Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I use a DVR if I'm blind?

Larry from Sherman Oaks, CA

Episod 1093

Larry has failing eyesight and records audio to SD cards to listen. He says he can't record using his DVR and just get the audio. He would like to record nonstop for hours on end. Leo says that DVRs aren't very well designed, especially for accessibility. Leo says that TIVO used to work on uVerse but sadly, not anymore. One suggestion may be MythTV. He can buy it pre-built or because it is open source, he can build his own.

Scott Wilkinson

Episod 1093

Scott Wilkinson

Program note - Scott will be filling in for Leo during 4th of July weekend. Also, Home Theater Geeks is now live on Thursdays around noon. Guests lately include SMPTE engineers who are establishing the television standards for ultra high definition. We've had HD for over ten years now and the industry is moving into 4K in order to sell more TVs. They tried 3D and it didn't really go over too well. There is a new 3D technology called UltraD that's coming this year, but everything is in 3D. And it's not going to do much better. So now it's all about 4K. Leo wonders about high frame rate.

What's the best "flashy" content management web host?

Mark from South Carolina

Episode 1092

Mark wants a "flashy" content management system. Leo says that content management systems (CMS) like Joomla, Drupal, or Wordpress would let him customize them heavily. Squarespace is a good option for a CMS that can be "flashy," and new looking. They are template driven, so it's great for commerce and he won't have to stay up with the latest technology. They will do that for him.

Can I use the Roku 3 headphone option as a hearing aid?

Ed from Valencia, CA

Episode 1091

Ed got his 88 year old aunt the Roku 3 so she can listen to the TV with headphones. Leo says that's a great feature, especially for those hard of hearing. Ed wants to know if there's a way to harness that capability by adding a mic and turning it into a hearing aid of sorts. Leo says that there's a ton of options out there which are far more comfortable and mobile. Like a smartphone with headphones, even with Skype. Home Theater Geeks episode 209 is a great episode on the importance of hearing.

Should I get a Bose sound bar?

Scott from Arizona

Episode 1091

Scott heard about Leo's feelings about Bose sound bars. Leo says he has no real issues with Bose other than that they are a bit overpriced in this current market. Bose did introduce everyone to mainstream high quality audio, so that's a good thing. But there are more affordable, and frankly better, options out there. The Andrew Jones Pioneer SB23 Sound Bar is one example. But if Scott likes Bose and can afford it, no reason not to get it.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1091

Scott is back to talk home theater and the World Cup! He's heard that in Brazil, they've banned the use of the vuvuzella since it was such a problem last time. Scott has also heard that the World Cup is being recorded in 4K and the final will be broadcast in UHD. But not many will be able to see it in 4K at all. They should at least stream it in 4K, but they're not. They are recording it for a movie down the road. Leo wonders if this is the next step and that in 4 years we'll see it in 4K. The train has left the station. In fact, NHK in Japan is testing 8K right now.

How can I DVR broadcast signals?

Jamie from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1090

Jamie wants to cut the cord and has heard about the Channel Master DVR for broadcast. Leo says that the chatroom recommends it all the time, and if he has a good antenna signal, it's a great option since HD is uncompressed over the air. But can he watch it elsewhere? Leo says it's fairly easy with it's ToGo capability, which would let him move his programs to his phone or tablet. He can also get just about everything online except for live programming like sports, awards ceremonies, and the news.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1089

Leo just upgraded to Comcast's more professional internet package and it doesn't come with bandwidth shaping or caps and Netflix runs so much better. But it wasn't cheap. Scott says that moving forward, that's what you're going to need when we get into the 4K world, because ISPs are going to want to buffer the content that uses that much data.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1087

Scott is going to be attending THE, The Home Entertainment show. It's down in Newport Beach this week, and Scott says there's going to be a huge resurgence of Hi Resolution audio. Leo says an example of this is Neil Young's Pono Player, and even though he bought one, he's not so sure it's going to make the music any better for the average listener.