HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott has gotten some interesting results from the high resolution audio test he was conducting on AVS forum: 80% said they could tell the difference. Leo says that's unlikely and some may have cheated. Scott agrees and says it's more likely that people can hear the difference between MP3 and uncompressed.
Scott is calling in from the CEDIA show, which is a custom design and installation show for home theater. He's been able to hear Dolby Atmos at home, which uses speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create a simulated 3D sound and he says it's pretty amazing. And the good news is that you don't have to upgrade your blu-ray player at all, you can just choose the Atmos sound track. But you will have to upgrade your AV receiver, which will set you back about $1000. But you can keep your speakers and just invest in the up-firing modules. So it's a half upgrade of your system.
This week, Scott will be attending the CDIA show. That stands for Custom Designers and Installers Assoc. It's where Scott usually sees what's on the horizon for home theater projection. And what's he's really excited about is that he'll get to see a ton manufacturers put out systems with Dolby Atmos for the home. Scott says he's found it to be very effective in the theaters and he's looking forward to it being in the home. There's also another system competing with Atmos called ORO.
Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back the lossless compression like FLAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if it's true.
Scott joins us and Leo says that this weekend, FXX is doing a Simpson's marathon, which will show every single episode, 24/7 and will run for 12 days!
Steve has a sound bar and wants to boost the center channel. Leo says that he would have to have Dolby 5.1 to be able to do that, and Scott Wilkinson recommends the Andrew Jones 5.1 sound bar from Pioneer. But if it's 2.1, he shouldn't get it because he won't be able to do what he wants with just "simulated" surround sound.
Sonny has an unused 2nd generation Apple TV and he's thinking of selling it on eBay. He's seeing on eBay that they're selling for $200-300 dollars jailbroken. Leo says to take the money and run! Then he can buy a new one and pocket the change. Leo also points out that eBay values can be misleading. Just because people ask for an amount, doesn't mean they'll get it.
George wants to know how long Blu-ray and DVD discs will last. Leo says that the promise of DVDs and CDs is that they would last forever. But that has ended up not being true since they scratch and become unreadable as the reflective surface corrodes. Burned DVDs, however, are different and fade over a shorter time because the dyes that are used to burn the data will fade.
Scott joins us to talk about the annual Value Electronics Flat Panel Challenge. The challenge pits the top LCD, Plasma and other flat screen TVs one on one in a huge shoot out to determine what is the bottom line best HDTV on the market. They invite professional calibrators, consumers, bloggers and journalists to join them for two days of testing and for the first time, they'll be streaming the challenge live.
Sara's Blu-ray player freezes up about an hour in and won't go forward. Leo says that Blu-ray players are essentially computers and it could easily be that the laser is dirty or damaged. And blu-ray players are cheap, so just buy another one. But if it's part of your Sony PS3, then it would be worth getting it cleaned. But a stand alone Blu-ray player? Just replace it. The chatroom also says that a firmware update could be necessary.