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HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #713: AppleTV Gen 4 Review

By The HT Guys • Nov 13 2015, 6:47am

It's fair to say there are three big names in streaming set top boxes, Roku, Apple, and Amazon. Yes we know there are others but these are the biggest right now. We reviewed the Amazon Fire TV a few shows ago (Podcast #710) and we will review the Roku 4 in the near future but today it's the AppleTV 4. It comes in two incarnations, the 32 GB will run you $149 and the 64GB will run you $199. We took the 64 GB version for a spin. The one big feature that is missing is that the AppleTV does not support 4K. Is that a deal breaker?

General Interest

HDTV Expert - How to Make a TV Look Better

By Ken Werner • Nov 12 2015, 10:12pm

It is a retailing insight that dates back to an ancient time, the time of CRT TV sets: “The way to make a TV look better is to connect it to a really good loudspeaker.” Sounds like a recipe for an analog, standard-def, monophonic home-theater system, doesn’t it? Some of those old TV salesmen may […]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - By The Numbers – Or Maybe Not

By Pete Putman • Nov 9 2015, 8:12pm

Some recent market research indicates that cord-cutting is picking up speed. Or is slowing down. But maybe it’s more the former than the latter.

High-End Audio

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #712: Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Receiver Review

By The HT Guys • Nov 6 2015, 7:21am

The HT Guys upgrade equipment faster than most just so we can stay on top of the latest technology. So when the 4K Fire TV product was released and our current receiver could not send a 4K signal to the TV we figured what better reason to upgrade. We chose the Pioneer Elite VSX-90 7.2 Channel Receiver with Atmos mainly because it is a capable receiver and it didn’t break the bank.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #711: Instant Home Theater in Two Hours or Less

By The HT Guys • Oct 30 2015, 6:20am

Amazon Prime changed the game. You can have pretty much anything you need, including an entire home theater, delivered to your home in two days or less. And you never have to get off the couch. A recent conversation with a friend who needed a TV and an HDMI cable and had them delivered in an hour using the new Prime Now app got us thinking. What if you wanted an entire home theater delivered to your home within an hour or two? Is that even possible?

Technology

HDTV Expert - Dolby Vision Will Soon Be Available in a Consumer TV Set

By Ken Werner • Oct 30 2015, 1:32am

In early October, VIZIO and Dolby Laboratories announced pricing and availability of the VIZIO Reference Series TV sets, which the companies described as “the industry’s first-ever complete High Dynamic Range solution with Dolby Vision™ playback technology.” The series consists initially of two models, one of which you might be if you’ve had a good year, […]

4K (Ultra HD)

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - odcast #710: Amazon Fire TV (4K) Review

By The HT Guys • Oct 23 2015, 10:48am

We are big fans of streamers. Whether it be Roku, Apple, or Amazon there is a streamer out there that makes watching movies as convenient as pressing a button on your remote. So when all three updated their offerings we knew we were going to be spending some time in front of the TV evaluating them. First up is the Amazon Fire TV in 4K.

Broadcast

HDTV Expert - One Man’s Junk IS Another Man’s Treasure!

By Pete Putman • Oct 22 2015, 3:09pm

Next March marks a defining moment in the history of broadcasting: The Federal Communications Commission will hold an auction to see if TV stations REALLY want to stay on their UHF channels, or sell their spectrum space off to the highest bidder and either (a) move to another UHF channel, (b) move to a VHF […]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #709: CEDIA Expo 2015

By The HT Guys • Oct 16 2015, 7:02am

Each year CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association) holds an event where the industry gathers to show off their wares. Kinda like a mini-CES, but also like a best of CES, we’ve been to a few of these and actually enjoy the show more than CES. It takes the parts of CES that we are interested in and compresses it down to a more manageable show. We didn’t go this year but that won’t stop us from talking about some of the products we think are interesting. This year the show was from October 14-17 in Dallas, TX.

PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #708: Chromecast Audio

By The HT Guys • Oct 9 2015, 6:18am

We have been enjoying whole house audio for years now. Braden has a nice Sonos system in place while Ara has gone with an Airplay solution. We each have multiple zones including the garage and bathrooms where we can listen to our music in a casual setting. The Sonos solution uses Sonos designed speakers or it can use a bridge to add powered speakers or receivers to the system. Apple uses their technology called Airplay which allows you to connect powered speakers connected to an Airport Express or one to the many receivers and third party powered speakers that support Airplay.

Mobile HDTVLaser HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #707: United Object Smart Beam Laser Projector

By The HT Guys • Oct 2 2015, 8:54am

One pico projector that’s getting a lot of attention is the United Object Smart Beam Laserpico projector. Not only is it tiny, small enough to fit in any travel bag, it has some unique features that make it quite compelling as the centerpiece to your portable home theater. We had the opportunity to play with one recently and it was a lot of fun.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - What Will Apple Do Next?

By Ken Werner • Sep 30 2015, 6:10pm

Whenever I hear this question, my curmudgeonly inclination is to answer, “Who cares?” Perhaps a better question is “What revolutionary new product would allow Apple to continue earning profit margins far larger than the industry average?” In fact, it’s very hard to imagine Apple coming up with such a product. iWatch, iBust. The financial analyst […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #706: Ultimate DVR

By The HT Guys • Sep 25 2015, 6:58am

We have been using DVRs now for the past 10 years or so and they have come a long way since when they were first introduced. But with that said there are still a few features that could take the DVR to a whole new level. We have a few ideas for the Ultimate DVR and so do you.

4K (Ultra HD)

Living with 4K - HDMI Connectivity: Good Luck with 4K Content Protection

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 24 2015, 5:30pm

Are you ready to enjoy some 4K content for your precious 4K TV/projector?

Some 4K content is starting to be made available to consumers, such as streaming sources like Netflix, received by the UHDTV directly using the included TV app (if you have the app, and if your Internet connection is faster than 15Mbps).
Sony and Nuvola 4K players have been also around for quite some time to download or stream 4K content and movies. The difference between streaming from these players with streaming directly from the UHDTV is...

4K (Ultra HD)

Living with 4K - 4K Large Venue Projectors, a Path for Consumer Home Versions

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Sep 24 2015, 4:28pm

If you are a true home theater technology enthusiast having a large screen, powerful projector, speakers up to the neck, hi-end preamps and amps, black curtains, screen masks, a dark cave to improve contrast and visual concentration for the best possible image, etc., in other words, a priority based in quality technology for the best possible sound and video, rather than investing mostly in seating, starlight ceilings, light sconces, movie posters, and pop corn machines, which is what most people do when thinking about their home theaters, then, keep reading, this piece is for you.

Recent InfoComm 2015 and east coast AV conferences reminded me that there is a light at the end of the true 4K-home-projector tunnel, laser or otherwise, that may compete in today’s Sony’s-only-4K-land.

I am talking about projectors that do not play tricks faking 4K images with e-shift/wobulated solutions using 1080p DLP or LCD HD imagers. True 4K Cinema projectors at home, without being a Quentin Tara ...

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #705: Yonomi – The Automation Consolidation App

By The HT Guys • Sep 18 2015, 2:03pm

Being able to control anything and everything in your home from your smartphone is pretty cool. Having to open multiple apps to do it is kinda lame. That’s what the developers behindYonomi are hoping to solve for you. Sure if you have a central server or hub, you can do it all there and control everything with one app, but is there really one server that can control any smart device? We haven’t seen it yet.

Internet HD Video

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #704: Binge Watching TV

By The HT Guys • Sep 11 2015, 7:26am

We have talked about Binge watching on the show many times. It's a relatively new phenomena where you watch multiple episodes of a TV program in rapid succession. In the early days that meant you would buy or rent seasons of the program you were interested in on DVD. Today it can be that or more likely you stream the program from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or the network’s website.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - Display Interfacing: Welcome to Babylon

By Pete Putman • Sep 10 2015, 5:53pm

HDMI, DisplayPort, superMHL – all competing standards that promise faster connections with the advent of UHD. Is it time to re-think the way we switch and distribute video and audio?

General Interest

HDTV Expert - 4K, Collapsing Prices, and the Declining Importance of Hardware

By Pete Putman • Sep 10 2015, 4:24pm

There are tectonic shifts happening in the worlds of consumer and professional electronics – and most of us aren’t even aware of them.

Service & Repair

HDTV Expert - xFinity: “The Future of Awesome” Is Looking A Bit Less Confusing…

By Pete Putman • Sep 9 2015, 10:09pm

After repeated service outages, phone calls, and emails to Comcast’s executive office, everything is working as it should be…three months later.