HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
This week, Leo talks with Scott about streaming set top boxes. Scott Wilkinson says that while HBO Go is on most boxes, until the beginning of the year you have to have an HBO cable subscription to use it. But next year, you'll be able to subscribe to the streaming service by itself. Scott says it's a very complicated process right now because all of the devices making deals with content providers and ISPs. So it's all very fragmented. So the best you can do is decide what services you want, and then go for that.
Rex would like to connect a computer to his new flat screen and stream videos online. What should he buy?
Ronnie is thinking of getting a Google Nexus Player and he saw a video where someone side loaded Google Chrome on it, making it a $99 computer. Should he get one? Leo says no. First, he'd have to unlock it to side load and hack it via USB.
But it's interesting and could turn the device into a $99 Android device for the TV. He may have had to modify it to do that. Leo advises going to XDA Developers and look it up. Now Leo has to look at it again!
Marco is thinking of buying either a Samsung 55" 4K LCD or an LG OLED 1080p TV. Which should he buy? Leo says that OLED is amazing and it will actually look better than the LCD 4K by Samsung.
Marco shouldn't worry about future proofing, because the 4K standard hasn't been defined yet and it's very likely a 4K TV bought today won't be as good as it can be down the road. He should wait to buy 4K until after the standards are set. Right now, there's no reason to get it. So he should go with the OLED. That's what Leo did, and he loves his.
Edward is thinking about getting an Apple TV, but he doesn't see Apple really pushing it all that much. Should he wait for a new model? Leo says that it's not really that expensive at $99, so if he buys one and then Apple releases a new one, he's not really out all that much.
Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.
Sam is looking for a Blu-ray player for the grandkids. Leo says that blu-ray and DVD players are fairly inexpensive. What Leo says may be a better option is to get them a Playstation or Xbox One. They come with blu-ray drives built in. But if he just wants to get the player itself, there really isn't a difference between them at this point.
Jay thinks that the AppleTV is too long in the tooth and is thinking about using Plex instead. Can he use it and still watch stuff bought on iTunes? Leo says no. They're all copy protected so he can only play them back on iTunes or an Apple device. This drives Leo nuts because pirates know how to defeat it. But having said that, Plex is great.
Scott says that going to a live concert should be the benchmark for comparison of recorded music. There is nothing like a live performance for hitting the listener more on an emotional level. In fact, data shows that the brain is more active listening to live music than an mp3 which tosses out 90% of the audio quality. A high end audio company called Meridian has just announced a new technology that will provide "master quality authenticated" capture to make sure listeners hear exactly how the music was recorded and mixed.
Bob wants to know when Netflix is going to replace Silverlight. Leo says that Microsoft dropped support for Silverlight a long time ago, and Netflix is slowly starting to change to HTML5, but it's not fast enough for most of us. Bob says that Silverlight goes away from time to time and it's frustrating. It has happened on the Mac. But for Windows, I.E. 11 uses HTML5. Since Bob uses XP Pro, he can't even use that. He's stuck at IE8. Leo says it's really time to get a new computer. The Chrome browser may be an option.