HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
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.
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 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.
Leo's on Vacation in Hawaii this week, so Home Theater Geek Scott Wilkinson is filling in this weekend. So get your Home Theater questions ready!
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.
Doctor Mom liked Aereo because once we went digital, she couldn't get any over the air broadcast signals. It gave her the option of a more affordable service. Now that Aereo has been turned off, she can't get anything without paying expensive cable and satellite bills.
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia sent an email out to his customers today saying that Aereo's service has been "paused" after what they called a "massive setback." The Supreme Court decided this week that Aereo's service violated copyright law. Leo says a pause is an understatement and he doesn't think Aereo can come back from this.
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.
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.
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.