Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about the Super Bowl and the commercials that everyone wants to see. Scott says that the Super Bowl is the most watched TV show of the year and half are watching the game for the commercials. This year, there's some interesting new things, including TIVO marking each commercial break so that you can skip the game and go to the commercials directly.
Chuck got an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he's learned that he can control his stereo with it. Leo says that for $99, the Logitech Harmony Hub will not only control his stereo, but also his TV, cable box, and AV receiver, everything. It's designed to work with your smartphone, but it also works with the Echo too.
Now that Scott is outside of the fog of CES, Scott says that when it comes to TV sizes, 75" is the new 65", and as prices drop and the technology matures, the sizes are getting larger. And with microLED as a new technology, it's really remarkable. So much so that it could change everything and we'll be viewing micro and quantum dot LEDs in a few years.
Glen is thinking about buying an OLED TV, and wants to know which one to get — Sony or LG? Which one is more powerful processor-wise? Leo says that Sony isn't doing very well in the TV business, while LG is holding Strong. From a technology viewpoint, it really is a matter of taste. Both make excellent TVs. The chatroom says that Sony has better support.
Scott was at CES this week, putting over 26 miles on his feet in four days. And while there really wasn't much technology for most categories, there were some exciting announcements for home theater including a new MicroLED TV. This contains microscopic LEDs that are less than 1mm in size emitting red, green and blue. The advantage is that microLED can get a lot brighter than OLED or plasma and it can be dimmed down to nothing. So you get incredible blacks and really bold colors.
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.
Earl is buying an LG 55" OLED TV. What's a good sound bar to go with it? Leo says that TVs have speakers, but they're largely an afterthought and they sound terrible. The TV manufacturers expect people to invest in a home theater system. An AV Receiver with surround sound and subwoofer is the best option, but if he needs to go with the sound bar option, then Leo says that Scott Wilkinson really likes Onkyo, Vizio, and Yamaha.
Scott joins Leo to talk about how January is the big time to buy a new TV because the NFL playoffs are in full swing and people want their new TV before the Super Bowl. It's also the time that TVs get discounted because TVs we see announced at CES will begin selling in the Spring. Is there any upgrade we'll see in 2018 worth waiting for? Scott says maybe not, but CES always has something new coming and Scott has heard of something that is really exciting. But on the whole, Scott only expects incremental improvements, or what Leo calls "fins" this year.
Scott joins us to talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Leo saw it yesterday at the fan event and he saw it in 3D, which he says ruins movies for him. Also, the projector died twice. Scott says Leo isn't the only one to have that issue. There was a showing at the AMC Burbank where the dialogue track wouldn't play and AMC wouldn't start it over. It almost caused a riot.
Scott says that digital signal processing is at the heart of a soundbar, and they are great for small living rooms. Atmos is now making its way into soundbars and it's the least expensive way to significantly improve your sound, especially if your soundbar comes with a subwoofer. Leo says that there's a wide range of prices for soundbars, though, and Scott agrees. You get what you pay for. But there are some good budget brands out there including Vizio (of course) and Polk.