Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

What's the best budget wireless home theater option?

Episode 1058

Mark from Richland, WA
Sound Bar

Mark just bought a Vizio SmartTV and he wants to get an inexpensive home theater system to go with it. Leo says the best thing to do is buy an A/V receiver that can drive up to 5 speakers plus a sub woofer. A lot of people opt for the Sound Bar option because they don't have to deal with wires. He should get one with a subwoofer to go with it.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1057

Scott thinks it's a really bad idea to let Comcast get control of Time Warner. It's already a monopoly in local markets with cable service, but if they get Time Warner, they'll also control the Internet. Scott says that Comcast would be servicing one out of three homes in the US and that's way too much power. Leo says there's plenty of evidence of anticompetitive behavior on the part of Comcast. Scott agrees and says that the merger just might go through since rulings have come down to allow media companies to own more and more.

Why doesn't surround sound work with my new Plasma TV?

Matthew from Wrightwood, CA

Episode 1056

Matt just bought a new Samsung Plasma 3D TV with surround sound. The TV isn't working with the surround sound, though. Leo says Matt has to have the ARC Audio return channel. It'll be designated on the side of the TV, and it may not be on HDMI input 1. It probably is input 2. He doesn't really need a special cable, he just needs to enable it. He should look for ARC on the TV itself. Another way is to connect the speakers with optical cables.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1055

Scott wants to talk about all the technology at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and that one of the snowflakes that transforms into the Olympic rings failed to open. Rumor has it that President Vladimir Putin tried to pressure NBC to photoshop it in to save face. Scott also says that the coolest thing about the ceremonies was the video projection on the floor which used 120 projectors suspended in the ceiling that were totally "edge-blended" to be one huge seamless image.

What plasma TV should I get?

Pam from North Hollywood, CA

Episode 1052

Pam wants to get a plasma TV. She saw one at Office Depot for $249. Leo says that a lot of companies are getting out of the game and so they're being discounted. Samsung makes a pretty good plasma, but that cost means it's not very big. It's also probably only 720p. Leo suggests she pay more and get the 1080p TV. LG and Vizio are good too, but Leo prefers the Panasonic Viera. Leo also says if she can avoid getting a "smart TV" and add a Roku, it's even better because she can upgrade the smart functionality outside of the TV.

What HDTV should I get for the Olympics?

Paul from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1052

Paul wants to buy a new HDTV for the Olympics. What should he get in the 65" range? Leo says that Panasonic is getting out of the plasma business and now is the time to look hard at a plasma TV before they disappear. There are tons of good choices with Samsung, Vizio, and many others. The best TV out there right now is the Panasonic Viera. The ST, VT and the ZT, depending on his price range. The Panasonic Viera ZT60 is the top of the line.

Why can't my Sony Bravia smart TV connect to the Internet?

Mike from Portland, ME

Episode 1052

Mike is having trouble connecting to the Sony server on his Sony Bravia HDTV. Leo says sometimes the device can't see Wi-Fi and it'll lose the connection. Mike has a wired bridge though, so is there any other reason this could be happening?

Leo says that Mike should try using another device to see if it works. If he can rule out the bridge and the internet connection, then he can focus on the TV. Mike had to disconnect and re-register. It worked for a day and then stopped again. Leo says at that point, it has to be Sony's issue. Smart TVs leave a bit to be desired, Leo says.