Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I improve antenna reception?

Episode 1396

Jeremy from Costa Mesa, CA
Antenna

Jeremy is a cord cutter who uses an indoor over the air antenna to get live broadcast television, but he's not getting very good reception. Scott says like any antenna, his reception will depend on where he can put the antenna. The higher the better, and it's best to have it close to a window. Getting an amplified antenna would be a good idea as well. He should try and put it within line of sight of the broadcast transmitter. The chatroom says to use a signal booster too, but Scott says an amplifier will only amplify the noise if it's not within the range of the channel signal.

How can I use one remote for my TV and sound bar?

Episode 1396

Jim from San Clemente, CA
Logitech Harmony 650 Universal Remote Control

Jim wants to avoid having to use multiple remote controls. Will his cable box remote take over for the TV remote? Scott says it's all in the programming. He'll have to have the right code in there and sometimes it's trial and error to get it right.

Can he also have it control the sound bar? Scott says that could be a challenge. But if any remote can do it all, Scott recommends the Logitech Harmony remote.

Is there a TV with split screen?

Episode 1396

Jim from Washington, D.C.
4K TV

Jim wants to get a 4K UHD TV that offers split screen or picture-in-picture support. Scott says most TV manufacturers have dropped that option as TVs have gotten thinner, and other features like HDR have gotten more popular. No TV can really support split screen anymore. Computer monitors can do it. An external device may be able to do it, but that's an additional cost. He should also consider that split screens will clip or crop the image so he wouldn't see the entire screen.

Microsoft Announces New Xbox One X

Episode 1396

Xbox One X

This week during the gaming conference E3, Microsoft announced the most powerful gaming console ever made. It's called the Xbox One X, and it's smaller, heavier, liquid cooled and more powerful than any other console on the market. It also comes with a 4K Blu-ray player with HDR support built-in. Scott says that the HDR capability of the player is really more important than the resolution simply because most people won't really see the difference unless they have a screen that's 70" or larger. But HDR is really noticeable, even on sets under that size.

How can I stream Netflix at school?

Episode 1394

David from Mission Viejo, CA
Netflix

David is a teacher and he wants to use Netflix as a teaching aid, but the school district won't allow streaming it into the classroom. What can he do as a work around? Leo says that there really isn't one, as he would have to have permission from the district. He could bypass the school's internet by using his cellular data and making his mobile device a hotspot.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1394

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says it's getting harder for elderly viewers to enjoy the home theater TV experience. There's a problem with poor sound mixing on TV sets that makes the dialog difficult to hear. And the speakers on today's TVs are terrible. That's why Scott recommends a sound bar or sound base that goes in front of the TV. The Sound Base will allow you to put the TV on top of it and it won't block the TV's remote. ZVox has a sound base that has a feature called "AccuVoice," which makes it easier for older viewers to hear the dialog.

How can I stream to Facebook Live with multiple cameras?

Episode 1393

Andy from Los Angeles, CA
Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel

Andy is trying to do Facebook Live with multiple cameras, but he gets a delay every time he switches through the HDMI switcher. Leo says that an HDMI switcher is not the same as a switcher in a control room, and it can cause latency. Leo says that Blackmagic makes a video hardware switcher that is very low priced to get into this game. It's called the ATEM Switcher.