Is it worth waiting for a Dolby Vision TV? Scott says that some support HDR10 and some are starting to support Dolby Vision. HDR10 is open source, while Dolby Vision is licensed. But Dolby is much better in its high dynamic range because it uses more data. How do you get it? Scott says that only one external streaming device supports Dolby Vision at the moment and that's the Chromecast Ultra. The LG B6 OLED is also Dolby Vision capable.
Today, Scott joins Leo to talk about Dynamic Range, which is known as the difference in the deepest blacks and the brightest whites. It's all about brightness. OLED, for instance, can achieve zero nits on their blacks, and then the highest nits in brightness for its brights (called Candellas).
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.
Scott went to see Dunkirk in both 70mm IMAX and Dolby Cinema. He preferred 70mm though. Not a lot of deep blacks, but ultimately IMAX is best because that's how director Christopher Nolan shot it. And he shot it on the same beach in Dunkirk, Belgium with original aircraft and boats. The important point is that all the shots are framed within IMAX's square aspect ratio of 8x6. It makes it very immersive. Leo says it's a great movie, beautifully done. Scott agrees. And quite historic in its depiction.
Yesterday was "cut the cord day." Started by TV maker TCL, it's the day to commemorate canceling your cable or satellite subscription in favor of streaming video online. But Scott says that while cord cutting is extremely popular, the options we're getting is really just another spin on the cable model. He hopes that someday we'll get true ala carte programming where you just pay for what you want. But currently, Sling, YouTube, Hulu, and DirecTV Now are all just "cable lite." And in many ways, you end up paying more or the same amount by cord cutting. That may be the whole idea.
Leo and Scott talk about cleaning out and organizing the "techno spaghetti factory" that is wiring coming from all home theater stuff. There was also a lot of dust built up and Scott says it's a good idea to clean out that cruft at least once a year and use IEC standard power cables to keep everything consistent. Leo likes banana plugs, and Scott agrees, but many people don't like them because they tend to be easier to disconnect. They make it easy to swap out other tech, though.
Scott Wilkinson fills in for Leo this week. So get your home theater questions ready to go!
Scott says it's getting harder for elderly viewers to enjoy the home theater TV experience. There's a problem with poor sound mixing on TV sets that makes the dialog difficult to hear. And the speakers on today's TVs are terrible. That's why Scott recommends a sound bar or sound base that goes in front of the TV. The Sound Base will allow you to put the TV on top of it and it won't block the TV's remote. ZVox has a sound base that has a feature called "AccuVoice," which makes it easier for older viewers to hear the dialog.
This week is the 40th anniversary of Star Wars and on Home Theater Geeks, Scott had as his guest one of the original sound recorders/designers for the film, Mike Minkler. He talks about the first use of front to back panning in sound and how George Lucas was very particular on how the film would sound in theaters.
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.