HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Peter has a SONOS wireless home theater and he's having some interference issues. Leo says that Sonos uses it's own spectrum, and you can select standard WiFi instead. But chances are, you're running into just plain congestion as other home theater and wifi units are taking up the bandwidth. If you can, move it over to the 5GHz channel instead. You'll have to repair them, but it'll be worth it. It could also be an issue with Sonos new 8.1 firmware update. Both Leo and Doctor Mom are experiencing the same thing. So there's something going on.
David has a home theater system and the speakers are already built into the house. But he needs surround speakers. Leo says you can do that and then just wire them into your home theater system. It'll be the rear surround in a 7.1 Dolby system. Or, if you don't want to do that, just go Dolby 5.1. You're just fine with that. You'll need to recalibrate, too. Course, you could go all in and do Dolby Atmos at home, too.
Zachary wants to play games and he's connected his desktop to his TV. But when he tries to adjust the screen settings, none of the settings work. Leo says to try and change the settings BEFORE you connect the TV. The TV has a native resolution that is actually lower than the resolution on your desktop. You want to see what your TVs native resolution is and then choose that setting that is as close as possible to it. You may also be in mirror mode instead of extended mode. So try and change that if you can.
Scott joins us. What is the real difference between 4K streaming and ultra Blu-ray discs? Scott says that most of the Ultra Blu-Ray discs on the market are now 4K HDR. Streaming content is making the move to HDR, and several of the TV shows streaming are in 4K. Netflix is the leader in this. Stranger Things is going to be streaming in 4K HDR as well. But it won't be as good because of bitrate. You'll top out at about 25 mbps streaming, and it's data compressed. While 4K Blu-ray HDR is about 100 Mbps uncompressed. Renting Blu-rays is an option, but finding HDR blu-rays can be a challenge.
Mike says that Blu-ray players have dual HDMI ports because some legacy receivers don't support the higher bit rate HDMI 2.0a standard. So you can plug into the older HDMI port instead. But then you lose 4K capability.
Scott was in a big box store with a listening room and listened to a Dolby Atmos at Home demo and he was blown away. But is it worth thousands to outfit his home theater with it? Leo says no. Many modern AV Receivers now support Atmos. It's a standard like Dolby 5.1 was. The main difference is that Atmos at Home bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive audio experience. Leo says he can use dual HDMI outputs that would give him the ability to create a similar experience.
Scott says that Vizio has a new higher end 65" UHD LED TV that includes Dolby Vision and HDR10 for $1200. Scott says it's a great TV and if he had a gripe, it's that the black levels aren't as dark as they could be. But for the price, it's a fantastic buy.
Kevin wants to upgrade his TV and is wondering if HDR is important. Leo says it is. He won't see a lot of HDR content just now, but moving forward everything will come out mastered for HDR. So he'll be on the right side of that by getting an HDR compatible TV. He won't really see 4K broadcast for the next few years, though. He'll get it from streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon. He'll also want to get a UHD-HDR BluRay player. Leo likes the Xbox One S.
Vino has a problem with his TV not getting the signal from DirecTV. Leo says it sounds like a bad handshake via HDMI. The settings may be wrong. He may have to change out the HDMI cable, though. Vino should also check to see if he has the most recent firmware.
Scott joins us this week to talk about how HDR and 4K is about as good as it gets and moving forward, it's only going to be a "numbers game" as TV manufacturers try to lure you back into the showroom with fancy resolution numbers. But Scott says our eyes can only see so much, and the content is only going to be 4K at best for the foreseeable future.