Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1267

Scott Wilkinson

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.

What TV should I buy?

Episode 1265

Steve from Detroit, MI
Roku 4

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.

Why does my Channel Master lose signal strength?

Episode 1262

Mike from Twin Falls, ID
Channel Master

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.

How can I hook up an old analog video projector?

Max from West Palm Beach, FL

Episode 1259

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.

What's a good wireless stereo speaker?

Scott from Malibu, CA

Episode 1258

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.