HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.
Over at AVS Forum, Scott has posted an article on "Ten Terrific TVs for Super Bowl Sunday." He advises to avoid "house brands" like Element, Insignia, Sceptre, etc. If you need a value label, Vizio is the way to go. Leo agrees and says that Vizio's software is excellent. There's also LG, Samsung, and Sony.
Max wants to use his dorm's projector to watch the Super Bowl, but it doesn't support HDMI. Can he route it through his home theater system? Leo says that S-Video is probably the best option for that old system. Many older cable boxes support S-Video as well.
The best option is to get an analog to digital converter, though. Max may also need an analog TV Tuner, and they're pretty cheap. Scott Wilkinson agrees, and says that even going with a VCR connection to daisy chain it will solve the issue. He doesn't need it to record, but he can use it for the Tuner.
Scott has an iMac and MacBook Air and he is concerned about upgrading to El Capitan because it may break some of the software he uses. Leo says he should always upgrade to the latest. The upgrade is really easy to do and it doesn't break many utilities. He could roll back if there is an issue, but Leo says he probably won't have to. Some really old software may have issues, but that's only if the software is reliant on the old Rosetta interface, which Apple killed a long time ago. So anything written in the last few years won't be an issue.
Ellie heard about that constant temperature mug as her coffee always cools down too quickly. Leo says that the Ember isn't cheap but if it can keep your coffee at the temperature you want, it may be worth it in the long wrong.
G. Scott is thinking of cutting the cable, and streaming all of his TV online. Leo says that we're on the cusp of being able to do that with the FCC looking to allow third party cable boxes. But the industry is drastically changing as it becomes easier and easier to get TV shows online. The only challenge is live TV, but if he has a direct line to the TV stations with no obstructions, he can put up a TV antenna and get even better HD quality then that cable box anyway. But even that is changing, and Leo predicts that we'll have live streaming everywhere very soon. It's already started.
Scott says that the week before the Super Bowl is actually a bigger week for buying a big screen TV than Black Friday. That's because of the Super Bowl. It's a great time for clearing out the old inventory from last year to get ready for the new models that will come out in the Spring. If you're in the market, Scott has seen a lot of deals and suggests a Samsung SUHD TV. It's high dynamic range. It conforms to the Ultra HD Premium standard, too. Look for the letters "JS" in the model number.
AJ wants to know how many TV Tuners he can use with Windows Media Center in Windows 7 with HomeRun. Mike B in the chatroom says if it supports an M cable card, that it could run six tuners per card. It's most likely a hardware limit more than a software limit. But he shouldn't upgrade Windows, he'll lose Windows Media Center.
Brett is looking at a ViewSonic 28" LCD monitor. Leo says that ViewSonic makes a very good monitor. Leo recommends comparing that monitor with Dell. They even have a 31" curved monitor that's gorgeous. And their pricing is very aggressive. LG also makes excellent monitors, as does ASUS. Their 4K monitor is spectacular.
A caller can't seem to find the Vizio Reference series TV. He's looked everywhere. Scott says that the Vizio Reference series is their top of the line, using quantum dots to get a higher dynamic range and color gamut, and also supporting Dolby Vision. Leo says that Vizio has traditionally been a second tier value brand, but the Reference series shows that they can play with the 1st tier boys. The 65" is about $6,000. But where can you buy it? Scott says to go to Vizio.com and sign up for a special order.
Gloria has a Roku Stick and she's been told she needs a router to use it. Leo says that yes, she'll need wireless internet access. If her router doesn't have Wi-Fi built-in, then her choices are to either get a regular Roku and plug it into her modem via an ethernet cable, or buy a router which will handle wireless traffic from the Roku stick. It'll also allow her to connect to her laptop wirelessly. Leo says that if she calls her cable provider, they'll replace her modem with a Wi-Fi modem/router. They'll set it all up.