HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Rene bought a used Vizio HDTV, and now it's strobing, and the audio sounds like it's going through a fan. Leo says that HDTVs are difficult to fix, and may just be too expensive to pay someone to repair. But his best bet is to talk to a TV repairman.
Sam wants to know how to increase the hard drive space on his TiVo. He's using the TiVo Premiere and it's running out of space. Leo says that AVS Forum is an ideal site for tips on doing that. There's also Weaknees.com, which sells TiVos with upgraded drives and sells the parts for the upgrade which are "blessed" to run on TiVos.
Scott Wilkinson saw Interstellar and says that Christopher Nolan used a wide variety of aspect ratios to maximize the impact of moments in the film. From wide screen for intimate moments to tall for outer space moments. It's available in six different formats from IMAX film to 4K digital. Scott says that Nolan is definitely a filmophile. He doesn't like immersive audio, so he didn't mix in Dolby Atmos. And he doesn't like 3D. It's a pure movie experience.
Brian has Verizon FIOS and he doesn't like the extra charges for every box. He's been thinking about cutting the cord. Leo says that there's a technology called MOCAA (Multimedia Over Coax Alliance), which allows all boxes on the same coax to get all of the data. TIVO and Media Extender support it, but it's not supported by Microsoft anymore, so there's no future there.
Matt has a set of speakers plugged into his TV and he gets some loud buzzing noises. If he unplugs them, the buzzing goes away. Leo says that's called a "ground loop," and it could be a loose wire that's causing it. An optical connection would solve it, but he'd need a receiver and speakers that support it. Leo says that it's likely an issue in his wall and only an electrician can fix that. But it sounds like the electrical wire isn't grounded.
Linella has several bookshelf speakers that have round holes in the front or back. What are they for? How close can she have them to the wall or furniture, or even each other? Leo says that a lot of speakers have a bass port vent. Scott says they are intended to change the bass characteristics to make them smoother. If the hole is in the back, she won't want them against the wall. She'll want them at least 6 inches away to give the sound room to resonate. If it's in the front, then she can put it up against the wall no problem. So it really just depends.
Scott had the inventor of Auro3D Immersive Audio, Otto Von Balen, on Home Theater Geeks this week and immersive audio is becoming a huge trend thanks to Dolby Atmos' success last year. Auro puts additional speakers higher on the wall so that the audio doesn't get lost bouncing off the wall. Scott says that what's needed is a standard that all immersive systems can operate under, and SMPTE is working hard to adopt one.
Brett wants to know if there's an app that can help with Chromecast and incompatible apps. Leo says that AllCast will do it. He can also open the stream in the browser and cast that tab to the Chromecast.
Miracast has been around for awhile, but the problem is that casting to tabs is in beta. Leo advises getting a Roku.
Don wants to know how the Roku Stick works. Leo says they crash periodically, but they work great and save a ton of space. It's powered by the TV. It does require an MHL HDMI port to use it, though, which is not a standard port on most TVs. If he doesn't have that, then the Google Chromecast is another option. But if space isn't an issue, Leo recommends getting the external box.
George is a system integrator and he knows about wireless HDMI. George says that video scalers like DVDo.com have wireless HDMI 60Hz solutions that work really well because it handles spectrum that isn't used much. It works great -- up to 50 feet. And the walls aren't really an issue. George says that doing it through Cat5 or Cat 6 and baluns work as the best option in that case.