Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

What home theater system should I buy?

Emiliy from Orange County, CA

Episode 1182

Emily has a new LG 55" HD TV but the sound isn't so good. What are her options for an affordable home theater option. Leo says that speakers inside TVs are more of an afterthought because they have to have them. But TV makers expect you to buy a home theater system. A Home Theater in the Box aren't bad (HTIB), but they range wildly in quality. You want Dolby 5.1 surround and an HTIB will provide that. Leo says sound bars are also a good option because they are simpler, but they need a subwoofer.

How fast an internet connection do I need?

Steve from Tacoma, WA

Episode 1182

Steve is going to be streaming video and playing video games online. How fast does his internet connection need to be? Leo says that Netflix has an ISP Speed Index to let you know what you need and where you can get it. They also offer recommendations about speed here. 10 MBPS should be sufficient. 25MBPS better yet. You can even use that to Skype your parents. And always remember that published limits are best speed. Not average speed.

Why is my TV pixelating during action scenes?

Ed from Chicago, IL

Episode 1181

Ed has a Sharp 42" TV from Best Buy. But it's having issues with pixelating during action scenes. Leo says that could be a motion compensation issue. Look in the settings and look for AquoMotion. Turn that on. This feature adds frames to overcome the blurriness. But the downside is, you end up with a hyper real, plastic like look. But if he buys a new one, should he buy a new 4K TV? Leo says it's not a good time to buy a 4K TV right now. There's no standard that TVs are being used, but it's coming. And there really isn't a lot of content just yet. So if you can wait, wait. What about 3D?

Scott Wilkinson ... Furious

Episode 1181

Scott went and saw Furious 7 at the TCL Chinese Theater, where he saw it in IMAX with their new laser illuminated projectors. Scott says it was some of the best projected images he's ever seen. Amazingly deep blacks, bold colors, and incredibly bright. But even then, it can't project in high dynamic range like the Christie lazer projector across the street at the El Capitan can. But it's still an amazing new technology. The good news is that the laser illuminated projection means you don't need a silver screen to project it. Which is great for 2D movies.

How can I get rid of ghosting on my 4K TV?

Episode 1180

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom has a 4K UHD TV a few months back. Leo says that's great. Sadly, there isn't much content to stream in 4K and he really has to have a high bandwidth to get it. But he's also getting ghosting prompting him to reset the TV to get rid of it. Leo says that all LCD TVs have this. He can try and fix it by turning on 60-120-240 hz TruMotion. That will use interpolation to get rid of ghosting and smooth things out. The downside is that it looks hyper realistic.

How can I connect my home theater to my TV?

Michael from Monrovia, CA

Episode 1179

Michael bought a home theater in a box, a Panasonic A/V receiver, and a 55" Samsung TV. He has Dish TV service. He's having issues hooking everything up, though.

Leo says that everything should go through the Panasonic A/V receiver. He needs to connect the components like the blu-ray player with HDMI cables to the HDMI input on the Panasonic receiver. Then there should be one HDMI output on the receiver, and that will go to the HDMI In on the TV. If he connects the receiver to HDMI 1 on the TV, then the TV should stay on HDMI 1 all the time.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1179

Scott returns from NAB this week, after spending a week walking the halls and seeing the latest in broadcast and film technology. Leo says that it's become more and more about that, rather than the inside technology of engineers. There's a lot more focus on streaming media. Scott agrees, and says that TWiT is ahead of that curve, blazing the trail. Scott says he likes to go to NAB because seeing what broadcasters are working on points the way to what consumers will go with. And 4K was everywhere.

What is a good DVR for over the air broadcast TV?

Episode 1178

Ruth from Roseberg, OR
TIVO Roamio

Ruth ditched satellite, has the cable and bought a few Leaf antennas for her TV. She also streams sometimes with cellular internet and sometimes it fails. Leo says that may be due to bandwidth caps. Ruth says Netflix buffers while Amazon Prime has no problem. Leo says that after 6pm, Netflix is being used by everyone. And maybe Netflix hasn't pad tribute to the cell provider for higher speed internet. That practice was started by Comcast.