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Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1402

Scott Wilkinson

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.

What's a good Wi-Fi laser printer?

Episode 1400

David from Pasadena, CA
Brother Laser Printer

David wants a good Wi-Fi home printer. Leo says that Epson makes a great color printer. Brother makes a good laser printer that's very inexpensive. Those are the two top choices for Leo.

He also has an Apple TV and wants to know if he'll have to upgrade his Apple TV to get Amazon Prime. Leo says no, it's just an app and it will appear in a firmware update or he can download it.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

How can I livestream church services?

Episode 1400

Steve from Portland, OR
Mevo

Steve's church wants to do an online streaming broadcast. What's a good affordable option? Leo says that Livestream will stream via Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Livestream also has the Mevo, which is a camera that connects to the internet and streams directly to Facebook and YouTube. Since it has a 4k camera, Steve could get four different shots out of one camera by zooming in on different parts of the image.

Can I speed up my streaming with a new video card?

Episode 1400

Dave from Paris, CA
Ethernet

Dave wants to improve the video streaming on his computer. Will an updated video capture card work for that? Leo says no. It really comes down to his internet connection speed. The GPU doesn't even come into the mix, as it's just blasted onto the screen. So the only way to improve the streaming is to improve his bandwidth. That means he'll have to pay for faster internet.

How can I watch movies from my phone on my plasma TV?

Episode 1400

Carlos from San Bernadino, CA
Google Chromecast

Carlos has an LG G6 Android phone and he also has an old Samsung plasma TV. Can he use DLNA to cast to it? Leo says that he can't do it natively, but he can plug in a Google Chromecast to the HDMI port and it will work to cast from his phone to the TV itself via the Google Home app. It works really well and it's very easy to setup. Most apps will do it.

Another option is Miracast through his Windows machine if he has movies there, but it doesn't work very well. Chromecast works much better.

How can I stream music to my old stereo?

Episode 1398

Lynn from Torrance, CA
Chromecast Audio

Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, Intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC. She'll want something that's all digital, so she should avoid connecting through the headphone jack. Bluetooth is solid option. Google has Chromecast Audio, which is supported by Spotify and Pandora too.

How can I make a video picture frame?

Episode 1396

Dean from Tehachapi, CA
TV

Dean would like to have a TV on his wall that he can use as a kind of motion video frame. Scott says any TV will do, and he can just connect it to a Blu-ray player and then have it set to play on a loop. The chatroom says that there's waving American flags on YouTube lasting up to 10 hours that he could play as well. With a Smart TV, he can navigate to YouTube with his TV's browser and play it. Scott says it will pump light into the room, though, and so when watching a movie, he should turn it off.

How can I improve antenna reception?

Episode 1396

Jeremy from Costa Mesa, CA
Antenna

Jeremy is a cord cutter who uses an indoor over the air antenna to get live broadcast television, but he's not getting very good reception. Scott says like any antenna, his reception will depend on where he can put the antenna. The higher the better, and it's best to have it close to a window. Getting an amplified antenna would be a good idea as well. He should try and put it within line of sight of the broadcast transmitter. The chatroom says to use a signal booster too, but Scott says an amplifier will only amplify the noise if it's not within the range of the channel signal.