Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I stream music to my old stereo?

Episode 1398

Lynn from Torrance, CA
Chromecast Audio

Lynn wants to get a new laptop to use for streaming music to her home stereo. What's the best setup for her, Intel or AMD? Leo says either will do. The real issue is that since Lynn is going to be converting analog to digital, she needs a good DAC. She'll want something that's all digital, so she should avoid connecting through the headphone jack. Bluetooth is solid option. Google has Chromecast Audio, which is supported by Spotify and Pandora too.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1396

Dickie D's gadget of the week is the LEORX Cinematic LED Lightbox. A neat way to display a message or other text with the old-fashioned look of a movie marquee. Black letters are set up in tracks on a white box lit from within. Totally readable in the brightest light or in total darkness. The uses are as limitless as your imagination. Say "Happy Birthday" to a family member, or "I love you" to your spouse. Put a sign in your window so arriving guests will know they've found the right house. These are just a few of the endless uses.

How can I reduce eye strain when watching TV?

Episode 1396

Dave from San Diego, CA
Ambient TV bias light

Joe wants to know if backlighting or bias lighting will help combat eye strain while watching TV. Scott says that in a dark room, he'll get a better image, but with HDTVs being brighter, it can cause eye strain. That's why a bias or backlight helps. It shines a light behind the TV onto the wall and it smoothes out the light that your eyes see, so that your eyes aren't working as hard. It has to be a certain shade of white, though — D65. 10% of the peak brightness of the TV. The best place to get a bias light is CinemaQuestinc.com.

What's wrong with my HDMI connection?

Episode 1396

Dan from Chatsworth, CA
HDMI

Dan got a new cable box with Spectrum, but after a week he started to get an HDMI error because his connection has been "compromised." Scott says that the first thing to try is to power cycle the cable box. That will reload all the standard default settings. It could also be a faulty cable. So replacing the HDMI cable could solve the issue. Scott also says that being an older TV, the connection could be choking. Or maybe the HDMI connector could be failing.