home theater

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire
Vizio Sound Bar

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

Why can't I use my AppleTV with my new 4K TV?

Murray from New Jersey

Episode 1497

Murray has an AppleTV 4K and it's not working with his LG TV, unless he reboots it. Leo says it's probably an HDMI handshake issue. Maybe a bad HDMI cable. Or worse, a bad HDMI port. Apple says to hold the menu/volume buttons down for 5 seconds. The AppleTV will run through resolutions until one wakes it up.

David calls in to recommends getting Geffen Doctor HDMI. MonoPrice has a similar product. The HDMI can fall asleep and it has trouble waking up. Doctor HDMI keeps your HDMI ports awake.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1497

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.

How can I play my iTunes music with my home theater?

Episode 1495

Henry from Los Angeles, CA
Sonos Connect

Henry has a home theater system running iTunes for playing music and he wants to expand it to other rooms. But since Apple has discontinued the Airport, what can he do? Leo says that the good news is, there's a better way to do it. Apple has released the HomePod for that purpose, but Leo would wait since it's so new and early in its development. He recommends Sonos Connect. He can connect speakers to it, or he can buy Sonos speakers with the built-in connection. Then he can control it by phone or by Amazon Echo.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1495

Scott Wilkinson

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.

Should I repair or replace my plasma TV?

Episode 1494

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA
Panasonic Viera Plasma TV

Sam has a Panasonic Viera Plasma and wants to know if he should repair it or replace it. Leo says that if the repair is cheap enough (like $100) then it's worth a try. Plasmas are great. But LCDs have gotten much better and with new power consumption requirements, Plasma sales dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable to make them. And now, OLED is emerging and is getting cheaper.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1493

Scott Wilkinson

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.

Why can't I play music using my Echo Dot and my Home Theater?

Episode 1487

Ryan from Sacramento, CA
https://www.flickr.com/photos/131292477@N08/25219116374/

Ryan uses Amazon's Echo Dots and he tries to connect them to his home theater system, but when he tells them to play multi room, the music plays from the Dots only. Leo says the problem could be Bluetooth latency from wirelessly playing from one Dot to another, causing an echo chamber. Leo says using a hardwire option would probably make it work. It could be an intentional design decision that triggers via Bluetooth limitations.