Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

What's the best box to "cut the cord" with?

Episode 1157

Judy from Yucaipa, CA
Roku 3

Judy wants to know about the Jetstream Movie box. She gets all her entertainment options from satellite and antenna and she's thinking about "cutting the cord." Leo says he recommends the Roku Box. It uses the Internet to bring her streaming video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. But it won't give her the local live broadcast channels. Neither does Jetstream, for that matter.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1157

Scott Wilkinson

Scott has a few questions this week. Matias from Sweden has a pair of Mirage OM6 Speakers, BMW Surrounds, and he was thinking about getting a Mirage center channel speaker. Scott says that's a good idea. He'll want to match his speakers as much as possible and it's a good idea to make sure he keeps the speakers out in the open because they are omni directional. That allows for bouncing sound off the walls and that gives it a nature tonal quality.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1155

Scott Wilkinson

This week, Scott joins us to talk about how this week is one of the biggest weeks to buy a new TV. The Super Bowl is one of the things that keeps live TV going, and streaming the big game has been done over the last few years. According to Variety, NBC will be streaming the big game as part of an 11 hour block on NBCUniversal.com. There will also be 4K cameras shooting the action for instant replay, so they can zoom in and still have high def images. Leo would love to see a UHD version of the game.

How can I troubleshoot my streaming buffering issues?

Episode 1153

Jeff from San Tan Valley, AZ
Buffering

Jeff has great bandwidth - 100Mbps down - but when he's streaming on his TV, he gets constant buffering. Leo says that smart apps on a TV are terrible. So Leo advises avoiding them and going with a streaming box like the Roku. Jeff says it's also happening with the Fire TV, though. Jeff is mostly having a hard time streaming DirecTV content. He has a SWiM box which is connected over the LAN in his house to his DirecTV receiver. There shouldn't ever be buffering, so Leo thinks it's the SWiM box.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1153

Scott Wilkinson

Scott continues his CES retrospective, but now he's got the 'CES Crud,' which you usually get when you travel to Las Vegas with 100,000 of your closest friends. Scott found it interesting that curved panels are all the rage, especially in Korea and China. Meanwhile, Japan still hangs on to flat screens.

What's the best way to network my PC to my home theater?

Episode 1152

Greg from Palmdale, CA
Mac Mini

Greg finished installing his home theater system and he wants to know what device is good for watching movies on his computer. Leo says that Plex is great on the Playstation or Xbox, or even the Roku or Fire TV. It connects to the media storage, such as a networked desktop. Leo likes it because it's simple. A Mac Mini would work great, and it's small. It has HDMI out so it'll plug right into his AV receiver.

Should I wait to buy a 4K TV?

Episode 1152

Marty from Simi Valley, CA
Sony

Marty was going out to buy a Sony X900 UHD TV, but then he heard Leo's CES report and decided to wait. Leo says that the X900 is a gorgeous TV, however, waiting may be a good idea because the standards have been finalized and any older TV won't conform to them. Marty says that Sony and Samsung are "guaranteeing" that they will work under the standard. Leo says they'll work, but will it work as well as one that's up to the new standard? That's the real question. It's a matter of how well it works, not if it works.

Is the Harmony remote a good option for making home theater systems simple?

Episode 1152

Paul from Lake Forest, CA
Logitech Harmony 650 Remote

Paul got his mother a Harmony remote to make using her TV system easier to use. Leo says he'll want to be sure he sets it up right. That's the complicated part. Logitech has an online database that will allow him to connect it to the internet program it. He can also program custom buttons for his favorite shows, so Paul's mother could just press one button and everything would turn on as it should.