HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
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 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.
Brian is blind and wants to know what he can do to access the TV easier. Leo says that the Amazon Fire TV Cube is a good option, but the Echo can sometimes misunderstand. It's a good idea to keep it away from TV speakers. He can connect it to his home theater and control everything with his voice. That's a great feature.
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.
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.
Scott says that TVs have gotten so thin that speakers aren't capable of providing any appreciable sound because they aren't beefy enough to drive the sound. So a home theater system, or a sound bar, is now a must. But Scott says that if your TV only puts out stereo via Toslink (the optical connector), a surround sound sound bar isn't really going to help. So don't overspend on them.
Scott joins Leo to help Doug from Albuquerque, NM figure out what TV to buy. Scott says that the "spousal acceptance factor" is high on big flat screens, but not on speakers all over the house. So for Doug, a soundbar is probably best. As for the TV, Doug's living room is in a bright area, with plenty of windows, so Scott says an LED LCD TV is going to be the best option.
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.
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.