Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1446

Scott Wilkinson

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.

Is 4K Blu-ray worth investing in?

Episode 1444

Isaac from Clinton, MS
Billy Lynn's Long  Halftime Walk

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.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1444

Scott Wilkinson

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 Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1442

Scott Wilkinson

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.

Black Friday Vs. Cyber Monday

Episode 1442

Black Friday

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.

Are there any new TVs that can do Picture-in-Picture?

Episode 1441

Susan from O'Fallon, IL
Amazon Fire TV

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.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1440

Scott Wilkinson

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.

What OLED TV should I buy?

Episode 1440

Derek from Moreno Valley, CA
E7 OLED 4K HDR Smart TV - 65"

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.