Home Theater

What's the best device for streaming to my TV?

Episode 1306

Stana from Green Bay, WI
Roku 4

Stana cut the cord and is going to watch TV by streaming online from now on. There's a few cable channels she wants, though. What's her best option? Leo says she could get some channels over the air by putting up an antenna if she's in the right location. Some channels offer services through stand alone apps, but she'll have to pay for them. HBO, for instance, has HBO Now, which she can subscribe to on the Apple TV and Roku. If she's already a cable subscriber, then she can use HBO Go, which enables her to watch it on cable and online. It's a bit confusing.

What open source media center software can I use on Raspberry Pi?

Episode 1306

Clinton from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Raspberry Pi

Clinton has a minivan with a DVD player and HDMI ports. He got an ATSC converter and an $8 antenna from Amazon so he can get over the air broadcasts. Now he wants to use his Raspberry Pi as a media center. He'll probably want to run OSMC, the Open Source Media Center, which is designed for Raspberry Pi. It's based on the old Xbox Media Center. Raspberry Pi doesn't have any way to capture video, though, so he'll need to find a way to do that.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1305

Scott Wilkinson

Scott joins us to talk about how to get the darkest possible room to enjoy your home theater. Scott has blackout curtains, 10% gray painted walls, and even black carpeting. All that serves to create a black hole for light that will give his home theater the brightest possible look while watching. Scott also uses a special woven projector screen which has a pass through feature for audio just like in a movie theater.

How much bandwidth do I need to stream Apple TV?

Episode 1304

Newt from Aliso Viejo, California
Apple TV

Newt is getting a new Apple TV from his son, who says it doesn't work for him. Leo says it should if he has internet. Newt says that their internet just isn't good enough to handle video streaming. He's also using up all his data. Leo says that doesn't have anything to do with Apple TV, it's just lousy internet. It's capped internet at that.

What's a good DVR?

Episode 1304

Brad from Lancaster, CA
TIVO Roamio

Chris wants a DVR and heard that TIVO may drop the Roamio. Leo says that TIVO is a good choice but it's kind of expensive. It's cheaper if he were to buy a lifetime subscription and it's not transferrable. A monthly subscription is better in the long term because we don't know how long TIVO will even last.

What do I need to create a cool media room?

Diego from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1301

Leo says it depends on his budget, but he'll need a big screen TV, and it's always a larger screen than you would think. If it's a media room, then a projector will likely be a better choice and he can go with as large of a screen as he wants. Projectors can range from $2,000 to $4,000 from Epson, to hundreds of thousands from Ronco. Then there's the screen itself.

He'll also want a Dolby Atmos compatible home theater system. Diego should check out AVSForum for more.