Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I stream to my TV from my phone?

Google Chromecast

Episode 1510

Dave from Hermosa Beach, CA

Dave has a mobile phone and he wants to know how he can stream to his TV from it. Leo says to get the Google Chromecast. This will allow him to pull up a video stream on his phone, and then hand it off to the Chromecast to put it on the TV. He'll need internet and Wi-Fi to make it work. If all his internet access is through his phone, then he could use a hotspot with his TV if it supports that, and then Chromecast that way. But he'll take a bandwidth hit on his phone.

Can I use the Harmony Hub Voice control with my Apple TV?

Episode 1510

Neil from Phoenix, AZ

Neil misses the WIndows Phone. Leo says that unfortunately, Apple and Android are so dominant, that Windows being a distant third with no shot of gaining any marketshare was a reason that Microsoft left the mobile phone category altogether. The same is pretty much true with Blackberry, which is now just another model of the Android OS.

What TV should I buy?

Samsung QLED TV

Episode 1509

Michael from Miami, FL

Michael is looking to get a TV and wants to know if he should get 1080p or 4K. Leo says he should definitely get 4K moving forward. But even more importantly, he should get a TV with HDR. It has a much nicer look. Leo's choice is the LG B6 OLED. It comes down to budget though. Michael wants a TV that has no bezels. He wants to hang it on the wall like a painting preferrably an 80" model. Leo says that Vizio has a nice one.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1509

There's a discussion going on between whether dynamic mode or movie mode is the best for TV watching. Scott says that dynamic mode doesn't show content in the manner the creator intended, while movie mode gets you a lot closer to that. Leo says he tried it for a week and it was just way too bright. It also causes a loss in detail to watch in dynamic mode and Scott says that bright spots (called blooming) will begin to appear and if you're using an OLED screen, you'll wear it out faster. Another thing that can help is a bias light behind your TV. It helps for less eye fatigue.

How could I get Google Assistant to turn on my sound bar?

Logitech Harmony Hub

Episode 1507

Noah from Grand Rapids, MI

Noah has bought a sound bar, but it won't turn on with his Google Assistant. Leo says if the sound bar isn't supported by Google, or vice versa, it won't be able to use voice activated control from the Google Assistant. He could just leave it on, but if it shuts down automatically, then that's going to be a problem. He should look to see if he can disable the eco, or power down mode.

What's a good TV for outdoors?

SunBrite TV

Episode 1505

Don from Covina, CA

Don wants to get a TV for the outdoors, but they seem to be four times as much. Leo says that's because TVs are designed for the darkness of a living room or home theater. So getting an outdoor centric TV requires better capability to see in bright, ambient light. There's also weatherproofing issues. Don should check out OuterAudio.com. They recommend the high end SunBright TV for outdoor TVs. Sunlight can also damage TVs.

How can I get my TV to match the color on my laptop?

Joe Kane's DVD Basics HD Essentials

Episode 1505

Shane from Olympia, WA

Shane is a professional photographer and he connects his laptop to a big screen TV to show clients their photos, but the colors are always off. How can he fix that? Leo says that color graders will work in a 30% gray room because it influences the reflective nature of the colors, especially when his laptop is using True Tone. And a TV is not calibrated the same as a computer monitor. He could just get a larger computer monitor, like a 5K iMac, or, he could get his TV professionally calibrated.