Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why can't Google Assistant turn on my soundbar?

Noah from Michigan

Episode 1507

Noah has bought a soundbar, and it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. What can he do? Leo says if the soundbar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control of the Google Assistant. you could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. Try seeing if you can disable the eco, or power down mode. Joe in the chatroom says that if the soundbar turns on automatically, then you can get a smartplug to plug your soundbar in. Then the Google Assistant can work with it.

Scott Wilkinson ... an important topic

Episode 1507

Scott got an email about how an old Sony Stereo, with Sansui Speakers can work with modern sources. How can he get something that can bridge the gap from his phone, or Network Attached Storage, to his old stereo. He'd rather not use Bluetooth, but Scott says that it's easier to deal with and there are tons of audio adapters for Bluetooth. Amazon Basics makes one for $20. The Wirecutter says that the StarTeck DT250A is only about $50.

What's a good TV for outdoors?

Episode 1505

Don from Covina, CA
SunBrite TV

Don wants to get a TV for the outdoors, but they seem to be four times as much. Leo says that's because TVs are designed for the darkness of a living room or home theater. So getting an outdoor centric TV requires better capability to see in bright, ambient light. There's also weatherproofing issues. Don should check out OuterAudio.com. They recommend the high end SunBright TV for outdoor TVs. Sunlight can also damage TVs.

How can I get my TV to match the color on my laptop?

Episode 1505

Shane from Olympia, WA
Joe Kane's DVD Basics HD Essentials

Shane is a professional photographer and he connects his laptop to a big screen TV to show clients their photos, but the colors are always off. How can he fix that? Leo says that color graders will work in a 30% gray room because it influences the reflective nature of the colors, especially when his laptop is using True Tone. And a TV is not calibrated the same as a computer monitor. He could just get a larger computer monitor, like a 5K iMac, or, he could get his TV professionally calibrated.

What is a good voice control TV device for a blind man?

Episode 1503

Gary from Weeki Wachee, FL
Amazon Fire TV Cube

Gary's mom has dementia and his brother is blind. Their cable company has gone all digital and now they have to make the transition and need voice command to change the TV channels. Leo says that the Amazon Fire TV Cube is a great solution, because it has Amazon Echo built it. It can control some cable boxes, and most TVs. It costs $119. It will also work with Google Home Assistant.

How can I set up a multiroom speaker system?

Episode 1503

Mike from Huntington Beach, CA
Sonos One

Mike would like to be able to control multiple speakers in an open house with his iPhone. Is that doable? Leo says that the key is keeping all the speakers in sync. Sonos was the first to do it right with multi-room sound. All speakers are completely wireless and can be put into party mode, where all are playing the same music in sync. Sonos isn't cheap though.