Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Can I leave my TVs on?

Monica from California

Episode 1381

Monica wants to know if she should turn off her TV when she leaves the room or can she leave them on as she moves from room to room? Leo says that TVs use a lot of power. LCDs use the least amount, though. It's about the same as a light bulb. So it's OK power wise. It won't hurt the TV at all since they're rated for over 50,000 hours each.

Is my Plasma TV dead?

Episode 1380

Miles from Long Beach, CA

Miles' HDTV suffered a power outage and now his HDMI port isn't working. Leo says a power surge likely wiped out the HDMI ports. He should check if he has another HDMI input that he can use. Leo says there may be a fuse that has blown and a repair man could replace it. That could restore his HDMI. If not, it's not an easy or affordably fixable thing. A 64" plasma is worth at least trying to get fixed. The chatroom says to make sure the polarity and grounding is correct on his plugs. An electrician can test for that.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1378

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is the ONO $99 3D printer that uses your smartphone to act as the platform to print a 3D resin image. The smartphone is providing the visible light to harden the resin as it's printed. That means 3D objects can be created layer by layer using your smartphone’s screen as light source. A rough estimate of the maximum size of the 3-D build is 4.72" X 2.5" X 2".

How can I play my DVD disk images on the Apple TV?

Episode 1378

Matt from Seattle, WA
Apple TV

Matt has backed up all his family home movie DVDs on his network, but they're not playable because they were backed up as disc images or VOB files. What can he do? Leo says what Matt needs to do is create an ISO for them. There's software that does it. Leo recommends getting media server software like KODI. Then he can use the AppleTV that can see it and play it.

Should I buy a refurbished A/V receiver?

Episode 1378

Steve from San Diego, CA
Yamaha RX-V575P

Steve is looking to buy a refurbished Yamaha receiver. Leo says that refurbished devices are best bought from the original manufacturer. That way he can still get a warranty to go with it. All too often, they are brand new devices that were returned, and as such, can't be resold as new. So they're sold as refurbished instead. If he's looking for a great deal, refurbished is the way to go. He should just make sure to get it from the original manufacturer.

How long can I run an HDMI cable?

Episode 1376

Brian from Montebello, CA
HDMI Extender

Brian is building a new house and is putting his AV stuff in a closet, but he needs to run a long HDMI cable. How long could he go? Leo says he won't want to go longer than 3 feet. So going with an ethernet connection with baluns on either side is the way to go. It'll amplify the signal and he can go as long as he needs. It's also called an HDMI Extender. He can find one at Monoprice here.

Can I get a DVR for my TV antenna?

Episode 1376

Bill from Denver, CO
Tablo 2-Tuner

Bill cut the cable and is now using an antenna again. He'd like a DVR for it, and is wondering about the Tablo 2-Tuner DVR?

If Bill couldn't get over the air television, streaming would be his only real option if he's cutting the cord. But if he's within line of site of stations, Leo says the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun and the Channel Master are his best bets. Leo doesn't know much about the Tablo, and he recommends ChannelMaster, but the Tablo looks OK.