Home Theater

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1343

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the Vizio M Series 50" Ultra HDR TV with Dolby Vision. Somes with SmartCast, which is Google Chromecast built in. Also comes with a 6" Android tablet as it's ultimate remote and Chromecast interface. Four HDMI ports to connect Cable/Satellite boxes, Bluray/DVD players, Gaming Consoles and Computers. You can even use the virtual keyboard on the tablet to name the inputs. Be aware though this is what VIZIO calls a Tuner-Free Display. Since most households today stream or watch live TV from cable and satellite boxes which don't require a tuner, you probably won't care.

Why is the volume level of dialog so inconsistent on Blu-ray discs?

Joe from Ventura, CA

Episode 1341

Joe wants to know why the volume of dialog audio tracks so inconsistent whenever he plays Blu-rays. It's very annoying. Leo says that the TV speakers don't understand the channel information in order to route the audio properly. Dialog is mixed to come out of a center channel, so it doesn't get reproduced as intended. The TV may have a setting that can address this, but having a home theater system is a better way to go.

Should I buy a Sony 4K TV?

Episode 1341

Chad from Long Beach, CA
LG B6 OLED

Chad is looking to get the XBox Scorpio next year to upgrade his game console but he wants to upgrade his TV first. Leo says that this will trigger the upgrade cascade with all of his other devices. Sony's 4K TV is very nice, and Scott Wilkinson says nice things about it. It misses the UHD Premium spec, however. Leo says it may be HDR 10, but Leo says he'll want a TV that supports the whole spec, not just one or the other. Sony always goes their own way with proprietary technology. That's a legitimate concern.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1341

Scott says we've been seeing Black Friday ads all month and Cyber Monday is now all month long. This is a good way to score a store brand TV for a bedroom or guest room. Scott advises sticking with deals you can get on name brands, just look down a few model tiers. Scott is also not seeing that many deals on 4K TVs this time around. 4K doesn't matter in terms of the detail you can on a TV at smaller screen sizes, but 4K also will minimize artifacts. Moving forward, 4K is the way to go, and more content is out now to make it worth it.

Can I buy an HD antenna for watching local channels?

Jim from Florida

Episode 1342

Jim remembers a call a few weeks ago about cord cutting and local channels. Could he buy an HD antenna for that? Leo says maybe, but only if he's in an area with line of sight to a TV transmitter in his area. The more rural you are, the more difficult that is.

Jim should check out TVFool.com or AntennaWeb.org to see not only what channels he can get in his area, but what antennas will work best.

What TV should I buy on Black Friday?

Episode 1340

Rusty from San Diego, CA
Samsung UHD TV

Rusty is seeing ads for TVs on Black Friday and it's time to get him a new TV. Leo says that Black Friday deals are often house brands, cheaper models and sometimes last year's model that they're clearing out. If he is OK with that, then it comes down to how large a TV he needs. It comes down to how far away he will be sitting and how immersive he'll want it to be. If he wants to get 4K, then he'll have to look past the door busters. Moving forward, he'll want to get a TV that is UHD Premium. Samsung's SUHD TV predated UHD Premium, but it's pretty close to the standard.

Is high refresh rate important when buying a UHD TV?

Episode 1339

Felix from North Hollywood, CA
Samsung UN43KU7000 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Felix heard that TVs with higher refresh rates are actually just simulating the extra frames. Leo says since there's no content at these high frame rates, so anytime there's something faster than 60 frames per second, the TV is faking it. The reason is, LCD TVs are a little bit slower than the old CRT TVs and even Plasma and OLED. So fast moving action can look a little blurry. The way these manufacturers have solved it is through frame interpolation. This means that software will generate what should be between the frames, or it may just double the frame.