There's a scandal brewing over at Amazon, where the online retailer has pulled all listings to sell Apple TV or Google's Chromecast because there's no app to support Amazon streaming. They also won't allow third parties to sell them. That's scandalous, but Leo says that while it's rather bad form, a store has the right to carry what it wants to sell, so there's really not much to do about it. Scott also says it shows just how serious they are about streaming TV.
Scott says that there's a movement underway to be able to watch movies in virtual reality. But that comes with it's own set of problems, chief of which is the sound, which would require a head tracking system to change the ton of the audio as you move around. And that would also mean a processor intensive issue.
Scott is in Dallas for the Custom Entertainment Design Information Association Show, or CEDIA, where he's been seeing a lot of new home theater stuff including laser projectors. Epson introduced a low cost one last year and this year Sony joins the list. But by "low cost," Scott says that they cost around $10,000. Even the huge commercial cinema projector companies are starting to look at home theater projection, but not everyone can afford their $150-400,000 price tags. More affordable options are high brightness projectors, which offer improved illumination, for around $3,000 to 4,000.
Scott got to see The Martian in high dynamic range at a theater in Los Angeles. But the interesting part is that AMC decided not to show the film in 3D HFR. So if you want to see it in 3D, you'll have to see it in regular theaters. Scott believes that it has to do with sterilizing Dolby 3D glasses, and also because AMC has a contract with RealD for 3D presentation. So you won't be able to see it in 3D HFR, unfortunately. But even then, it's definitely worth seeing.
Scott joins Leo to talk about the new Chromecast audio. He says that the key for him is if it'll have the Tidal service, and if the quality is there, it could sound just like a CD. And what's cool is that it'll be available in any room in the house. Leo says not only that, but it empowers any wireless speaker to be a stereo. The real question is latency, especially in party mode. Scott says that Google will be bringing that in a firmware update. Leo also says if they tie Google Now to it, the party is over for Sonos.
Scott got a question asking if the Onkyo TX-NR646 AV Receiver has two subwoofers, and it turns out it does. It's much better to have two subwoofers than one to make the bass response smooth. They produce the same signal and if you only have one output, you can use a Y Splitter, as long as the subs are powered.
Scott and Leo also talked about in ear headphones and how they effect hearing, so it's always important to keep that in mind when listening to your music.
Scott says that the AVSForum has been redesigned so that it's easier to get the editorial content. Scott also says that there's a lot of HDR movies coming in theater including The Martian, PAN, and the Maze Runner Scorch Trials. Scott's really looking forward to The Martian. The book is fantastic, and according to reviews from the Toronto Film Festival, the film is really faithful to the book.
Scott joins us to talk about the new Apple TV. Leo says it's odd that there's no 4K and it uses the old HDMI 1.4 standard, which Scott says can't carry the full resolution 4K bandwidth. It can't carry a limited, 8 bit color version, but it definitely won't handle high dynamic range for high frame rate. So from a 4K stand point, it's not all that great. Leo says that he recommends the Roku because it has 4K support and just about everything else but iTunes. The cool thing is search by Siri.
Scott says that Vizio has dropped 3D completely from its entire line of HDTVs and is moving towards High Dynamic Range. Leo says that some people are confused between HDR and high frame rate, or HFR. Scott says that some TV makers are still in the HFR camp and many people don't like it because of it makes the image look like a soap opera. Scott also says that LCDs can make the problem worse with motion blur and then frame interpolation is applied that makes the image look even more plasticy. How can you get rid of the soap opera effect? Look for black frame insertion.
Scott gets questions all the time about if we're going to get high dynamic range broadcasting. Scott says not for awhile. Most of the cameras can do it, but the delivery standards are such that it isn't capable to do so with the current standard. But that could change over time since TVs are starting to offer OLED HDR. But until the prices come down, you won't be seeing it any time soon.