Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Netflix Wants Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

Episode 1068

Explaining that he had no choice but to pay Comcast's "toll" to allow users to stream Netflix content, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blasted the cable company for anti-competitive behavior. "The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," wrote Hastings on the Netflix blog. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."

Why am I having so much trouble with Netflix streaming?

Episode 1067

Steve from Los Angeles, CA
Netflix

Steve loves watching Netflix but he's not getting a consistent connection. Leo says that consistency is the key for Netflix streaming. Steve's provider may be artificially slowing down the service in order to make him want to buy their competing services. That's what Comcast did. He could try using a wired connection instead of than Wi-Fi. Steve can also try using AppleTV. The streaming is far better because Apple routes the streaming through their own data center.

Is the 80" Vizio TV a good product?

Episode 1067

Olivier from Newport Coast, CA
Vizio TV

Olivier is about to buy an 80" TV. He's trying to decide between two LED TVs, one is a Vizio. There's quite a price difference. Leo says that Vizio had made it's mark by offering high quality TVs for the money, and Leo says that it's good enough for the money. Leo says there is one flaw with any LED LCD: they're slow. Manufacturers have added frames to make up for this, which is why there are 120hz and 240hz options. The result is a plastic-like picture. So he should make sure to turn "interpolation" off in the settings.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1067

Scott Wilkinson joins us to talk about audio sampling. Leo became a Kickstarter backer for a company called Pono this week, which says that audio is way too compressed and oversampled, leaving the pure audio experience wanting. Neil Young's Pono seeks to change that. Leo says that he would like to hear music at the highest possible quality, as if you were hearing it while being in the same room. You don't get that with the current state of the art - mp3s.

What's causing the audio issues in my Blu-ray player?

Episode 1065

David from Harbor City, CA
Sony Blu-Ray Player

David has a Blu-ray player in his home theater that can run Netflix. When he switches back to TV, he's getting audio issues, though. Leo says that he has a similar problem and it's the TV set that tells the receiver what audio to play. It's a fault in the hand shaking and Leo says it's very common. Leo also advises making sure his HDMI cable is secure. Often it can get loose, causing connection errors. Make sure everything is plugged in solid. There's also issues in shifting from 720p-1080i-1080p. Scott thinks it may be a fault in the cable box.

Scott Wilkinson Gets Wired

Episode 1065

Scott Wilkinson

Scott Wilkinson joins us right after the talk about cat6 Ethernet to talk home theater. Scott says that as we get more and more into 4K, and as ultra high definition gets into the home, the need for high quality compression and high speed routing is very important. Not only is resolution important, but color gamut is as well, since it provides a smooth gradient of color. We're already running into the limits of HDMI 2.1 with those specs. Leo says that HDMI over Ethernet can be done with baluns on either end to convert from HDMI to Ethernet and back.

What's a good affordable Plasma or LCD?

Dave from Fountain Valley, CA

Episode 1064

Dave is in the market to upgrade his HDTV and wants an affordable 60" plasma. Leo says that Dave needs to act now because many companies are getting out of the Plasma business. Panasonic makes the best plasmas, but they're not cheap. Samsung and LG also make them, but LCDs are getting better. Dave is also wondering if 3D is really any better. Leo says no. It's an additional feature, nothing more. Some are even dumping it as a feature.