Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How do I cut the cable?

G. Scott from Lake Tahoe, CA

Episode 1257

G. Scott is thinking of cutting the cable, and streaming all of his TV online. Leo says that we're on the cusp of being able to do that with the FCC looking to allow third party cable boxes. But the industry is drastically changing as it becomes easier and easier to get TV shows online. The only challenge is live TV, but if he has a direct line to the TV stations with no obstructions, he can put up a TV antenna and get even better HD quality then that cable box anyway. But even that is changing, and Leo predicts that we'll have live streaming everywhere very soon. It's already started.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1257

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that the week before the Super Bowl is actually a bigger week for buying a big screen TV than Black Friday. That's because of the Super Bowl. It's a great time for clearing out the old inventory from last year to get ready for the new models that will come out in the Spring. If you're in the market, Scott has seen a lot of deals and suggests a Samsung SUHD TV. It's high dynamic range. It conforms to the Ultra HD Premium standard, too. Look for the letters "JS" in the model number.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1255

Scott Wilkinson

A caller can't seem to find the Vizio Reference series TV. He's looked everywhere. Scott says that the Vizio Reference series is their top of the line, using quantum dots to get a higher dynamic range and color gamut, and also supporting Dolby Vision. Leo says that Vizio has traditionally been a second tier value brand, but the Reference series shows that they can play with the 1st tier boys. The 65" is about $6,000. But where can you buy it? Scott says to go to Vizio.com and sign up for a special order.

How can I connect my Roku without a router?

Episode 1254

Gloria from Los Angeles, CA
Roku Stick

Gloria has a Roku Stick and she's been told she needs a router to use it. Leo says that yes, she'll need wireless internet access. If her router doesn't have Wi-Fi built-in, then her choices are to either get a regular Roku and plug it into her modem via an ethernet cable, or buy a router which will handle wireless traffic from the Roku stick. It'll also allow her to connect to her laptop wirelessly. Leo says that if she calls her cable provider, they'll replace her modem with a Wi-Fi modem/router. They'll set it all up.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1253

Scott Wilkinson is back from CES and put 26 miles on his feet. There, he saw a new backlighting technology for LCD TVs. Instead of a white LED backlight, they use blue LEDs and a film emdedded with tiny spheres, called quantum dots, which absorb the blue photos and re-emit another color with precision. The result is the combination of red/green/blue, which equals white. It's almost as accurate as laser.

What Bluetooth transmitter should I get?

Episode 1252

Rene from San Bernardino, CA
Azeca BT005 Bluetooth Transmitter

Rene wants to use Bluetooth speakers to listen to his stereo, but his stereo doesn't have Bluetooth capability. He could find a cheap transmitter on Amazon that would use an analog connection to his stereo. Leo recommends the Azeca BT005 Bluetooth Transmitter for around $28. This would plug into the headphone jack of his stereo. He should know that the range for Bluetooth is only about 30 feet.

How can I watch 4K on my new TV?

Avis from California

Episode 1252

Avis bought a 75" 4K TV for Christmas and she isn't sure that her cable will give her 4K. Leo says that the only way to get 4K is through Netflix or Vudu. And because it's over the internet, it's highly compressed. There really isn't any other 4K content until 4K Blu-ray players come out later this Spring. Then she'll start seeing movies being released in Ultra HD Blu-ray. What's a good brand? Leo says Sony is a top brand to look at.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1251

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is at CES for the latest in Home Theater and all the TV manufacturers are introducing new models of high dynamic range 4K TVs. There's finally a standard from the UHD Alliance called "Ultra HD Premium." But there's also a competing standard. Scott says that even though we have a budding format war, this time, they are largely interoperable. The 4K Blu-Ray players coming out are a lot cheaper as well, starting at $400. The first Blu-ray player was $1,000. So we're getting better at that and Leo says that by next year, they'll be under $100.