HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Jeffrey's Samsung LCD TV got cracked after the Wii remote got tossed into it and now there's rows of dead pixels. Leo says that unfortunately, there's no way to fix that. Even if there was, it would cost more than the TV is worth. He'll need a new TV.
While last week was the Super Bowl, it was also the biggest TV shopping week of the year as people went out to get a big screen TV to watch the big game. People were looking at plasmas and LED LCDs. Leo's also in the market to upgrade his TV. Should he wait for OLED? Scott says that a 55" OLED will premiere in the US market in March for $12,000! The cost should come down, but the yields are notoriously small with high failure rates. That's why OLED TVs are expensive right now. But over time, Leo says it'll get better. The same thing happened with LCDs.
Neither Scott or David buy warranties. Usually, if a TV goes out, it goes out within the first year. If the warranty is only $50 it may be worth it. The chatroom says to check with his credit card because extended warranties are often offered as a perk.
Scott isn't sure, but if Ashar is comfortable with it, it may be. The chatroom says that the Raspberry Pi is more of a science fair project than a usable computer. A streaming stick is a better option. Roku has one, but he'd need a TV that has an MHL port. There are others though that would still be a better option than the Raspberry Pi.
The best thing to do on a budget is to get a sound bar. They're increasingly popular these days and do a decent job of simulating surround sound. For the money, the Vizio VHT215 is a good one and there's more coming that are very impressive. Yamahas also do a very good job with sim-surround sound bars.
Leo says that the System II TIVO does need to phone home every once in awhile to validate an active subscription. According to the chatroom, the Sony Tivo Series II was pretty hackable, while the others weren't. Leo advises visiting WeaKnees.com and the AVS Forum which can help. It's not really that expensive to just subscribe, though.
How does the Samsung Plasma compare to the Panasonic? Scott says that while the Panasonic is his preference, there's not much difference except maybe slightly better blacks for the Panasonic. Dave says that the Samsung has shinier glass. Panasonic is still his #1 choice, though.
David is getting a new TV and he needs composite inputs for the devices he plans to connect it to (a DVD/VCR combo and a security camera). Scott says that these days, he'll be lucky if there's just one set of composite inputs. So the best solution is probably going to be a simple switch box. The chatroom suggests daisy chaining the DVD/VCR combo with the security camera and just switching to the input setting on it. Walmart has a DVD/VCR still for sale, and it has component inputs.
Mark's blu-ray player frequently will lose picture, but the audio will continue. David has had trouble with LG players and although it sounds like an HDCP issue (copy protection), it should affect both, not just one. It would be a good idea to borrow another blu-ray player and see if he can eliminate the TV as the culprit. Also, update the firmware if he can.
Dave has a great Philips TV but from time to time, he hears a "cracking" sound. Dave thinks it may be a faulty power supply. Beatmaster in the chatroom says that Philips TV is the problem, there's been many defective models and a lot of returns. It's generally not worth fixing a broken TV, and Philips is getting out of consumer electronics, so they won't be motivated to fix it. The chatroom suggest going with a sound bar instead. Scott agrees that is the most cost effective solution to deal with the problem.