Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I use my Harmony remote to launch Netflix?

Episode 1366

Neil from Phoenix, AZ
Logitech Harmony Hub

Neil bought a Harmony Hub for his home theater. He streams with Apple TV and a FireTV stick and he's having trouble running Netflix through it. Leo says to make sure the Hub is set to input 4, the TV is set to input 1, and then pair the Harmony app with Apple TV. It could be a limitation of Apple TV that the Harmony can't hook into the audio interface. The only device that would allow him to launch channels through the Harmony Hub is Roku.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1366

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that the new HDMI standard will be pushing 4K and 8K video at over 5400 Gbps. Will HDMI ever be replaced? Scott says that if metadata doesn't survive going through an AV receiver, it could greatly affect the HDR10 dynamic range going to the TV. Your AVR needs to support HDMI 2.0A to do that, and few manufacturers will tell you that. Dolby has launched a program to educate people on which devices will support Dolby Vision.

Why can't Amazon Echo talk to my Fire Stick?

Episode 1365

Cynthia from Burbank, CA
Amazon Echo

Cynthia wants to control her Amazon Fire Stick with Amazon Alexa, but she can't. Shouldn't it work together? Leo says not necessarily. At least not yet. Alexa is getting smarter all the time, though.

Cynthia can talk to the Fire remote, so she doesn't really need the Echo for that. Since she paid over $180 for it, Leo recommends returning it and get the $50 Echo Dot instead.

Why are computer monitors more expensive than TVs?

Episode 1364

Matt from Ottawa, CAN
Dell UltraSharp 27"

Matt wants to know why an LCD computer display is so expensive vs. a regular HDTV. Leo says that displays are designed to be on 24/7, they're brighter, and have a broader viewing angle. The quality is likely higher with a higher resolution. They can also have CPUs. There's often a longer warranty on them, and the market supports a higher price for a special use item.

Where can I get a soundbar with an audio jack?

Episode 1362

Lorne from Turlock, CA
Samsung HW-K360 2.1 Channel 130 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar (2016 Model)

Lorne uses headphones with his DirecTV set top box, but when he's streaming Netflix or Amazon content from his TV, he can't hear it through the headphones. Leo says he'll need to use the ARC (audio return channel) to the set top box. There should be a label on one of the TV's ports for that. That will send audio from the TV back into the set top box.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1362

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is going to the Grammys this weekend and he says the best part of the awards show is all the live performances. He also says that it's the Super Bowl of music and it's a great time to think about upgrading your home theater system. Leo has an AV receiver with Dolby 5.1. He's perfectly happy with the surround, center channel, two channel speakers, and a subwoofer. But you don't want to next to the surround speakers because you'll hear that more than the center channel dialogue.

Why doesn't the search field go away on my TiVo?

Episode 1361

Dave from Seattle, WA
TIVO

Dave has a TiVo and his one gripe with it is how it handles search; the search screen doesn't disappear. Leo thinks it's a bug that has to be addressed by TiVo. Software is hard and bugs happen. TiVo is aware of it as a known issue, so it's only a matter of time until they fix it. TiVo has been sold recently to Rovi and Leo is concerned with what the future holds.

Why doesn't my Roku have accessibility features?

Episode 1360

Larry from Sherman Oaks, CA
Roku Ultra

Larry is vision impaired. He got a Roku and installed it, but it has no accessibility option as advertised. He updated the firmware to get it, and then it downgraded itself. He's frustrated because Roku's tech support is terrible.

Leo says it's no excuse for Roku to not offer accessibility and support for their clients. Leo advises contacting Steven Kay at accessibility@roku.com or call 408-556-9391. He's the vice president in charge of accessibility.