Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1317

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins Leo to talk about how important it is to calibrate your HD TV. We've heard him say that time and time again, and Scott even travels up to t Petaluma to do calibrate Leo's TVs from time to time. But it's even more important with 4K UHD TVs that have high dynamic range or Ultra HD Premium. Some you have to turn on HDR Color to enable it. It's buried deep in the menus. Ideally, have a pro do it. But it's not cheap. Costs hundreds of dollars to get a pro TV calibrator to come to your home.

What's the best Bluetooth speaker to DJ with?

Episode 1314

David from Central Lake, MI
ION Total PA Plus

David is looking for new speakers for parties and to DJ with, but still use at home. He has a budget of $200 to $400. He wants powered speakers, and preferably Bluetooth. Leo says there's a lot out there. The options are actually more cosmetic now -- water proof, sand proof, etc. Generally, the better sound will be expensive and less robust.

How can I build my own home theater?

Diego from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1313

Diego is going to transform one of his bedrooms into a home theater. He's budgeting about $30,000 to $40,000. Leo says his first decision is between direct view or projection. Projection can go bigger by just moving it back. If he can darken the room, it's the ideal option. He will want a projector that can handle the distance (called 'throw') to get it as large as he wants. Then he'll want to get a screen. One option is to paint his wall with special paint that reflects.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1311

Scott Wilkinson

Leo bought the XBox One S with a 4K Blu-ray player, but it meant that he had to buy a 4K TV. So he bought the 65" LG B6 OLED 4K TV. Leo says it's stunning how thin the TV is. But then he had to buy the Denon 910 because the UHD signal couldn't pass through his old AV receiver. That also meant he had to buy cables. Scott says that Leo didn't have to buy new HDMI cables unless they were really old ones. Any HDMI cable from the last few years should be able to handle the 18GB connection required. The real key is the ports on the AV Receiver.

What HDMI hub do I need to use all my devices?

Richard from California

Episode 1308

Richard bought a Vizio Performance series TV. He has a lot of HDMI ports to plug in but he doesn't have enough on the TV. Would an HMDI splitter work? Leo says if it uses a powered or active splitter, yes. Ultimately, the best way to do it is with an A/V receiver.

Geffen does makes a good HDMI hub, though. MonoPrice also has one. He should search for "Active HDMI Switcher."

What about the Playstation Vue for streaming?

Episode 1308

Rick from Indianapolis, IN
Playstation 4

Rick says that Leo should give Playstation Vue a try for streaming online. For $55, it has cable over the internet via the Playstation 3 or 4 console, Roku, etc. There are a ton more channels than Sling.

Leo says it looks interesting but you don't really save anything over paying for cable or satellite. So from a cost saving cord cutting perspective, there isn't much point to it. It is worth a try if you want to cut the cable, though.

Vulnerability Found in Apple's macOS and iOS

Episode 1308

MacBook Air, iPhone, iPad

Cisco has found a vulnerability similar to the Android text exploit, which could take control of your mobile phone through a text message. Leo says that Apple has released a patch to close the hole before anyone else had discovered it. This affects iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS. Mavericks and Yosemite users don't have a fix yet, though, so those users should disable iMessage until they do. If you can't get past Mavericks because your desktop is too old, turn off iMessages permanently.

How can I make a low energy streaming network with Raspberry Pi?

Episode 1307

Bob from San Jose, CA
Raspberry Pi

Bob has been ripping DVDs for his personal use and putting them on a Plex server so he can stream them from his network. But since his network uses older PCs, it's taking up a lot of energy. Can he use a Raspberry Pi to use less energy?

Leo says he can, and he can even use a NUC server. Plex has a Raspberry Pi plugin called RasPlex, and that's where Bob can go. There's also one for XBMC as well. The Raspberry Pi 3 is very fast and powerful, but also low powered.