Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

How can I connect my HDTV into my existing sound system?

Episode 1149

Steve from Mill Valley, CA
Pioneer bookshelf speakers

Steve got a new TV and he wants to integrate it into his sound system. Leo says that the centerpiece of the modern era is the TV, and we're trying to duplicate the experience with surround sound. Leo says that the existing receiver will probably not work. Steve will need an A/V receiver. He doesn't want rear speakers, though. Leo says Steve at least needs a subwoofer and a center channel. He should get the TV at eye level and have the speakers on either side of it. He could use a "phantom" center speaker. Not nearly as good, but it will do the job.

How can I connect my iPad to my stereo?

Episode 1148

John from Hisperia, CA
Stereo receiver

John wants to know the best way to play music from his iPad to his older stereo equipment. Leo says that he'll need to convert the digital data to analog before connecting it with a digital to analog converter. There's a dock that Apple makes that connects through the 30 pin connector.

The other option is to get an Apple TV and use AirPlay to do it if his stereo is connected to the TV. But the easiest way is to just use the audio minijack and plug it into an auxiliary input on the stereo.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1147

Scott Wilkinson

Scott is going to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and he says that there are more theaters showing it in high frame rate this year than the two previous films. But only in 3D, and not all are in Dolby Atmos. If you go to the Hobbit Website, you can see a list of where the film is showing and in what format (there's about eight different versions). Leo wonders what would be best ... seeing The Hobbit in Atmos or in IMAX. Scott says while he loves Atmos, he'd prefer to see it in HFR because the technology shakes up the industry even more.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1145

Scott Wilkinson

This week, Leo talks with Scott about streaming set top boxes. Scott Wilkinson says that while HBO Go is on most boxes, until the beginning of the year you have to have an HBO cable subscription to use it. But next year, you'll be able to subscribe to the streaming service by itself. Scott says it's a very complicated process right now because all of the devices making deals with content providers and ISPs. So it's all very fragmented. So the best you can do is decide what services you want, and then go for that.

Can I put Google Chrome on a Nexus Player?

Episode 1144

Ronnie from Anchorage, AL
Google Nexus Player

Ronnie is thinking of getting a Google Nexus Player and he saw a video where someone side loaded Google Chrome on it, making it a $99 computer. Should he get one? Leo says no. First, he'd have to unlock it to side load and hack it via USB.

But it's interesting and could turn the device into a $99 Android device for the TV. He may have had to modify it to do that. Leo advises going to XDA Developers and look it up. Now Leo has to look at it again!

Should I buy a 4K TV or a 1080p OLED TV?

Episode 1144

Marco from Chatsworth, CA
HDTV

Marco is thinking of buying either a Samsung 55" 4K LCD or an LG OLED 1080p TV. Which should he buy? Leo says that OLED is amazing and it will actually look better than the LCD 4K by Samsung.

Marco shouldn't worry about future proofing, because the 4K standard hasn't been defined yet and it's very likely a 4K TV bought today won't be as good as it can be down the road. He should wait to buy 4K until after the standards are set. Right now, there's no reason to get it. So he should go with the OLED. That's what Leo did, and he loves his.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1143

Scott is getting questions about 4K and if it's a good idea to buy an A/V receiver to get ready for it. Scott says no, because no standards have been settled yet. And why are there so many 4K TVs out? Scott says that the TV manufacturers even caught Hollywood off guard, and even though there's some great deals out there for 4K TVs, the odds are they won't be supported in the adopted standards once they do come out. Not only that, but according to Joe Kane, the 4K TVs are just HDTVs with 4x more pixels.