Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Catches Scott's Attention

Episode 1097

Scott saw the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the next chapter of the Apes saga. The movie takes place ten years after The Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it shows the fallout from the Simian Flu that has decimated the human population. It address the issues of how people can live together and how fear can beget violence. Scott says it's fabulous.

How can I normalize the sound on my TV?

Lee from Big Bear, CA

Episode 1097

Lee used to have a Sony TV that would lower the volume automatically during commercials. But his new Bravia LCD doesn't do that. In fact, it's worse now because he has to turn down the volume during the action and up during the dialog. Is there a way to equalize it? Scott says there may be a dynamic range compression feature in the home theater settings that can do it. Look under "sound adjustments" for "midnight mode" or "dynamic range compression." Scott says the issue has been that on commercials, the sound is dynamically compressed and that's what's causing the perceived loudness.

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.