HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Miles' HDTV suffered a power outage and now his HDMI port isn't working. Leo says a power surge likely wiped out the HDMI ports. He should check if he has another HDMI input that he can use. Leo says there may be a fuse that has blown and a repair man could replace it. That could restore his HDMI. If not, it's not an easy or affordably fixable thing. A 64" plasma is worth at least trying to get fixed. The chatroom says to make sure the polarity and grounding is correct on his plugs. An electrician can test for that.
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".
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.
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.
Gary says that cable is getting way too expensive. Leo agrees, and he thinks that we're entering the world of ala carte viewing, where you can watch what you want and not pay for what you don't. It's possible to do that streaming over the internet.
Leo got the latest BBC series Planet Earth 2 on Blu-ray and he says it's stunning. Scott says that they shot the film on the RED cameras, which have incredible dynamic range and recorded at a higher resolution at 60p before downscaling to 4K for the Blu-ray.
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.
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 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.