Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I plug an LCD TV into an old cable box?

Episode 1240

Joey from Laguna beach, CA
Component cables

Joey inherited an LCD TV and he needs an adapter to plug in from his old coax cable box. Leo says that coax is an analog connector designed largely for over the air antennas, rather than digital, which is what HDMI or DVI is. Leo says it's going to cost Joey more to get a Coax to DVI converter than it would just to get a new cable box. Then he can get an inexpensive HDMI to DVI adapter. He'll also need a separate sound cable. Since Joey also has component, another option is to go from Component to DVI. That's an inexpensive option as well. But then he could end up with sync issues.

How can I keep using my Home Theater PC?

Louis from Palos Verdes, CA

Episode 1239

Louie has Windows Media Center on his computer and now that his cable company has gone digital, he can't use it. How can he fix it? Leo says that it was probably analog. He'd need a digital replacement of the capture card. The Box isn't enough. Louie will need a cable card or M card that can fit into a device that can make that video capture device a cable box. And it's likely he's going to run into roadblocks there as well.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1239

Scott Wilkinson

Black Friday is coming this week and Scott says there's going to be some amazing deals on Samsung TVs. And you don't have to wait in line to get them, you can shop online. Scott is seeing deals of up to 60% off really good JS UHD models that have high dynamic range. Scott says it's likely to clear out inventory to make room for the 2016 models which will come out in the Spring. Leo says that the deals are unbelievable, especially coming directly from Samsung. Sony is going to have some deals as well, but we haven't seen details yet.

What wireless headphones are good for watching TV?

Phil from Anaheim, CA

Episode 1238

Phil would like to watch TV with wireless headphones so he doesn't disturb the rest of his family late at night. Leo says to look for a good Bluetooth headset that uses A2DP or AptX. USA Today recently came up with a whole list of options at usatoday.com

Another good place to look is at headphones.reviewed.com Beyer Dynamics and Sony both make great wireless headphones.

How can I stop my TV from adding channels?

Episode 1238

Sarafine from Studio City, CA
Samsung TV

Sarafine has a Samsung TV that keeps adding channels that she doesn't want, causing her to delete them manually. Leo says that's Samsung. Their software is terrible and it's likely that it's automatically adding them in an attempt to be smart. She can probably go into the TV settings and disable those automatic settings. But Leo says it'll be tedious because the settings aren't very user friendly. She should look for "autoscan" or "autoupdate". It she can't find that, she may be stuck.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1237

Scott took a call from a guy next week about headphones with surround sound. Subsequently, he's heard about Sony's MDR-DS7500. They're wireless headphones that you can hear surround sound with. Not cheap at $300, but an option. Also, Scott heard that Sennheiser is bringing back the Orpheus headphones, which are $55,000! WHAT?! They're electrostatic and have transistors built into the cans themselves. Sure, they're probably the best headphones in the world, but for that cost, give me a break. Can you really hear the difference, objectively?

Why is the audio cutting out on only some AT&T Uverse channels?

Brent from Eastvale, CA

Episode 1235

Brent has AT&T Uverse with the HD package, and on live programming such as football games and TV shows, the sound will cut out from time to time. He doesn't have the same issue watching movie channels, however. He has a Denon surround system that's only a couple years old. Scott thinks if it's only happening on certain channels, it would lead him to believe this is an issue on AT&T's end and not his. Scott suggests calling AT&T to report this to them.

How can I improve my antenna reception?

Ben from Omaha, NB

Episode 1235

Ben watches his TV with an over the air antenna and it occasionally loses signal. Scott says that generally speaking, an OTA antenna inside a home, like an apartment, works best near a window and within line of sight of the transmitter. Scott recommends going to AntennaWeb.org to find out how to maximize his TV reception. He can input his location and it will let him know where to point the antenna. Titan.tv is another source.