Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1378

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the ONO $99 3D printer that uses your smartphone to act as the platform to print a 3D resin image. The smartphone is providing the visible light to harden the resin as it's printed. That means 3D objects can be created layer by layer using your smartphone’s screen as light source. A rough estimate of the maximum size of the 3-D build is 4.72" X 2.5" X 2".

How can I play my DVD disk images on the Apple TV?

Episode 1378

Matt from Seattle, WA
Apple TV

Matt has backed up all his family home movie DVDs on his network, but they're not playable because they were backed up as disc images or VOB files. What can he do? Leo says what Matt needs to do is create an ISO for them. There's software that does it. Leo recommends getting media server software like KODI. Then he can use the AppleTV that can see it and play it.

Should I buy a refurbished A/V receiver?

Episode 1378

Steve from San Diego, CA
Yamaha RX-V575P

Steve is looking to buy a refurbished Yamaha receiver. Leo says that refurbished devices are best bought from the original manufacturer. That way he can still get a warranty to go with it. All too often, they are brand new devices that were returned, and as such, can't be resold as new. So they're sold as refurbished instead. If he's looking for a great deal, refurbished is the way to go. He should just make sure to get it from the original manufacturer.

How long can I run an HDMI cable?

Episode 1376

Brian from Montebello, CA
HDMI Extender

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

Can I get a DVR for my TV antenna?

Episode 1376

Bill from Denver, CO
Tablo 2-Tuner

Bill cut the cable and is now using an antenna again. He'd like a DVR for it, and is wondering about the Tablo 2-Tuner DVR?

If Bill couldn't get over the air television, streaming would be his only real option if he's cutting the cord. But if he's within line of site of stations, Leo says the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun and the Channel Master are his best bets. Leo doesn't know much about the Tablo, and he recommends ChannelMaster, but the Tablo looks OK.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1372

Scott Wilkinson

Scott went and saw Beauty and the Beast this week. Scott says that the movie spends a lot of time in the dark and Scott recommends seeing it in Dolby Cinema to get the best possible impact. The high dynamic range really makes a difference. You can see "shadow detail" in the dark and the atmos soundtrack is wonderful. Very immersive. The photo realistic CGI of the Beast is terrific. Very interesting. Leo says some actors are worried about it, but other actors like the idea that they'll be immortal and their estate will be able to care for their descendants.

Is my Plasma TV worth fixing?

Chuck from San Diego, CA

Episode 1370

Chuck has a 7 year old Plasma that doesn't power up anymore. Can it be fixed, and is it worth it? Leo says it could be, but since no one makes plasmas anymore, it may be harder to find the parts. If he doesn't know what's wrong, it could be going down a rabbit hole. But that also means his plasma TV could be worth more for parts. And he can replace that TV for a few hundred dollars and it will look pretty good.