HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott keeps getting the question of which high dynamic range (HDR) capable TV to buy. Scott says there's an important distinction between "HDR compatible" and "HDR capable." HDR compatible just means it takes the HDR signal and downgrades it to standard dynamic range. HDR capable, on the other hand, can actually display an HDR picture. Over at AVS Forum, Scott has made a list of HDR capable TVs from 2015 and 2016.
Steve is looking to get a new HDTV and wants to know if he should get a smart TV or rely on a set top box like Roku. Leo says that most HDTVs are smart TVs, but the apps are awful. He ends up using the Roku or the Apple TV to run all those apps. Steve can get an HDTV that isn't "smart," but they are usually low end options. Leo also says that UltraHD Premium sets are now all the rage and the prices have gone down on 4K TVs. But at the end of the day, it's best to just go with the TV he likes and a Roku.
Today we're talking about hi resolution audio, with the Pono Player and the Revealer firmware. The Revealer is a firmware update which enables to improve the quality of audio.
Mike has a Channel Master DVR and he had to install his own hard drive because the one it comes with is really small. But it was worth it because he doesn't have to pay a monthly fee.
The tuner, though, loses signal strength and degrades in quality sometimes. Leo says that's odd because digital should either work or not. It doesn't degrade well.
Dan is getting rid of his cable box and is looking for an analog to digital converter for his over-the-air antenna. Leo recommends the ChannelMaster. It's like a TIVO for an antenna. This is a great option for cable cutters.
Paul would like to wirelessly broadcast the same signal to five TVs. Dick DeBartolo uses Accell devices, which is a repeater for monitors. Leo says ActionTek does one using Wi-Fi, but it's not cheap at $200.
Scott got to go backstage at the Grammy's this week. Each stage has 56 mics going into a mixer plus other audio sources, and it's all mixed live. All the performances are live. No lipsyncs. The audio is in Dolby 5.1, although CBS only broadcasts in 1080i. This week on Home Theater Geeks, Scott is going to have the head sound guy for the Grammy's, so tune in!
Over at AVS Forum, Scott has posted an article on "Ten Terrific TVs for Super Bowl Sunday." He advises to avoid "house brands" like Element, Insignia, Sceptre, etc. If you need a value label, Vizio is the way to go. Leo agrees and says that Vizio's software is excellent. There's also LG, Samsung, and Sony.
Max wants to use his dorm's projector to watch the Super Bowl, but it doesn't support HDMI. Can he route it through his home theater system? Leo says that S-Video is probably the best option for that old system. Many older cable boxes support S-Video as well.
The best option is to get an analog to digital converter, though. Max may also need an analog TV Tuner, and they're pretty cheap. Scott Wilkinson agrees, and says that even going with a VCR connection to daisy chain it will solve the issue. He doesn't need it to record, but he can use it for the Tuner.
Scott has an iMac and MacBook Air and he is concerned about upgrading to El Capitan because it may break some of the software he uses. Leo says he should always upgrade to the latest. The upgrade is really easy to do and it doesn't break many utilities. He could roll back if there is an issue, but Leo says he probably won't have to. Some really old software may have issues, but that's only if the software is reliant on the old Rosetta interface, which Apple killed a long time ago. So anything written in the last few years won't be an issue.