Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Is it better to get an A/V receiver with 'smart' functions or use a Roku with it?

Steve from Louisville, KY

Episode 1097

Steve's Pioneer Audio receiver finally bit the dust. He's looking to replace it and wants to connect Internet Radio to it. He's heard about the Onkyo NR646. Can he use the Roku in concert with it, or should he get smart capabilities in the receiver? Scott says it really depends on which app or service he wants to use, and whether or not it's on the receiver or the Roku. There might not be an option to get a receiver without those smart functions, as most TVs now have it.

How can I mirror to my TV with my Note 2?

Eric from Torrance, CA

Episode 1097

Eric mirrors his Samsung Galaxy Note 2 to his HDTV via NetGear. But if he roots it, it won't work. Are there any alternatives to the NetGear? Scott says that's a black art, but he could mirror to his laptop and then HDMI. The chatroom says that the laptop has to be running Chrome for that to happen. The chatroom also says the Google Chromecast won't mirror just yet. Eric could connect it via an MHL cable and then run it that way. Scott says that's "so 20th century." But there is a way and it also fits in his pocket, so as long as the TV has HDMI, he's good to go.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Catches Scott's Attention

Episode 1097

Scott saw the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the next chapter of the Apes saga. The movie takes place ten years after The Rise of the Planet of the Apes and it shows the fallout from the Simian Flu that has decimated the human population. It address the issues of how people can live together and how fear can beget violence. Scott says it's fabulous.

How can I normalize the sound on my TV?

Lee from Big Bear, CA

Episode 1097

Lee used to have a Sony TV that would lower the volume automatically during commercials. But his new Bravia LCD doesn't do that. In fact, it's worse now because he has to turn down the volume during the action and up during the dialog. Is there a way to equalize it? Scott says there may be a dynamic range compression feature in the home theater settings that can do it. Look under "sound adjustments" for "midnight mode" or "dynamic range compression." Scott says the issue has been that on commercials, the sound is dynamically compressed and that's what's causing the perceived loudness.

Should I buy a 4K TV?

Episode 1097

Jim from Freemont, CA
Sony HDTV

Jim's old JVC projection TV is going black, so he's in the market for a new TV. Should he buy an HDTV or go UHD? How can he future proof his purchase?

Scott says that viewing from 10' away, the optimum screen size is bigger than most would think - about 70". Scott says it isn't really necessary to buy a 4K TV right now. There's not that much content out for it and the standards like color gamut and standards aren't all that settled just yet. So a 4K TV he buys today may be obsolete tomorrow. Not only that, but some TVs upscale terribly. So it's a good idea to go with HD still.

Samsung is Getting Out of the Plasma Business

Episode 1097

Samsung announced last week that it was going to stop making Plasma TVs. So, even though it's a superior technology to LCD, Samsung joins Panasonic and Pioneer to give up on it. That leaves LG as the last company standing. It makes sense because ultra high definition TVs are coming online and they look beautiful at 60-70". It's bound to take over the premium level category.