Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I get TV for free?

Episode 1519

Suzie from Florida

Suzie is retired and called to cancel her cable, so she can stream. But when she did, the cable company doubled her interest costs! Leo says that's what they do, to punish you for getting rid of their TV service. Leo says you can always get an antenna and try and watch broadcast, but depending on where you live, you could be too far away. Check out TVFool.com to see what TV stations are available. They'll also recommend an antenna. AntennaWeb.org is another. Cut the cable!

Scott Wilkinson ... Returning

Episode 1519

A few questions. Caller is having issues with his ARC in his home theater system. A SmarTV needs to be able to run audio from the TV to the home theater system without latency. That's where AV ARC (audio return) option comes in. But your home theater and TV has to support it. It is essentially sending the audio the other way along with HDMI system. It also needs CEC, consumer electronics control. You also need a high speed HDMI cable, and you have to be sure to plug it into the right HDMI port, which will be labeled HDMI ARC.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1517

Questions - Wayne wants to get a 4K TV. What model should he get, the Vizio P Series or the Sony Bravia? The Sony X900F is about $2000, and the Vizio P Series is close to the same price. Scott says don't get the X850F, even though it's $500 cheaper. It has an edge lit LED backlight, and that could cause uneven lighting. The X900F and the Vizio P series use full array local dimming, so it's illumination is more uniform and has better contrast. Worth the extra money.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1515

Scott had a chance to get a HiSense Dual Laser projector, but unfortunately, he has no room to set it up! Scott says that Moore's Law can apply to mirrors in a laser projector. They are incredibly tiny and are getting smaller all the time. The laser gets reflected and projected onto the screen with better resolution and color, which the mirrors flip back and forth in a phase called "Wobulation."

Why is the sound on my TV bad on one channel?

Cable

Episode 1513

Larry from El Cajon, CA

Larry bought a used TV and the audio doesn't work on one channel, except for commercials! Leo says that could be due to secondary audio programming (SAP). The channel may not support that. He should try turning that off. He should try using some headphones and see if they work. If he can hear the channel, it's clearly something wrong with the audio processing on the TV, or with the speaker setup. He should set up mono sound and see if that works.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1513

HiSense came to the Eastside studios today to install a short throw projection system that puts up to 100" screen from about a foot away. Scott says it uses lasers to draw the image on the screen, and it looks really impressive, even in ambient light. The projector also comes with a sound bar and sub woofer, and the audio quality is quite good. And it should be since it costs $10,000!

Why does my TV turn on by itself?

Sony Bravia TV

Episode 1511

Vino from Las Vegas, NV

Vino recently cut the cable and is streaming YouTube TV, but he's having trouble streaming on his Sony TV on Roku. It turns on by itself. Leo says that it's likely a CEC problem, which has to do with the HDMI settings. It's basically designed to automatically turn on the TV when he turns on his Roku. It doesn't work very well on Sony. So he should go into the settings and turn off BraviaLink. That'll solve it.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1511

Scott likes to highlight the "home theater of the month" and this month it's a home theater in Los Angeles that is completely blacked out, with 9 speakers around you, 6 above you, and an array of sub woofers behind the projector screen. It also has recliner seats. The owner actually built an addition to his house for it, and built the system himself. He's also added three feet of sound absorption material and acoustic panels all around the room. Scott says there's less than 1db difference in sound in any seat. So there's not a bad seat in the house.

How can I stream to my TV from my phone?

Google Chromecast

Episode 1510

Dave from Hermosa Beach, CA

Dave has a mobile phone and he wants to know how he can stream to his TV from it. Leo says to get the Google Chromecast. This will allow him to pull up a video stream on his phone, and then hand it off to the Chromecast to put it on the TV. He'll need internet and Wi-Fi to make it work. If all his internet access is through his phone, then he could use a hotspot with his TV if it supports that, and then Chromecast that way. But he'll take a bandwidth hit on his phone.