HDTV and Home Theater Podcast

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The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios. Two of the products they worked on inc…

HT Guys

    • Sep 22, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 43m AVG DURATION
    • 899 EPISODES

    4.7 from 330 ratings Listeners of HDTV and Home Theater Podcast that love the show mention: home automation, best home, ht, ara, home theater podcast, great home, interested in home, braden, tvs, latest tech news, hd, excellent coverage, receiver, emailed, cave, ve been a listener, equipment, theatre, bar none, every friday.

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    Latest episodes from HDTV and Home Theater Podcast

    Podcast #1117: Network TV Scrambles to Fill Out Their Schedules

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2023 45:53

    This week we discuss how the network TV programmers are dealing with the SAG and WGA strike. We also give you some alternative ways to deal with the strike. Plus we read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: Upcoming Hulu (No Ads) Price Change Disney to Release Genuinely Insane Blu-ray Box Set Featuring 100 Animated Films This Fall Amazon Says Its ‘Thursday Night Football' Opener Was ‘Most-Streamed Game Ever' Max Will Stream Live NBA, MLB, NHL Games For Free Through February With “Bleacher Report” Sports Add-On Other: WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO MARANTZ Tear Apart Your House For $200 With This Rotary Subwoofer | Hackaday YOU Lost the Streaming Wars LUBA AWD 5000: Perimeter Wire Free Robot Lawn Mower Owner Quick Review LUBA AWD Series is the first and only Perimeter Wire Free Robot Lawn Mower that can handle complex lawns up to 5000 ㎡ (1.25 acres) with 75% slope (37°). MSRP $2,599  Since you guys talk about home automation, I figured I would tell you about my new toy.  I bought a Mammotion Luba robot lawn mower and it is awesome!  You don't have to bury a line for your perimeter.  It uses GPS/RTK technology and you drive it around the perimeter of your lawn so it knows the area.  Then it mows.  It does straight lines and not just the random all over thing and you can alternate what direction it goes.  When it gets down to 15% battery, it just automatically goes to the dock and recharges and then continues where it left off after.  It has a motor on each wheel so it is all wheel drive and durable and heavy so it can climb up to 37 degree grade of a hill.  It also looks like a formula one race car.  If it starts raining it will go back and wait too.  It is pretty sweet!  It mows my lawn 3 times a week while I am working and so no more allergies.  I do the edging and weed eating once every other week and that is it.  Automation!  Love it! Jason Petty The SAG and WGA strike continues The SAG and WGA strike has been going on for a couple of months now. Have you noticed anything missing? If you haven't, you're not the only one. Negotiations broke down shortly after the strike started but this week they have started up (Writers Guild Says Negotiations Set to Resume Wednesday). In the meantime networks have come up with a strategy to get you through the TV season and we have some ideas as well. This show is in place of our yearly new Fall TV preview. Bill Maher was slated to bring his show back without the writers but has since put that idea on hold since negotiations have started up.  Good idea? Should he just go for it? (Bill Maher Becomes First Host to Make Late-Night Return Without Writers) CBS decided to start broadcasting its premier episode of Yellowstone. It originally debuted on the Paramount Network back on June 20, 2018 and got 6.6 million viewers for CBS. When you consider that brand new episodes of The Equalizer, wish was in the same time slot last year, garnered 6.47 million viewers last season. This may not be a bad idea! Disney announced that 10 Monday Night Football games will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN. ABC had planned to run two hours of Dancing With the Stars from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Mondays, with new reality spinoff The Golden Bachelor airing at 10 p.m. The network has decided to pair The Golden Bachelor with nine-year-old sibling Bachelor in Paradise to fill Thursday primetime, while DWTS will move to Tuesdays, starting September 26.  The MNF average audience was 22.6 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC for its season-opening matchup. Which was a record. ABC's entire Thursday night lineup consists of game shows: "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune," "Press Your Luck" and "The $100,000 Pyramid." The ABC has no new scripted programming on its fall schedule. On Fox Gordon Ramsay will work double shifts with shows airing on two nights. Survivor and The Amazing Race moving to 90-minute episodes this fall If you are missing late night hosts, they have created a podcast for you. Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon. They are planning to release 12 episodes with the guys talking about their time in Hollywood with some comedy bits thrown in. . Three streamers are in good position to weather the strike according to Forbes from the article: Discovery+ (Now Max) Which one is in the best shape? That appears to be Discovery+ (which recently merged with corporate sibling Warner Bros.' HBO Max to become the megastreamer Max), and that makes sense. Before the merger, Discovery+ was known for its unscripted content, reflecting the Discovery family of cable brands from TLC to HGTV to Food Network, which is relatively cheap to produce and easy to make a lot of. Ninety-five percent of Discovery+ content is unscripted, according to Parrot's research. Peacock Ranked second is NBCUniversal's Peacock—40% of its content is unscripted. With rights to Bravo hits like the Real Housewives franchise and Vanderpump Rules, Peacock is well situated to thrive without new scripted content. To wit, the recent Vanderpump season 10 reunion part one drew 514,000 households when it was released on Peacock on May 25, according to Samba TV, with a Bravo audience of 1.1 million households. So there's clearly an appetite for such shows even well into their runs. Paramount+ Paramount+ had the third-highest level of unscripted fare, 35%. Fully a fifth of its viewership comes from unscripted programs, driven largely by mega-hit RuPaul's Drag Race, which also airs on Hulu, and CBS programs such as Survivor. What about the Emmys? The Television Academy and Fox TV, which was scheduled to air the show this year, initially kept the original Sept. 18 show date in place, with hopes the strikes would end quickly. But with no realistic prospects for resolution, Fox and the academy decided in mid-August to change the show date to Jan. 15, 2024 The new date looked a long way off when it was scheduled, but Emmy organizers may have to face the prospect that the strikes could still be going on in January. Writers have currently been off the job for 4 1/2 months, the actors for two months. The stoppages spilling into next year would make them historically long, and go well past initial predictions. Prolonged strikes could mean another Emmys postponement, or a show transformed into a glorified news conference, as happened with some awards during the pandemic. Our Picks for rewatching or watching for the first time if you missed it. Community - Six seasons of gut busting laughter! If you only watch a couple of episodes don't miss the paintball episodes Bosch - Seven seasons. A crime procedural based on the best selling novels by Michael Connelly.   Chuck - Five Seasons. When a computer geek inadvertently downloads critical government secrets into his brain, both the CIA and the NSA assign an agent to protect him and exploit his newfound skills. White Collar - Six seasons. A white-collar criminal agrees to help the FBI catch other white-collar criminals using his expertise as an art and securities thief, counterfeiter, and conman. Castle - Eight seasons. A suave, best-selling author teams up with a strait-laced detective to solve crimes in New York City.  

    Podcast #1116: CEDIA 2023 with DJ from Bright Side Home Theater

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2023 69:50

    This week DJ Briggs from BrightSideHometheater.com joins the show to discuss what he saw at CEDIA. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: Hisense upstages TCL by adding a gigantic 100-inch mini-LED TV 2023 CEDIA Expo Best of Show Winners Last week the Custom Electronic Design And Installation Association better known as CEDIA had their annual show in Denver CO. On today's show we will discuss some of the awards that were given out. CEDIA is the global industry association and central touch point for smart home technology, provides members with cutting-edge education, develops standards to ensure the highest levels of professionalism, and is the industry's only certifying body. CEDIA furthers collaboration with architects, designers, builders, and homeowners to deliver technology solutions that allow families to experience their best moments in life in the comfort of their own homes. Below are the awards from Residential System, TWICE and What Hi-Fi. We are not going through the entire list but we pick products that we feel our listeners not only are interested in but can afford to buy (well some of them anyway). We also have a bonus section where DJ Briggs of BightSideHomeTheater.com gives us his list of five things he thought were super cool. Check out his podcast to find out why he felt that way.  Residential Systems entries were judged through the lens of the residential integrator, while TWICE based theirs on a consumer electronics retail view and What Hi-Fi? from the home entertainment enthusiast perspective. Residential Systems Best of Show Awards Winners AWOL Vision AWOL Vision 150” 4K 3D RGB Laser Projector LTV-3500 Pro $6000 All the AWOL Vision laser projectors have been officially Dolby Vision certified by Dolby Lab The Dolby Vision feature can be activated by updating the incoming September 2023 version firmware wirelessly regardless of when you bought it.    True 3500 ANSI Lumens, the LTV-3500 UST projector is the brightest, triple-laser 4K UST projector on the market. Cinematic 3D Display With high enough brightness even during the day, LTV-3500 4k laser projector is the best choice for you. Paired with our ALR Day light projector screen, LTV-3500 delivers bright and sharp details even under high ambient light, no need for blackout curtains. The AWOL VISION UST 4K projector covers 107% of the top BT 2020 Color Gamut. It reaches 147% of DCI-P3 used for digital movie theater projection, giving you superior contrast and color accuracy.  Epson America, Inc. Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 4K PRO-UHD Ultra Short-Throw 3-Chip 3LCD Smart Streaming Laser Projector $3500 Picture sizes up to 150" in 16:9 Modern Low Profile Design 4K PRO-UHD Resolution¹ 3-Chip 3LCD Technology 10-Bit HDR Color 4,000 Lumens of Color & White Brightness² Over 2,500,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio 2.1 Audio System by Yamaha Three HDMI 2.0 Ports (1 ARC) 16.7ms Input Lag – Ideal for Gaming Built-In Android TV³ Easy Setup App for iOS & Android 2-Year Limited Warranty Available in Black or White Ethereal 8 Meter Velox Passive HDMI Cable $240 Supports up to 48Gbps, 4K/120, 8K/60 & Dynamic HDR Advanced features in metallurgy, topology, dielectric and shielding 3mm Shield Strip-back - helps to reduce 6G jitter 100% Copper Shielding - reduces EMI Bypass ground - provides better return loss Conductors direct solder to connector Audio Return Channel (eARC and ARC) Grip-Lox™ terminal Furrion Aurora 2.1 Outdoor Soundbar Speaker with Wireless Subwoofer $770 Six speaker system with bass radiator for powerful sound output  130W of explosive, high-definition audio  Wireless 8" subwoofer to add more bass  Speaker Frequency response: 200Hz-18kHz  Subwoofer frequency response: 16Hz-256Hz  Multiple equalizer settings for customized audio tuning  Bluetooth® 5.0 enabled for easy pairing with TV and other mobile devices  HDMI and optical inputs for connecting devices  IP45-rated weatherproof housing to protect against the elements  Weatherproof remote control, HDMI ARC cable and mounting brackets included  Furrion Aurora Sun 4K UHD LED Outdoor Smart TV with HDR10 starting at $3000 Smart platform powered by webOS Hub allows for streaming your favorite apps, movies and shows 4K ultra-high definition  HDR10 Technology  Anti-glare, 1500-nit LED screen  RangeXtend™ external antennas for stronger WiFi signal IP54 rated, weatherproof housing Works with Furrion Aurora Soundbar, mounts & covers XtremeShield™ IK08-rated impact-resistant screen for protection against collisions and scratches Connects to Furrion soundbars via Bluetooth, HDMI or optical inputs HD Anywhere uControl Smart Remote  uControl is a smart home system that focuses on the things you do in your home everyday. From enjoying your favorite TV shows, immersing yourself in music or effortlessly changing the lighting to suit your mood, all from one unified, universal and unintimidating interface. PSB Speakers Alpha IQ Powered Speakers $1300/pr A simplified approach to audio, the Alpha iQ comes equipped with a built-in digital amplifier and BluOS streaming so you can access and control everything from streaming services and digital music collections to EQ settings and multi-room speaker management. A versatile addition to any home audio system, whether in a stereo set-up, home theater, TV speaker or as bookshelf speakers. ¾” (19mm) Aluminum dome tweeter with ferrofluid neodymium magnet 4” (100mm) Polypropylene mid-bass driver with steel basket and rubber surround Tuned port and DSP-enabled bass extension Built-in network streamer based on BluOS platform Audiophile-grade DAC supports resolution up to 24-bit/192kHz Supports Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect Sony Electronics BRAVIA XR 65” Class A95L QD-OLED 4K HDR Google TV $3500 65” $5000 77” Sony Electronics STRAZ5000ES Premium ES 11.2 CH 8K A/V Receiver $2100 Sony Electronics STRAZ7000ES Premium ES 13.2 CH 8K A/V Receiver $3300 Sony Electronics VPL-XW6000ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with Native 4K SXRD Panel $12000 Sony Electronics VPL-XW7000ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with Native 4K SXRD Panel $28000 StormAudio ISR Fusion 20 AV Receiver   Based on the award-winning ISP Elite MK3 platform, the Immersive Sound Receiver Fusion 20 is a 20-channels processor integrating 16 channels of the latest Edge amplification technology from Danish based ICE Power, exhibiting extremely low noise and distortion levels with 150W (8ohm) per channel, and up to 500W (8ohm) when bridged. TWICE Best of Show Awards Winners AWOL Vision AWOL Vision 150” 4K 3D RGB Laser Projector LTV-3500 Pro $6000 - see above Ethereal 8 Meter Velox Passive HDMI Cable $240 - see above Hisense 100″U8K  $10,000 See News Story Samsung 77” Class S95C OLED 4K TV $4200 Samsung 98” Class Neo QLED 8K TV (QN990C) $40000 Samsung 85” Class The Terrace 4K TV (Outdoor TV Full Sun) $20,000 Samsung HW-Q990C Soundbar 11.1.4 ch. Wireless Dolby ATMOS Soundbar $1600 Sony Electronics BRAVIA XR 65” Class A95L QD-OLED 4K HDR Google TV $3500 65” $5000 77” Sony Electronics VPL-XW6000ES 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projector with Native 4K SXRD Panel $12000 Sony Electronics STRAZ7000ES Premium ES 13.2 CH 8K A/V Receiver $3300 Sony STRAZ3000ES Premium ES 9.2 CH 8K A/V Receiver $1700 Sony STR-AN1000 7.2 Channel 8K A/V Receiver $700 What Hi-Fi? Best of Show Winners Hisense L9H TriChroma Laser UST Projector  ($5500 - $6500) Trichroma™ Triple-Laser Light Engine 4K Resolution 25,000 hour lifespan Reaches over 1 billion colors (107% of BT.2020 color space) New Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) Screen 3000 ANSI lumens brightness 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio Google TV Dolby Vision / Dolby Atmos 3 HDMI (2 x 4K@120hz,1 x eARC) Smooth Motion and MEMC Game Mode ATSC 3.0 Wi-Fi 6e Wi-Fi 6e 40-Watt Built-in Speakers Sizes: 100” and 120” Availability: Summer 2023 Sony HT-S2000 3.1ch Dolby Atmos® Soundbar $300 The HT-S2000 soundbar delivers high-quality audio and an upscaled cinematic surround sound experience for all your content. Built for the Sony ecosystem, this soundbar solution is compatible with Sony SA-SW3, SA-SW5 subwoofers and SA-RS3S rear speakers and integrates fully with BRAVIA XR™ TVs. DJ Briggs CEDIA Wrap Top 5 Room Experiences (5) JVC (8 New Projectors 6 8K and 2 4K) Amazing 8K Picture Amazing 4K HDR Stewart Screen Great Next Gen (2) tone mapping (4) Sony 7000 Projector and 7000 Receiver Fantastic Overall Experience No Amps 4 ohm Kef Speakers  No Video Processing 180” firehawk 1.3 gain Stewart Screen $68K for EVERYTHING in the room (3) SVS No roof PB 16 Ultras ($2900) ROCKED the Media Floor Bang & Olufsen right next to them and they were drowning them out and they were IN A ROOM and B&O was in the open

    Podcast #1115: Should IPTV Streamers be Treated like Cable Companies?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2023 54:01

    This week look at what would happen if Instagram and TikTok allowed 10 minute short video clips. Also, we breakdown why local network affiliates are trying to convince the FCC to start treating IPTV Streamers like cable TV providers. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: You'll soon be able to control an LG appliance with Samsung's app — and vice versa Shure launches Aonic 50 Gen 2 headphones with spatial audio and hybrid ANC at IFA 2023 Roku Laying Off 10% of Employees, Will Take up to $65 Million Charge to Remove Streaming Content Other: A New Paradigm in Immersive Audio Design Excellence Instagram is internally testing the ability to create Reels up to 10 minutes long By increasing the time limit on Reels from three minutes to 10, Instagram would be aligning its short-form video product with TikTok, which expanded its maximum video length to 10 minutes back in February 2022. The change would also put Reels in competition with YouTube. Full Article Here… Local ABC, CBS, FOX, & NBC Owners Demand The FCC Reclassify YouTube TV, Fubo, DIRECTV STREAM, & More As Cable TV Companies In a nutshell - A bunch of affiliate stations are asking the FCC to treat IPTV streamers like cable companies. Which would force the streamers to negotiate directly with the TV station owners. If local TV stations win, Fubo, Hulu, and others wouldn't be able to strike deals directly with Paramount for all CBS stations. Instead, they will need to go to each individual owner of each local TV station.  For the record - CBS owns 14 stations throughout the US.   California — Los Angeles — KCBS California — San Francisco — KPIX California — Sacramento — KOVR Colorado — Denver — KCNC Florida — Miami — WFOR Illinois — Chicago — WBBM Maryland — Baltimore — WJZ Massachusetts — Boston — WBZ Michigan — Detroit — WWJ Minnesota — Minneapolis — WCCO New York — New York — WCBS Pennsylvania — Philadelphia — KYW Pennsylvania — Pittsburgh — KDKA Texas — Dallas/Fort Worth — KTVT The net result would mean that live TV streaming services would need to pay a $1.23 fee per subscriber every year for the FCC regulatory fee imposed on cable TV companies. It's our take that the amount would start at $1.23 and go up very quickly. So Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair, E.W. Scripps, and Gray Television want to cut out the big networks and negotiate directly to bring their locals to streaming services. They hope to get better deals than what the parent companies have agreed to. They argue that the current situation is unfair to local station owners. The argument is that the deals as they exist today don't give local stations enough money to produce local news. For now, it looks like local station owners are ready for a long fight to get what they believe will be a better deal for them. Thoughts on the situation: I never understood why any local network could charge for cable access? What did they do before cable? We could barely watch some channels in the 70s. After cable they all came in clear. If anything, they should have been paying the cable companies to carry the channels. Let's say Hulu and the rest of them just say forget it! What happens? - The only real impact that I see is with the NFL Why wouldn't Nexstar just tell the networks that they want a bigger cut and have one big voice when negotiating? Sounds like the networks screwed the affiliates. What do local stations provide? In the old days they would provide weather traffic and sports. Now I get real time traffic on my phone as well as weather and sports scores. For breaking news, I follow my affiliate and if something big is happening locally I jump on their news stream. Maybe they should cut their budgets and have one newscast in the morning and evening. Are they really locally owned when a company like Sinclair owns multiple stations across the US?

    Podcast #1114: Where to Watch College Football

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2023 45:07

    This week is the start of the college football season and we help you find where your favorite team's games can be watched. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: TCL Launches Branded Streaming Platform TCLtv+ With Interactive Tech Dolby Atmos will use your TV to expand living room speaker setups Google adds first-gen indoor Nest cameras to its Home app Deal Alert! Get Half Off a Year of Paramount+ Just in Time For September's NFL & College Football Games TCL Launches Massive 98" S Class S5 TV With Bezel-less Design for Under $5k College Football - Where can you find it? It's probably the best time of year. You have Baseball wrapping up, the air is cooling down, and it's college football season. There are so many games and leagues but where can you watch your favorite team? We have done the research and this is where you can find the leagues and games for free. Conference Networks Many conferences have their own 24/7 network that carry more than just football. But on Saturdays in the fall they are all about football! Here is where you will find four of the most popular conference networks Pac - 12 - Spectrum, xfinity, Cox, dish, SlingTV, Frontier, Fubo, Vidgo Full List can be found here. Big Ten - Fox Sports App with TV provider credentials. AT&T U-verse, Cox, DirecTV/DTV Stream, Dish, Frontier, Fubo, Google Fiber, Hulu Live, Filo, Sling, Virgo, Youtube TV SEC -  AT&T U-Verse. Cox. DIRECTV/Stream, DISH, Spectrum, Xfinity, Verizon Fios. Streaming on Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV ACC - Youtube TV, Hulu, Spectrum, DIRECTV/Stream, Dish Network, Sling TV, Cox Broadcast Networks  In addition to their own networks, the conferences have contracts with the broadcast networks to air the biggest games of the week. ABC: ACC, American, Big 12, Pac-12, championship games (ACC, American, Big 12 and Pac-12 in odd-numbered years), Citrus Bowl, LA Bowl and Las Vegas Bowl CBS: SEC, Big Ten, Mountain West, SEC Championship Game, Commander-in-Chief's Trophy games (include Army-Navy) and Sun Bowl Fox: Big 12, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-12, championship games (Big Ten, Mountain West, and  Pac-12 in even-numbered years) and Holiday Bowl NBC: Notre Dame, Big Ten The CW: ACC Cable Networks The cable networks get in on the action as well! CBS Sports Network: Army, C-USA, MAC, Mountain West, Navy, UConn, C-USA Championship Game and Hula Bowl ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN3 and ESPN+): ACC, American, Big 12, Big Ten, C-USA, MAC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt, UMass, championship games (MAC and Sun Belt) and most bowl games including the entirety of the College Football Playoff Fox Sports 1: Big 12, Big Ten, Mountain West and Pac-12 Fox Sports 2: Mountain West Peacock: Notre Dame, Big Ten If your team is involved in a huge game (or playing Notre Dame) look for them to be on the broadcast networks or ESPN. If you went to a less competitive major conference school, their games will be on the networks overflow channels like FS1, Peacock, Espn the Ocho , etc, Unless they are playing Notre Dame. Then they will be on display for what inevitably will be the smaller schools' Superbowl.  IPTV Services   DirecTV Stream FuboTV Hulu Plus Live TV Sling TV YouTube TV Base price $75 per month for 75-plus channels $75 per month for 100-plus channels $70 per month for 90-plus channels $40 per month for 30-plus (Orange) or $45 for 40-plus (Blue) channels $73 per month for 100-plus channels Free trial Yes Yes No No Yes ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels Yes, in many markets Yes, in many markets Yes, in many markets ABC, Fox and NBC only in select cities (Blue only) Yes, in many markets Simultaneous streams per account 20 (in home, 3 outside of it) 10 (in home, 3 outside of it)  2 ($15 option for unlimited) 1 (Orange), 3 (Blue) 3 ($20 adds unlimited plus 4K streams) Family member/user profiles No Yes Yes No Yes Cloud DVR Yes (20 hours, unlimited for $10 a month) Yes (1,000 hours) Yes (unlimited) Yes (50 hours, 200 hours for $5 a month) Yes (unlimited) Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR No (yes with $15 option) Yes Yes Yes Yes  

    Podcast #1113: Vintage Stereo Gear

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2023 31:33

    This week a listener asks if his separates from the 80s are as good as his more modern home theater equipment. We also read your emails and look at the week's news. News: YouTube TV is Reportedly The Only Live TV Provider To Add Subscribers In The 2nd Quarter of 2023 (Cable TV or Streaming) 75% of Smart TV Owners Use Non-TV Viewing Functions LG Unveils New ‘Magnit' Micro LED Screen YouTube offers new billing options for NFL package Other: Best Ever Audiophile Speakers, for REAL! Soundbar Mouts from Monoprice.com Vintage vs Modern Gear We received the following email from Chris asking us to take a look at Vintage vs Modern Gear: In your latest episode, you were discussing receivers. And I got to thinking: Are the receivers of today drastically better than the component stereo systems of the 80s? So if today, you put a component system from the 80s in the same environment as a receiver from the 2020s, could you tell the difference? We have seen the resurgence of the turntable, will we also see the resurgence of the component stereo?  Separate tuner, amp, equalizer, etc.  Can you explain a little in layman's terms the way the music is delivered today via compression and frequency reduction (Spotify, XM, Apple Music, etc)?   Meaning does the vinyl LP for example, go from -20 kHz to +140 kHz whereas streaming compresses to -10 kHz to +80 kHz, so you could get a better audio experience with vinyl? Vintage Gear Size and Weight - Vintage amplifiers are heavy by today's standards. In their heyday, owning one that weighed fifty to one hundred pounds wasn't unheard of. A majority of that weight came from the massive transformers housed inside. Those large transformers let the amplifier drive demanding  speakers with ease and let the system run at a higher current.   Most vintage receivers used Class A/B amps, which were more efficient and ran cooler than their Class A counterparts. Power - During the "power wars" of the '70s and '80s, manufacturers kept increasing how much power their amps could output, really pushing the limits of the amplifier technology of the time. For example, the Pioneer SX-1980 from 1978 cranked out an astonishing 270 watts per channel. Electronics - a majority of amps were hardwired and didn't have an over-reliance on a circuit board, meaning they were more user serviceable if you knew what you were doing, and often cheaper to fix if you didn't. New Gear Performance - Class A/B amps sound better today than ever, given the significant improvements in transformer technology and component circuitry. Modern amplifiers have less distortion than older ones, and you get better performance for a lot less money.  It's a digital world - With modern amplifiers and receivers, you're gaining modern connections. From HDMIs to optical and coaxial connections, having digital inputs on your amplifier means you can hook up your TV, gaming consoles, CD player, and more. The sound quality is clearer and more precise. You can also use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and an app-based interface to stream your music for extra convenience. Which one sounds better?  Ready for our non-answer? It depends. There are certainly receivers from the 70s and 80s that sound better than receivers built today. But you are talking about the high end products. For example, the classic Pioneer SX1980 is rated at 0.03% THD and back in 1980, it would cost you $1,295 to pick one up. That's about $5,450 in today's dollars. Yamaha's A-S501 is rated at 0.019% THD, and can be had for $549. Vinyl vs Digital Frequency response - Both can reproduce sound that is beyond what a human can hear.  It comes down to how the digital music is sampled and in some cases compressed. Low quality mp3 and AAC files throw away much of the recording so you are not getting all of the original. Let's put  that aside because none of us listen to low quality music. There is a debate, however, about high quality mp3 and AAC (anything greater than 256Kbps sampled at 44.1KHz)  vs lossless. I personally can't hear the difference and have done many blind A/B tests with those who claim that they can hear the difference only to conclude that none of my self proclaimed audiophile friends can hear the difference either. I won't say that no one can hear the difference reliably, but I will say that the number of those who can is very small.  When it comes to vinyl it's a preference for the sound. I prefer the clean sound of high quality digital. It's easy to take my entire library with me everywhere I go. Braden loves his vinyl. It's warmer and more nostalgic. One is not better than the other, it's a personal preference.  I am happy that I can now have an audio experience that was only available to people with deep pockets back in the 80s. Today, everyone can have a system that my 20 year old self only dreamed about. And you can take it on the go!   

    Podcast #1112: Listener Speaker Configurations

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2023 56:53

    This week Braden tells his Soundbar saga and Ara bought an Airpod Max. We also have early results of our Listener Speaker Configuration Survey. Plus we read your emails and the week's news. News: Free ad-supported TV streaming services are booming, 1 in 3 U.S. viewers tune in Netflix, Amazon and Hulu Hegemony Is Waning, Survey Says SHARP Aquos XLED TVs: A Game Changer For Independent Retailers Cable, Broadcast TV Viewing Falls Below 50% For First Time As Streaming Gains Steam Listener Speaker Configurations On the last show we asked you to tell us what type of speaker configurations you are listening to. This week we will give you the results and provide you some resources for getting the most out of your setup. Atmos 32% 7 Channel 32% 5 Channel 32% Soundbar 2 channel 26.5% 6 Channel 6% 9 Channel 3% Dolby Speaker Setup Guides  Small Den/Bedroom ~250 Square feet  Soundbar or 2.1 Family/Bonus Room up to  300  square feet 5.1 Greater than 300 square feet 7.1 - Consider seating as well. 7.1 systems need space behind the seating positions to be properly configured. Atmos There is an option in all of the above scenarios for Atmos. The question is whether it's worth it or not. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you more concerned about sound effects vs sound quality. If the answer is yes, put more of your budget towards Atmos capability. Is your room big enough to fully utilize Atmos speakers? While you can put Atmos anywhere, do you need it? A 5.1 system in a small room will provide you with a dynamic experience that can overwhelm the senses. Is there someplace else you can put resources to improve the experience like room treatments or better front speakers? How much content do you watch that has Atmos? Of course this can change as more movies and TVs are mixed for Atmos. Do I have a good subwoofer? You will get more bang for your buck improvement in your theater with a properly sized and configured subwoofer than by adding Atmos.

    Podcast #1111: Samsung 89" Micro LED and AV Receivers We Don't Talk About

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2023 43:58

    This week Samsung is bringing an 89” Micro LED TV to market and it will only cost you $102,000USD. We also take a look at AV receivers that we don't typically talk about.  And as usual we read your emails and look at the week's news stories. News: How DIY Is Blurring The Lines In Smart Home Security LG's most popular OLED TVs just fixed a big brightness problem with a new update LG's ‘wireless' and wildly expensive 97-inch OLED TV sees first global release Sony's 2023 A95L QD-OLED TV up for preorder in August starting at $2,800 Other: LEICA CINE 1 THE ART OF HOME CINEMA. Samsung's Stunning 89-Inch MicroLED TV Could Be What's Next After OLED When it comes to the best TVs, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out which display technology is truly the best. One of the contenders? MicroLED, which promises a serious upgrade over existing MiniLED technologies. Full article here… Receivers We Don't Typically Talk About We get questions about receiver recommendations and we typically stay with brands we have experience with. We have never had someone come back at us to complain about a Denon, Yamaha, or Marantz receiver. We run these in our homes everyday so we feel confident recommending them to you. But there are other brands that have loyal followings that you may want to consider. These brands are typically more expensive and full featured. Below are the lowest cost receivers from brands we don't typically talk about. Arcam AVR10 7.2-channel home theater receiver with Bluetooth® and Apple AirPlay® 2 The AVR10 is a high-performance audio/visual receiver that delivers stunning realism for the ultimate home cinema experience. With an impressive 12-channel surround solution and featuring all the latest CODECs from Dolby, DTS, Auro-3D and IMAX Enhanced, the AVR10 exemplifies sound quality and engineering excellence. Audiophile listening experiences are optimised with full 12-channel Dirac calibration on board as well as simple streaming with a mobile device using the native app of choice via Apple AirPlay2 or Google Chromecast. You can find the Arcam AVR10 at Crutchfield for $2200 NAD T 758 V3i A/V Surround Sound Receiver A performance update to our award-winning T 758 A/V Surround Sound Receiver, the T 758 V3i continues NAD's ‘simple is better' design philosophy by delivering a fluid user-friendly experience. From lifelike surround sound performance to heart thumping power, the T 758 V3i is a true treat for the senses. Employing NAD's proprietary MDC technology, the T 758 V3i is ready for future upgrades and features. With 4K UltraHD video, the T 758 V3i offers a vivid and engaging presentation when it comes to the latest in digital video technology. Complete with AV presets that are yours to customise, the T 758 V3i gives you total control of what you hear and how you see it. The NAD AV Remote iOS app to make your smartphone a remote control is available as a free download. Available at NAD's website for $1699. Emotiva BasX MR1L 9.2 Channel Dolby Atmos® & DTS:X™ Cinema Receiver How long have you been waiting for a receiver that can actually deliver the superb uncompromising performance of separate components? The BasX MR1L cinema receiver combines a high performance 13.2 channel immersive surround sound processor, and an audiophile quality 9 channel amplifier, in a single chassis. The processor section of the MR1L supports 4k UHD video, including HDR and Dolby Vision, enhanced ARC (eARC), and the latest Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X™ immersive surround sound formats. The MR1L features six HDMI 2.0b video inputs, all of which support 4k UHD HDR video, and includes support for enhanced ARC (eARC). Included with the MR1L is a measurement microphone and the latest version of EmoQ, our well-regarded automatic room correction system. The MR1L also offers multiple analog and digital audio inputs, and an integrated Bluetooth receiver with aptX. Available at Emotiva's website for $1599. Anthem MRX 540 8K 5.2-channel home theater receiver with Dolby Atmos®, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, and Apple AirPlay® 2 Anthem's MRX 540 8K receiver is an excellent option for creating a high-performance home theater in a smaller room. It has everything you need — fantastic A/V processing, robust amplification, and exceptional room calibration — without extra channels of power that would go unused. This upscale receiver is an especially good choice if you plan to play premium content through it — like 4K Blu-ray discs or uncompressed music files from a high-resolution library. It even has the latest HDMI technology for 8K video sources, including premium gaming consoles. The MRX 540 8K is engineered to squeeze every drop of detail out of these high-res formats, and that's why it's worth considering over more modestly priced 5.1-channel receivers. Available at Anthem's website for $1900.

    Podcast #1110: Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theater System Review

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2023 41:18

    This week we take a look at the best speakers for 2023 that are priced between $50 and $1000. And Ara reviews the Sony HT-AX7 Portable Theater System from Sony. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news.  News: TCL's new 98-inch 4K TV is as ridiculously cheap as it is ridiculously big Sony's latest QD-OLED TV is significantly brighter than last year's models Charter to Make Its Comcast JV Xumo Its ‘Go To' Video Platform Disney just delivered potential death blow to DVDs and Blu-rays Best Stereo Speakers for 2023 Whether you're shopping for bookshelf models or a pair of floorstanders, these are the best speakers for the money. Full article here… HT-AX7 Portable Theater System with 360 Spatial Sound Mapping The Sony HT-AX7 is a portable Theatre System with 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology that attempts to bring cinematic surround sound to any room. It is a portable speaker system that has two detachable speakers that can be placed behind you to create a sound bubble that, according to Sony, will make you feel completely immersed in sound. We saw reviews and were excited to buy the $500 speaker and put it through it's paces.  Features: Cinematic sound. Anywhere When Sound Field effect is off, place the three speakers in the corners of your room for whole room audio No wires - battery rated to last for 30 hours. 10 min Quick Charge will get you 2.5 hours Weighs 3 pounds (1.4 Kg) so it's easy to transport Setup This was trivial. From the time I took it out of the well packaged box to when I was listening to sound took about five minutes. And I was going slow! All you need to do is pair the speaker with your device and start watching something. You can use the Sony Home Entertainment app to tweak it a  bit more. But beyond that there isn't much to do. Performance I had high hopes that this would be something cool. But it's important to note that Bluetooth does not support Dolby Digital and the box does not have a Dolby or DTS logo anywhere so all the spatial sound is completely synthetic and processed by the HT-AX7.   Top Gun Maverick was the first movie watched and quite frankly the experience was underwhelming. I could barely hear anything coming out of the satellite speakers. I went into the app and maxed out the volume for the speakers which made a big difference. In some respects the satellite speakers enhanced the experience but I wouldn't say it was immersive.  Then I watched the opening sequence to 6 Underground which has the most action packed opening sequence I have seen in a long while. It's the perfect scene to show off your Atmos system. Watching on my ipad with the front speaker two feet in front of me and the surround speakers one foot behind me. I did get a more realistic surround experience than just watching on my iPad. But it wasn't until I balanced the surround speakers on their sides and aimed them right at my ears that I began to really think that this product was something pretty cool.  The experience was similar to the old Dolby Pro Logic surround from the 90s. And I did not feel as though I was in a sound bubble like the marketing material claims. By comparison, my Atmos system makes you feel like you are on the street in the Italian square that the opening sequence was shot in.   Spatial Audio from Apple Music sounded fuller and did make the experience more immersive. But from an audio point of view the quality wasn't as good as my Audioengine Desktop speakers. In general I was not impressed with the sound from the speakers. It was a bit thin and there was no LFE  output that would allow me to add the low end with a subwoofer. But still much better than your speakers on your devices. When the satellite speakers are connected to the main unit it functions like any other wireless Bluetooth speaker. However, there is no support for Airplay. If you remove the satellites and turnoff the sound field effect you get three speakers playing the same thing. It's a nice way to fill a room with ambient music for get togethers. Who is this device for? Someone with deep pockets who wants to improve the audio experience when watching movies on a tablet, phone, or PC. It is kind of cool sitting on your bed watching something on your personal device in surround sound. But at $500, I think the market for this device is small. 

    Podcast #1109: Are We at Peak TV?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2023 37:22

    This week we ask if we are at “Peak TV”. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: Netflix gets rid of cheapest basic ad-free option in the U.S., U.K. Spotify raises the price of its Premium plans Other: DoItForMe Solutions Samsung's The Wall Completes Luxurious Home Theater - Phil Truby Are We at Peak TV? Listener Stan from Pittsburg sent the following email that we wanted to discuss in some detail. This article has me wondering whether the days of significantly improving TV technology will end in the near future. Why spend money on technology upgrades or picture quality when there is more money to made by turning cheap televisions into advertising platforms.  For videophiles, maybe there will only be one or two brands with fewer high picture quality models to choose from with much higher prices. I hope I am wrong.  What do the HT Guys think? LG is transforming its TV business – expect more ads & services - FlatpanelsHD Thanks for the great podcast. Stan Liang Pittsburgh Pa

    Podcast #1108: SAG/WGA Strike

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2023 58:13

    This week take a deep dive into the SAG and WGA strike. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: Telly starts shipping its free ad-supported 55-inch TVs Half of internet users switch off broadcast TV Get ready for light-based Wi-Fi, because it's now an official standard Leviton jumps on the Matter bandwagon Other: CLZ movie database What does the WGA and SAG strike mean and how will it affect TV and Movie Production This marks the first time since 1960 that both unions are on strike simultaneously. Here is a list of the issues; We're Fighting for the Survival of Our Profession What striking members are not allowed to do: No acting or singing or stunts. No interviews to promote movies or shows. No piloting on-camera aircraft No puppeteering No performance capture or motion capture work. No re-recording dialogue, voice acting, narration and stunt coordination No promoting new projects—including tours, personal appearances, and attendance at premieres and screenings No Interviews, as well as podcast appearances and promotion on social media. No awards campaigning, such as appearances at “for your consideration events,” Actors cannot appear at any conventions, fan expos or festivals Members must also “instruct their agent and/or other representatives to discontinue conducting negotiations on their behalf with the studios

    Podcast #1107: Things that Bugged Me about The Walking Dead and Are We at peak TV

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2023 50:22

    This week Ara explains why he gave up on “The Walking Dead” and we ask if we are at “Peak TV” we also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: Sony's new spatial sound system is actually portable Apple Vision Pro should make Apple TV+ shows look amazing — here's how Pluto TV Adds a 24/7 Hollywood Squares Channel Samsung Introduces New 83-Inch Class OLED 4K TV Other: Google accidentally made the ULTIMATE Smart Home Dashboard! Inside The Las Vegas Sphere How Apple Vision Pro will try to fight off motion sickness The Entire Timeline of The Walking Dead and its new spinoffs explained It's been a really, really long time since that fateful day when Rick Grimes woke up to an apocalyptic nightmare in 2010. How long, exactly? Let's dive into The Walking Dead's timeline and figure out what's going on. Timeline here… Things that bugged me about The Walking Dead: Not once in the seven seasons I watched the show did anyone try to locate  short wave radio and make contact beyond their local area. While I understand food was available in the urban areas, why not try to get out to areas of the country that were not populated. When a living being dies they decompose in a few months. Why then do the walking dead not decompose but stay intact until their heads are blown off The walking dead slow down in cold weather. Why not go north in the winter and clear out huge swaths of land/city and build defenses that walking dead can't get through? There are very few animals. If they didn't turn into the walking dead animals, where did they go? Are you at Peak TV? Many consumers are either at or near their maximum number of TV services and do not plan to spend any more money on subscriptions. Full article here…  

    Podcast #1106: Update on the "Telly" TV and the Best 75" TV

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2023 29:41

    This week we found out more about the Free Telly TV and their user agreement. We give you three options for the best 75 inch TV and we read your email and look at the week's news. News: Vizio is retooling its home screen interface Walmart To Release Google TV Streaming Stick DIRECTV STREAM Announces The Launch Date For NFL Network Other: ScreenBeam MoCA 2.5 Network Adapter for Higher Speed Internet, Ethernet Over Coax - Starter Kit (Model: ECB6250K02) W3 Wireless Audio Adapter — Audioengine N22 Desktop Amplifier — Audioengine More Info on the Telly TV User's Agreement and Other Details  Originally planned to ship at the end of June it has not happened nor has a new ship date been announced. However, the company plans to start contacting the first recipients in the coming weeks. Presuming everything goes according to plan Telly's chief strategy officer Dallas Lawrence said. “Beta Users are leaving the bottom screen on and we anticipate this will only increase as the second screen becomes the unifying smart hub in the household, connecting all of your smart devices from music to news to voice assistants and more.” Telly announced that new DIRECTV STREAM customers will receive priority when it comes to being selected to receive one of the company's free smart TVs. No Blocking Second Screen - If a Telly user does block the secondary screen, which displays advertisements as well as news and sports headlines, weather reports, and other information, they'd be violating the Telly service agreement and could potentially face a stiff fine. Telly owners must use the dual-screen TV as the “primary TV in the household in the living room Best 75-Inch TVs for 2023: LG, TCL, Samsung and More Tested and Reviewed There's a lot to consider when it comes to buying a new TV, including the display type, resolution, operating system and more. But the most important factor is the size. And here at CNET, our general advice is that bigger is usually better, especially if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck. To help you find the right big-screen TV for your needs and your budget, we've rounded up some of the best 75-inch TVs on the market right now. Full article here… TCL 75R655 Best 75-inch TV for the money $1275 at Amazon For the last five years the TCL 6-Series has been our favorite TV for the money, and the newest version -- also known as the R655 series -- is no exception. This TV has an excellent image thanks to mini-LED tech and well-implemented full-array local dimming that helps it run circles around just about any other TV at this price. It improves upon the previous R635 series with improved gaming extras and a new center-mount stand that you can elevate to make room for a soundbar. And finally, the Roku TV operating system is our hands-down favorite LG OLED77C2P Best high-end 77-inch for the money $2746 at Amazon The C2 represents the pinnacle of picture quality at a price that's admittedly high, but not too crazy. It beats any non-OLED TV on this list, including the Samsung QN90B below, with its perfect black levels, unbeatable contrast and superb off-angle viewing. It also has superb gaming features, making it the perfect companion to an Xbox Series X or S, PlayStation 5 or both. The C2 comes in a variety of sizes as well, although the bigger models are expensive. Vizio M75QXM-K03 Best 75-inch picture for tighter budgets $998 at Amazon The Vizio MQX is one of the least expensive TVs to feature full-array local dimming, which lets it reproduce TV shows, movies and games with enough contrast and pop to do HDR justice. The MQX has fewer dimming zones than more expensive TVs like the TCL 6-Series -- 42 on the 75-inch size -- but that's more than enough for excellent overall picture quality, with bright highlights, dark black levels, punchy contrast and accurate color.  

    Podcast #1105: Amazon's New Internet Service and Prime Smart Home Products

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2023 57:53

    This week we look at Amazon's new home Internet service as well as a sneak peak at the best early Prime Day smart home products. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: It's official — LCD TVs won't see any further development YouTube TV Has Decided Some Sports Networks Are Not Worth It Comcast-Charter JV's Xumo-Branded Smart TVs Ready To Hit The Shelves Of Walmart…And Other Retailers Roku's next play: Smart homes Other:  ATX Festival - TV Camp for Grownups  Amazon.com: Febfoxs Projector with WiFi and Bluetooth HBO In Talks To License Originals To Netflix? - Dark Horizons Most HBO Max subscribers have switched to Max, despite launch issues and price rises | TechRadar ALR Projector Screens WILL Replace Your TV | Side By Side Comparison Everything We Know About Amazon's New Home Internet Service, Including Price & Launch Date The deadline for Amazon to have an operational home internet service is coming up fast. Well, it may be a few years away there is a lot to do to meet the FCC deadline or risk losing the spectrum it needs. This new home internet service from Amazon is currently code-named Project Kuiper. According to Amazon's CEO, it is now one of the main focuses of the company. Full Article here… From Smart Speakers to Smart Plugs, These Are the Best Early Prime Day Smart Home Deals So Far Amazon devices, Philips Hue lights, Kasa plugs, and even iRobot Roomba vacuums are on sale ahead of Prime Day 2023. Full article here…  

    Vacation Message

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2023 4:21

    No show this week as we take some time away with our families. We'll be back next week!    

    Podcast #1104: New Apple Music Features - Bestjoy Super Remote - Cable TV Turns 75

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2023 47:34

    This week we take a look at six new features that Apple Music is getting and we give you our take on the BestJoy Super Remote. Unfortunately we're still looking for a Harmony Replacement. Did you know Cable TV is 75 years old this month? We look back at where cable started and where it is now. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: United is putting 4K displays and Bluetooth on its planes You can finally buy a Matter smart lock Netflix Password Crackdown Drives U.S. Sign-Ups to Highest Levels in at Least Four Years: Researcher Netflix Reportedly Wants to Get Into Live Sports Streaming Your Android TV Could Be Getting A Big Upgrade – Here's What's Coming Other: AVScience.com Does VR Motion Sickness Go Away? 10 Tips On How To Stop VR Motion Sickness - World Of Geek Stuff Spectrum's Cable TV Hidden Fees Are Up Again & Can Now Cost More Than The Advertised TV Package Price | Cord Cutters News WHY IS EVERYONE WATCHING TV WITH THE SUBTITLES ON? (Paywall) Apple Music is getting 6 new features Apple Music subscribers are set to see several new free features when they update to iOS 17 later this year. Full Article Here… Collaborative Playlists Take over your car's radio with SharePlay Apple Music Sing gets a camera Go backstage with Song Credits Access all Apple Music radio shows Apple Music's new look and other small updates The Bestjoy Super Remote The Bestjoy Super Remote SR001 ($160) is a super remote control that combines audio and video control and can control a series of home devices such as air conditioners, lights and curtains, providing a simpler configuration process and a more powerful functional experience.  I had the following issues: There were no Volume Up or down buttons for my Yamaha receiver. I did have the remote learn their commands and they worked fine.  I found selecting activities to be a bit confusing likewise I felt switching between devices was cumbersome.  For the price that this remote costs I would expect that an activity with a TV, streamer, and receiver would automatically select the appropriate buttons on the remote.  Programming the remote is too cumbersome and non-intuitive Cable Turns 75 this Month The beginning of cable TV goes back to June of 1948 when John Walson set up an antenna on top of a mountain near the city of Mahanoy City, PA. From there he strung a cable down the mountain to a point in the city that allowed TV signals to be received by homes that connected to it. That essentially was the first cable service in the United States. Believe it or not, that “cable” company is still running today. 1948 - FCC freezes new broadcasting licenses and cable grows considerably. 1962 - FCC prevents cable companies from importing signals from far away, halting the industry in its tracks.  1972 - HBO is launched as the nation's first pay-TV network. Cable is back in business! 1976 - WTBS is launched. broadcasting from Atlanta and using satellites to become the nation's first superstation. The Atlanta Braves gain fans from all over the country. 1984 - Congress passes the Cable Communications Policy Act, loosing restrictions and appropriating funds for continued growth. Cable grew so rapidly that by 1990, there were more than 50 million subscribers across the country and at least 79 networks, an increase from just 28 at the beginning of the decade. Some of the networks that launched during this time included: Showtime Nickelodeon,  USA Network, ESPN, CNN, MTV, The Disney Channel, AMC, FX 1990 - Cable subscribers reach 50 million and there are at least 79 networks available to consumers. 1992 - Congress passes the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act that freezes prices and requires cable companies to carry local channels for free. 2000 - 2007 - The average cable subscriber has access to more than 50 channels. To fuel growth, things such as high-definition broadcasting, DVR service, on-demand programming, premium channels, interactive guides, and much more became new features and eventually standards. Cable companies begin to add high-speed internet which may have hastened the cable company's demise as a TV provider. It also may be what saves them as a viable company. 2007 - Netflix launches its streaming platform, setting the stage for the current upheaval and uncertainty in the industry.

    Podcast #1103: Get the Most out of Your UHDTV and the Apple Vision Pro

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2023 43:45

    This week we look at 9 tips that will get the most out of your LG C3 and G3 OLED TVs. These tips can find equivalents on pretty much any UHD TV. And Apple introduced its challenger into the VR goggle arena with the Apple Vision Pro. Will it succeed? We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: AMC and Vudu score big with new on-demand streaming partnership YouTube TV is Cracking Down on Password Sharing Ahead of NFL Sunday Ticket Launch Apple's Vision Pro headset will include Disney+ content The Average Cable TV Subscriber Now Pays $1,764 a Year Just For TV Other: Netflix has hidden test screens to calibrate your TV — here's how to find them HT Guys Music Playlist on Apple Music HT Guys Music Playlist on Amazon Music HT Guys Music Playlist on Spotify Ara's Woodworking 9 Essential (But Simple) Tips To Get The Best Out Of Your LG OLED TV Easy picture setting changes for the new LG C3 and G3 and by extension all UHD TVs. Full article… Apple Vision Pro Watch the Video  So what is the Apple Vision Pro? Quoting Apple's video its "a revolutionary spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world." Apple has developed a new operating system that features a three dimensional interface. So this is much more than a VR gaming headset, although you can game with it. I have to say, it's got me intrigued enough to consider spending the $3,499 as a late Christmas gift to myself. It will be available in Apple retail stores in the U.S. only in early 2024. From Apple: A singular piece of three-dimensionally formed and laminated glass is polished to create an optical surface that acts as a lens for the wide array of cameras and sensors needed to blend the physical world with digital content. The glass flows into the custom aluminum alloy frame that gently curves around the user's face, while the modular system allows for a tailored fit to accommodate a wide range of people. The Light Seal is made of a soft textile, and comes in a range of shapes and sizes, flexing to conform to a user's face for a precise fit. Flexible straps ensure audio remains close to the user's ears, while a Head Band — available in multiple sizes — is three-dimensionally knitted as a single piece to provide cushioning, breathability, and stretch. The band is secured with a simple mechanism, making it easy to change to another size or style of band. You control the Vision Pro with your eyes, hands, and voice. You can browse through apps by simply looking at them, tapping your fingers to select, flicking your wrist to scroll, or using voice to dictate. It also supports Apple's Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad. It has an ultra-high-resolution display system with 23 million pixels across two micro-OLED displays – more than a 4K for TV for each eye. Vision Pro uses high-speed cameras and a ring of LEDs that project invisible light patterns onto the user's eyes to track gaze. The headset also contains the M2 chip paired with a new "R1" chip, dedicated toward real-time sensor processing. It also has a new Spatial Audio system with two individually amplified drivers inside each audio pod, which delivers Personalized Spatial Audio based on the user's own head and ear geometry. It can match the sound to an environment using audio ray-tracing. The headset is capable of running for two hours on a single charge.  

    Podcast #1102: Netflix Password Sharing - Best OLEDs - Wifi 6E

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2023 43:14

    This week we help you find ways around the Netflix password sharing crackdown and we look at the best OLED TVs according to Tom's Guide and we help you decide if an upgrade to wifi 6E is in order. We also read your emails and look at the week's news stories. News: GE Lighting's Neon-Shape Smart Lights Now Available Sony's Latest Dolby Atmos Soundbar Could Be A Serious Sonos Beam Gen 2 Competitor YouTube TV grants users unlimited simultaneous NFL Sunday Ticket streams Comcast's New $20 a Month Streaming Service With 40 Live Channels, Peacock Premium & More Is Now Available Other: Streaming services are removing tons of movies and shows — it's not personal, it's strictly business BestJoy SuperRemote Review  - A Home Assistant Friendly Remote! Three crafty ways YOU can get around Netflix's crackdown on password sharing Netflix finally cracked down on password sharing this week, sending 'freeloaders' hysterical — but savvy users have already come up with an easy workaround. Full article … Just don't log on to Netflix via your smart TV or streaming box - Netflix defines what they think of as your household by the preferences you manage on the main TV you use, whether it's a smart TV, like Roku, or a streaming box, like AppleTV or Amazon Fire Stick.  Set-up auto-forwarding for the email verification codes - Netflix set up a roadblock and sends the account's primary owner a verification code every time they or someone else tries to log on from a new wireless network. There are many easy ways to have all those verification number emails, from info@account.netflix.com, auto-forwarded to your distant, beloved household members and friends Log-in on the account holder's Wi-Fi - Because Netflix uses the IP address and wireless of the primary account holder as part of its definition of the household, you should be in great shape if you can log into Netflix, at least once in while, from the Wi-Fi connection at the account owner's home. Best OLED TVs in 2023: LG, Samsung, Sony and more The best OLED TVs are coveted for their excellent picture reproduction, phenomenal motion processing and top-of-the-line upscaling. With unbeatable black levels and perfect contrast, they offer a cinema-like experience for not that much more money than a traditional LED-LCD or QLED TV. Full article here… Wifi 6E Do you Need it? Wifi is a big part of our home theaters. Not everyone has a wired connection at every entertainment area or speaker location. So wifi picks up the slack. As we have seen first hand, too many devices result in some wonky wifi. And with so many devices requiring a network connection we need some way to get all our devices connected. Is Wifi 6E the solution? So what is Wifi 6E? Well for this we have to go back to April of 2020 when the FCC opened up the 6GHz frequencies for unlicensed use. That opened up 21 new channels for compatible devices to use! If you are using a Wifi 6 device you are still fighting over the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies although it makes better use of them. What are the benefits? Speed  > 1Gbps Latency  < 1ms Only devices that support Wifi 6E are here. 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies  are used on all other wifi protocols WPA 3 is mandatory for all Wi-Fi 6(E) Certified. As a result, 6GHz WiFi traffic is more secure than ever and 6GHz networks are harder to hack. Wifi Sleeping allows devices to go to sleep and free up the spectrum for other devices. This also increases battery life What devices are supported? (Partial List) Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Xiaomi Mi 11 Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2023) or MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2023) Mac mini (2023) iPad Pro 11-inch (4th generation) or iPad Pro 12.9 inch (6th generation) Netgear Orbi Wi-Fi 6E $1100 Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 $550 Linksys Atlas Max 6E $800 TP-Link Archer AXE75 $180 (no Mesh system available) Do you need it? If you are a gamer and want super low latency and don't have a hard wired setup, yes.  If you have an entertainment center and have no way of physically connecting to the network, maybe. You'll only get the benefit if your TV or set top box supports it. You may be better off waiting until more devices support it and prices come down.  However, for more basic, household use, a typical mesh system will work just fine. 

    Podcast #1101: HBO Max is Now Just Max - LG C2 OLED - Canceled TV Shows

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2023 47:18

    This week HBO Max is now just Max. Ara gives his impressions of his LG C2 OLED and we look at the shows that were canceled at the end of this season. We also read your emails and go through the week's news. News: Technics introduces two new noise-canceling wireless in-ear earbuds Almost 5 million people are using Netflix's ad tier Telly Says 100,000 People Signed Up for Free TV Sets Savant Adds Amazon Music Integration Other: U2 Tour Sphere in Las Vegas | Apple Music Netflix's password-sharing crackdown is here — and it costs $7.99 per month - The Verge HBO Max is now Max If you're a current subscriber, your account should switch over automatically.  If you're not a subscriber and you want to take a look at all the changes, can you can get a 7 day trial 4K ATMOS Dolby Vision - Checked out Shazam. Looked quite impressive but a few fast pans stuttered. Otherwise it looked and sounded quite good I ended up canceling my Discovery+ subscription since the same content is available with your Max subscription You can download titles for offline viewing. This was not possible with Discovery+ although it looks like this has been added to the Discovery app. I haven't checked for this feature in a while so it may have been possible for a while now Max subscription plans   Ad-Lite Ad-Free Ultimate Monthly price $10 $16 $20 Number of screens you can watch at the same time 2 2 4 Number of offline downloads 0 30 100 HD available Yes Yes Yes 4K Ultra HD available No No  Yes   LG C2 OLED 42” $900 up to 83” for $3950 α9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K adapts to the content you're watching, automatically adjusting the TV's settings for improved picture and sound quality Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG webOS Google Assistant / Alexa We have come a long way in TV design and technology. The TV that the C2 replaced was a very old Samsung 720p LCD. The screen size was 37” and the TV barely fit into an armoir in our bedroom. The new LG C2 OLED is 42 inches and fits in the same area with no issues. The larger screen made a huge difference. The picture is stunning, clear, and sharp. I used the image presets as this TV is primarily used for night time viewing. I settled on ISF night mode. It seems a bit cool for my liking so I will probably tweak it to warm up the image. The color is quite good. LG claims the Evo panel's color saturation to be around 100% of the DCI-P3 color space. Other reviewers have noticed that the color desaturates with off angle viewing. In my very informal tests, this was barely noticeable to my eye. If I hadn't read anything about it I probably wouldn't have even noticed. But keep this in mind if you have seating that is off angle. Regardless, it's a ten fold improvement over the LCD it replaced. I have yet to really play with LG's filmmaker mode but even without it the TV has an incredible picture. The only thing I can compare it against was my old Panasonic plasma but much better.  I didn't do anything with the sound beyond the standard as it is typically watched at night so the sound is not usually at a loud level. If you buy a larger version of this TV we would recommend just connecting to a soundbar or better yet, a full fledged audio system. webOS has almost all the apps you'll need including IPTV providers with the exception of DirecTV Stream. If you are only streaming movies and some live TV, there is no need for an external box. But if there are some special news and information apps that your streaming box has it's easy enough to switch between the two. The LG Magic Remote wasn't very magical in my opinion. I mean as a regular remote it worked well. But the pointer version was just not precise enough for my liking. The remote has a microphone that allows you to search for content with your voice. There are dedicated buttons to take you directly to Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video, and Rakuten. There are even dedicated buttons for the Google Assistant and Alexa.  LG sells higher end models but if you are moving from a LCD based TV you will be really impressed with this TV. Save some money and go with the C2 model! TV Shows that were Canceled after this Season The list of returning shows is quite large so we thought it would be better to just give you a list of the shows that were canceled this season. Our source for this information is TV Guide ABC The Goldbergs: Ending with Season 10 CBS NCIS: Los Angeles: Ending with Season 14 NBC The Blacklist: Ending with Season 10 Kenan: Canceled after two seasons Fox Duncanville: Canceled after three seasons Monarch: Canceled after one season The Resident: Canceled after six seasons The CW DC's Stargirl: Ending with Season 3 Tom Swift: Canceled after one season Disney+ Big Shot: Canceled after two seasons Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Canceled after two seasons The Mysterious Benedict Society: Renewed for Season 2 National Treasure: Edge of History: Canceled after one season Willow: Canceled after one season Paramount+ Blood & Treasure: Canceled after two seasons Why Women Kill: Canceled despite previous Season 3 renewal Peacock Queer as Folk: Canceled after one season Rutherford Falls: Canceled after two seasons

    Podcast #1100: How Long until Cable and Satellite go Full IPTV

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2023 56:42

    This week we have a big show for you! We announce the winner of our speaker giveaway, talk about the “Telly”, a free TV with a second screen for ads. We also take our monthly look at the RTINGS.COM longevity tests and finally we discuss why cable companies may want to forgo hardware and just go IPTV. We also read your email and take a look at the week's news. News: Abode Announces Google Nest Integration B&O launches the world's 2nd 97-inch OLED TV, and it's much cooler than LG's Samsung admits defeat and reportedly inks deal for LG's OLED TV panels TCL Launches 2023 S Class and Q Class TVs Researchers find security flaw in Wemo Smart Plug, Belkin says it won't release a patch Other: Dynaflex (RCA) - Wikipedia Telly Free TV Winner of Reclaimed wood Speakers - Russell Cain Bastrop, Texas The streaming wars are over, and it's time for media to figure out what's next I'm calling it. The Streaming Wars are over. 2019-2023. RIP. The race between the biggest media and entertainment companies to add streaming subscribers, knowing consumers will only pay for a limited number of them, is finished. Sure, the participants are still running. They're just not trying to win anymore. Full article here… Key points: The media and entertainment industry is currently focused on raising prices and cutting costs. Disney lost 4 million Disney+ subscribers in the quarter, most of which came from India. At some point, the industry will need a new growth narrative. The most obvious candidate is gaming. RTINGS.COM Longevity Test Update RTINGS.COM Longevity Test Update How long until Cable and Satellite go 100% IPTV? WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone, a leading broadband services provider, today announced the company has signed an agreement with Google to offer YouTube TV as its dedicated live television offering. Through this partnership, consumers can purchase WOW!'s fastest, most reliable Internet, together with the industry-leading YouTube TV service, all on one convenient WOW! monthly bill. Full Press Release…  

    Podcast #1099: Bluetooth Turntables and FAST TV

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2023 53:27

    This week we ask whether you really need a Bluetooth enabled turntable and are products like the Anker X600 Boombox going to turn off people to “Spatial” audio. Finally, we look into FAST TV services. We also read your emails and the week's news! News: Amazon expands Matter smart home support to older Echo speakers Hulu Plus Live TV Will Soon Offer Local PBS and Magnolia Network A free, ad-supported TV? Don't laugh, someone's working on it Dish Loses 552K Pay TV Subscribers in First Quarter Almost half of YouTube viewership happens on TV screens First NextGen TV-Certified Receivers to Hit the Market by This Summer Other: Monoprice SS-Pro 8 High Power Dual Source 300 Watt 8 Pair Impedance Matching Speaker Selector $120 Monoprice Dual-Source 2-Channel A/B Speaker Selector with Volume Control and Impedance Matching $42 History of Rock Music in 500 Songs Bluetooth Turntable - Yes or No? The Audio Technica AT-LPW50PB (MSRP $449) is a fully manual, belt-drive turntable designed to give you optimal high-fidelity audio reproduction from vinyl. It features an anti-resonance 30 mm thick MDF (medium density fiberboard) plinth, with a high-gloss, piano-black finish, to dampen low-frequency acoustical feedback, and a sensor-monitored motor to ensure accurate platter rotation speeds of 33-1/3 and 45 RPM. Listener Question about the Anker x600 “Boom Box We received the following email from an anonymous listener and felt it warranted further discussion Anker Motion X600 Pluto TV  For a while now we have been asking who would watch FAST TV. FAST stands for Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television. And there are a lot of ways to get it. This week Ara decided to download Pluto.TV and check it out for himself. The first thing you notice is that the interface is similar to any of the other IPTV services. Pluto's channels are grouped by category. Food, Sports, Music, Entertainment, and the list goes on. They even have an on demand section that is a mixture of classics like In Harm's Way with John Wayne to more modern fare like 13 hours. They have game shows, home improvement, cooking, sports and the list goes on. There is no shortage of content. There are plenty of news channels but not all localities are covered. For instance, Los Angeles has one local news station. And there are no live sports that we could find. Regardless, you can't beat the price of free! Just today the NHL announced that it is creating a FAST channel to be distributed first to Roku and then other providers. It will contain content from the NHL's past games, playoffs, and all star games. Pluto, like other FAST services, are supported on just about every platform from phones to tablets and set top boxes and many TVs.  We can't see any downside because the price is perfect! Free. Download all the services and you will always find something to watch.   

    Podcast #1098: ATSC 3.0 Encryption - Sony TV Pricing and Apple's VR Headset

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 44:53

    This week we look at a new technology that may transform the earbuds you currently own. Also, Sony released pricing on their new 2023 models and would you watch sports with a VR headset? We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News:  Nakamichi's Sonos-stomping Dragon Dolby Atmos soundbar is available for pre-order YouTube Music officially rolls out podcasts for listeners in the US LG Rolls Out Xbox Series X And PS5-Friendly Update For Its 2022 Soundbars ESPN Plans To Leave Cable TV & Stream Online as a Standalone Just Not Yet… Other: FCC Complaints ATSC 3.0 Boston Mass The future of audio? World's first solid-state speakers may transform earbuds Solid state drives transformed computer storage, offering greater capacity that proved cheaper and more reliable. And much smaller! You might not have heard about it, but solid-state tech also handily changed the market for condenser mics, offering smaller devices that are easier to incorporate with other circuits. They're just better – and cheaper. Full article here… Sony releases its 2023 TV prices If you're in the market for a new TV and you've been patiently waiting to see how much Sony is asking for its 2023 models (and when you can buy them), today's the day you find out. Unless of course, you've been waiting to see what Sony wants for its latest flagship, the A95L 4K QD-OLED. In that case, we're the bearers of bad news: That model, in all three of its planned sizes (55-, 65-, and 77-inches,) is still MIA, and Sony hasn't indicated when that will change. Full article here… Apple's VR Headset Could Immerse You in Sports The Apple VR/AR mixed reality headset is one of those products that's perpetually rumored but never seems to materialize — though it sounds like that's about to change. With Apple's WWDC 2023 looming, we could finally get an official glimpse at this device, rumored to be shipping later this year. Full article here…  

    Podcast #1097: Should you Buy a LG C3 OLED and a Speaker Giveaway

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2023 36:31

    This week we have four reasons to buy and three reasons to skip the LG C3 OLED and the top 5 TV picks for all budgets. We also read your emails and the week's news! News: Fox Television Stations, Amazon Partner on Local News Distribution YouTube TV details fixes for audio sync, better 1080p quality Netflix Subscribers Think Its Ad-Supported Plan Has Too Many Commercials Other: HT Guys Custom Reclaimed Wood Speaker Giveaway  4 Reasons To Buy And 3 Reasons To Skip the LG C3 OLED With the LG C3 OLED starting to make its way into the wild, you might now be faced with a tough decision — should you buy LG's new OLED TV or should you skip it? Full article here… Reasons to buy the LG C3 OLED The new Alpha a9 Gen 6 is a better processor WebOS 23 lets you customize your picture without paying for calibration Color and brightness are big improvements on older OLED TVs It's a great TV for gamers Reasons to Skip the LG C3 OLED It has lower brightness than LG G3 OLED You won't find an ATSC 3.0 tuner here It's more expensive than the LG C2 OLED Tom's Guide top 5 TV picks for all Budgets Having covered tech and games full-time for the last decade now, I've spent a lot of time in front of a TV. Some of those TVs weren't anything special — they were just run-of-a-mill LED-LCD TVs that didn't even have VRR or HDR — but these days, I only spend my time in front of the best TVs. Because I'm lucky enough to see all these screens first-hand, I've developed a real fondness for a few of them. Full Article Here…

    Podcast #1096: Netflix to End Physical Disc Rentals

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2023 52:31

    This week Tom's Guide reviews the Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TVs and Kef introduces their THX certified in-wall speakers. Then we go through the Netflix Timeline from start through the latest announcement that they are ending physical disc rentals. We also read your emails and look at the week's news. News: Warner Bros. Discovery unveils super-streamer ‘Max' Sling TV finally launches on the Amazon Echo Show 8 and 10 Has Prime Video Surpassed Netflix In U.S. Subscriber Share? Netflix to bring down the curtain on its DVD-by-mail service Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV review: An outstanding value The Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV is one of the least expensive TVs on the market, and it offers few fancy bells and whistles. But with a good smart interface and HDR color and sound capabilities unusual for its class, it's a surprisingly good budget buy. Full article here… Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV 55-inch (55R6A5R): $499.99 Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV 65-inch (65R6A5R): $649.99 Roku Plus Series 4K QLED TV 75-inch (75R6A5R): $999.99 Kef THX Certified In-wall Speakers (for the dare to dream crowd) Create the ultimate home cinema experience with the latest additions to KEF's impressive architectural speaker range; the first THX® Certified Dominus speaker from KEF, the Ci5160REFM-THX, as well as the Ci3160REFM-THX which is THX® Certified Ultra for high-impact cinema sound. These in-wall Ci-Reference speakers create a new level of entertainment in which movie lovers are enveloped in life-like sound and transported to a deeper, more thrilling audio experience. Ci5160REFM-THX key features: KEF's first THX® Certified Dominus speaker – the powerful THX performance class for the largest private cinema spaces Metamaterial Absorption Technology eliminates 99% of high-frequency distortion for pure, natural sound Bespoke 12th generation Uni-Q with MAT driver array for exceptional acoustic accuracy Four 160mm (6.5in.) bass drivers optimised for in-wall use 11mm thick precision-machined aluminium baffle designed to eliminate vibration and allows the drivers to perform at their best Discreet design with best-in-class performance Available in Aluminium Black/Grey finish Paintable magnetic metal grille that fits effortlessly into the interior Optional black cloth grille available as separate item Ci3160REFM-THX key features: THX® Certified Ultra for high impact cinema sound Metamaterial Absorption Technology eliminates 99% of high-frequency distortion for pure, natural sound Bespoke 12th generation Uni-Q with MAT driver array for exceptional acoustic accuracy Two 160mm (6.5in.) bass drivers optimised for in-wall use Discreet design with best-in-class performance Available in Aluminium Black/Grey finish Paintable magnetic metal grille that fits effortlessly into the interior Optional black cloth grille available as separate item Price and Availability: Ci5160REFM-THX: [USD10,999.99 each]/ [Available now on http://kef.com] Ci3160REFM-THX: [USD7,999.99 each]/ [Available now on http://kef.com] Timeline of Netflix Wikipedia Timeline of Netflix

    Podcast #1095: Best Passive Bookshelf Speakers and is 1080p HDR all you Need

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2023 49:01

    This week we look at the best passive bookshelf speakers under $600. We also revisit the RTINGS.com long term burn in investigation and we ask the question, “Is 1080p with HDR all we really need?” Pulse we read your emails and the week's news. News: Google Home app improves support for curtains, heaters, appliances, more Shares in Regal Cinemas' owner hit all-time low YouTube starts presales of NFL Sunday Ticket subscription Google TV Adds Hundreds More FAST Channels From Tubi, Plex and Haystack to Its 'Live' Tab Other: HT Guys Music Playlist on Spotify The best passive bookshelf speakers for most people We tested a bunch of five to six-inch speakers under $600 and picked our favorite. Full article here… Longevity Burn-In Investigative Paths After 3 Months RTINGS.com has been running a long term longevity test and we are more than three months in. The TVs are at 2400 hours of run time. If you watch your TV about 5 hours a day that's equivalent to almost a year and a half in just over three months. So what are they finding? Here are just some highlights. RTINGS.com has a very thorough investigation and explanation found in the article link: Longevity Burn-In Investigative Paths After 3 Months Three partial TV failures and one complete failure. The Samsung S95B OLED completely failed while the Hisense U7G, Sony X95J, and LG G2 OLED were deemed partial failures. Both QD-OLED displays are showing signs of potential permanent image retention Some of the Sony WOLED displays are also showing burn-in ( A8H, A80K, A80J, A90J, and A90K). After running a pixel refresh video they were able to nearly eliminate all image retention on the Sony A8H, A80K, and A90J. The Sony A80J and A90K, however, don't look any better, and it looks like this is a permanent burn-in on these two TVs. There were significant brightness fluctuations on a handful of TVs. While some of this variation can be explained by the margin of error of the test equipment, a few TVs warranted a deeper look to determine what was going on. HDR: Simply Better Pixels Do We Really Need 4K if HDR is So Good? SMPTE Life Fellow Mark Schubin has compared formats, frame rates and HDR to show what provided the best data option. Full article here… I asked Matthew Goldman, senior director, Media Engineering & Architecture for Sinclair Broadcast Group. and Tim Walker, senior product manager at AJA Video Systems the same visual quality question: With all things being equal, on a scale from 1 to 10, if 1080p SDR is a 1 and 4K HDR is a 10, where would you place 1080p HDR and 4K SDR? Both answered exactly the same: 1080p HDR sits at 8, while 4K SDR sits at 4  

    Podcast #1094: New Pioneer Elite - Spatial Audio for Cars - End of Mini LED

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2023 41:13

    This week Pioneer introduces a new flagship receiver, the LX805, and we discuss whether Spatial Audio makes sense for cars and if Mini LEDs are on their way out. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: NFL Partners with RedBird Capital to Deliver NFL Sunday Ticket to Commercial Establishments Netflix's cheapest option is now on Apple TV Eve announces Matter firmware upgrades are coming on April 17 for a more reliable HomeKit experience Smart TVs Account for 50% of All Streaming Video Viewing Other: HT Guys Listen to their Vinyl Collection Pioneer Elite Introduces New AVR For Elevating Audio Experiences Pioneer Elite® is pleased to introduce a flagship audio video receiver (AVR) to its line up of advanced electronics that provides exceptional audio performance and studio-level processing for the discerning AV enthusiast. Packed with the most advanced immersive audio technologies, the all-new Elite VSX-LX805 11.4, 150 watt-per-channel network receiver has been meticulously engineered for enhanced immersive audio experiences. Full Press Release… Spatial Audio makes more sense in a car than a living room, says Cambridge Audio Spatial Audio makes more sense in a car than a home speaker, at the moment, says Cambridge Audio CEO, Stuart George. George told What Hi-Fi? during an interview for our British Hi-Fi Week 2023 that, while the company is very interested in Spatial Audio, Cambridge Audio is only considering it for use in cars. Full article here… Mini-LED TVs are hot right now — but a new report has bad news OLED TVs like the LG C3 OLED and LG G3 OLED still have a long life ahead of them, but Mini-LED TVs like the Sony Bravia X95K and Samsung QN95B QLED… well, their time at the top of our best TV page could be coming to an end.  Full article here…  

    Podcast #1093: Interview with Jeff Baron LA Underground DJ

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2023 64:11

    This week we have an interview with Jeff Baron, former DJ at KPFK Los Angeles around 1968, then KPPC-FM Pasadena in the early 70s and finally KMPX San Francisco also early 70s. We also read your emails and read the week's news. News: Blockbuster website reactivates Samsung Expands OLED 4K Lineup With Two New Series Nearly 7 in 10 U.S. TV Content Viewers Use Free Streaming Services Monthly Amazon reportedly considering purchase of AMC Entertainment Apple TV 4K gets promised Quick Media Switching feature to eliminate 'HDMI bonk' Other: Q Live QL 100 Karaoke Digital Echo Stereo Mixing Amplifier Master Channel | eBay Our memory for sounds is significantly worse than our memory for visual or tactile things -- ScienceDaily Jeff started at KPFK Los Angeles around 1968, then KPPC-FM Pasadena in the early 70s and finally KMPX San Francisco also early 70s

    dj underground dj kpfk los angeles jeff baron
    Podcast #1092: A Speaker Selection Journey

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2023 52:15

    This week we go on a speaker evaluation journey with Ara and his daughter. But not before we read your emails and the week's news. News: Android TV rolls out user profiles, but there's a caveat Sling TV launches new features for sports fans, including picture-in-picture mode and an iOS widget 8K Association Launches Content Awareness Campaign YouTube TV hikes price to $72.99 per month due to rising ‘content costs' Other: Speakers Designed For REAL Rooms - Larsen 4.2 Review Tame Bright Speakers JBL Speaker Makeover but I didn't have a tweeter. Bought Dayton Audio DC25T-8 1" Titanium Dome Tweeter for $17 a piece. These tweeters are very efficient, 93db vs 88db for the entire 2500. This mismatch was very off putting. The tweeter was overpowering the woofer and it was fatiguing to listen to. So I researched how to reduce the high frequencies otherwise known as Tweeter attenuation Tweeter attenuation is the reduction of voltage & power to a tweeter to decrease its volume output. This is usually done with a resistor network with values chosen to match the expected load of a stereo, amplifier, or speaker crossover. Essentially what I did was cut the positive (red) lead and insert a resistor. There is a formula that is used to determine how much attenuation a specific resistor value achieves So I bought a few resistors and went through the process of removing the tweeter and clipping in a resistor and listening. I used alligator clips during the testing phase and I soldered the final result and shrink wrapped the connection.  In my case I ended up with a 5 ohm resistor which resulted in a 9 db attenuation. So now the speaker is no longer excessively bright and the Dayton Audio tweeters are much better than the JBL titanium tweeters. There was much more detail and just the right amount of “brightness”. You can do this if you have speakers that are bright as well. But you probably won't need to go as high a value as I did since the mismatch was so large. Speakers are designed to work together so if the speakers are bright they were designed that way. But even still if you love you speakers but want to tame them a bit you can easily do this. I created a video that I uploaded to YouTube. It's not a how to but it visually shows you what i am talking about. I even try to record the before and after using a good microphone. But it's impossible to hear the difference. In person the difference is dramatic. Just make sure you use audio grade resistors. Part Express has plenty and they are a couple of dollars each.  Once I had everything dialed in I wanted to do a blind listening test. For that I asked my daughter to be the guinea pig. She accepted and got a huge lesson in auditioning speakers. The speakers being auditioned: JBL 2500 (Ara Redo all JBL components) JBL 2500 (Ara Redo wit DA Tweeter and 5 ohm resistor) JBL LX22 (Ara Redo) CSS Audio Criton 2D Kit Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 (Ara Redo all Ascend Acoustics components) We listened to the identical parts of each song on all speakers. First Test I asked her to pick a song that she liked. I don't remember the name but it was by a band called Camino.  I played it on all five different speakers and asked her if she had a favorite. To me it sounded terrible on all speakers. The mix was a jumble of sounds that was just bad. She actually agreed but selected the Ascend Acoustics as the best worst sounding example of crappy music. That was me editorializing. Second Test The first minute of “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyed. Wow! What a difference. I could see on my daughter's face that she was blown away by the imaging. The song starts out with an old timey AM radio feel in the right channel. Then when the effect disappears and the guitar comes up smack dab in the middle of your listening position. You just smile. I then start over and switch speakers. The other thing that I found interesting is that for most speakers she couldn't tell which pair was on. By the end of the test, she started recognizing the characteristics of some of the speakers and was able to tell which ones were on. Test two goes to JBL 2500 with the DA tweeter. We listened to seven total tracks with the results below: Fifth of May by Zach Bryan - JBL 2500 with DA Tweeter Dawns by Zach Bryan - JBL 2500 with DA Tweeter Tin Pan Alley by SRV - CSS Audio (so much bass!) Everything She Ain't by Haily Whitters - JBL 2500 wit h DA Tweeter I have Got You Under My Skin Live in Boston by Chris Botti featuring Katharine McPhee - Ascend Acoustics In the end the JBL 2500 with the Dayton Audio tweeter was the speaker my daughter picked most. But all these speakers sounded really good. It really comes down to what kind of music you like listening to determine what speakers you will like. In reality all these speakers performed well. If you like bass heavy music then the CSS Audio speakers would be your go to. If you like clear detail then the Ascend Acoustics might be what you would go with. By the way, the CSS audio has great highs and the Ascend Acoustics has great lows. Just not as good as the other.  But what really surprised me is how well the modified JBL 2500 did against speakers costing $600 to $800 more. If you have any sort of wood working skills, you can build yourself some amazing speakers for a fraction of what you would pay for commercial products.  Our final recommendation is to consider the type of music you listen to and do research. Once you narrow it down, audition the speakers if possible. Take advantage of in home trials. Try to have them in the house at the same time and keep the ones that sound best. It's a lot of work but speakers practically last forever so choose wisely!  

    Podcast #109: Set up your Speakers Properly

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2023 49:30

    This week Ed Mullen and Nick Brown of SVS join the show to help you get the most out of your speakers. We also read your emails and discuss the week's news. News: Roku's first self-made TVs hit Best Buy stores today CBS Sports to Launch Free Streaming Global Soccer Network Roku adds local newscasts, sports in update Other: The Brit and Yankee Craft Beer Pubcast Tech-Wall For Bill, these are five great sounding vinyl records (in no specific order and not knowing his taste of music): Any Dire Strait album Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (Pallas Pressing) Funkadelic - Maggot Brain Dave Brubeck - Time Out Radiohead - Ok Computer Set up your Speakers Properly A couple of months ago Stan from Pittsburgh sent us an email asking if we could do a feature on setting up speakers in rooms that may not be ideal. For that we turn to Ed Mullen Senior Director of Customer Service and Technology and Nick Brown Vice President of Marketing for SVS.  Home of the 45 day in home trial that includes free shipping and returns. Check out   svsound.com for more details.  

    Podcast #1090: New Sony Bravia TVs and Why Movie Theaters Fail

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2023 55:40

    This week look at the new Sony Bravia line for 2023 and discuss why watching movies at home is better than in the cinema. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: YouTube TV's CEO Confirms New Features Coming This Fall With NFL Sunday Ticket TiVo: Viewing Time Stagnates But Number of Video Services Used Jumps Cord Cutting Accelerates as Pay TV Loses Nearly 5.9M Subscribers in 2022 Your Ring camera features are about to change, and not in a good way LG Announces Pricing And Availability Of 2023 OLED TVs Other: HT Guys Music Testing Playlist Sony 2023 Bravia TV Sony Electronics Inc. announced its 2023 BRAVIA XR™ TV Lineup, with Cognitive Processor XR™, for the ultimate home entertainment experience. There are five new models in the BRAVIA XR line: X95L and X93L Mini LED, X90L Full Array LED, A95L QD-OLED and A80L OLED. All models are equipped with features to provide consumers with an immersive experience for watching movies, streaming apps, gaming and more. Full Press release… 2023 BRAVIA XR TVs have the updated Cognitive Processor XR, featuring the all new XR Clear Image on select models, which improves noise reduction and clarity with motion, reducing blur and creating scenes bursting with action. The Cognitive Processor XR enables better backlight control for increased local dimming zones, increased brightness and decreased blooming. Additionally, each model offers Acoustic Center Sync, which synchronizes the TV's audio system with the center channel of a compatible Sony soundbar turning it into the center speaker for the ultimate, immersive at-home experience. For consumers looking for an even more immersive sound experience, each model also works with Sony soundbars to offer 360 Spatial Sound Mapping which generates phantom speakers and sound field optimization. New this year, the X95L features Acoustic Multi-Audio+™, using frame tweeters to elevate the sound in a way that matches the image on screen. The A95L and A80L models feature Acoustic Surface Audio+™ with actuators that vibrate to produce sound from the entire screen, perfectly matching with what's playing on screen. The 2023 BRAVIA XR lineup also allows gamers to take their PlayStation® 5 gaming to the next level with exclusive features, including Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode, for optimized picture quality while gaming and streaming Key BRAVIA XR lineup features: Cognitive Processor XR with XR Clear Image: The Cognitive Processor XR replicates content the way people see and hear for an incredibly lifelike experience. The latest iteration of the Cognitive Processor XR for 2023 enters a new chapter in its development with advanced XR Clear Image. This technology further reduces noise and reduces blur in motion, creating scenes that burst with life. Elevate the experience with Sony's sound products: Sony's new BRAVIA XR TVs are an excellent match for an array of Sony sound products, such as the HT-A9 Home Theater System or the HT-A7000, HT-A5000 and HT-A3000 soundbars. 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, a new frontier of spatial sound technology, is the latest addition to models HT-A7000 and HT-A5000. By calibrating sound to the chosen viewing room, the technology creates multiple optimally arranged phantom speakers for a wider and more immersive cinematic sound field.  Acoustic Center Sync: Pairs perfectly with Sony soundbars – Acoustic Center Sync synchronizes the TV speakers with select Sony soundbars and AV receivers to reinforce the center speaker channel for clearer, fuller dialogue and more immersive sound. When paired with Sony Home Audio products, consumers can expect a truly exceptional at-home movie viewing experience. XR Backlight Master Drive and Mini LED: Powered by Cognitive Processor XR™, the XR Backlight Master Drive uses a Sony-developed local dimming algorithm to control thousands of tiny, ultra-dense Mini LEDs with absolute precision and independence, delivering extraordinary brightness, impressive dynamic range, deep blacks and beautifully natural colors. Perfect for PlayStation® 5 and new Gaming functions: Gamers can take their PlayStation® 5 gaming to the next level with exclusive features Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode that optimize picture quality while gaming and streaming. With the newly added Game Menu, it has never been easier to fine-tune gaming settings and assist functions. All the essentials are at the gamer's fingertips for on the fly adjustments. Additionally, the BRAVIA XR A95L features Multi View, making it easier than ever to watch walkthroughs side-by-side while the gamer plays their favorite titles. BRAVIA CORE: The BRAVIA CORE app is a pre-loaded movie service that comes with five, 10 or 15 movie credits to watch the latest releases and popular classics and additional movies up to 24 months of unlimited streaming, with the purchase of a BRAVIA XR TV. With BRAVIA XR technology, Pure Stream™ and IMAX® Enhanced, content is delivered with stunning visuals and expressive sound quality. Featuring BRAVIA CORE Calibrated Mode, movies will automatically adjust to the optimal picture settings including IMAX® Enhanced mode to create a truly exceptional at-home movie viewing experience. Over time, the app experience will be enriched with new features. Crunchyroll® remote button: The Crunchyroll remote button gives BRAVIA users one-touch access to one of the world's largest anime libraries, a collection of more than 18,000 hours of anime, comprising more than 44,000 episodes and feature films, translated in multiple languages. Simulcasting is also accessible, so Japanese titles can be watched from abroad following broadcast in Japan. BRAVIA CAM: BRAVIA CAM can detect the viewer's position to optimize the picture and sound according to room environment and viewing distance. Google TV: See 700,000+ movies and TV episodes, plus live TV, all in one place. Google TV brings everyone's favorite content from across apps and subscriptions and organizes them. Searching is easy- just ask Google. Try saying, "Hey Google, find action movies" to search across apps. Built with sustainability in mind: During manufacturing, Sony is reducing overall plastic usage by approximately 60%, and is cutting emissions by approximately 15% by using smaller and lighter packaging during transportation. All Eco settings in one place: The Eco dashboard keeps all user settings in one place, making it easier to change them individually or in one go. With the Easy Setup option, users can optimize settings for their viewing environment. Pricing and Availability Suggested retail price and retail availability will be announced in spring 2023. For more information on new Sony television models, please watch Sony's BRAVIA XR announcement video here or visit the BRAVIA XR website: https://electronics.sony.com/bravia-xr-TV. To learn more about each US model, please visit the links below: X95L: http://electronics.sony.com/x95l X93L: http://electronics.sony.com/x93l X90L: http://electronics.sony.com/x90l A95L: http://electronics.sony.com/a95l A80L: http://electronics.sony.com/a80l Bad Projection Is Ruining the Movie Theater Experience Michelle Pfeiffer and Jonathan Majors look like crap. Usually, they're two of the most radiant, dermatologically exceptional people in the world. But right now, they're decrepit husks of themselves, their faces so drained of color that they could pass for cadavers. Full Article Here… For quite some time we have been making the case that we prefer to watch movies at home. We have modest home theaters, nothing like the ones we show on our YouTube channel. However, in our modest theaters we have very large screens, Braden has an 86” Sony UHD and Ara has a 100” Optoma UST Projection system. We also have good speakers and sound systems to match. But come on, you seriously aren't saying your audio and video quality are better than the cinema.  Getting back to the article, Jack Theakston, a projection specialist who works as a contractor at Dolby Laboratories and the article author visit flagship theaters and critique the experience. Jack immediately diagnoses the washed out issue: This is a 2-D showing of Ant-Man, but some neglectful employee has forgotten to remove the 3-D filter from the projector. You can tell when it's happening because if you look at the port-window glass, instead of a single image, you'll see two, with one stacked on top of the other.” He points up to the booth behind us, and sure enough, there are two stacked beams. So imagine you pay your hard earned money only to find that the movie looks like crap. Are you going to complain and see if someone can diagnose the issue? Would you ask for your money back?  The two go into another theater and find trailers that are playing on screen that's creased and sagging. Almost as bad: The picture is trapezoidal instead of rectangular, a phenomenon known as keystoning, which happens when a projector is not set up perpendicular to the screen. It's fixable with software, if one bothers to do it. The two spending the day finding plenty of other issues; A torn masking curtain Out of calibration projectors Noisy dine in service Variable seat pricing However, the Dolby consultant can look the other way on most issues with the exception of bad projection. “If a movie theater can't perform its most basic function and deliver a sharp, well-lit image with the right colors and contrast, then we might as well knock it down and put up a bank.” The pandemic hurt theaters but the problem started well before. Back in 2009 when theaters went digital. Chains and studios loved this because there were no more film that had to be shipped and threaded into projectors. Everything was beamed into the cinema and then to the projector. One projectionist could cover an entire cinema.  The new projectionist was more like an IT guy instead of a skilled technician who could maintain and troubleshoot issues like the washed out faces we discussed at the top of this feature. One of the most common issues today are dim images. That's because many of these projectors need new lamps that cost about $1500. Since cinemas are essentially broke they ride the old gear as long as they can, creating a situation where people can actually have a better experience at home. Obviously this is not every theater, but enough to where people decide to stay home and stream. This starts the vicious cycle of cinemas not spending the money they need to in order to put out a quality product.  AMC announced that it will install laser projectors made by  Barco in 3,500 of its U.S. theaters by 2026. These machines offer better brightness, colors, and contrast than standard digital projectors. They're also bulb free and can run for 20,000 hours before needing a replacement. But by 2026 will it even matter?  So why doesn't Hollywood do something about it. Jack argues that when there is a major hollywood premier the theater is gone through with a fine tooth comb to assure every aspect of the presentation is perfect. So our recommendation is, if you want to see a movie the way it was meant to be, go to a theater in Hollywood or New York. Otherwise get yourself a large OLED and have it professionally calibrated.  

    Podcast #1089: Freeform Radio of the 70s and 80s and Why Audio Reviewers Can't Hear Obvious Flaws

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2023 52:33

    This week we take a trip down memory lane and discuss Los Angeles free form radio from the 70s and 80s. We also discuss a technology that may make LCD TVs obsolete. And finally we talk about audio reviewers and whether it's worth listening to what they have to say. Plus we read your emails and the week's news. News: Hisense Logs Record 2022 TV Shipments, Now Second Largest in the World Xperi CEO's Bold Declaration: TiVo OS Will Power 7 Million Smart TVs By 2026 LG Display Calls Out Samsung QD OLED Screen Burn Other: HT Guys Listener Playlist Thank you Joseph MantelMount Freeform Radio from the 1970s and 80s The other day I was wondering about a DJ that used to work at KLOS in Los Angele. Her name was Linda McGinnis. She had a beautiful voice and was an excellent DJ. So I wondered if she was still on the radio someplace. As it turned out she had passed away in 2003. If you lived in San Diego or the Bay area during the 70's and 80's I am sure you heard her. However, in doing my search I found a couple of recordings that some had done and digitized off of an old cassette tape and posted on the Internet. It was an hour of Linda's daily show from October of 1981 replete with commercials of the day. It was a glorious trip down memory lane!  This started my trip down the rabbit hole! I found many other recordings from the DJs of KLOS and KMET all making me sad for the days when radio had true artists spinning the tunes. Back then, at least on freeform rock stations, DJs would curate music for you and help you discover artists and bands you never knew you needed to hear. For the past few days, I have been listening to these recordings in my car with a huge smile on my face. Some DJs like Jim Ladd (from both KLOS and KMET fame) have freeform shows on Sirius radio. Jim can be found on Deep Tracks channel 27. Otherwise if you had a favorite DJ from your youth I recommend that you search his or her name and see if there are recordings from back in the day. You will thank me for this.  Surprisingly, Apple Music Radio is old school with it's DJs. My tastes have broadened to include country music so I listen to Apple Music Country and find their DJs are very much like the DJs of the 70s and 80s. They create sets based on their mood, time of year, or what their listeners are requesting. The DJs are in the industry and based in Nashville so they have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in the country music scene. I have discovered a bunch of country artists before everyone else in my circles. It's kind of fun being ahead of the curve like I was in highschool! I am giving my daughters music suggestions and they are wondering how on earth this old man knows about new artists before they do!! I haven't listened to the other Apple Music stations but I assume the same thing happens there. Do you have a favorite station that's old school? Let us know because it's probably available through an app. I am going to play about a minute of Linda on the radio. It made me sad and happy at the same time. Also, John in Cornwall there is a baseball comment in there that I hope you enjoy! Linda McInnes, KLOS-FM Los Angeles, CA December 28, 1981 (Restored Unscoped) Bob Coburn, Steve Downes, KLOS-FM Los Angeles, CA July 6, 1982-May 21, 1990 (Unscoped) Meta-display concept could retire LCD panels in big-screen TVs The metasurface display technology could replace the LCD layer in flat-screen televisions, bringing thinner panels, higher resolution, fast response times and lower power consumption. Full article here… The metasurfaces are 100-times thinner than liquid crystal cells, offer a tenfold greater resolution and could consume less energy. metasurface cells would replace the liquid crystal layer and would not require the polarisers, which are responsible for half of wasted light intensity and energy use in LCD displays. The new technology pixels are made of silicon, which offer a long life span in contrast with organic materials required OLED. Moreover, silicon is widely available and cheap to produce. The metasurface array could effectively just replace the liquid crystal layer in today's displays, which means manufacturers won't need to invest in brand new production lines to make panels. The next phase of research will be building a large-scale prototype and generating images, which is hoped to be achieved within the next five years. Once the prototype has successfully generated high-definition images it is expected the technology will be integrated into flat screens and available to the public within the next 10 years. A Room Full of Audio Reviewers Can't Hear Obvious Flaws A couple months ago, I went to a press event I decided not to write about. The reason I demurred is that I could hear crackling and hiss coming out of the speakers when nothing was playing. But it occurred to me that no one else noticed that the system—a six-figure rig with some well known high-end gear in it—had the noise floor of a transistor radio playing static. This is not the first or last time I've been in a room with audio reviewers who seemed to have no clue. I can recall one demo where the tweeter was blown on one of the speakers, and another where the source material turned out to be 96 kbps MP3. No wonder some of these folks avoid double-blind tests like the plague. Entire Thread on AVS Forum  

    Podcast #1088: Optimal Screen Size

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2023 33:51

    This week we ask the question, how big is too big? We discuss what is the optimal size screen for your viewing situation. We also give some recommendations for some large screen TVs. We also read your emails and look at the week's news. News: Paramount Plus to Hike Prices by as Much as $2 a Month, Likely in July Mini-LED TVs Are Hot Right Now — But A New Report Has Bad News ELAC Announces Varro Subwoofer Line Other: Support Cycle Kids I'm sorry but...Matter SUCKS (now) This MANSION Has a $1 MILLION Star Wars Theater! How Long Should A TV Last? To try to answer this question, RTINGS.com  decided to run 100 TVs that they still have in the lab from the last 2-3 years through a grueling 2-year accelerated longevity test to see how long they last. Each TV will run for either 20 or 15.5 hours per day, for a total of 126 hours per week, turning off eight times a day to simulate normal use. Every two months, they'll take uniformity and brightness measurements to see how they age over time and to look for any uniformity issues or change in brightness over time. Updates will be posted on their website (How Long Should A TV Last? Our 100 TV Accelerated Longevity Test - RTINGS.com) and their YouTube channel. What is the Optimal Size and Placement of my 4K TV We are asked from time to time what size TV should I buy for my room. We typically say, “No one has ever said I should have bought a smaller TV”. So we typically say buy the biggest one you can afford or that will fit in the room.  No one has ever complained about this advice. THX has some recommendations on how to calculate the optimal screen size for your room as well as where to place it. First let's take a look at placement.  For optimal viewing, THX recommends that your line of sight be more or less aligned with the center of the screen. They suggest 15 degrees or less, above or below the center. Our recommendation is if the only place to mount the TV is over the fireplace, you should move! For optimal distance from the screen in inches, divide the diagonal length by .835. So for a 70” screen the optimal distance is 7 feet (213 cm). The other way to use this formula is if you know the distance and want to calculate the optimal screen size if to take the distance in inches and multiply it by .835. So if you sit 10 feet (305 cm) away from where the screen would go, the optimal screen size is 100 glorious inches! So what have we learned today? We learned that the HT guys have been successfully advising our listeners about screen size without the pesky use of math for years. Get the biggest size TV that you can afford that will fit in your room! Spouse approval optional. Just tell them Ara and Braden said it was OK. Four Large TVs for under $1200 (Costco) Samsung 75" - TU700D Series - 4K UHD LED LCD TV $679.99 Features: Smart TV Powered by Tizen Crystal Processor 4K Works with Alexa and Google Assistant Crystal Display 3 Year Warranty + HDMI Cable   LG 75" Class - NANO80 Series - 4K UHD LED LCD TV $899.99 Features: α5 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K Local Dimming Active HDR10, HLG $75 Streaming Service Magic Remote Sony 75" Class - X80CK Series - 4K UHD LED LCD TV $1099.99 Features: 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty 1 yr. Bravia Core Streaming + 5 Movie Credits Premium Backlit Remote w/ Finder Function 4K HDR Processor X1 TRILUMINOS PRO Color LG 86" Class - UQ8000 Series - 4K UHD LED LCD TV $1199.99 Features: α7 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K 120 Hz Refresh Rate AI Sound Pro $75 Streaming Service Magic Remote with NFC Allstate 3-Year Protection Plan Bundle Included for 5 years of total coverage

    Podcast #1087: Is ATSC Doomed to Fail?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 17, 2023 53:36

    This week we take a look at what is next for the ATSC 3.0 transition and why we think it will not be as smooth as the ATSC 1.0 transition. We also read your email and take a look at the week's news.  News: Hisense TVOS VIDAA Launches FAST, Calls Out Roku Peacock Rolls Out Live Interactive Companion “Watch With” Feature Netflix's new account-sharing rules punish students for being students KEF Launches Latest-Generation R Series Speakers What's Next for the ATSC 3.0 Transition? Up until last week, all of the major parties involved in the transition from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 appeared to be on the same page. Advocates touted the continuing progress in deployments, pointing to the fact that more than 60% of American TV households are capable of receiving NextGen TV. Although CES came and went with little news about NextGen TV, four of the world's largest manufacturers now offer sets with 3.0 tuners with Sony making them available across its entire TV line. Full Article Here… More Support Needed NAB wants the FCC to promote ATSC 3.0 more prominently.  NAB's highest priority request is that the FCC announce a cutoff similar to what it did with the ATSC 1.0 switchover.  ATSC 3.0 was announced in 2017. A More Competitive Market Touting the advantages of a standard that combines the flexibility of IP with far more efficient use of spectrum, the broadcasters told the commission that the deployment of 3.0 will help the industry better compete with streaming companies and similar Silicon Valley giants.  There were mandates in the early days of ATSC that required manufacturers to include ATSC 1.0 tuners in their products and to solve backward compatibility issues, ATSC converter boxes were available at no or little cost to consumers. There were no streaming companies in 2009 that could produce a picture anywhere near what could be had OTA. Now 4K is everywhere. This makes it hard for broadcasters to compete. Don't Expect a Mandate Today, support for a tuner mandate is practically non-existent. In the first transition, the CEA initially opposed the mandate but eventually manufacturers had to comply with FCC rules that were implemented in 2005. But that stipulation was also part of an agreement that set a hard deadline for the analog switch off. While NAB is pushing for such a deadline today, it has consistently supported a mostly market-driven approach for the transition to 3.0. With both the NAB and CEA are opposed to a mandate, what compels TV manufacturers to include ATSC 3.0 when consumers are not asking for them?  TV sets that support NextGen TV represented only 8% of overall TV set sales in the U.S. in 2022 and CTA predicts that almost 5 million will ship to dealers in 2023, representing 12% of the total. It expects that share to hit 50% by 2025. These are mostly high end models. Sony is the only manufacturer that will include NextGen TV tuners on all their models. CTA believes set sales will accelerate, but that broadcasters have to make a purchase more compelling by offering more than what they're providing now. We have a classic chicken or egg situation here. People are holding on to their TV sets much longer and those who have ATSC 1.0 TVs do not find the same compelling reason to switch over like the need to go from NTSC to ATSC. Realistically if you bought a high end 4K TV three years ago, you may not need to upgrade it for another ten years. The pool of potential upgraders is much smaller than in 2009. What it Means for Broadcasters Using 3.0 as a "data pipe" has been promoted as perhaps the “killer app” that will allow broadcasters to offer enterprise-level services such as software updates for anything from gaming systems to rental cars and providing live over the air streaming to vehicles and even playing a role in the slow but steady emergence of autonomous vehicles. ATSC 3.0 technology is also being used to provide internet to areas that might not have access to traditional broadband.  

    Podcast # 1086: Listener Recommended Demo Material and New Sony Receiveers

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 10, 2023 49:51

    This week we list the content our listeners use to show off their systems whether it be for music listening or movie watching. Also, Sony announced five new receivers that we discuss. And as usual, we read your emails and go over the week's news. News: Super Bowl LVII will screen in 4K and Dolby Vision, but there's a catch Google Plans To Punch Up ‘NFL Sunday Ticket' With New Features Klipsch Expands High-Resolution Powered Speaker Series QD-OLED TV Prices Could Get Cheaper As Samsung Puts Production In Overdrive Sonos' next speakers will be called the Era 300 and Era 100 Listener Recommended Music and Movie Demo Material Music JR - provided the following Spotify Playlist for Music Demos Dan - Marcus Miller: Blast (from the album Marcus) Blast Stan - Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car (U2) & the first three minutes, and Dear Prudence (Beatles) Brian Donald Fagen – The Nightfly – I.G.Y. (DSD64 5.1) Foreigner – 4 – Waiting for a Girl Like You (DSD64 5.1) The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card – Games People Play (DSD64 Stereo) Heart – Dreamboat Annie – Crazy on You (FLAC 24bit/192kHz) Steely Dan – Aja – Aja (DSD64 Stereo) Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic – Walk This Way (DSD64 5.1) Beck – Sea Change – Any Track! (DSD64 5.1) Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms – Money for Nothing (DSD64 5.1) Tears for Fears – The Tipping Point – Break the Man (Dolby Atmos) Sting – Nothing Like the Sun – Englishman in New York (FLAC 24bit/96kHz) Toto – IV – Africa (DSD64 5.1) Curt - provided the following Spotify Playlist for Music Demos John - My number one all time favorite test track that I have been using for over 30 years Is Supertramp's song Fool's Overture from their live album Paris.  There is so much happening in the song in the different parts of the song.  In the middle of the song it goes to all different sounds like a grandfather clock, wind blowing and then a great bass guitar building up to the second part of the song with a sax and other high pitch instruments and then it mellows down to a piano, drum and singer.  This song gives me everything in one song to push and test speakers. Fleetwood Mac - Tusk (Bass) Rush - YYZ This instrumental track will put any speaker to the test. This is a very fast paced song with a lot of stereo testing as instruments move from one speaker to another (helps in speaker placing) and its fast. Chris Issak - Baby Did a very bad thing - he has an amazing voice and he can go from deep to very high Mark - Chuck Mangione - Feels So Good Poco - Heart of the Night Poco - Crazy Love From the Tommy Bolin album Private Eyes, Bustin' Out For Rosey, Sweet Burgundy, Post Toastee Bill - here's a track I use to show off my subs. It was recorded by the Yellowjackets (Galileo for Jaco) as a tribute to Jack Pastorius in the 80s so it has that digitally produced sound. I've had grown men giggle like a kid at about a minute in. Enrique -  Hans Zimmer: Live in Prague Movies DJ - District 9 start at 12:15 and at 12:24 the engine shuts off and you can feel it. JR - Ride of the Rohiorrim scene in The Return of the King (Youtube Clip in 4K with Atmos of this scene) Brian Blade Runner 2049 – Intro Scene Gemini Man – Intro Scene (Dolby Vision 4K60) Mad Max: Fury Road – Intro Scene Ready Player One – Race Scene Midway – Pearl Harbor Attack Scene Top Gun: Maverick – Mach 10 Scene Top Gun: Maverick – 2 Minutes 15 seconds Trial Run Scene Curt - The race scene from “Ready Player One” (Atmos!), train wreck scene from “Super 8” (not Atmos or DTSX, but awesome surround cacophony) John - the end of John Wick when they are in the rain and talking. Also Aquaman the fight sequence about a third of the way in the Italian village.  Mark - Ready Player One, the race scene early in the movie, Dune, around 2 hours into the movie they place the devices to lure the worms, the bass is insane with that, The Dark Knight, when Batman is in the batcave and he's test firing a big gun, crazy bass there too Enrique - Maverick (of course), Mad Max, Blade Runner 2049 Sony Electronics Launches new ES 8K AV Receiver Lineup Sony Electronics Inc. announced its newest addition to the brand's AV receiver line. These receivers are the first from Sony to feature 8K and 4K/120 support as well as Sony's 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology. These receivers were tuned by Sony engineers to provide the most immersive home theater experience yet. The new ES line features four new models built mainly for custom installation.  Additionally, the STR-AN1000 receiver is created for consumers looking to upgrade their current home theater system. Full Press Release Here… STR-AN1000 - 7.2 Channel 8K A/V Receiver (Pre-Order for $899.99) 7.2-channel A/V Receiver (165 W 6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1ch, THD 0.9%) 8K & 4K/120Hz HDMI Connectivity with HDMI 2.1 support (6-in/2-out) Supports Dolby Atmos® & DTS:X® object-based sound decoding Immersive audio with Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX and 360 Spatial Sound Mapping  What is 360 Spatial Sound Mapping By utilizing the positional information measured by Sony's Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX (D.C.A.C. IX), multiple phantom speakers are generated all around the room so cinema lovers can experience every breath, step, and word as if inside the film. D.C.A.C. IX, the latest auto-calibration technology developed by Sony, can correct the distance, angle, sound pressure and frequency response of each speaker by measuring the speaker placement in 3D using the supplied calibration microphone. This works alongside Auto Phase Matching which aligns the phase of different speakers. This means users can compensate for challenging speaker placement, delay or phase shift and feel fully immersed in a movie. Additionally, enjoy music the way the artists truly intended with High-Resolution Audio for crystal clear precision. The ES series and STR-AN1000 also supports DSD (Direct Stream Digital) native playback, with no conversion involved so DSD content can be fully enjoyed without losing any of the original quality. When connected to a BRAVIA XR TV with Acoustic Center Sync, the ES series and STR-AN1000 combine audio from the TV with the audio from the center speaker to create an incredible sound-from-screen experience. Dialogue will appear to come directly from the characters on the screen creating a much more immersive experience. The ES Series models are available for presale at Sony Electronics. STR-AZ1000ES: 7.2 CH (100W 8 ohms) A/V Receiver will be priced at MSRP $1,099.99   STR-AZ3000ES: 9.2 CH (120W 8 ohms) A/V Receiver will be priced at MSRP $1,699.99 STR-AZ5000ES: 11.2 CH (130W 8 ohms) A/V Receiver will be priced at MSRP $2,099.99 STR-AZ7000ES: 13.2 CH (150W 8 ohms) A/V Receiver will be priced at MSRP $3,299.99 The only real difference in features besides the number of amps and channels is that the 5000 and 7000 have three 12V triggers and the 1000 and 3000 only have one. The Standard AN1000 does not have a 12V trigger  

    Podcast#1085: Monoprice SS-Pro 8 Speaker Selector and Audio to Show Off Your Sound System

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 3, 2023 52:28

    This week give you our impression of the Monoprice SS-Pro 8 Speaker Selector, take a look at the streaming scorecard for 2022, and we wrap up with our list of music to demo your sound system. We also read your emails and take a look at the week's news. News: With NextGen TV Transition `Stalled,' NAB Asks FCC for ATSC 3.0 Taskforce LG's new OLED TVs will get an audio upgrade to please home theater lovers Netflix Lets Priciest Plan Download to Extra Devices, Adds More Spatial Audio YouTube TV Drops MLB Network Other: Netflix: secret codes to unlock scores of hidden films and TV shows | Daily Mail Online Monoprice SS-Pro 8 High Power Dual Source 300 Watt 8 Pair Impedance Matching Speaker Selector The Monoprice SS-Pro 8 ($100)  is a powerful and efficient dual source, audiophile grade speaker selector for up to 8 pairs of speakers. Featuring robust transformers, the SS-Pro 8 allows you to play all 8 pairs of speakers at once without damaging the amplifier, able to withstand up to 300 watts peak of power per channel. A front panel A/B switch allows you to choose between two amplifier sources, and easily removable snap-in connectors make installation easy. A rotary switch located on the rear panel can be used to set the appropriate impedance based on the number of pair of speakers connected. 8-zone speaker selector that allows you to connect up to 8 pairs of speakers or 8 listening zones and control each zone with front panel push-buttons Utilizes audiophile-grade impedance-matching transformers to safely distribute maximum power throughout your system Easy to use front panel switch to choose between sources Designed for use with either 4 ohm or 8 ohm speakers Protection circuit ensures your amplifier is protected Streaming Scorecard for 2022 Amid all the doom and gloom in the streaming industry regarding slumping stock prices and hefty losses, streaming audiences continue to grow at a significant pace, with Americans streaming more than 19 million years worth of content last year, according to new data from Nielsen.  In total, Americans streamed more than 19.4 million years of content last year, up 27% about 15 million years in 2021. The increase was driven by the breadth of new and expanded services, coupled by the depth of content—particularly streaming originals, Nielsen reported. Full article here… Rick Beato's Preferred AV Demo List Instead of the typical audiophile spin, music educator Rick Beato provides a musician's perspective on how to choose and how to listen to music. Full article here… From the article: Throwing my two cents into this discussion, I like that Beato had many popular recordings in his list from artists as diverse as Jay-Z, Steely Dan and Linkin Park. It's my opinion that besides the lack of knowledge audiophiles have on the production process and mastering in particular, the lack of emotional connection to a piece of music is where system demos most often fail with consumers. Explaining mastering in the most basic of terms, it is the process in which engineers make sure a recording sounds balanced, full and even. The problem with a lot of popular music over the past few decades has been the issue in which the dynamics of recordings have been squashed or evened out in order for it to sound better on the radio or through a set of earbuds. The problem with heavy levels of mastering, which uses tools such as compressors and limiters, is these tools can remove the musicality and dynamics from a recording. Production professionals will sometimes refer to this trend as the “loudness wars.” Using the criteria of content that people recognize and music that is well produced, including mastering that lets the music breath, here are some of my top demo choices: Ara's List: Diana Krall Live in Paris - Fly Me to the Moon Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tin Pan Alley Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter  First 5 seconds of California Roll - Snoop Dog Ennio Morricone - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine (Theme from Friday Night Lights Movie) Madeline Edward - Mama, Dolly, Jesus Michael Ray - Holy Water Hailey Winters - Everything She Ain't

    Podcast #1084: Netflix Password Sharing - Netflix Top 10 Series - 4 ATMOS Sounders for 2023

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2023 53:10

    This week we discuss Netflix and password sharing and while we are at it we countdown the top ten TV series streaming on Netflix. We wrap up with the Four of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars to look forward to in 2023. We also read your emails and discuss the week's news. News: Apple to Expand Smart-Home Lineup, Taking On Amazon and Google SiriusXM  Arrives on Vizio Smart TVs LG Adds a Host of New TV Channels to Its Free Streaming Service The death of Android TV is near; long live Google TV Two new Wyze cameras appear to be in the works Other: Do It For Me Solutions YouTube Channel www.DoItForMe.Solutions Your HomePod is getting a major update next week | Macworld Apple is developing a magnetic iPad-like display in major smart-home push | Macworld Streaming Password Crackdowns: 70% of Netflix Users Willing to Pay Full Price Other streaming services may not fare as well, however, a new survey from Horowitz suggests Full Article Here… Netflix Global Top 10 TV Full list as well as lists from different countries January 16 - January 22, 2023 # TV (English) WEEKS IN TOP 10 HOURS VIEWED 1 Ginny & Georgia: Season 2 3 87,400,000 2 Vikings: Valhalla: Season 2 2 55,530,000 3 Wednesday: Season 1 9 45,740,000 4 Ginny & Georgia: Season 1 3 43,290,000 5 That '90s Show: Season 1 1 41,080,000 6 Vikings: Valhalla: Season 1 7 25,370,000 7 Kaleidoscope: Limited Series 3 22,990,000 8 Emily in Paris: Season 3 5 15,550,000 9 New Amsterdam: Season 1 3 14,640,000 10 The Walking Dead: Season 11 2 11,800,000 Four of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars to look forward to in 2023 If you need an Atmos soundbar, 2023 may just be your year. Full article… Nakamichi Dragon  JBL Bar 1300  LG SC9  Samsung HW-Q990C 

    Podcast #1083: Home Automation Golden Rules and Switching Back to Cable

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2023 39:30

    This week we look at an article in the Washington Post that talks about Four Golden Rules of Home Automation and we discuss whether switching back to cable is worth it. We also have your emails and the week's news. News: Samsung's SmartThings Station Helps You Keep Track Of Your Smart Home And Connected Devices Sharp Plans to Enter U.S. Smart TV Market With New Sets Based on Roku's New 'OLED Reference Design' YouTube Experiments With FAST Channels Google's next 4K Chromecast remote will wave goodbye to batteries Denon Releases AVR-X4800H Receiver Featuring 3D Audio And 8K Video Other: The Future of Screens Is So Top-Secret, I Can't Show It Yet - CNET Home Automation Golden Rules Washington Post columnist Geoffrey Fowler has four Golden Rules for automating your home. These rules were posted in the Washington Post online on January 6, 2023 (Your smart home can be dumb. Here's how to do it the right way). 1) Don't fall in the app trap! Be wary of installing any critical home feature that only works with an app. You need to be able to unlock your door or turn on lights the old fashioned way as a backup. This is why I stopped using Philips Hue bulbs, even though I know they have many fans. 2) Build your smart home in Switzerland … metaphorically. Many of these products limit your options. For example, Amazon's smart plugs only work with Alexa. You might love Alexa today, but you don't know what voice AI, smartphone or face computer you might be using in five years. If you can, pick products that say they work with Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and a new smart home standard called Matter. (Note: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) 3) Look out for spies. Some companies collect and store a suspiciously large amount of data. I'm looking at you, Amazon. In some cases, you can adjust settings to tell them to collect less information — our Privacy Reset guide can help. But the best products don't live in the cloud and collect as little data as possible, like ones made by the brand Eve. 4) Security is your responsibility. You need a different password and two-factor authentication for every home product, or you're inviting hackers into your home. Shira, I can tell you're about to say, “This is why a dumb home is good!” But if you get this basic right, you'll be fine. Why I'm Switching Back to Cable TV Cord-cutting—the act of ditching traditional cable TV—has been gaining popularity for over a decade. Streaming is great, but it's not the home run it used to be. In fact, I made the decision to switch back to cable. Full Article here… The author of this article goes through the same progression we have. In the Early days he says: The rise of streaming live TV services came at a perfect time for me. I was living on my own for the first time, and cable wasn't something I wanted to deal with. When Sling TV was announced, I was very excited, and I signed up immediately,  He does what we all did. Because there are no required boxes or commitments he tried them all! We both have done the same. And for one reason or another Braden ended up with YouTubeTV and Ara with DirecTV Stream.  His thoughts: The early days of streaming live TV was great. The channel packages were small and very affordable. Most services let you choose from add-on bundles to expand your channel list. It was pretty easy to get the channels you wanted without much extra “fluff” jammed in.  However, in the years since, I've watched as these services have ballooned in channel lineup size and price. The dream of “al la carte TV” never really materialized. This brings us to today, where streaming live TV is not much different than cable TV.  All true! So the author looked at going back to cable.  To my surprise, I discovered I could save a whopping $30 per month (taxes and fees included) by ditching Sling TV and adding a TV package to my internet package. Ah, but I'll need a clunky cable box again, right? Turns out Comcast finally gives you the option to only use the Xfinity Stream app. As much as I don't like Comcast, it was hard to pass up this deal. I could get the same channels I had, save $30 per month, and still watch it on my phone or smart TV—no extra hardware required. I never thought I would say this, but I am a cable TV customer again. We are in the Cox Cable world and our plans would cost us about $115 more to get similar TV service and we would need a streaming box. Our current IPTV service runs us about $80 so it is not as cut and dry. Plus we don't need a box! We will not be switching back to cable anytime soon!  

    Podcast #1082: Best of CES 2023 Roundup

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2023 39:11

    This week is our Best of CES 2023 roundup. We look at what popular websites saw as the best products from this year's show. We have plenty of email and news to discuss as well! Other: Philips LED Downlight 5/6 Inch 2700 Kelvin with Warm Glow Dimming Greg Bartly's Home Theater for the Entertainer CNET (Best of CES 2023: 7 Stunning Tech Innovations to Watch for This Year) LG's 97-inch wireless OLED TV puts all others to shame Samsung S95C 77-inch QD-OLED TV gives LG some competition Tom's Guide (Best of CES 2023 Awards: The top new tech) BEST IN SHOW: LG SIGNATURE SERIES M3 OLED (WIRELESS) BEST TV: SAMSUNG 77-INCH S95C QD-OLED BEST AUDIO: RAZER LEVIATHAN V2 PRO SOUNDBAR BEST SMART HOME DEVICE: WORX LANDROID VISION BEST ROUTER: TP-LINK ARCHER BE900 The Verge (The Verge Awards at CES 2023) Best TV: Samsung's 77-inch S95C Best in show Matter Engadget (The best of CES 2023) Best Home Theater Tech: LG Signature OLED M3 techRadar (15 best gadgets of CES 2023: the TVs, laptops, health tech, and more we loved) JBL Bar 1300X Cool Stuff that is not necessarily HT related Withings U-Scan Victrola Stream Onyx Record Player Ring Car Cam  

    Podcast #1081: SVS Soundbase Pro

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 54:02

    Welcome back from your Holiday break! This week we have a review of the SVS Soundbase Pro. A powerful and compact integrated amplifier that should be on any music lover's short list of products to buy in 2023. CES started this week but due to the timing of our show schedule we'll have that for you next week. We also have a backlog of your emails as well as the week's news. News: YouTube Wins Rights to NFL Sunday Ticket LG's 2023 OLED TVs: smarter, lighter, and significantly brighter Roku does the obvious thing and announces its own TV line SVS Prime Wireless Pro SoundBase A few weeks ago we had Gary Yacoubian and Nick Brown of SVS on the show talking about their new Wireless Pro line of products. The Prime Wireless Pro Powered Speakers are a feature rich set of powered speakers which are available for $899.99 for the pair. The Prime Wireless Pro Soundbase is a smart wireless integrated amplifier that will add connectivity options to your older beloved speakers that were never dreamed of when they were originally built.  Ara owned the original version of the Soundbase for years and was extremely satisfied with sound but it lacked an important feature for him, Apple Airplay 2 support. The new Soundbase Pro fixed that issue and added many more features making the upgrade no-brainer. The original Soundbase cost $500, the new version costs $200 more. You may be asking, is the new Pro worth $200 more? The answer is yes! And we'll tell you why.  The full specs are: Amplifier Specs 300 Watt (150 watts x 2) Class-D Power Amp Acoustic Data Rated Bandwidth: 10Hz-20kHz (±1 dB) SN Ratio: 90dB @1V input, 2 x 150W output Power Amp: 300 watts RMS (150 watts x 2 into 4ohm) Input Specs HDMI audio input. Supports ARC and eARC Left/Right RCA Input: Input Impedance: 20K 3.5mm Aux Input: Input Impedance: 20K Toslink Optical Input: S/PDIF receiver works at a wide range of sampling frequencies up to 96kHz Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX 6 front panel presets for one-touch access to music services and playlists Ethernet USB service port also for powering wireless accessories (See SoundPath Wireless Audio Adapter) 3.5mm IR control input Wireless Streaming Options DTS Play-Fi: Lossless 192kHz/24-bit via Critical Listening Mode over WiFi Apple Airplay 2 for iPhones and iOS devices, Chromecast for Android Phones and Devices: CD Quality Bluetooth 5.0 with AAC and aptX Spotify Connect WiFi Connectivity for Wireless Streaming - Native control via Apple Airplay 2 for iPhone and iOS, Spotify Connect, & Google Chromecast for Android Phones and Devices App-Based Control over WiFi - Smartphone, tablet, or PC control with the DTS Play-Fi app 6 Custom Presets - 6 custom preset buttons on the front panel and remote provide instant access to your favorite podcast, playlist, streaming station, or other content, with a single touch. Voice Control - Alexa, Siri, and Google voice commands via supported devices Setup Like the previous Sounbase, setup was simple. The first thing to do was get the unit onto your wifi and for that you need to download and use the DTS Play-Fi app. You will need to use this app if you want to listen to your music at 192kHz/24-bit for lossless streaming. More on that in a bit. You can also pair your devices via Bluetooth if you choose. Our primary listening mode was wifi for Airplay 2 and DTS Play Fi. We did, however, connect our MacBook Pro to the Sounbase via Bluetooth so we could listen via AAC just for comparison. Unfortunately Apple removed a developer option to allow you to connect via AptX so we were not able to evaluate this codec.  You can also use an RCA, 3.5mm, HDMI (Arc and eARC) or Toslink Optical to connect external devices to the SoundBase. There is also a Subwoofer output in case you want to connect a subwoofer. We could not find at what frequency the amp is crossed over for the subwoofer. The SoundBase also has an Ethernet jack for a hardwired connection to your network and a USB port for firmware upgrades. The other thing worth noting is that the Soundbase Pro is small! It roughly measures 12X12X6 inches. It can fit anywhere. Also new for the Pro is a 3.15” wide display that will show you what is playing should you feel the need to walk up to it and look. The display lights can be dimmed or turned off making the front panel completely black. A great feature if you are using the amp to power some speakers for your TV. Performance Our listening was performed on CSS Audio Criton 2D speakers that Ara built a while back. They have great frequency response and good tight bass. We primarily listened to Heart Like a Truck by Lainey Wilson and Unholy by Sam Smith and Kim Petras (warning you won't get this song out of your head when you hear it!). We also mixed in other songs that we are very familiar with for specific segments that we thought would push the Soundbase.   What can we say? We have come to expect high quality sound from SVS and the new Soundbase Pro delivers! It takes everything we loved about the original Soundbase and adds the features we were clambering for in the original.  The amplifier has plenty of power and it was put to the test. Ara's neighbors can attest to that. It's probably more power than you will need but hey, it's always good to have power. They will drive anything from desktop to tower speakers with ease. Sound quality is excellent, as good as any two channel amp that we have used. Details come alive and are bright. One complaint we had was there is no way to adjust the treble. With my speakers the brightness of the sound was exaggerated at times.  Then it was time to have fun with test tones. Many amps can go low but can they rattle walls? This one can! To the point where Ara's wife walked into the room asking if he was trying to shake things off of the shelves in the room next door. Speakers matter here so your results will vary depending on whether your speakers can handle low frequencies. Our testing went down to 20 hertz where it pushed the Criton 2Ds to its limits. One complaint we had about the original Soundbase was a lack of Remote Control. SVS heard us and now includes a remote that allows you to select inputs, presets and control the volume from the comfort of your seat.  If you want to make use of the Critical Listening (192kHz/24-bit lossless streaming) mode you need to download the DTS Play-Fi app which is easy enough. But that's where the ease stops. The DTS app is cumbersome to use and not intuitive. But once you figure it out you can activate the Critical Listening mode by tapping the Hi-Res button and listen in Hi-Res.  After listening via wifi and Airplay2 we switched over to Tidal. And the best way to describe the experience was that it sounded “louder and more defined”. It's not like we could hear frequencies that we couldn't before. Its more like it sounded clearer and more detailed with a fuller bass. You could feel the kick drum in your chest. We could feel this with AAC as well but it's hard to explain, the Hi-Res just seemed to have a more pronounced impact.  We really wish we didn't need a Tidal subscription and could listen to Hi-Res via Apple Music! Conclusion The new Soundbase Pro takes everything we loved about the original and then adds a bunch of great features. After spending time with it, you'll wonder how SVS packed all these features into a small yet powerful amp! If you are really into music you probably have some speakers that you really love. Odds are they are not wireless though. The SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase brings those speakers into the connected era with enough power to drive anything from bookshelf to towers. This is a great addition to any music lover's setup. But hey, you don't have to believe us. SVS offers a 45 day risk free in home trial with free shipping both ways. We will wager that if you try it you won't ship it back!  

    New Years Message

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2022 2:41

    We are taking the week off to be with family. We'll be back at it in 2023.  Thank you all for listening and supporting our Podcast! Happy New Year from the HT Guys!

    Podcast #1080: WiFi 6 and Amplifiers don't have to Break the Bank

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 45:14

    This week we find out what makes wifi 6 something you'll want to upgrade to, especially if you have a lot of IoT devices on your network. We also start a discussion on amplifiers. Do you need to spend thousands of dollars to get a quality amp? We also read your emails and talk about some of the week's news. News: DIRECTV STREAM Price Changes for 2023 Apple bows out of Sunday Ticket talks, leaving Amazon and Google as the finalists Sonos filing hints that its next speakers will support WiFi 6 Matter Support Arrives on 17 Amazon Echo Devices Other: Kasa Smart Plug Ara's Woodworking Join the Flaviar Whisky Club and get a free bottle Wifi 6 We've talked about wifi 6 for some time now and have said it's better. But exactly how is it better than previous wifi standards. Today we'll go through the main features and how it can help solve some of your wifi woes. Key benefits of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 technology include: Higher data rates - 9.6 Gbps. That's up from 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5 (theoretical maximums). Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments Increased capacity - Multi-user multiple input, multiple output (multi-user MIMO) allows more data to be transferred at one time, enabling access points (APs) to concurrently handle more devices. The MIMO technology allows a router to communicate with multiple devices at the same time, rather than broadcasting to one device, and then the next, and the next. Right now, MU-MIMO allows routers to communicate with four devices at a time. Wi-Fi 6 will allow devices to communicate with up to eight. Improved power efficiency - Target wake time (TWT) significantly improves network efficiency and device battery life, including IoT devices. This allows devices to plan out communications with a router, reducing the amount of time they need to keep their antennas powered on to transmit and search for signals. That means less drain on batteries and improved battery life in turn. This feature is meant more for smaller, already low-power Wi-Fi devices that just need to update their status every now and then. (Think small sensors placed around a home to monitor things like leaks or smart home devices that sit unused most of the day.) Routers are on the market and range in price from about $100 for a basic setup to as high as $600 for Netgear Orbi whole house setup. A Linksys setup to cover a 3000 SF house will cost you about $300. Amplifiers  XPA-7 Gen3 7 Channel Audiophile Home Theater Power Amplifier $2199 Audio Power output: 200 watts/channel RMS into 8 Ohms; all channels driven | 300 watts/channel RMS into 8 Ohms; two channels driven | 490 watts/channel RMS into 4 Ohms; two channels driven Audiophile quality Class A/B output stage. Balanced and unbalanced inputs for compatibility with a wide variety of preamps and surround sound processors. Features Fully modular construction for optimum flexibility. Comprehensive yet transparent protection circuitry protects from most common fault conditions without degrading sound quality. Hardware Dimensions: 17” x 19” x 8” (including feet) Weight: 53 pounds (unboxed) Power Requirements: 100 – 250 VAC 50/60 Hz (automatically detected). BasX A7 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier $699 Audio 90 watts RMS per channel  into 8 Ohms; all channels driven | 120 watts RMS per channel; into 8 Ohms. two channels driven | 125 watts/channel RMS into 4 Ohms all channels driven; two channels driven | 175 watts RMS per channel; into 4 Ohms. The BasX A7 combines classical audiophile amplifier architecture, based on a heavy-duty linear power supply, and a carefully designed high current short signal path Class A/B output stage, with advanced microprocessor-controlled monitoring and protection circuitry, to deliver superb sound quality Unbalanced inputs  Hardware Dimensions: 17” wide x 4” high x 15-1/2” deep (not including connectors). 21-1/2” wide x 8” high x 21” deep (boxed). Weight: 30 lbs (unboxed) 36 lbs (boxed)