only going to be 4K at best for the foreseeable future.
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 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.