Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I stream TV shows and movies online?

Roku

Episode 1556

Michelle from San Pedro, CA

Michelle has finally cut the cable and wants to know how to stream her movies and TV shows from the internet. Does she need special equipment? Leo says maybe. If she has a smartTV, then she might not. But Leo recommends getting a streaming device anyway and he recommends the Roku. Streaming services include Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But there's also new services coming from Disney and many others. How does she pay for them? Leo says she would have to give them a credit card.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1556

Scott put in his customary 28 miles of walking during CES and he saw some really cool TVs. One thing he saw was a TV with Dual Layer Modulation LEDs, which uses two LED screens to deepen color and dynamic range. The one behind is black and white only, which is used to dim each pixel separately. The contrast ratios are approaching 1 million to one! HiSense had one with 3000 nits of brightness and a black level of .0003. MicroLEDs were also huge. Samsung showed off a 75" 4K microLED that was huge.

Why can't I listen to my music with Google Chromecast Audio?

Google Chromecast

Episode 1555

Dennis from Hoover, AL

Dennis is an audiophile and he's having issues playing music from smartphone using Google Chromecast. It wants him to upload all his music to the cloud first. Leo says that his casting app may be corrupted. He should try another one, like AllCast. From the chatroom - Google requires you to upload your music to the cloud before casting with Google Play. That's what it's designed for: to play from the phone at home using the Google Home App.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1554

Scott says that next week is the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and he expects a ton of 8K TVs will be showcased. But they'll be extremely expensive and there's no real 8K content. So it'll be a while before it's worth investing in an 8K TV. The real improvement will be the new HDMI 2.1 standard. So any new TV should have that component architecture to it, and it will offer an increased bitrate of 48MBps. There will be improved low latency and variable frame rate as well. HMDI 2.1 will require new cables as well, but it will be fully backward compatible.

What streaming devices support Dolby Atmos at Home?

Apple TV

Episode 1551

Rob from Columbus, OH

Rob can't seem to get Dolby Atmos out of his TV. Leo says that most TVs don't support Dolby Atmos, so he may need to get a new player and receiver that supports it. He'll also have to have enough speakers, including two "up firing" speaks in order to get Atmos at Home. The latest Apple TV just had Atmos at Home enabled. Roku's higher end players also support it. Netflix has a list of streaming devices supporting Atmos here.

Where do I put surround speakers in my living room?

Episode 1551

Chuck from Fontana, CA

Chuck is in a new house with a larger room and he wants to know where to put his speakers for surround sound. It's a long room with a 65" screen. Scott says if he can keep his chairs square to the TV, he can then put the surround speakers behind him. But Chuck has the TV cornered and that makes it a very difficult. So he'd probably have to move the TV over another wall and then try to block out the main windows when he's watching TV. Or he could put the surrounds in, or on the ceiling. That can be a challenge because he'll have to run wires through the attic.