HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Rich has an old HDTV that is losing its ability to play audio until it warms up. It works better on analog, but not on HDMI. Leo suspects that the TV's digital to analog converter is going bad on it. One way to test this is to plug in some headphones and see if the problem persists. If it does, then he'll know it's the converter.
Scott says that digital signal processing is at the heart of a soundbar, and they are great for small living rooms. Atmos is now making its way into soundbars and it's the least expensive way to significantly improve your sound, especially if your soundbar comes with a subwoofer. Leo says that there's a wide range of prices for soundbars, though, and Scott agrees. You get what you pay for. But there are some good budget brands out there including Vizio (of course) and Polk.
Isaac has a nice Sony home theater system. But with 4K, he wants to know if the difference in quality is worth rebuilding it in 4K. Leo says that Blu-ray is not only 4 times the resolution as 1080p, it also has the high dynamic range and that's more important. If his home theater supports HDR, then there's no problem. If not, he may want to think about it. Moving forward, he can start picking up UHD HDR Blu-rays for his collection. Billy Lynn, Master and Commander, the BBC Earth series — all are excellent.
Leo finally got to see Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee. Shown at 120 fps, Leo says it was almost like a stage play. But the problem with it is that because it was shot at such a high frame rate, the actors looked wooden, and because they used very little makeup, you see them how they really look. It's disconcerting, and Leo doesn't think it worked. Scott, though, disagrees and thinks it's an experiment that pushes the boundaries of what we are used to in cinema. Scott says we also have 100 years of watching movies at 24 fps.
Scott says that most of the door buster deals on Black Friday were for store brands or captive brands like Element and others. But LG put all of their LCD TVs on deep discount this time around, so there were great deals there to be had. The LG B7 and C7 are nearly identical with the higher end LGs because they have the same panels. So get the lower cost ones. The performance will be similar, the only difference is processing speed and power. Sony also put the X900E TV on sale as well.
We survived another Black Friday. Braving fist fights for deals on last year's models, Leo says that traffic was terrible for Black Friday, and there were plenty of deals to be had. Cyber Monday is coming, where people shop for special deals online. Leo wonders if after Net Neutrality rules are tossed next month if ISPs will charge a toll for visiting sites like Amazon next year.
Susan is looking for a new TV that offers picture-in-picture. Is that still an option? Leo says that option has gone by the wayside because it required two tuners and TV manufacturers started using that space for adding other features. LG still makes a few models that offer PiP, though. Leo says that DirecTV has RedZone that shows multiple games in boxes. Amazon makes the Fire TV and it offers Picture-in-Picture as a feature.
Jonathan also wants to cut the cable because he's been paying $200 a month for TV service. That's outrageous. Leo agrees and if he can put up a TV antenna and get his local TV broadcasts, then he can stream the rest online. He should check out AntennaWeb.org to see if he can get over-the-air broadcasts in his area.
Scott says that the latest TV shootout, now sponsored by CE Week, was decided on a vote by professional colorists, but the difference is the same — LG won. Sony and Samsung were a close second and third, though. What's the difference between the Sony and Samsung OLED? Scott says that the processing is better, but likely not worth paying $1,000 more for. While he bought the Sony himself, he would have no problem buying an LG and they are offering some pretty killer Black Friday deals. A 55" LG B7 is selling for $1499 during Black Friday. That's a fantastic deal. The 65" B7 is $2,299.
Derek wants to know if the QLED is as good as an OLED or Plasma. Leo says that the QLED isn't an OLED or a plasma. It's an LED LCD screen. Plasma is dead now because nobody makes them anymore and OLED is king now. If he wants something similar, then OLED is where he'll want to be. Additionally, he'll want to get 4K and HDR. It looks far better than plasma. Leo recommends checking out the 2017 Value Electronics TV Shootout.