Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Do I have to record every episode on my TiVo Bolt?

TiVo Bolt

Episode 1491

Scott from Dallas, TX

Scott has a 500GB TiVo Bolt and wants to set it up to just save the recent week's worth of recordings, not every single recording forever. Leo says it's in the settings. He can set it to just keep a week's worth and delete the rest, as well as to delete when it starts to run out of space. Can he upgrade the hard drive? Leo says yes. He will also probably have to "bless" the hard drive so that TiVo will read it. Leo recommends contacting Weaknees.com.

Can I connect the Amazon Fire TV Stick to a hotel TV?

Amazon Fire Stick

Episode 1490

Rick from Poinciana, FL

Rick wants to know how he can bring his Amazon Fire Stick with him when he travels and plug it into the TV where he stays. Leo says that older TVs will require an HDMI to Composite converter, but newer TVs have HDMI ports. So he could just plug them in. Many hotel Wi-Fi hotspots require captive portal registration to use it, and the signal really isn't that good. Also some older TVs may not be HDCP compliant.

Why is my Apple TV shutting down?

https://www.apple.com/shop/buy-tv/apple-tv-4k

Episode 1487

Matt from Spokane, WA

Matt's 4K Apple TV runs for an hour and then shuts down. Leo says that it's possible that the TV is overheating and it shuts down as a protective measure. So Matt should make sure there's plenty of airflow. He can also use canned air to blow out any dust accumulation. There could also be a memory leak that's causing it to crash. Leo really recommends making a Genius Bar appointment at the Apple store to tell them it's overheating after an hour. Since it's still under warranty, they could just give him another one.

Why can't I play music using my Echo Dot and my Home Theater?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131292477@N08/25219116374/

Episode 1487

Ryan from Sacramento, CA

Ryan uses Amazon's Echo Dots and he tries to connect them to his home theater system, but when he tells them to play multi room, the music plays from the Dots only. Leo says the problem could be Bluetooth latency from wirelessly playing from one Dot to another, causing an echo chamber. Leo says using a hardwire option would probably make it work. It could be an intentional design decision that triggers via Bluetooth limitations.

Should I upgrade from my plasma TV?

LG OLED B7A

Episode 1485

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark has a 2012 Panasonic Viera and wants to know if he should upgrade to 4K. Leo says that the Viera was a plasma TV and it's really the best quality there is. And it still works! Yes, there's 4K, yes there's HDR. But 4K is only important if he's really close to the screen. Chances are, it won't be all that much of a difference. HDR, on the other hand, offers superior dynamic range. But unless he sees them side by side, he might not notice it. So Leo advises keeping that plasma TV until it dies. He can always upgrade then. And when he does, he's going to want to get an OLED.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1485

With summer coming, it's a great time to think about having an outdoor cinema experience with a projector. Projectors give you that immersive, cinematic experience, but everything needs to be dark in order to enjoy it like you do at a movie. Nighttime screenings in the backyard are great for that. But indoors, that's where things get different. Ambient light can really affect projectors. Also, you need a "short throw" projector in most rooms in order to get a large enough image on the wall. A good ambient light rejecting screen is also important.

Should I buy an Apple TV?

Apple TV

Episode 1483

Anthony from Carpenteria, CA

Anthony wants to know what the advantage is of getting an Apple TV if all the modern TVs are so-called "smart" TVs? Rich says that apps are always better, and updated more on a dedicated device like the Apple TV. Smart TVs, on the other hand, rarely get updated, if ever. TV makers are in the TV business, not the app development business. So Apple TV has that advantage.

When should I buy a 4K TV?

LG OLED B7

Episode 1483

CJ from Whittier, CA

CJ is really into 4K HD Blu-rays, and he wants to know if he should buy a 4K HDR TV now, or wait until Black Friday? Rich says that streaming is the future and Blu-ray discs are going away. He's going to want to get 4K HDR with Dolby and HDR10. Those are the two standards. He can wait until Black Friday, but the best time to get a TV is just before the Super Bowl.