Scott joins us to talk about the new Dolby Atmos Soundbar. The idea of superior sound is to get a greater sense of immersion and Atmos adds to the effect of surround sound. It puts the sound above you so that it comes at you from every direction. Atmos does this by bouncing the audio off the ceiling. Then, using DSP, it can create a simulated surround sound effect. Leo wonders if it would be better to have two really good stereo speakers, rather than 7 surround sound speakers that may not be as good. Scott says that is a good argument. But the center channel is where the voice should be.
Scott has big news that Vizio has changed the name of the game in big screen TVs. On Tuesday, Vizio announced the P-Series, which has much of the R-Series features for 1/3 of the price. It comes with HDR with Dolby Vision, and it will get a firmware update in 90 days that will give users HDR10 as well. This is huge because it should drastically drop the price of HDR 4K TVs fairly quickly.
Leo hears that there's a new Atmos Sound Bar. Is it worth it? Scott says that the new UltraHD Premium Spec supports Atmos in the home and it should sound great. And more UHD Blu-ray titles are coming out. Sony is one of four studios that have released UHD Blu-rays as well as Fox, Universal and Lionsgate. So we're coming up to the transition of a new format in home entertainment. Scott even believes that the move to UHD will be faster than when we transitioned from DVD to Blu-ray. And it won't be that much more on the onset.
Scott has discovered that DirecTV will be broadcasting the Masters Golf Tournament in 4K on April 7-10th. It will be their first UHD broadcast. Leo wonders how much that signal will be compressed. Scott contacted DirecTV and found that they will be using AGVC as the codec. But he also found out that DirecTV won't say what the bitrate is. Leo says it's like Netflix doing the same thing, and it ends up being awfully compressed and leaves people with an inaccurate and negative impression of what 4K really is. Scott also says that high dynamic range will be missing as well.
Today we're talking about hi resolution audio, with the Pono Player and the Revealer firmware. The Revealer is a firmware update which enables to improve the quality of audio.
Scott got to go backstage at the Grammy's this week. Each stage has 56 mics going into a mixer plus other audio sources, and it's all mixed live. All the performances are live. No lipsyncs. The audio is in Dolby 5.1, although CBS only broadcasts in 1080i. This week on Home Theater Geeks, Scott is going to have the head sound guy for the Grammy's, so tune in!
Over at AVS Forum, Scott has posted an article on "Ten Terrific TVs for Super Bowl Sunday." He advises to avoid "house brands" like Element, Insignia, Sceptre, etc. If you need a value label, Vizio is the way to go. Leo agrees and says that Vizio's software is excellent. There's also LG, Samsung, and Sony.
Scott Wilkinson is back from CES and put 26 miles on his feet. There, he saw a new backlighting technology for LCD TVs. Instead of a white LED backlight, they use blue LEDs and a film emdedded with tiny spheres, called quantum dots, which absorb the blue photos and re-emit another color with precision. The result is the combination of red/green/blue, which equals white. It's almost as accurate as laser.
Scott is at CES for the latest in Home Theater and all the TV manufacturers are introducing new models of high dynamic range 4K TVs. There's finally a standard from the UHD Alliance called "Ultra HD Premium." But there's also a competing standard. Scott says that even though we have a budding format war, this time, they are largely interoperable. The 4K Blu-Ray players coming out are a lot cheaper as well, starting at $400. The first Blu-ray player was $1,000. So we're getting better at that and Leo says that by next year, they'll be under $100.
Scott hasn't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, but he has heard nothing but good things. It seems that most people are writing reviews just saying that they like it, and not giving any plot details. Leo says that it's on track to be the highest grossing opening film of all time. As for 3D, there's really nothing in the movie that takes advantage of it. It was largely invisible. Scott says that's why he's going to see it at the El Capitan in Dolby Vision with Dolby Cinema High Dynamic Range.