HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Robert is about to "cut the cable." He's bought a Roku for one of his rooms, and has accounts with Netflix, Crackle, and more. He wants to know about a device that will allow him to stream videos in his main viewing area though.
Sam can get a good deal for an HDTV that's 720p. Leo says that it's a great deal because it's old. He recommends a Vizio 1080p screen. That's full high def and a Vizio will give him way more bang for his buck.
For higher end TVs, the Panasonic Viera plasma HDTVs are Leo's favorite.
Herb needs a new TV, and his budget is around $700. What HDTV can he get? Leo says first, get the biggest he can afford. Also, while most TVs have built in sound, they're not all that great. He should look into getting a sound bar or a HTIB (Home Theater in a Box). He can save that for later though.
First, Rob wants to know if there are blu-ray players with passive glasses. Leo says that it isn't the player, it's the TV that handles the 3D. Leo says that Panasonic is the one to go with, and in particular, Plasma.
Will the HDTV accept the RCA jacks from his laser disc and vhs player? Leo says yes, but they won't be all that great looking.
He also wants to know about 16x9 because his last TV was 4:3. He likes the old movies in that format. Leo says that 16:9 is HD's aspect ratio, but he can still watch older movies. They'll just have black bars on the sides.
Dale has a Slingbox, and ever since he updated his Slingbox app on his phone, it won't work unless he uses the HDMI cable. Slingbox says it's the HDCP copy protection of DirecTV. Leo says that this is most likely true. Leo recommends checking to make sure his HDMI cable is HDCP compliant. It sounds like DirecTV is turning on copy-protection to frustrate users of devices like the SlingBox.
Two years ago, Scott and Leo saw prototypes for large screen OLED TVs ($15,000 for a 55" TV). Two years later, LG announces a 55" curved OLED screen for $9,000. Why the curve? Scott says that it has little to do with technical benefits, and more to do with differentiation. Are they better? Scott hopes to find out. Leo says he just bought one and perhaps he and Robert Herron can come up to Leo's house to calibrate and test it.
Rob has a video projector that he uses with his PC and Mac. He can get it to mirror on the Mac, but it stopped working on Windows. Leo says that an update could've broken the connection. Or it could be that the mirroring option was disabled. Rob should try a different resolution and see if that works. 1024x768 is the basic resolution. Sometimes a projector doesn't support the full resolution. Macs work easier while the Windows side is more tedious to get to work.
Scott went and saw Elysium last night. First time he's seen a movie at a theater in opening night, and he even saw it twice! He thought the premise was timely with the growing divide of the haves and have nots. The visuals were stunning, but it fell down a bit with the "shoot em up" second half. He saw it twice to compare the two new sound systems - Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro 11.1. Barco puts two rows of side surround speakers and clusters of overhead speakers to create a 3D sound space. Comparing them, it was no comparison. Dolby Atmos cleaned Barco's clock rather handily.
Eric bought a Nintendo WiiU and says that it's amazing. He wants to connect his home theater to it, but it only has an HDMI port. Leo says in order for the surround sound to work, something has to decode it and tell it where to send those sounds. Having his TV do it is possible if it supports Surround sound. Leo says getting the undecoded audio from the WiiU into the TV is key. He could try optical out from the TV to the home theater. The best way to do this is by getting an A/V receiver. Let it do all the heavy lifting. Denon or Onkyo make affordable models.
Time Warner Cable has dropped CBS in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas after CBS asked for a 600% increase in their licensing fees. They also took off CBS' other cable networks including Showtime.
CBS responded by blocking Time Warner Internet customers trying to stream CBS content. Leo says we've seen this kind of brinksmanship before as both sides angle. Leo says it's like dinosaur's fighting and there's no winners, especially the consumers.