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General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #717: HDTV Buying Guide 2015

By The HT Guys • Dec 11 2015, 7:53am

Tis the season for us to go wishlist shopping and help you spend your money - one of our favorite times of the year. If you happen to be lucky enough to have budget for a new HDTV this Christmas, but still aren’t sure which one to buy, we’ve got you covered. Unlike years past, we’re going to skip the budget categories, and the screen size categories and jump right to our top picks. We each pick three TVs and one ‘money is no object’ / ‘dare to dream’ TV for you to consider.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - 2016 – A Turning Point For Television

By Pete Putman • Dec 7 2015, 11:27pm

It’s a safe bet your next television will look and perform much differently than the one you bought five years ago.

High-End Audio

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #716: Receiver Buying Guide 2015

By The HT Guys • Dec 4 2015, 2:17am

It is that time of year where we get to spend your money again! This week we concentrate on receivers. Our goal with these guides is not necessarily about getting the latest product. It's about getting a good product at a great price so you may see some of last year’s gear on the list. All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box store. Just like last year’s Buying Guide, we’re going to skip the budget categories jump right to our top picks. We each pick three receivers and one ‘money is no object’ / ‘dare to dream’ receiver for you to consider.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #714: Black Friday Preview 2015

By The HT Guys • Nov 20 2015, 7:36am

Black Friday is an ever-evolving event and every year we can’t get enough. This year, some stores are opening way earlier, others are skipping Black Friday altogether. If you’re planning to wait in line, we wish you the best of luck. Just like prior years, the deals are as good as ever. Looking back, the deals we thought were unreal are totally inflated now.

Environment / Green

HDTV Expert - More Pixels + Bigger Screens = More Power Consumption

By Pete Putman • Nov 17 2015, 11:41pm

Thinking about buying a new Ultra HDTV this holiday season? Check the power consumption numbers - you may be surprised.

Internet HD Video

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.

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Expert - Are the Folks at QD Vision Worried?

By Ken Werner • Sep 9 2015, 4:03pm

Although QD Vision’s message at Display Week in San Jose was bullish, if I worked there I’d be worried. Why is that? TV set architecture is progressing along two parallel paths: 1) Very thin sets with LED edge lighting, and 2) somewhat thicker sets with direct backlighting. Initially, QD Vision’s Color IQ linear quantum-dot optical […]

SportsLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #703: New TV Shows for Fall 2015

By The HT Guys • Sep 4 2015, 1:17pm

Few things in life are as highly anticipated as television premier season every Fall. The Super Bowl maybe? A wedding or the birth of a child perhaps? But most of them pale in comparison to the awesomeness that is premier season. All of your favorite shows coming back for another year, and a ton of new shows to potentially add to the DVR. One of them might just become your new favorite show.

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #702: Pinch Hitter

By The HT Guys • Aug 28 2015, 6:07am

Today we go through emails and news and a discuss a post by Scott Wilkinson at AVS Forum that provides 12 Tips to Tune up your HDTV with guest host Stephanie Derderian. Don't worry, Braden will be back next week!

General Interest

HDTV Expert - A Trend Is A Trend – Until It Isn’t

By Pete Putman • Aug 26 2015, 6:23pm

Rumors of the demise of laptops are slightly exaggerated. At least in their present form.

Mobile HDTVCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #700: Mobile HDTV

By The HT Guys • Aug 14 2015, 9:22am

Motorola Mobility, one time subsidiary of Google, now a part of Lenovo, just released a new app in the Google Play Store called, yep, you guessed it, Mobile HDTV. The app enables select phones and portable devices, with the proper hardware, to watch live, over-the-air HDTV right on your Android device. The concept is pretty simple, and you’d think very compelling, but it turns out most people can’t use it. The question is, why not?

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #699: Sorting Through Atmos and DTS:X Receivers

By The HT Guys • Aug 7 2015, 6:47am

There are differing opinions on which additional speakers beyond the standard 5.1 layout deliver the most immersive experience. If you decide Dolby Atmos or DTS:X are the right option for you, you may need to upgrade your receiver. Today we talk with Rob H. of AVRant and get into particulars on a whole slew of receiver options.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - We’re Not Having Fun Anymore…

By Pete Putman • Aug 4 2015, 8:49pm

Two news items from the past week illustrate clearly that, in many ways, the once-profitable days of consumer electronics manufacturing in Japan are drawing swiftly to a close.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #698: 2015 HDTV Shootout

By The HT Guys • Jul 31 2015, 11:11am

Each year Value Electronics, an audio/video integrator with a showroom in Scarsdale New York, pits the top TVs from big name manufacturers against each other to determine the King of HDTV. This year there were four contenders, one each from Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and LG.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - “The Only Disruptive Technology at Display Week”

By Ken Werner • Jul 30 2015, 3:35pm

At SID Display Week, in an aisle on the show floor, I had a brief conversation with Candice Brown-Elliott, Nouvoyance CEO and creator of the Pentile Matrix pixel configuration widely used in Samsung OLED displays. She said that micro LED was the only disruptive technology she saw at Display Week. In addition to being a […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #697: Costco Shootout: Curved vs. Flat

By The HT Guys • Jul 24 2015, 8:49am

Costco has multiple TVs all lined up side by side. Some are worth comparing to each other, some are like comparing a Ferrari to a Kia. Both great for their own purpose and budget, but not at all similar enough to be compared. We happened to stumble into a Costco recently that had two 55 inch 4K LCD TVs side by side, one curved and one flat. And you can imagine we saw the challenge in that.

Cable HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Expert - How Sharp Makes Its “Free-form” Displays

By Ken Werner • Jul 22 2015, 8:50pm

For some time Sharp has been showing examples of its “free-form” displays, which do both the “row” and “column” driving through the same edge of the display, leaving the rest of the display to be cut in curves or other unusual shapes. But Sharp had not been willing to describe in detail how it distributed […]

Internet HD Video

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #696: Atmos Processor Options

By The HT Guys • Jul 17 2015, 11:11am

Today we discuss some receiver options for Atmos. We are joined by Dipinjeet Sehdev Internet Marketing & Brand Relations of Kef Speakers. Here are a few receivers/pre-amps that support Atmos.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - The Wires Remain The Same. Only the Format Has Been Changed (to Confuse the Innocent)

By Pete Putman • Jul 16 2015, 9:18pm

AV-over-IP…HDBaseT…BlueRiverNT…There’s something going on here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear…

Marketplace4K (Ultra HD)

HDTV Expert - The Dog Days of Summer…and UHDTV

By Pete Putman • Jul 16 2015, 8:01pm

This is one of the slowest times of the year to sell TVs. But you wouldn’t know it from the Sunday sales fliers.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #695: Top Selling HDTVs

By The HT Guys • Jul 10 2015, 6:33am

We like to occasionally take a look at the top selling products at Amazon as a barometer of what is occurring in the larger Consumer Electronics market. Sometimes what we find shocks us, other times is confirms our suspicions, and sometimes it just flat out doesn’t make any sense at all. Today we take a look at the top 10 selling HDTVs.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #694: High Resolution Audio vs CD

By The HT Guys • Jul 3 2015, 8:20am

Over the past few months you have heard us mention high resolution audio on the show. There are audiophiles out there that swear that if you want the best quality audio then you must listen to high resolution audio. Others out there will tell you that CD quality is just as good. Then there are some that say mp3 or AAC files will suffice for the kind of listening most of us do.

High Definition ProductionDigital (DTV) Transition4K (Ultra HD)

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #693: What the H?

By The HT Guys • Jun 26 2015, 6:17am

In the transition from High Definition Television to Ultra High Definition TV, we’ve seen the acronym dictionary go from bad to worse. On the good side, HDTV was multiple video resolutions and display formats, like 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p, while UHD is essentially just one. Some call it 4K, some call it UHD, some call it 2160p, but it all really boils down to the same thing for the TVs we’ll buy as consumers - 4 times the resolution of 1080p.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #692: Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver

By The HT Guys • Jun 19 2015, 5:54am

Both iOS and Android device users have easy ways to wirelessly transmit audio. For Apple users, Airplay sends music to the AppleTV and various Airplay speakers. Android users have Chromecast which has similar functionality. But what if you want to OS agnostic solution? Fortunately for you there is the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Sharp Makes a Big Play for Ultra HDTV

By Pete Putman • Jun 12 2015, 9:50pm

Last Wednesday, Sharp held a TV showcase in Lower Manhattan and showed that they’re still committed to the North American television market. Said commitment came in the form of nine models of Ultra HD (3840×2160) sets, ranging in size from 43 inches to a wall-sized 80-inch model. Some background is useful before I proceed. Nine […]

Front ProjectionLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #691: 4DX: The Savior of Cinema?

By The HT Guys • Jun 12 2015, 6:17am

Movie theaters are faltering, at least in our opinion. The large format home theater has reached a price point where it is attainable for many of us. And TVs are so big, you can practically create a large format home theater with just an LCD TV. No need for a projector or a screen or the hassle of running wires to the back of the room. And if anyone can have a huge home theater, what’s the allure of the traditional movie theater?

Service & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Expert - Xfinity: The Future Of Confusion (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Tried To get Along With Comcast)

By Pete Putman • Jun 8 2015, 9:27pm

It all started innocently enough a couple of weeks ago, when I started experiencing issues with Internet connectivity. And it turned into a circus of confusion. First, some background: I’ve had Comcast service at my home address for close to 18 years now, and there have definitely been some ups and downs in my relationship […]

Events & TradeshowsHigh Definition Production

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #690: T.H.E. Show

By The HT Guys • Jun 5 2015, 6:10am

The Home Entertainment Show (The Show) was in Irvine last week and we had an opportunity to stop by and see some really cool products. The Show is like CEDIA and CES but on a much smaller scale and with a focus on high end audio. It is a much more intimate way of seeing some of the most expensive products in the home audio world.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - Waiting for Godot

By Ken Werner • May 29 2015, 9:45pm

It takes a long time to develop novel display technologies. As a result, product designers sometimes express a desire for display characteristics that the industry cannot supply — at least not yet, and maybe never. It can work the other way, though. Candice Brown Elliott’s brilliant Pentile Display architecture was initially developed to improve efficiency, […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #689: What is the Future of TV?

By The HT Guys • May 29 2015, 7:15am

We came across an article written by Jason Hirschhorn posted at LinkedIn titled 7 Deadly Sins: Where Hollywood is Wrong about the Future of TV. It is a very well written, thought provoking article with a great deal of supporting data. And charts. Lots of charts. This is our re-tweet/re-linkedin of Jason’s post, with a bit of our own reaction to and discussion of his points.

High Definition ProductionLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #688: Vinyl Records: A Love/Hate Relationship

By The HT Guys • May 22 2015, 10:10am

We have spent a lot of time discussing high vs low quality audio on the show lately. A full feature on the subject is still in the works and should be available sometime in the summer. But along the way we have had a few of you tell us that you still listen to Vinyl on turntables. At the same time we have seen a few companies reintroduce turntables to the market so figured why not take a listen and more specifically introduce some younger ears to how we used to listen to music back in the day.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - The Amazing, Shrinking LED Pixel Pitch

By Ken Werner • May 20 2015, 6:37pm

Not many years ago, if you went out to buy an LED sign you could choose between a pixel pitch of 6 mm (for viewing at large distances) and a pixel pitch of 12 mm (for viewing at very large distances). But over the the last few years, as seen at trades shows such as […]

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Ultra HD Blu-ray: Getting Closer

By Pete Putman • May 19 2015, 8:56pm

On May 12, the Blu-ray Disc Association announced it had completed the specifications for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and concurrently released a new logo to go with the format. UHD BD supports a maximum image resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, refreshed at a variety of frame rates (including 60 Hz) with a maximum of 10 bits […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #687: What to watch, What not to watch

By The HT Guys • May 15 2015, 6:38am

It’s that time of year again. The time when television executives clean the slate to prepare room for the new shows that will debut next fall. Also the time when you get to go through your scheduled or recurring recordings, your season passes, and clean out the ones that have been cancelled. Every year something gets cut too early. Hopefully one of your favorites isn’t on that list.

HTPCs & Laptops

HDTV Expert - OLED TV: Second Wind?

By Ken Werner • May 14 2015, 8:04pm

A combination of company announcements, seemingly reliable reporting, and just plain rumors make it reasonable to believe that OLED Television is finally getting its second wind. The reliable reporting centers on LG Display increasing its panel production, with LG Electronics modestly decreasing some set prices. The rumors center on Samsung re-entering the OLED-TV business, but […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #686: Dolby Vision

By The HT Guys • May 8 2015, 6:11am

There has been a lot of talk about the HDR content for our new 4K TVs. There have been a lot of questions too. We decided it was best to go to a well respected source for some answers. On this podcast we speak with Roland Vlaicu Vice President of Consumer Imaging at Dolby and we discuss Dolby Vision.

4K (Ultra HD)

Is 4K Resolution Important to Consumers?

By Rodolfo La Maestra • May 6 2015, 4:19pm

Which is simpler to you as consumer, using the term UHDTV or call it 4K?

About 3.75K?

The audio/video industry has been increasingly complex since the introduction of the home theater concept, and grew excessively complex with digital TV and connectivity. You may be alone if you never had any HDMI or HDCP issues. The higher 4K bandwidth requirements and reinforced content protection of 4K (HDCP 2.2) bring instant obsolescence of perfectly functional home theater equipment including relatively new UHDTVs, most unable to be upgraded by the manufacturer.

Service & RepairInternet HD Video

HDTV Expert - USEFUL GADGETS: Three Antennas and a Preamplifier for Cord-Cutters

By Pete Putman • May 5 2015, 4:59pm

While Internet service is the key part of cord-cutting, free over-the-air television still pays an important part. To get it, you only need some sort of antenna to connect to your television or receiver/DVR. Here are three such antennas for your consideration, plus a handy VHF/UHF signal amplifier.

Blu-ray

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #685: How to care for your HDTV

By The HT Guys • May 1 2015, 12:50pm

Most of us want to preserve the life of our home theater investments. Some, who want to upgrade, may not. For those, do the exact opposite of what we talk about. For the rest of us who want to protect our hard-earned investment, to make sure our televisions to last as long as possible, there are a few simple things to remember to make sure you get the most hours you can from it. Most of these apply to any piece of electronics you have in your theater: receivers, DVRs, Blu-ray players, projectors, you name it.

High-End Audio

A 9.1ch Surround Wireless Theater “On your Head”

By Rodolfo La Maestra • Apr 26 2015, 1:53am

This headphone is for home theater installations not for mobile devices, it uses a base unit that serves as HDMI switcher as well, and it should appeal to movie viewers rather than video game enthusiasts.

The headphone plays multi-channel movies with an immersive field effect and reproduces surround sounds with relatively accurate localization. It should be particularly suitable for living spaces that are not adequately insulated for the high volume levels of typical home theater speakers/subwoofers, such as apartments, dorms, and shared environments where a surround multi-speaker setup may bother others.

The headphones may be a solution to the hearing impaired, which is becoming a very high percentage of the US population, and who usually tend to increase the volume of the center channel speaker for better speech intelligibility on a movie, or all the channels, imposing his/her preferred higher volume to other viewers who maybe listening to the same source using the speaker setup in ...

Cable HDTVLED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV Expert - NAB In The Rear View Mirror

By Pete Putman • Apr 25 2015, 1:28am

It’s been over a week since I got back from Las Vegas and edited all of my photos and videos. But once again, NAB scored big numbers with attendance and there were enough goodies to be found in all three exhibit halls, if you were willing to put in the time to pound the pavement. […]

Blu-rayCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #684: ZyXEL 1200 Mbps Powerline Network Adapters

By The HT Guys • Apr 24 2015, 8:30am

If you have been with us for a while you know that we have been testing powerline adapters since the beginning. Our first product claimed that it could achieve 85Mbps. And in a controlled world it probably could, but in our homes we were lucky that we got 10Mbps. Still at the time, that was enough bandwidth to support Blu-ray players that didn’t come with built in WiFi.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #683: Panasonic Home Automation

By The HT Guys • Apr 17 2015, 6:38am

Panasonic may not make plasma TVs anymore, forgive us for not being over that, but it still hurts. But they have jumped into the Home Automation game with a system they’re calling thePanasonic Home Network System. We got a chance to check out two of the bundles they have available to get you up and running quickly, the Home Monitoring & Control Kit and the Home Surveillance System.

BroadcastEvents & TradeshowsPC & Laptop TechnologyCable HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #682: Next Generation Broadcast TV

By The HT Guys • Apr 10 2015, 6:54am

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have their year meeting in Las Vegas in the Spring every year. When we worked for Sony Pictures we would get excited about going and demonstrating the gear we were developing as well as seeing what other companies were showing off. It was not quite as hectic as CES but it was still a great time. Nowadays we are a little more focused on what we take away from the NAB show. In particular of interest this year is the ATSC 3.0 specification. This year there will be some demos of the technology.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - The Cruelest Month, Indeed…

By Pete Putman • Apr 9 2015, 10:37pm

In T.S. Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land, he opens with this verse: “April is the cruelest month…” For many Japanese manufacturers, those words couldn’t ring more true. One in particular is Sharp, who has been struggling with profitability ever since the Great Recession. In a recent news story from TWICE, the company confirmed it […]

Internet HD Video

HDTV Expert - LG Is “All In” With OLED TVs

By Pete Putman • Apr 9 2015, 10:03pm

Yesterday (April 8), LG formally launched its new line of OLED televisions at The Garage on Manhattan’s upper west side. In addition to showcasing the 65-inch 65EG9600 ($8,999) and 55-inch 55EG9600 ($5,499) UHDTVs, LG also held a press briefing in conjunction with Netflix’ latest streaming series, Daredevil, which is available starting Friday, April 10. I […]

LED (LCD) HDTVs

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #681: Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and Hub

By The HT Guys • Apr 3 2015, 5:47am

If memory serves, the very first product review we ever did on the HDTV Podcast was a very early Harmony remote. Back in the days before Harmony was acquired by Logitech. Before the touchscreen models came out. But the remote was revolutionary in how simple it made it for anyone to control even a complex home theater with a single remote, and often just a single button.

4K (Ultra HD)3D HDTV

DVDO Introduces 4x4 Ultra HD Matrix Switcher Designed for Ultimate Flexibility in Residential and Commercial Applications

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 2 2015, 8:55am

DVDO®, Inc., an award-winning provider of high-quality video connectivity solutions, today announced the availability of the Matrix44™, the 4K HDMI® matrix switcher that provides four HDMI 2.0 inputs and four discrete HDMI 2.0 outputs to transmit up to 4K at 50/60Hz while supporting 3D, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Designed for both home and commercial use, it provides intuitive control, fast independent switching and discrete outputs for installers and home theater enthusiasts. Matrix44 is now available at an MSRP of $1499 from authorized DVDO distributors, dealers and online partners.

4K (Ultra HD)High-End Audio

New Pioneer Models Give Consumers the Latest Technologies for the Ultimate Entertainment Experience

By Shane Sturgeon • Apr 2 2015, 8:25am

Pioneer Home Entertainment USA continues to provide consumers with an immersive home theater experience by introducing two new Pioneer branded home theater receivers designed to support today’s high quality audio and video formats. The VSX-830 5.2-channel and VSX-1130 7.2-channel receivers offer the latest combination of connectivity and performance features including HDCP 2.2 compliant, HDMI® 2.0 specification for the highest video signal transfer, built-in Wi-Fi®, built-in Bluetooth®, DSD file playback, subwoofer EQ and more. In addition, the VSX-1130 offers Dolby Atmos® (5.1.2) and MCACC Pro refining its Dolby Atmos capabilities.

Broadcast

Ed's View - The Empire Fights Back

By Ed Milbourn • Apr 1 2015, 5:20pm

Under assault from the burgeoning OTT IP services, the staggering behemoth that is the US Television broadcast industry will soon deliver a major frontal offensive. And it's a real blockbuster! My sources tell me that on Wednesday, April 1, a gigantic US broadcasting consortium (consisting of NAB, ATSC, several major station groups, and the five major TV networks) will announce a comprehensive petition to the FCC and Congress to amend the 1996 Telecommunications Act. This amendment petition would allow broadcasters to use their spectrum to deliver premium subscription programming. Oh, but that's not all...

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #680: Wireless Surrounds that Work

By The HT Guys • Mar 27 2015, 6:01am

We have been on a quest to find a wireless surround solution that not only works but works well! Maybe its because we live in a noisy home or neighborhood but we have not found a solution that has worked well. Either we would get static or in many cases we got nothing. Our last ditch effort took a product that worked with laptops and mp3 players and adapted it to work with our AVR.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #679: Speaker Terminology

By The HT Guys • Mar 20 2015, 6:45am

Ara has recently started a new hobby of building his own speakers at home. In the course of building them, talking about them and creating videos to show how he does it, we realized there quite a few speaker terms and some tech jargon we may throw around that not everyone is familiar with. Some of you may know this inside and out, for others it’ll be a refresher and for some, parts of this may be brand new, but we’ve compiled a glossary of sorts, based on some prior episodes and some new stuff, to make sure we’re all in on the conversation when talking about speakers.

Sports

HDTV Expert - Look Out, HDMI – Here Comes Super MHL!

By Pete Putman • Mar 17 2015, 4:38pm

The newest TMDS-based display matches or exceeds the speed enhancements of DisplayPort 1.3. Where does that leave HDMI?

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #678: Review: Mohu Channels

By The HT Guys • Mar 13 2015, 6:41am

Last year we saw a cool Kickstarter project called Mohu Channels. According to the project description you would be able to: "Create your own TV Channel Guide as a mash-up of streaming apps, websites & broadcast TV with Mohu Channels. We’re making TV fun again!"

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #677: Ten Year Anniversary Contest and VidiPath

By The HT Guys • Mar 6 2015, 6:32am

Its hard to believe that we have been at this for ten years! We appreciate each and everyone of you and have come to think of you as family. As a way of showing our appreciation we, along with these great sponsors, have come up with a fantastic giveaway that is truly worthy of the HT Guys listeners.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)PC & Laptop Technology

HDTV Expert - EE LLC: A Million PCs and Nobody Knows Its Name

By Ken Werner • Feb 27 2015, 4:07pm

There is a company you’ve probably never heard of whose display technology sits inside a million notebook PCs. Entertainment Experience LLC has developed a total color management system whose mathematical and vision models are embedded in multidimensional look-up tables (LUTs). Current customers include Dell and Quanta, the world’s largest notebook PC ODM. This week, I […]

High Definition ProductionMarketplace

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #676: Interview with Gary Yacoubian, President of SVS Speakers

By The HT Guys • Feb 27 2015, 9:14am

SVS was founded in 1998 by four audiophile/engineers who noted that customers were paying too much for lackluster subwoofer performance because of a manufacturing to sales process that was stacked against the consumer. The conventional model, where just good enough subs were sold at high markups did a disservice to customers who wanted great audio experiences but didn’t have unlimited funds.

General Interest

HDTV Expert - Has Sony Finally Seen The Light?

By Pete Putman • Feb 25 2015, 6:00pm

Recent remarks by Sony’s chairman indicate that they may be reaching the end of their rope with underperforming television and smartphone business units.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #675: Sling TV Review

By The HT Guys • Feb 20 2015, 6:54am

The idea of cutting the cord, removing your reliance on Cable or Satellite to provide the hundreds of channels you rarely watch, has been a pipe dream for many of us. Sure, for those close enough to a transmitter, an over the air antenna really helps fill the void. Netflix and Hulu are great as well. But if you like to watch a lot of TV, you're still left wanting. Until now. Sling TV may actually be the answer.

Mobile HDTV

HDTV Expert - Pixelworks Improves Mobile Display Quality While Reducing System Cost

By Ken Werner • Feb 19 2015, 8:29pm

We have just succeeded in wrapping our heads around the fact that quantum-dot enhancement can signficantly increase the color gamut and color saturation of LCDs with little — and eventually no — increase in system cost. Now, with its “Iris” mobile display co-processor, Pixelworks is giving us another example of improved display performance with, in […]

Wireless HDMI/HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #674: Dayton Audio XRA25 Wireless Rear Channel Amplifier

By The HT Guys • Feb 13 2015, 8:57am

Since the beginning of this podcast we have been on the lookout for a product that will wirelessly transmit audio from your receiver to the surround speakers. To date there have been a few that sort of got the job done. To be fair, a lot depends on where your live. In areas that do not have a lot of interference you have a much better chance of success with most products. In areas where home are right on top of each other, or have a lot of wireless devices you may be better off running cable.

4K (Ultra HD)

HDTV Expert - Ultra HD: Live From the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat

By Pete Putman • Feb 12 2015, 11:12pm

Ultra HD: Live From the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat As I write this, it is the morning of Day 2 at the annual Hollywood Post Alliance Tech Retreat. This annual conference brings together the top minds across a wide range of disciplines in the media production business. Cameras, lenses, codecs, displays, file formats and exchanges, […]

Cable HDTVSatellite HDTV

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #673: Dish Upgrade Time

By The HT Guys • Feb 6 2015, 11:15am

This is the time of the year when HDTV and Home Theater take a quick nap. CES has come and gone, the Super Bowl is done, and there's a bit of a lull in activity until March Madness kicks in. Sure there may be some mid-season shows that pop up, but we're always looking for ways to spice things up. So what better way than a full revamp of our Dish Network gear?

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #672: Howard and Joe Rogers of RSL Speakers

By The HT Guys • Jan 30 2015, 9:45am

We received an email from a listener in early January asking us to take a listen to some speakers manufactured by RSL Speakers. We are still in the process of setting up the review samples but we thought that RSL had such a great history that we asked Howard and Joe Rogers to come on the show and share with us their experiences in the speaker industry.

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Expert - CES 2015: Upon Further Review…

By Pete Putman • Jan 27 2015, 11:44pm

There's so much to take in at the International CES every year that you need a few weeks for it all to sink it. I posted my recap of the show earlier this month. Now, I want to expound on a couple of trends I saw in Las Vegas you need to watch. (Let’s move […]

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #671: Best of CES 2015 Winners

By The HT Guys • Jan 23 2015, 10:13am

We did our personal roundup of CES and told you about our favorites, but it is nearly impossible for the two of us to see everything, much less take the time to absorb it all even if we caught a glimpse of it. There are a couple items in the official winners list for Best of CES 2015 that we didn't talk about it our prior roundup.

Cable HDTV

HDTV Expert - Attention, TV Buyers – Your Time Has Come!

By Pete Putman • Jan 19 2015, 7:36pm

Now — and I mean NOW — is the absolute best time to buy a new television.

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Expert - Looking for Consumer Electronics at CES

By Ken Werner • Jan 17 2015, 7:36pm

The Consumer Electronics Show 2015 was the biggest in history — again — but the show feels increasingly strange. For a show that is nominally about consumer electronic products, a surprising number are either not consumer products or not electronic. A significant portion of Panasonic’s booth was devoted to a men’s grooming salon where male attendees […]

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #670: DIY Speaker Project

By The HT Guys • Jan 16 2015, 10:54am

The HT Guys are very DIY oriented and we love new projects! When some of our listeners emailed us about their DIY speakers we just had build one ourselves. Many of you told us about Parts Express, an online retailer for electronics, and how they have some nice speaker kits. For our first build we didn't want to get too fancy so we went with one that didn't require any assembly of the speaker cabinet but did require some soldering.

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV Expert - CES 2015 In The Rearview Mirror

By Pete Putman • Jan 13 2015, 12:12am

The 2015 International CES has come and gone, leaving me to edit over 1500 photos and a bunch of videos and sift through stacks of press releases. Here's what I found.

Events & Tradeshows

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #669: CES 2015

By The HT Guys • Jan 9 2015, 9:32am

No more virtual Vegas for us, we jumped in the HT Guys bus and made the trek back to Las Vegas this year for another round of CES. The show was as huge as ever; we lamented the passing of plasma TV, noticed that there was a significant lack of 3D demonstrations, and really enjoyed all the 4k and 8k we saw. As always, there is a lot of exiting news and product announcements to share.

General Interest

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast - Podcast #668: Predictions for 2015

By The HT Guys • Jan 2 2015, 10:25am

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2015. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless. And no gimmies this year since we can't even get those right!