Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1388

Scott Wilkinson

Angus wants to hook up some old speakers to his 32" HDTV. What's the most affordable way to do this? Leo says who cares if the picture is small, if the sound is big? Scott agrees and says that the best solution is to get the most affordable A/V speaker or amp you can afford and hook it up. Make sure it has an optical/digital input (also known as TOSLINK). Scott checked at LifeWire, and they say the Pioneer VSX 531 for $200 is the best value for the money.

Why is my sound bar volume so low?

Episode 1387

Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA
Energy Power™ Bar One Soundbar

Ryan connects his sound bar to his TV through the headphone jack and over time, it gets harder to hear. He can have it turned up to 90% and it sounds like it's barely on. Leo says that he should try changing the sound on the TV, not the sound bar. It should raise or lower it.

There may be a setting in the TV's sound settings to treat it as a line out. That could fix it. Connecting to the optical jack is the solution, if he can, because it's a fixed level.

Why can't I stream TV from my computer anymore?

George from Weymouth, MA

Episode 1387

George can't seem to watch streaming TV on his Samsung computer anymore. The icons have even disappeared. Leo says he thinks that George is no longer in mirror mode. He's in "extended" mode and that's why he can't see his icons. Set it for mirror mode, and it all should pop up. Netflix is also smaller. Leo says that may be a resolution issue via copy protection. The cable may also have gone bad.

Why can't I buy apps in the Google Play Store with my Nvidia Shield tablet?

Episode 1385

Shane from Indianapolis, IN
Nvidia Shield Tablet

Shane has an Nvidia Shield gaming device and every time he tries to buy something from the Google Play Store, he gets an error. Leo recommends clearing the cache, restarting and then resetting his Play account. The problem is that the Nvidia Shield has Android 7 and it doesn't give him access to his Google Play settings. That may leave Shane with only one option — to reset the Shield itself.

Can I leave my TVs on?

Monica from California

Episode 1381

Monica wants to know if she should turn off her TV when she leaves the room or can she leave them on as she moves from room to room? Leo says that TVs use a lot of power. LCDs use the least amount, though. It's about the same as a light bulb. So it's OK power wise. It won't hurt the TV at all since they're rated for over 50,000 hours each.

Is my Plasma TV dead?

Episode 1380

Miles from Long Beach, CA

Miles' HDTV suffered a power outage and now his HDMI port isn't working. Leo says a power surge likely wiped out the HDMI ports. He should check if he has another HDMI input that he can use. Leo says there may be a fuse that has blown and a repair man could replace it. That could restore his HDMI. If not, it's not an easy or affordably fixable thing. A 64" plasma is worth at least trying to get fixed. The chatroom says to make sure the polarity and grounding is correct on his plugs. An electrician can test for that.