HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott is back from the HD Line Show in New York and the big news was nothing but Ultra HD (4K) displays. Scott says that he participated in roundtable discussions and the issue is about content. There's a serious lack of it at the moment. He also learned that the average screen size of TVs is increasing over time, which is good because to really appreciate the benefits of 4K, you need a large screen.
Greg wants to get a sound bar for his HDTV and wants to know which would be best to get. Powered or non powered? Leo says ultimately it doesn't really make a difference. Having said that, what Greg has to consider the "spousal acceptance factor." A powered sound bar gets it's power from the TV, while an unpowered sound bar will require a receiver to power it. So he should buy a powered sound bar.
Robert wants to know more about the Intel NUC. Leo says it's an ultra compact PC that looks like a Roku box. It may even be designed for home theater computing. Leo also says that Intel designs ideas like the NUC, and then gets others to manufacture it. But in this case, they are actually making the kits.
Scott is going to a UHD conference this week called CE Week, and one of the questions emerging is that with 4K movies and 4K TVs being different, how will they deal with the extra pixels in the image? Scott says they'll do what they've always done, which is cut off 3% of the images on either side, or scale it in the TV. Leo says we've all accepted the concept of letter boxing, so why not do that? Scott prefers cropping which keeps the resolution as is. There's no standard, though. We don't even known what the compression spec will be.
This app uses a technology called "Headphone X" to turn Hans Zimmer's Man of Steel soundtrack into an immersive 3-dimensional experience. The app is free and comes with one song from the movie soundtrack, with the option to buy more tracks. Leo says to just try the tutorial to get the full effect.
Get the app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/z+-music/id656392290?mt=8
Ken was streaming video on an older laptop linked to his TV, and the TV gave up the ghost. His new TV has no VGA port. Is there a USB to HDMI converter? Leo says yes, it's an analog converter, but it works. The quality won't be as good and USB isn't all that fast for super high resolution. How can it do that if it's bypassing the video card? Leo says it's done with onboard software.
Scott Wilkinson recently listened to the stereo system that's being installed in Mazaratti's these days. The system, which is designed by BMW, is amazing according to Scott. Scott says it has a sub woofer and several DSP modes. 1200 watts. Leo's new car has 1400 watts, a sub woofer, 19 speakers and 14 channels. Scott says it likely also has speed dependent volume. He also says that Mazaratti says that there are seven notes that you can pick up in the engine noise and Mazaratti has turned it into music.
Richard recently bought a Sonos player, but he's having issues connecting it to his Time Capsule. Leo says that Time Capsule is great for Apple products, but with third party hardware it gets complicated. Sonos has a good technote for it here.
Lee has three identical Samsung Blu-ray players, model D5300, that can't play Blu-rays longer than approximately an hour and forty minutes. This started happening with a recent firmware update. When it reaches that point, the video slows down and the audio drops out. Lee has to stop and restart the disc to get it to work correctly.
Scott Wilkinson said he will look into this issue and find out if its a widespread issue. If it is, Samsung will just release another firmware update that will resolve the problem.
Michael has been buying movies from iTunes, but he can't play them on the Roku streaming. Leo says unlike music from iTunes, movies and TV shows are still burdened with copy protection, and are only allowed to play on Apple devices. This is one of the reasons why Leo tends to stream movies from Netflix, rather than download them. Amazon is another option if he's a Prime member because movies and TV episodes are streamed freely.