HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Glen's new home is being wired for outdoor speakers for a home theater setup. What kind of surround sound system should he get, 5.1 or 7.2? Leo says that 5.1 will be fine. He'll have three speakers in front, and then two in the back, plus a subwoofer. He should get wired speakers. He'll want the surrounds at "ear height."
Billy is getting Beats Bluetooth headphones for Christmas. What peripheral can he connect to his vinyl record player in order to use them? Leo says most modern amps have Bluetooth support built-in. If his existing receiver doesn't, there are plenty of third party Bluetooth transmitters that will do it. Amazon is filled with them for around $15. He should be warned that the audio quality won't be all that great, though. Bluetooth audio simply isn't all that great, no matter how good the headphones are, because the dynamic range of the music is highly compressed to make the bandwidth.
Yesterday, Scott saw Rogue One and without giving away any spoilers, he said you want to wait until the very end. Don't leave. Scott saw it in Dolby Cinema because that's how it was color graded, and he thinks it's the best way to see it. High Dynamic Range for best picture quality. The problem is that AMC in Burbank showed it in 3D Dolby Cinema, and Scott hates that. It was still well worth seeing, though. If you can see it in 2D Dolby Cinema, do that.
Cathy moved from DirecTV to Dish and she wants to know how to get data off the old Hopper DVR. Leo says the encryption on the DVR prevents you from getting those programs off of it. The only way would be to use the "analog hole" by hooking up a recorder to the DVR like it's a TV and then recording while playing it back in real time.
Jim has all his movies backed up on his network. He'd like to use an SD card to plug in and watch that way. Leo says he can, but he'll have to be sure it's in a specific format by the Blu-ray player, so check he should check his manual. If he's wanting it for travel, he should check out the SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive. Its designed to connect to a smartphone and then he can stream to the TV via DNLA. It has a 10 hour battery life too, which is great for a road trip.
Scott says that AVS broke the news this week of a possible title for Star Wars Episode VIII: Forces of Destiny. The news came from European Union copyright and trademark filings that were discovered by fan watchdogs.
Leo says that when he hooked up more than one Onkyo and Denon AV receiver device to his Plasma TV, it stopped working. But when he bypassed it, it worked again. Could it be a bad cable? Scott says swapping out the cable is a good first step. Scott says that Onkyo has a history of HDMI issues, but the Denon one is intriguing.
Nick has a Samsung TV and he wants to cast videos from his computer or tablet. Leo says that most TVs support DNLA, which would enable him to stream to the TV. Samsung calls it "Samsung Link" or "All Share." He should Google the TV model and "DLNA" or "Miracast" and he will find out how he can do it. It may also be called "screen mirroring."
Most Windows devices and tablets will support DLNA. The Samsung Galaxy Note would be a good tablet choice, as are the Galaxy Tabs. Leo likes the Galaxy Tab S2. Any Bluetooth keyboard will work also, and the TV will support it.
Hutch has a really old TV and he's hooked up an antenna to it with a digital tuner. He's tried connecting his phone to it with the Peel remote system because it has a remote app, but now all he gets is snow. Leo says that it worked once and it sounds like it's forgotten what the remote code is. It could have changed the source or that it sent a code that won't allow him to access TV channels. Leo says the problem is in the setup.
This week's gadget is the Vizio M Series 50" Ultra HDR TV with Dolby Vision. Somes with SmartCast, which is Google Chromecast built in. Also comes with a 6" Android tablet as it's ultimate remote and Chromecast interface. Four HDMI ports to connect Cable/Satellite boxes, Bluray/DVD players, Gaming Consoles and Computers. You can even use the virtual keyboard on the tablet to name the inputs. Be aware though this is what VIZIO calls a Tuner-Free Display. Since most households today stream or watch live TV from cable and satellite boxes which don't require a tuner, you probably won't care.
Scott Wilkinson is back and although Black Friday was yesterday, the deals are still going on. Is it OK to get a Black Friday TV? Scott says yes, if you shop carefully. A lot of them are so-called loss leaders. Those are house brands and last year's models. Check out Scott's Black Friday TV deals here.