Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Should I buy a 4K TV?

Episode 1097

Jim from Freemont, CA
Sony HDTV

Jim's old JVC projection TV is going black, so he's in the market for a new TV. Should he buy an HDTV or go UHD? How can he future proof his purchase?

Scott says that viewing from 10' away, the optimum screen size is bigger than most would think - about 70". Scott says it isn't really necessary to buy a 4K TV right now. There's not that much content out for it and the standards like color gamut and standards aren't all that settled just yet. So a 4K TV he buys today may be obsolete tomorrow. Not only that, but some TVs upscale terribly. So it's a good idea to go with HD still.

Samsung is Getting Out of the Plasma Business

Episode 1097

Samsung announced last week that it was going to stop making Plasma TVs. So, even though it's a superior technology to LCD, Samsung joins Panasonic and Pioneer to give up on it. That leaves LG as the last company standing. It makes sense because ultra high definition TVs are coming online and they look beautiful at 60-70". It's bound to take over the premium level category.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1095

Scott was in New York when the Aereo decision came down and he says that the decision was the proper one, feeling that strictly speaking, the service was a retransmission. It's sad that customers are without a viable alternative, but it was the right decision because copyright was being violated.

What features should I look for in a home theater receiver?

Episod 1093

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA
Onkyo Receiver

Steve had heard that Leo likes Onkyo receivers, and now is wondering what features he should make sure it has: Airplay? Bluetooth? Pandora? Leo says he doesn't really use any of that. It's far easier to use his smartphone for some of those features. The processors are slow for those things anyway. Steve should go with the Roku or his Internet enabled TV to do those things. One feature he liked is the number of HDMI inputs -- the more the better. Should he get a 4K TV? Leo says not right now. It's coming, and it'll be great. But it's way too early in the game to invest in a 4K TV.

How can I use a DVR if I'm blind?

Larry from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episod 1093

Larry has failing eyesight and records audio to SD cards to listen. He says he can't record using his DVR and just get the audio. He would like to record nonstop for hours on end. Leo says that DVRs aren't very well designed, especially for accessibility. Leo says that TIVO used to work on uVerse but sadly, not anymore. One suggestion may be MythTV. He can buy it pre-built or because it is open source, he can build his own.

Scott Wilkinson

Episod 1093

Scott Wilkinson

Program note - Scott will be filling in for Leo during 4th of July weekend. Also, Home Theater Geeks is now live on Thursdays around noon. Guests lately include SMPTE engineers who are establishing the television standards for ultra high definition. We've had HD for over ten years now and the industry is moving into 4K in order to sell more TVs. They tried 3D and it didn't really go over too well. There is a new 3D technology called UltraD that's coming this year, but everything is in 3D. And it's not going to do much better. So now it's all about 4K. Leo wonders about high frame rate.

What's the best "flashy" content management web host?

Mark from South Carolina

Episode 1092

Mark wants a "flashy" content management system. Leo says that content management systems (CMS) like Joomla, Drupal, or Wordpress would let him customize them heavily. Squarespace is a good option for a CMS that can be "flashy," and new looking. They are template driven, so it's great for commerce and he won't have to stay up with the latest technology. They will do that for him.