Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Is HiFi streaming worth it?

Kevin from Ashville, NC

Episode 1175

Kevin would like to stream high resolution audio. Leo says there's two services that can do it, both for about $20 a month. There's Tidal and Deezer. Deezer hasn't started in the US yet, but will be soon. Leo says that unless he's listening on a very good stereo, he won't really tell the difference.

Will the Samsung Galaxy S4 play back 24bit audio? Leo says no. He'll need to convert it.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1175

Scott Wilkinson

This week's question comes from Phil, who is an audiophile. He bought a Pono Player and he's not impressed by the high resolution tracks, which are more expensive at $8-18 a CD. He only found them marginally better than ripped CDs saved at FLAC. Leo says that's interesting. It's only slightly more expensive in his opinion and Phil can tell the difference.

Why is Time Warner Cable suddenly using copy protection when I try to record?

John from Biddeford, ME

Episode 1174

John was a Time Warner Cable customer for nearly 15 years and he discovered that they were copy protecting everything that he was recording with his DVD recorder. Leo says that this is why Time Warner Cable and Comcast shouldn't be allowed to merge. Time Warner has a monopoly on TV in John's area, and an effective monopoly on the Internet.

Why can't YouTube play at a better resolution on my PS3?

Episode 1173

Dave from Venice Beach, CA

Dave wants to know why he can't watch YouTube in higher resolutions through the PS3. He only gets 240. Leo says that's ugly. The issue could be bandwidth.

Dave may want to try using the YouTube app, and not the browser. He can download the YouTube App from the Sony Playstation store. That will always do better than the browser.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1173

This week on Home Theater Geeks, Scott walked with a guest about a silent film called "The Passion of Joan of Arc," which was thought to have been lost in a fire long ago. Then a copy was found in a closet in a Norwegian mental hospital, and in relatively intact position. MTI Film restored the film recently and Scott had the president on HTG to talk about it. Now there's an "Oratorio" that is designed to go with the film. There's even a DVD that you can get through Criterion, and there's a 2K scan which could be released on Blu-ray.

How can I stream music wirelessly through the house?

Episode 1172

Rick from Placerville, CA
Sonos Play:3

Rick wants to know if he could use a Bluetooth receiver to stream music from his computer upstairs to his internet radio downstairs. Leo says probably not. Bluetooth is only 30' and it probably won't go through the floor. There would also be lag issues. That's why Leo uses Sonos to do this, and it works great because it uses DNLA.

How can I get a better signal to my Roku box?

Episode 1172

Archie from Hawthorne, CA

Archie has a Wi-Fi router and has connected his Roku, but he's not getting good enough reception and it buffers a lot. Leo says the farther the router is from the Roku, the less connection can be made. But Leo also suspects that the router isn't giving Archie as much bandwidth as he needs. It could be due to congestion.

If his router supports the 5 GHz band, it's a much better choice for streaming. He can also take the old router and put it in bridge mode and use it as a repeater to pass along the signal.

How good are cheap Bluetooth receivers?

Episode 1171

Laurie from Maui, HI
AmazonBasics Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver

Laurie wants to stream music from her iPhone or iPad and she has a ton of music on a hard drive. How can she connect the two and create a streaming audio solution through surround sound? Can she add a Bluetooth receiver to her surround sound system? She uses a Panasonic Home Theater in a Box.

Leo says one option is a $25 Bluetooth Audio Receiver that she can get from Amazon. Leo wouldn't spend more than that. Make sure it uses A2DP, which is stereo Bluetooth.