HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.
Sam is looking for a Blu-ray player for the grandkids. Leo says that blu-ray and DVD players are fairly inexpensive. What Leo says may be a better option is to get them a Playstation or Xbox One. They come with blu-ray drives built in. But if he just wants to get the player itself, there really isn't a difference between them at this point.
Jay thinks that the AppleTV is too long in the tooth and is thinking about using Plex instead. Can he use it and still watch stuff bought on iTunes? Leo says no. They're all copy protected so he can only play them back on iTunes or an Apple device. This drives Leo nuts because pirates know how to defeat it. But having said that, Plex is great.
Scott says that going to a live concert should be the benchmark for comparison of recorded music. There is nothing like a live performance for hitting the listener more on an emotional level. In fact, data shows that the brain is more active listening to live music than an mp3 which tosses out 90% of the audio quality. A high end audio company called Meridian has just announced a new technology that will provide "master quality authenticated" capture to make sure listeners hear exactly how the music was recorded and mixed.
Bob wants to know when Netflix is going to replace Silverlight. Leo says that Microsoft dropped support for Silverlight a long time ago, and Netflix is slowly starting to change to HTML5, but it's not fast enough for most of us. Bob says that Silverlight goes away from time to time and it's frustrating. It has happened on the Mac. But for Windows, I.E. 11 uses HTML5. Since Bob uses XP Pro, he can't even use that. He's stuck at IE8. Leo says it's really time to get a new computer. The Chrome browser may be an option.
Darren feels like Plasma TVs going away is like watching vinyl dying all over again. With both Pioneer and Panasonic out of the game, where can he find a plasma now? Leo says that nothing looks as good as plasma, but everyone bought LCDs. Companies just have to follow the demand, and LG is the last man standing. Darren could still find a few Panasonic VT or ST models, but they're getting harder and harder to find and they're really expensive. So that leaves last year's Samsung, and LG.
Charlie would like to get a sound bar for his home theater since he lives in an apartment complex, but he also wants to use it for music. Leo says that the Sonos System is ideal for this, but it's not cheap. It can connect to his TV and he can also use it for music. It's very flexible to tie in his iPhone or iPad as well. It's equivalent to the Bose, which could cost a bit more. Leo loves them, and he has several in the house. And what's really cool is that he could connect it to his stereo and it becomes another Sonos outlet.
Joe has several high resolution audio downloads and would like to burn them to CD. He has an SACD player and also a DVD-A player, but he doesn't have a high resolution player like the Pono. Leo says that SACD and DVD audio were two formats created to deliver higher quality than CD. In most cases, it was for surround sound and other features, but it could be higher bit rate. But unless he could make that CD, the fact that he can play it back doesn't really help him here.
Oscar wants to get the Roku 3 and run it through his home theater, but he doesn't have any available HDMI ports. Leo says that's a problem. That means he'll need an HDMI switcher, and frankly, they don't work as well. The Giz Wiz says that the Monoprice HDMI switcher works great.
Joe is moving to Uruguay and he's finding that he can't use Netflix or other streaming video services there. This is just because many of the popular streaming services don't work in all countries. If he had a house in the US with a cable subscription, he could use HBO Go, or Time Warner cable's app.
ScooterX says that Netflix is in Uruguay now, but it'll be a limited catalog. Could he Slingbox with a friend's account? Leo says that would be one way to do it.