HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott is back, talking about this weekend's Tuba Christmas! It's Scott's annual Christmas concert where he plays with hundreds of other Tuba players. Also, being the holidays, he's posted several home theater buyer's guides at AVS Forum. He's got guides for speakers, Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, and more.
Abby really likes the way Bose sounds, but she is wondering if she'd be able to find a less expensive speaker that has a similar sound. Leo says that Pioneer makes a great one by Andrew Jones. Leo's favorite is Audio Engine B2 Bluetooth Speaker. This is a powered speaker that looks like regular stereo speakers. She could pair the speaker to her phone, and play radio through it from the phone.
Abraham is looking for an affordable 4K Projector. His budget is $3,000 to $4,000. Leo says that Sony makes several 4K projectors in that price range, but Epson is Leo's favorite. Their Cinema line is the best out there. But he should remember that 4K is more expensive because of the higher resolution. Look at native resolution, not enhanced. Leo says there's very little 4K content and what is out there is usually streamed online and is heavily compressed. It's not quite time yet for 4K and he would advise going 1080p for now.
Trisha recently bought a Samsung Radiant 360 Speaker, but it apparently has to be controlled by a Samsung app on her smartphone. The problem is that she can't play the streaming audio from a separate app she likes. Leo says that is weird. Most speakers pair directly to the phone via Bluetooth, and anything that she could play on her phone could go through the speaker. The app seems to be designed to control multiple speakers in different rooms.
Abby's TV is starting to die and they want to buy a new 50" LCD TV. Sadly, they missed Black Friday. Leo says the good news is that Samsung's Black Friday deal runs until the end of the month, so she's not out of luck yet. And they're selling them for half price. Should they buy a 4K TV? Leo says he isn't really sure it's time for it yet, as there's still no content for it. She could stream Netflix with it at 4K, but it's going to kill her bandwidth. Also, she'd have to get a 4K Blu-ray player, but there won't be many available until next year.
Mike wants to expand the range of his television by streaming via the internet. Leo says that since Mike wants to play internet radio through his home theater system, the Chromecast Audio would be the best option. He can then browse to the internet radio station (if supported) and then connect to it. Roku has a lot more stations available, but if he has to get a website up to stream with it, then Chromecast is the simplest way to go. If he wants to connect the computer to it, then using Miracast would work.
Greg just bought a new house and he wants to wire it up for home theater all around the house. Leo says that the best thing is always wire in the walls. But it's not as important as it used to be thanks to Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi doesn't get through metal very well, though. Since Greg's house is already wired for sound in every room, its just a matter of upgrading it.
Jeff bought a Samsung Smart TV and it's connected to FIOS. Sometimes, though, they connect a laptop to it through HDMI. The TV doesn't like it and jumps back to HDMI 1, though. Leo says that is due to CEC or Consumer Electronics Control, which in theory will switch to the active device. In practice, it's sketchy at best. Some ports may be CEC and some may not be. And Samsung may not call it CEC. Jeff will also have to make sure that CEC is enabled. Another issue is a device going into sleep mode and not grabbing the CEC.
Kim has a smartTV and she wants to add a wireless keyboard. Leo says most smart TVs support Bluetooth keyboards. Kim also has a non-smart TV in her guest room and it has blue lines running through it until it warms up. Leo says thats due to a poor solder on the panel that has to warm up to connect and conduct properly. It's not worth fixing though. So she should just live with it. Will it break soon? Leo says probably not. It's just an annoyance.
Mark bought one of those 55" 1080p Westinghouse LCD TVs for $250 and he's got huge stripes down the center. Leo says it's broken, that's for sure, and Mark should return it. But Mark says that Target is sold out so he can't exchange it. It could also be a TV that was made specifically for Black Friday or a discontinued item and as such, they may not get any more. Leo says he should get his money back. If he's going to pay for an item, even on Black Friday, it should work correctly.