HiSense came to the Eastside studios today to install a short throw projection system that puts up to 100" screen from about a foot away. Scott says it uses lasers to draw the image on the screen, and it looks really impressive, even in ambient light. The projector also comes with a sound bar and sub woofer, and the audio quality is quite good. And it should be since it costs $10,000!
Scott likes to highlight the "home theater of the month" and this month it's a home theater in Los Angeles that is completely blacked out, with 9 speakers around you, 6 above you, and an array of sub woofers behind the projector screen. It also has recliner seats. The owner actually built an addition to his house for it, and built the system himself. He's also added three feet of sound absorption material and acoustic panels all around the room. Scott says there's less than 1db difference in sound in any seat. So there's not a bad seat in the house.
There's a discussion going on between whether dynamic mode or movie mode is the best for TV watching. Scott says that dynamic mode doesn't show content in the manner the creator intended, while movie mode gets you a lot closer to that. Leo says he tried it for a week and it was just way too bright. It also causes a loss in detail to watch in dynamic mode and Scott says that bright spots (called blooming) will begin to appear and if you're using an OLED screen, you'll wear it out faster. Another thing that can help is a bias light behind your TV. It helps for less eye fatigue.
Scott got an email about how an old Sony Stereo with Sansui Speakers can work with modern sources. How can he get something that can bridge the gap from his phone, or Network Attached Storage, to his old stereo? He'd rather not use Bluetooth, but Scott says that it's easier to deal with and there are tons of audio adapters for Bluetooth. Amazon Basics makes one for $20.
Scott says that TVs have gotten so thin that speakers aren't capable of providing any appreciable sound because they aren't beefy enough to drive the sound. So a home theater system, or a sound bar, is now a must. But Scott says that if your TV only puts out stereo via Toslink (the optical connector), a surround sound sound bar isn't really going to help. So don't overspend on them.
Scott wants to talk about movie subscription services. MoviePass started the trend with an all you can watch subscription plan that allows you to watch one movie a day. But Scott says that they are in serious financial straights, losing money on every sale. It has, however, prompted more subscription services including AMC's Stubs A List. The cost is $20 a month, for three movies a week, plus upgrades to popcorn and drinks, and the ability to watch upcharged screenings like IMAX or Dolby Cinema.
This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.
Over at AVSForum, Scott has an article on how to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR. You basically need to either be a Comcast subscriber with the Infinity X1 service, or be a DirecTV subscriber. For Comcast, it will also be a one day delay, and in Spanish! Leo says that makes it useless in today's world. Layer 3, owned by T-Mobile also has coverage.
Streaming online, you can get the World Cup if you have a HiSense TV. There's an app for it that you can install.
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.
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.