HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Rusty is seeing ads for TVs on Black Friday and it's time to get him a new TV. Leo says that Black Friday deals are often house brands, cheaper models and sometimes last year's model that they're clearing out. If he is OK with that, then it comes down to how large a TV he needs. It comes down to how far away he will be sitting and how immersive he'll want it to be. If he wants to get 4K, then he'll have to look past the door busters. Moving forward, he'll want to get a TV that is UHD Premium. Samsung's SUHD TV predated UHD Premium, but it's pretty close to the standard.
Felix heard that TVs with higher refresh rates are actually just simulating the extra frames. Leo says since there's no content at these high frame rates, so anytime there's something faster than 60 frames per second, the TV is faking it. The reason is, LCD TVs are a little bit slower than the old CRT TVs and even Plasma and OLED. So fast moving action can look a little blurry. The way these manufacturers have solved it is through frame interpolation. This means that software will generate what should be between the frames, or it may just double the frame.
Stephanie wants to get a new TV to replace their 7 year old HDTV. Leo says that Vizio makes great TVs, as does Samsung, TCL and HiSense. It depends on what is most important to her. Most of them are smart TVs. She'll have to use an Apple TV to stream from her iPhone, though.
Leo says that LG is the best Smart TV. Samsung's smart TV software isn't very good. Stephanie should also get a Roku. Then it doesn't matter what smart tv you have. Also, moving forward, you want your TV to be UHD Premium standard for the best color and dynamic range.
Mike recently "cut the cord" and streams only via Roku. Leo says that what's apparent is that cord cutting doesn't really save money. When you consider Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime subscriptions, he's paying just as much, if not more. That's not the reason to cut the cord. The reason is to send a message that he's not going to take it anymore from the cable companies.
Steve is ripping all his DVDs and putting him on his network so he can stream them via Roku. He's worried with all the DVDs he's ripping, that he'll wear out his computer. Leo says use does wear down the parts, but not as fast as he might be worried about. It should work fine for Steve's purposes.
Today Scott and Leo talk about differing HDR standards. There's HDR 10, which is an open standard, and there's also Dolby Vision HDR. When buying a TV, you should make sure it's UHD Premium, which means that it will be 4K and HDR.
There should be 100 HDR Blu-ray titles by year's end, but Leo thinks physical media is on it's way out.
Diane has decided to cut the cable, but she doesn't know where to go from there. Which streaming box should she get? Leo says that there isn't an all-in-one solution for everything she'll want. If she buys through iTunes, then she'll want Apple TV. If she's on Amazon, then maybe the Fire, or the Roku. But if she has to choose one over all the others, Leo says Roku is the best. It's affordable and has the broadest variety of content.
Andrew isn't much about home theater and wonders if it's really important to get an A/V receiver. Leo says it is, because the speakers in a TV are more of an afterthought. They assume he's going to get a home theater system. If he cares about the sound, which is half of the TV experience, then he'll want a home theater system. He can get a Home Theater in a Box that comes with a Blu-ray player, a mini receiver and a set of speakers for a few hundred bucks.
Scott saw Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, directed by Ang Lee, which was shot in 3D HFR at 120fps. The problem with shooting at that high frame rate is that few theaters can display it. Scott says that Lee is trying to push the boundaries of cinema with a new visual language that breaks the barriers up by 24 fps to save film stock. The problem is there's few projectors that can handle that amount of data. Scott says it's gorgeous, and very compelling. Shooting at that frame rate also meant not being able to wear makeup. Required more of a method acting technique, and more.
Tom is interested in a pico projector. Leo says they're not very bright and have low resolution. The idea of having a projector in your pocket that can connect to a mobile phone is pretty cool, though. Will they last? It's anyone's guess, but brightness may be the biggest issue.
Shown above: AAXA P300 Pico Projector (Amazon)