Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I stream concerts online to my TV?

Episode 1136

Jo from Riverside, CA
Roku Stick

Jo likes music and is interested in Umphrey's McGee. Leo says they're a fun group. Jo wants to watch streaming concerts on her television. Leo says that the Google Chromecast is the way to go. It's only $35. She'll use her laptop or smartphone to choose the content, and then it will hand off the content to the TV. Then she'll be watching on her TV, but controlling it with the phone.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1135

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson saw Interstellar and says that Christopher Nolan used a wide variety of aspect ratios to maximize the impact of moments in the film. From wide screen for intimate moments to tall for outer space moments. It's available in six different formats from IMAX film to 4K digital. Scott says that Nolan is definitely a filmophile. He doesn't like immersive audio, so he didn't mix in Dolby Atmos. And he doesn't like 3D. It's a pure movie experience.

How can I cut the cable with Xbox Media Center?

Episode 1134

Brian from Winterhaven, FL
HDHomeRun Prime

Brian has Verizon FIOS and he doesn't like the extra charges for every box. He's been thinking about cutting the cord. Leo says that there's a technology called MOCAA (Multimedia Over Coax Alliance), which allows all boxes on the same coax to get all of the data. TIVO and Media Extender support it, but it's not supported by Microsoft anymore, so there's no future there.

Why do I get buzzing in my home theater speakers?

Episode 1133

Matt from Savannah, GA

Matt has a set of speakers plugged into his TV and he gets some loud buzzing noises. If he unplugs them, the buzzing goes away. Leo says that's called a "ground loop," and it could be a loose wire that's causing it. An optical connection would solve it, but he'd need a receiver and speakers that support it. Leo says that it's likely an issue in his wall and only an electrician can fix that. But it sounds like the electrical wire isn't grounded.

How should I position my speakers?

Episode 1133

Linella from Los Angeles, CA
Bookshelf speaker

Linella has several bookshelf speakers that have round holes in the front or back. What are they for? How close can she have them to the wall or furniture, or even each other? Leo says that a lot of speakers have a bass port vent. Scott says they are intended to change the bass characteristics to make them smoother. If the hole is in the back, she won't want them against the wall. She'll want them at least 6 inches away to give the sound room to resonate. If it's in the front, then she can put it up against the wall no problem. So it really just depends.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1133

Scott Wilkinson

Scott had the inventor of Auro3D Immersive Audio, Otto Von Balen, on Home Theater Geeks this week and immersive audio is becoming a huge trend thanks to Dolby Atmos' success last year. Auro puts additional speakers higher on the wall so that the audio doesn't get lost bouncing off the wall. Scott says that what's needed is a standard that all immersive systems can operate under, and SMPTE is working hard to adopt one.

Does the Roku Streaming Stick work well?

Episode 1131

Don from Mojave, CA
Roku Streaming Stick

Don wants to know how the Roku Stick works. Leo says they crash periodically, but they work great and save a ton of space. It's powered by the TV. It does require an MHL HDMI port to use it, though, which is not a standard port on most TVs. If he doesn't have that, then the Google Chromecast is another option. But if space isn't an issue, Leo recommends getting the external box.