HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Tyler has been using a cable card with Microsoft Windows Media Center on his computer to watch TV, but now with Microsoft killing WMC, what are his options? Leo says that there are other options including Kodi (formerly XBMC) and Plex. The Chatroom says TEAM Media Portal is an option because of the digital rights management issue. The reason why Microsoft killed Windows Media Center is because they want people to buy the XBox One game console. Tyler can watch, but can't record.
Elan needs to buy a new TV and he likes Samsung Smart TVs. He's not married to that, though. What TV should he get? First off, Leo says to get the largest TV he can afford, and a 70" TV is a good option. Leo says that Samsung makes great HDTVs, but he shouldn't hesitate to look at a high-end Vizio. The price/performance ratio on Vizio is really good, and the P Series is very impressive. Leo likes Vizio's smart TV OS as well. It'll give him the best bang for the buck. A 70" will cost him $2300 for the 4K P Series, while the 70" 1080p M Series is $1599.
Mickie recently bought a Samsung Galaxy TV for streaming, but she can't get the HBO Go or Showtime Go App on it. Leo says that's the problem with the Smart TV -- they won't have all the smart apps she wants. She'll be better off just buying a Roku. What about the Apple TV? Leo has both and the only reason to prefer the AppleTV is if she plans to buy stuff though the Apple ecosystem. Roku, by contrast, has a lot more options, thousands of channels, and it's updatable.
Jerry called in using the Obihai. Leo says it's pretty cool because it uses Google Voice. It almost lost that, but Google has changed course.
Dave has some high def videos and they aren't playing right. They're dropping frames and are jumpy. Leo says that high def video can be a bandwidth hog, and on an old computer it can be struggling to keep up. It could also be an issue with the codec or that it was encoded at too high of a bitrate. But the files are probably OK. He may want to re-encode them though, and Handbrake will help you with that.
Mike just bought a 65" Samsung curved 4K TV. He wants to know if they're going to be coming out with Blu-ray players soon. Leo says that there will be a new 4K Blu-ray player later this year and some are already streaming in 4K, like Netflix. But the problem is, to get all that streamed, they have to significantly compress it. It's really early now and standards are going to change.
This week on HTG, Scott is having on Jim Hellman, an expert in high dynamic range cinema and how it's really making the movie image pop and will be a main focus in the standards of 4K and ultra high definition.
Scott says that HDR will change the way we see movies. But Leo believes that it could be much ado about nothing since people are generally happy with their HDTVs. Scott says that HDR has the promise to drive people back to the theaters, rather than wait to watch movies on their home theater system.
Mark has an old PC and his sound card broke. He knows it isn't worth fixing, so he's wondering if there is an external sound card option? Leo says yes! USB sound cards are available, and they are even better for the computer because they don't pick up the fan noise of the computer itself. Mark will want a USB DAC. They range in price from affordable to expensive. Check out the Syba USB Stereo Audio Adapter. It costs just $8!
Carrie needs a digital converter box for her antenna. Leo says that this was started by the FCC which offered them for free during the first year or two. She can buy the Emetic AT103B at Walmart for about $30. It'll even have recording capabilities.
Scott is going to see Disney's Tomorrowland this week and he gets to see it in Dolby Cinema, Dolby's new Laser projection system. Scott says that Tomorrowland is the first movie to be featured with Dolby's new High Dynamic Range format. Scott says that HDR may just get more people to go back to the movies, rather than just rely on their HD Home theater systems to watch a movie.