HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Don wants to know how the Roku Stick works. Leo says they crash periodically, but they work great and save a ton of space. It's powered by the TV. It does require an MHL HDMI port to use it, though, which is not a standard port on most TVs. If he doesn't have that, then the Google Chromecast is another option. But if space isn't an issue, Leo recommends getting the external box.
George is a system integrator and he knows about wireless HDMI. George says that video scalers like DVDo.com have wireless HDMI 60Hz solutions that work really well because it handles spectrum that isn't used much. It works great -- up to 50 feet. And the walls aren't really an issue. George says that doing it through Cat5 or Cat 6 and baluns work as the best option in that case.
Scott has questions today:
George wants to know if he can connect his tablet or laptop to his HDTV. Leo says maybe. If the laptop has HDMI, then sure. But if it only has USB, then it's unlikely. Both would require using DNLA. Leo advises buying Google's Chromecast. Then using Wi-Fi, he can download and install Google's Chromecast app, connect to it and it'll find the Chromecast and log into it. Then he can use it with his TV. AllCast works great too. Android 4.4 can do it through Chromecast directly.
Don watches TV with Google's Chromecast on his Vizio 3D TV. Could he see 3D with one eye? One eye is stronger than the other. Leo says sort of. If he covered one eye, he wouldn't see it because of parallax. But if his other eye can see something, then it has some sort of depth information. So it should work for him. But two eyes are needed for depth perception.
Scott was at the SMPTE Tech Conference this week and saw the new high dynamic range video displays. HDR video is the latest hot thing, and it creates some incredible high dynamic range of the image. Leo says our brains do HDR really well, but it's a challenge in video. Scott says that high dynamic range cameras are going to be needed and the latest generations of digital cinema cameras have over 14 stops of dynamic range. So they can do it. It requires 12 bit color, but the current video systems are only 8 bit.
Ignacio had his living room prewired with HDMI and Cat 6 Ethernet. But he forgot speaker wires for the center channel speaker of his home theater. What can he do? Leo says he could go with a wireless center channel. Or he could just do a two channel stereo configuration and do without the center channel. But that's where the vocals are going to be and he'll lose all the dialog. So he really won't want to do that.
Today's gadget is the new Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, which runs Android 4.4 KitKat. It has one the biggest screens available at 13.3” QHD (2560x1440). Powered by the newest Intel Atom Z3745 processor and has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a microSD slot to add up to 64GB more.
Doug hears that Sony's new HT-ST5 sound bar has separate amps for every speaker. Is that THX? Leo says that having a separate amp doesn't mean the speaker is better, just that it gives it more juice. And THX is a certification, not really a technology. Leo likes Sony because they add a subwoofer to it and it doesn't have wires everywhere. But it will never be the same as actual surround sound quality. Scott Wilkinson recommends the Pioneer Andrew Jones Sound bar.
This week marked the huge news that both CBS and HBO have announced stand alone streaming services without the need of a companion cable subscription. CBS's All Access starts now, while HBO's service will come out in 2015. Leo says cord cutters just want to watch Game of Thrones without having to have a cable subscription. But Leo also says he'll believe it when he sees it. If it happens, though, that will be a huge development.