Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I record the videos on my DVR?

Elliot from Boston, MA

Episode 1235

Elliot wants to know how he can get his DVR programs. Is there a box for it? Scott says that Hollywood is against getting the digital bits off a DVR because of piracy concerns. So really, the best solution is to exploit the analog hole, if there's analog connections. But this means he may not be able to get the HD signal. It'll either disable the output or downgrade to SD. Scott says it's silly, people are not going to sell copies on a blanket in their front yard, they just want a backup copy of the videos they record. But that's the way it is now.

What's better: OLED or 4K?

Episode 1235

David from Palm Beach, FL
LG Electronics 55EG9100 55-Inch 1080p Curved Smart OLED TV

Dave is looking for a new TV and he can't decide between 4K and OLED. Scott says that LG makes 4K OLEDs. They're not cheap, but he doesn't have to choose if he can afford $3k-5k. There are 1080p OLEDs, the 55" EG9100 is $2,000. That's closer to what "mere mortals can afford."

There's nothing better than OLED. Scott's 1080p OLED TVs are curved though, and he's not a fan of the curved design. But OLEDs are the best design since HD.

Why does Netflix play audio so low?

Robbie from California

Episode 1235

Robbie has been having issue with the Netflix app in his Phillips TV. The audio is really low. Scott says that's not uncommon for TVs -- they're not very smart. He recommends connecting the Roku separately and running Netflix through that. If it does the same thing, then he may need to go into the audio settings and see if there's a limiter or something that's enabled.

Are there good surround sound headphones?

Dave from Riverside, CA

Episode 1235

Dave lives in an apartment complex and has a surround sound home theater system, but sadly he can't use it because of his neighbors complaining. Are there surround sound headphones? Scott says there's a few ways to go about that. He could simulate it with a DTS Headphone X algorithm, but it has to be included in the AV receiver. Dolby has Dolby Headphone, which is another AV option. Mozaex makes a set of headphones that are surround, but they're not cheap. The Smith Realizer is the Rolls Royce of surround sound simulation which he would plug his headphones into. But it's about $3,000!

What's a good OLED TV?

Episode 1235

Ricky from Albuquerque, NM
LG 65EG9600 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Curved Smart OLED TV

Ricky is looking to get an OLED TV. Scott says that currently LG is the only one making them, and they're lower end 1080p models. Those models are also curved. LG also has a 65" flat version, though.

LG did have trouble over the summer, where the screen had an irregular image that only was seen in a dark picture. It was a panel problem and they addressed it pretty quickly. The EG9600 is the 2015 OLED, and it's pretty good, but again it's cured, and only 1080p.

What's a good midrange TV?

Episode 1235

Bill from Yucca Valley, CA
VIZIO M55-C2 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

Bill is looking to buy a midrange TV around Black Friday. He's thinking about Hitachi's 1080p 55 inch TV. Scott says that Hitachi got out of the TV business awhile ago, so chances are it will be an old model, and Scott would be hesitant about that.

Scott says that for a high quality, low cost TV, he recommends Vizio -- especially from the M-Series and up. The M Series is terrific if he can stretch his budget a tad beyond $400.

What's a good touch screen remote control?

Episode 1235

Ellie from Honolulu, HI
Logitech Harmony 650

Ellie wants to know what touch screen smart remote Scott likes. Scott says he's not a fan of touch screen remotes because you have to look down to find the touch button and the screen is bright which affects your vision as you return to watching the program. He prefers hard buttons. But Ellie has a sight issue. Scott says that there are remotes that have voice control out there. BlueMoo is interesting.