HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Anne has the Amazon Fire TV but it keeps freezing up while watching the Tech Guy Show. Leo says that it's more likely the internet stream rather than the Fire TV. Streaming over the internet is still bleeding edge technology that doesn't always work best. Apple even had issues during their the internet stream of the iPhone announcement.
Scott joins Leo to talk about the "dirty little secret" in video -- and that's the new HD Copy Protection that's coming. Scott says that 4K is really pushing to make people to believe that HD just isn't good enough, and 4K Blu-ray is coming. HDCP Copy Protection is also coming for 4K. Version 2.2 and every device in the signal chain has to be compliant or the video won't work on your TV. So you have to have a new TV, new Blu-ray player, new a/v receiver. All to watch a 4K Blu-way DVD. Leo says that's going to kill off optical media for sure.
Steven wonders why there's no infrared remote capability for the motherboard of a home theater PC. Leo says that it's a home theater function and some do come with remotes. But often, the infrared port is overlooked. And that's a shame.
Many phones have IR ports now as well, meaning it would be possible to use the phone to control the TV. Leo also says that IR is an old technology now. It requires line of sight and that's not so great. But here's a remote for his PC if he wants one.
Scott joins us this week to talk about the laser video projectors he saw this week at the CEDIA convention. Scott says there was a few different ones there this year including one by Epson that had one for under $8,000. Sony also had one, but that was $50,000, and Digital Projection had one for $120,000. They use a blue laser which is then divided up and one part is shined on a yellow phosphor which glows different colors. It then gets split into red and green, and you have RGB light from one laser.
Scott has gotten some interesting results from the high resolution audio test he was conducting on AVS forum: 80% said they could tell the difference. Leo says that's unlikely and some may have cheated. Scott agrees and says it's more likely that people can hear the difference between MP3 and uncompressed.
Scott is calling in from the CEDIA show, which is a custom design and installation show for home theater. He's been able to hear Dolby Atmos at home, which uses speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create a simulated 3D sound and he says it's pretty amazing. And the good news is that you don't have to upgrade your blu-ray player at all, you can just choose the Atmos sound track. But you will have to upgrade your AV receiver, which will set you back about $1000. But you can keep your speakers and just invest in the up-firing modules. So it's a half upgrade of your system.
This week, Scott will be attending the CDIA show. That stands for Custom Designers and Installers Assoc. It's where Scott usually sees what's on the horizon for home theater projection. And what's he's really excited about is that he'll get to see a ton manufacturers put out systems with Dolby Atmos for the home. Scott says he's found it to be very effective in the theaters and he's looking forward to it being in the home. There's also another system competing with Atmos called ORO.
Scott is back to talk about compression. Leo says that MP3 (or AAC for Mac) powered the music download revolution because it eliminated over 90% of the file size through compression. But now that we're in the broadband era, could we get back the lossless compression like FLAC? Scott says that the dirty secret about hi-res audio is that in many cases, music companies are taking the same CD files and just resamplling them. So you're not really getting a lossless file. Leo says that would be a rip off if it's true.
Scott joins us and Leo says that this weekend, FXX is doing a Simpson's marathon, which will show every single episode, 24/7 and will run for 12 days!
Steve has a sound bar and wants to boost the center channel. Leo says that he would have to have Dolby 5.1 to be able to do that, and Scott Wilkinson recommends the Andrew Jones 5.1 sound bar from Pioneer. But if it's 2.1, he shouldn't get it because he won't be able to do what he wants with just "simulated" surround sound.