HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
John has a plasma TV that's about 5 years old and now it's getting darker. Leo says that's just the nature of the beast. The plasma gas leaks over time and as it does, the image gets darker. So if he has to replace it, what's the best alternative?
Sarafine has a Samsung TV that keeps adding channels that she doesn't want, causing her to delete them manually. Leo says that's Samsung. Their software is terrible and it's likely that it's automatically adding them in an attempt to be smart. She can probably go into the TV settings and disable those automatic settings. But Leo says it'll be tedious because the settings aren't very user friendly. She should look for "autoscan" or "autoupdate". It she can't find that, she may be stuck.
Scott took a call from a guy next week about headphones with surround sound. Subsequently, he's heard about Sony's MDR-DS7500. They're wireless headphones that you can hear surround sound with. Not cheap at $300, but an option. Also, Scott heard that Sennheiser is bringing back the Orpheus headphones, which are $55,000! WHAT?! They're electrostatic and have transistors built into the cans themselves. Sure, they're probably the best headphones in the world, but for that cost, give me a break. Can you really hear the difference, objectively?
Brent has AT&T Uverse with the HD package, and on live programming such as football games and TV shows, the sound will cut out from time to time. He doesn't have the same issue watching movie channels, however. He has a Denon surround system that's only a couple years old. Scott thinks if it's only happening on certain channels, it would lead him to believe this is an issue on AT&T's end and not his. Scott suggests calling AT&T to report this to them.
Amin wants to know who makes a good in-ceiling speaker for surround sound. Scott has multiple suggestions of companies that would make good speakers for this:
Ben watches his TV with an over the air antenna and it occasionally loses signal. Scott says that generally speaking, an OTA antenna inside a home, like an apartment, works best near a window and within line of sight of the transmitter. Scott recommends going to AntennaWeb.org to find out how to maximize his TV reception. He can input his location and it will let him know where to point the antenna. Titan.tv is another source.
Richard has looked at the Vizio Reference Series and the LG 65" OLED. How do they compare? For absolute picture quality, Scott says that the OLED wins, but both produce a gorgeous picture. The Vizio Reference series used LED backlighting with Quantum dots that has an amazingly wide color gamut and it's the first to use Dolby Vision dynamic range. OLEDs have a benefit though that over time the image won't degrade. Can the LG mount a sound bar with it? Scott doesn't know, but the Vizio comes with a sound bar built in.
Scott says that a preamp is really the brains of the system. An AV Receiver is a preamp with additional amplifiers built in. The preamp does all the work to decode the digital audio and send it out to the speakers. It can also simulate an acoustic environment. So it's pretty important.
Elliot wants to know how he can get his DVR programs. Is there a box for it? Scott says that Hollywood is against getting the digital bits off a DVR because of piracy concerns. So really, the best solution is to exploit the analog hole, if there's analog connections. But this means he may not be able to get the HD signal. It'll either disable the output or downgrade to SD. Scott says it's silly, people are not going to sell copies on a blanket in their front yard, they just want a backup copy of the videos they record. But that's the way it is now.
Dave is looking for a new TV and he can't decide between 4K and OLED. Scott says that LG makes 4K OLEDs. They're not cheap, but he doesn't have to choose if he can afford $3k-5k. There are 1080p OLEDs, the 55" EG9100 is $2,000. That's closer to what "mere mortals can afford."
There's nothing better than OLED. Scott's 1080p OLED TVs are curved though, and he's not a fan of the curved design. But OLEDs are the best design since HD.