Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why did my TV stop supporting 4K streaming?

Episode 1499

Richard from West LA, CA
Vizio 4K TV

Richard got a Vizio 4K TV and suddenly it says his TV isn't capable of receiving 4K, when it has been for the last two years. Leo suspects there's a "handshake" problem between the DirecTV box and the TV itself, and it's usually the culprit of HDMI cables. He should try replacing the cable first. But he'll have to be sure to have a cable that is certified for high speeds of 18GB per second. Amazon sells them for about $10. He could also try another HDMI input to see if that fixes it.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1499

Scott Wilkinson

This week, the topic is the Amazon Fire TV Cube. Scott hasn't tried the Fire TV ecosystem yet, but the Cube looks pretty interesting. Scott also says he's hesitant because it listens to your every word. It uses Alexa to operate, and it supports 4K, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos at home. Scott says that HLG, or Hybrid Log Gamma, is the latest HDR codec. Leo says that the Cube is cool because it will work off your voice. So you tell it to watch a title, and it will search to find it.

Can I hear Dolby at Home with a Sound Bar?

Episode 1498

Tom from New Hampshire
Vizio Sound Bar

Tom heard about Dolby Atmos at Home coming to the Apple TV. Is there a sound bar that will support it? Leo says that Atmos at Home works by bouncing sound off the ceiling. This simulates speakers mounted from above. But a sound bar would only give him a hint of it. It won't really give him the same experience as an Atmos at Home Theater system. There is a listing of sound bars over at the Dolby site though, and Leo likes the Vizio.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1497

Scott Wilkinson

Over at AVSForum, Scott has an article on how to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR. You basically need to either be a Comcast subscriber with the Infinity X1 service, or be a DirecTV subscriber. For Comcast, it will also be a one day delay, and in Spanish! Leo says that makes it useless in today's world. Layer 3, owned by T-Mobile also has coverage.

Streaming online, you can get the World Cup if you have a HiSense TV. There's an app for it that you can install.

How can I play my iTunes music with my home theater?

Episode 1495

Henry from Los Angeles, CA
Sonos Connect

Henry has a home theater system running iTunes for playing music and he wants to expand it to other rooms. But since Apple has discontinued the Airport, what can he do? Leo says that the good news is, there's a better way to do it. Apple has released the HomePod for that purpose, but Leo would wait since it's so new and early in its development. He recommends Sonos Connect. He can connect speakers to it, or he can buy Sonos speakers with the built-in connection. Then he can control it by phone or by Amazon Echo.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1495

Scott Wilkinson

Scott has been reviewing the LG 55C8 OLED TV and he's pretty impressed with it. It has an automatic calibration utility, but you'd need the meter and software to do it. Once you have that, it will run the calibration and set your TV automatically. There is a bug, however, found by the gang at AVS Forum, but SpectraCal, the company that wrote the auto calibration app, is fixing it. The bug only affects 100% saturated colors, so it has minimum effect since content rarely includes colors that are 100% saturated.