HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott Wilkinson got to see "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" this week and while he can't really talk about the movie until it comes out, he does say that the 48 frames per second 3D presentation is far improved over the first Hobbit movie. Scott says that the first chapter, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” was uneven and inconsistent in it's 3D 48 fps presentation. But there's been improvements in the state of the art and he says that Hollywood is hoping that people will get used to it and not go back to 24 fps.
Stephanie wants to know what the difference is between the Slingbox 350 and the Slingbox 500. The main two differences is that the Slingbox 500 has Wi-Fi built in, if the cable modem isn't close to the TV, and it's also in HD. So if the modem is close to the TV, Leo thinks she'd be fine getting the Slingbox 350.
David has two TVs separated by about 25' and connected wirelessly. But one of the TV's receivers is locking up and the audio is out of sync. Leo says that the wireless transmitter/receiver may be failing. Wireless audio syncing is a kind of dark art. Sonos is really good at that. He should check the settings in his Action Tec wireless transmitter. An audio sync device may make a difference.
This week's home theater segment with Scott Wilkinson also marks the return of Scott's annual holiday concert known as Tuba Christmas! Scott also avoided Black Friday like the plague, even though there were some great deals to be had. Leo says that a lot of people probably scored deals on HDTVs yesterday, but Scott says that the week before the Super Bowl is even bigger. Scott's favorite TV is still plasma, too. It still has the best picture if you have a room that you can darken.
Ricky wants to get his dad a new HDTV, and he's wondering whether he should get a high end LED TV or hold out for a 4K model? Leo says that 4K isn't really going do him any good for a few years. A back lit LED HDTV is the best way to go. Since Ricky's budget is about $2500, there's a lot of choices, especially with Black Friday coming. He'll be able to get deals up to 30% off.
Bernie has a bunch of old slides that he transferred to DVD, and then ripped them to his Network Attached Storage, along with image files of discs (ISOs). How can he view them on his network? Leo says that VLC is an amazing video product that will allow him to view it.
What about Apple TV? Leo says no, it can't understand ISOs. But Bernie can use his Mac with Mountain Lion or later to airplay them to Apple TV. He can just open the ISO with a Mac program like Disc Utility and then once it's mounted, he can stream it from the Mac using AirPlay.
Monica's new Vizio TV has an image that looks like she's looking through a bubble. Should she return it? Leo says that before she does that, she should go into the menu settings to see if the TV is just set in a strange picture mode.
Scott joins Leo talk pregame for Black Friday. Scott says that Black Friday is early this year with merchants offering Black Friday deals right now! Some will even open on Thanksgving night. Scott says that BFAds.net is one of the best portals for finding the best deals from retailers.
Today, Scott wants to talk about resolution, frame rate, etc. Leo doesn't like high frame rate because it's plastic looking. So he turns it off on his TV. Scott says that isn't surprising, and most people don't care for it. But he left motion blur and shutter on. Motion blur affects film, while judder affects video.
Isn't it all video on TV though? Scott says that it is, but it isn't. The TV reads and interpolates the "cadence" of the video signal and can tell by that what was shot on film and what was shot on video.
Leo is wiring his home with wireless Sonos speakers, which he says are the best option out there despite how expensive they are. Scott agrees, says that wired sound is ideally the best, but then you have wires everywhere. Wireless isn't really ready for prime time yet, and just don't sound as good as wired speakers. Scott says it's similar streaming via Wi-Fi. Latency and interference can cause issues pertaining to video. Audio isn't as bad, but companies like Sonos have built a proprietary network to stream wirelessly.