Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Why does my Channel Master lose signal strength?

Episode 1262

Mike from Twin Falls, ID
Channel Master

Mike has a Channel Master DVR and he had to install his own hard drive because the one it comes with is really small. But it was worth it because he doesn't have to pay a monthly fee.

The tuner, though, loses signal strength and degrades in quality sometimes. Leo says that's odd because digital should either work or not. It doesn't degrade well.

How can I hook up an old analog video projector?

Max from West Palm Beach, FL

Episode 1259

Max wants to use his dorm's projector to watch the Super Bowl, but it doesn't support HDMI. Can he route it through his home theater system? Leo says that S-Video is probably the best option for that old system. Many older cable boxes support S-Video as well.

The best option is to get an analog to digital converter, though. Max may also need an analog TV Tuner, and they're pretty cheap. Scott Wilkinson agrees, and says that even going with a VCR connection to daisy chain it will solve the issue. He doesn't need it to record, but he can use it for the Tuner.

What's a good wireless stereo speaker?

Scott from Malibu, CA

Episode 1258

Scott has an iMac and MacBook Air and he is concerned about upgrading to El Capitan because it may break some of the software he uses. Leo says he should always upgrade to the latest. The upgrade is really easy to do and it doesn't break many utilities. He could roll back if there is an issue, but Leo says he probably won't have to. Some really old software may have issues, but that's only if the software is reliant on the old Rosetta interface, which Apple killed a long time ago. So anything written in the last few years won't be an issue.

How do I cut the cable?

G. Scott from Lake Tahoe, CA

Episode 1257

G. Scott is thinking of cutting the cable, and streaming all of his TV online. Leo says that we're on the cusp of being able to do that with the FCC looking to allow third party cable boxes. But the industry is drastically changing as it becomes easier and easier to get TV shows online. The only challenge is live TV, but if he has a direct line to the TV stations with no obstructions, he can put up a TV antenna and get even better HD quality then that cable box anyway. But even that is changing, and Leo predicts that we'll have live streaming everywhere very soon. It's already started.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1257

Scott Wilkinson

Scott says that the week before the Super Bowl is actually a bigger week for buying a big screen TV than Black Friday. That's because of the Super Bowl. It's a great time for clearing out the old inventory from last year to get ready for the new models that will come out in the Spring. If you're in the market, Scott has seen a lot of deals and suggests a Samsung SUHD TV. It's high dynamic range. It conforms to the Ultra HD Premium standard, too. Look for the letters "JS" in the model number.