monoprice

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1388

Scott Wilkinson

Angus wants to hook up some old speakers to his 32" HDTV. What's the most affordable way to do this? Leo says who cares if the picture is small, if the sound is big? Scott agrees and says that the best solution is to get the most affordable A/V speaker or amp you can afford and hook it up. Make sure it has an optical/digital input (also known as TOSLINK). Scott checked at LifeWire, and they say the Pioneer VSX 531 for $200 is the best value for the money.

How long can I run an HDMI cable?

Episode 1376

Brian from Montebello, CA
HDMI Extender

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

How can I run HDMI 50 feet or more?

Episode 1209

Glen from Rolling Heights, CA
HDMI Cable

Glen wants to split his TV signal via HDMI. It works for a minute and then it gets really dark. Leo says the challenge is that Glen is splitting the signal and then transporting it over a greater distance. So chances are it's dropping bits due to interference. That's why Leo says a Balun is a better choice. He can then send HDMI over ethernet and the signal is amplified over both ends. It's much better and not very expensive. Glen can check out HDMI Extenders or Baluns at monoprice.com.

Where can I get a cheap pair of headphones?

Episode 1109

Sandra from Corona, CA
Earbuds

Sandra has a pair of headphones that need to be repaired. Leo isn't so sure that they're worth repairing in today's disposable design culture. What can she replace them with for around $25? Leo says that good headphones aren't cheap. If she wants to stick with earbuds, then she can get a pair of earbuds for about $30 at the Apple store. But earbuds are damaging to our ears and the sound isn't as accurate.

How can I use an AppleTV on an older TV?

Gary from Dana Point, CA

Episode 1044

Gary has a 3rd Generation Apple TV, but he doesn't have an HDTV with an HDMI connection. Leo says that Gary can get an HDMI to component adapter. Leo advises checking MonoPrice.com.

There's a converter from Gefen, and the KanexPro. It's not cheap, and he will lose some quality. That's why Leo says it might be time to get a new HDTV. A Vizio TV would be affordable and has HDMI.