Podcast

HDTV and Home Theater Podcast

All the HDTV and Home Theater news and info you need, without all the reading.

Episodes

  • Podcast 949: Vintage Stereo Commercials and Best Practices for Optimizing your Smart Home

    May 22 2020

    Karl sent us an email with a link to a Youtube video loaded with stereo commercials from the 70s and 80s. It was fun going down memory lane. We go through the commercials and discuss what has changed over the years. We also round out the discussion with some cool Smart Home products and how you can optimize their use!

  • Podcast #948: Android Apps for TV, Did AT&T Abandon DirecTV, and What are We Streaming

    May 15 2020

    On today's show we take a look Android Apps for TV, discuss whether AT&T abandoned DirecTV, and we run down a list of what we are streaming. Plus we have some great content linked from YouTube that will help pass time while you are stuck at home.

  • Podcast #947: Set Top Boxes, Tomorrow's World, and Outdoor Cameras

    May 08 2020

    On today's show we take a look at comparison of Set Top Boxes from Roku, Amazon, Google, Apple, and NVIDIA. More Info... We also found a cool video from 1989 that tried to predict what the home of 2020 would look like. They were eerily accurate! Video here Finally we take a look at the best outdoor security cameras for 2020. More Info...

  • Podcast #946: HDMI-CEC

    May 01 2020

    On the last podcast we talked about using HDMI CEC to replace a universal remote for certain applications. Mainly for those who may have one or two set top boxes connected to their TV with the audio running through ARC to a sound bar. In this case we said that your TV’s remote could control everything. We received a few emails asking us to explain the concept a bit further.

  • Podcast #945: Cool IFTTT Applets and Devices

    Apr 24 2020

    Many of us have some sort of home automation device in our homes. Many of the products we had do not necessarily work together unless you are using a framework from Google, Amazon, or Apple. That’s where IFTTT comes in. IFTTT connects devices that normally don’t talk to each other with something called an Applet.

  • Podcast #944: TV Show Renewals and Cancellations

    Apr 17 2020

    Today we discuss how MLB, NHL, and NBA might have to refund a portion of the m oney they rec eived for their TV packages. We also point out that there is a great deal going on on the Vizio P-Series QuantumX. Finally we run down which TV shows are cancelled or are coming back for another season.

  • Podcast #943: The 7 Best 4K TVs - Spring 2020 (RTINGS.com)

    Apr 10 2020

    The editors at RTINGS.com have just updated their Seven Best Best 4K TVs for the Spring and we bring those to you. RTINGS.com is a great resource when you are looking to buy a new UHD TV. They have the most thorough reviews of any site on the Internet. All the TVs that we discuss come with an in depth review that can be found at the links below.

  • Podcast #942: TV Ratings a Different Look

    Apr 03 2020

    Ever since we could remember Neilson has been the main way for networks to get their read on what America is watching. You would think by now with all the new technology that is available to us we would have a better method to rate what we watch. Enter the website TV Series Finale. The site was started in 2005 and was devoted to the last episodes of TV shows, It quickly morphed into a site that tracked if a show was renewed or canceled. In fact we use their info each year when we discuss the sam...more

  • Our First Podcast from 15 years ago

    Mar 31 2020

    The HT Guys would like to thank all our listeners for 15 years of support. Many of you have been with us since day one and others joined soon thereafter. Be kind when you listen to our first episode as we didn't have a clue to what we were doing. We hope you like this trip down memory lane The HT Guys Ara Derderian and Braden Russell

  • Podcast #941: Streaming Day and Date Content is Here!

    Mar 27 2020

    So you are stuck working from home or are on temporary furlough. Either way you may find that you have more time on your hand and don’t know what to do. The HT Guys have you covered. There are plenty of new movies that were in or scheduled to be in theaters that are available for digital purchase or rental. Today we’ll run down the list and hope you can find something worth watching!

  • Podcast #940: Streaming through the quarantine

    Mar 20 2020

    On today’s show we discuss three articles: "I used cloud gaming exclusively for a month. Here’s what happened", "In a Potential Game-Changing Decision, NBCUniversal Will Make Theatrical Movies Available On Demand Immediately", and "Here’s how to try every major streaming service for free during the coronavirus quarantine."

  • Podcast #939: Streaming and Cord Cutting

    Mar 13 2020

    On Today’s show, in addition to your email and news, we review the year 2013, ask you “How do you Stream your Entertainment, and finally look at your top streaming attributes.

  • Podcast #938: AT&T TV???

    Mar 06 2020

    How many TV services does AT&T have? Let’s count them. There is DirecTV, U-Verse, AT&T TV Now, and AT&T Watch TV. Kind of confusing huh. Well there is one more newly minted TV service from AT&T simply named AT&T TV.

  • Podcast #937: Best 80 Inch TVs (RTINGS.com)

    Feb 28 2020

    By now you all know that we have been searching for the best large format TV to emulate a projector and screen. We know nothing beats a 120 inch screen but with that comes some drawbacks like installation, cost, and light control. Ara settled on an Ultra Short Throw Projector which does really well in a fully lit room. The entire setup cost him just under $4000. Braden is still looking for that one TV that will say buy me. Our friends at RTINGS.com must have known Braden was in the market for su...more

  • Podcast 936: Top Ten TVs at Amazon Based on Sales

    Feb 21 2020

    On today's show we take a look back at the year 2012, discuss how to make your HDMI connected devices work with Hotel HDTVs, take a poll on home much our dedicated home theaters cost, and finally give you the top ten HDTVs at Amazon based on sales.

  • Podcast #935: LG CineBeam HU85LA 4K UST Laser Projector

    Feb 14 2020

    This week we Discuss options for streaming movies for free! And we take a look at the LG CineBeam HU85LA 4K UST Laser Projector

  • Podcast #934: Should You Buy a TCL Series 4 UHDTV?

    Feb 07 2020

    This week we review the year 2011 and why you shouldn’t buy a TCL Series 4 HDTV.

  • Podcast #933: Micro LED vs Mini LED and ATSC 3.0 TVs

    Jan 31 2020

    This week we discuss three articles: Seven of our best tips for your Sonos system - Popular Science, MicroLED vs. Mini-LED: Which display technology will power your next TV? - Digital Trends, and Want free 4K from an antenna? Here's the 2020 TVs with Next Gen TV tuners built-in - CNET

  • Podcast #932: Home Cinema Streaming

    Jan 24 2020

    We were alerted to an article at Home Theater Review by one of our listeners, Tom Green, regarding Home Movie streaming. We link to it here: Home Cinema's Streaming Future Is Now. The author states that for reference material they still use UHD Bluerays “But for day-to-day viewing, many of us here on staff have migrated almost entirely to streaming consumption.”

  • Podcast #931: Best of CES 2020

    Jan 17 2020

    This week we take a look at the best of CES.

  • Podcast #930: CES 2020

    Jan 10 2020

    After a few year Hiatus we returned to Las Vegas for CES. Because we were there on our day job’s behalf we did not get to see everything that CES has to offer. We focus on the main players. We’ll do a susquent show on the cool things that were reported on but not seen by us.

  • Podcast #929: Happy New Year!

    Jan 03 2020

    Happy New Year!! Today we discuss a network strategy for all those new Home Automation devices you bought for Christmas as well as reading your emails and discussing a few News stories.

  • Podcast #928: Predictions Review 2019

    Dec 27 2019

    At the beginning of each year we make predictions as to what we think will happen in the area of HDTV, Home Theater, and Home Automation. We usually hit at about 40% correct. This year, thanks to some generous judging we only got to 33%. So let’s see how close, or far, we came in our predictions.

  • Podcast #927: Smarthome Buying Guide 2019

    Dec 20 2019

    We have been touting the Smarthome for a few years now but somehow have never put together a Buying Guide. So for 2019 we are going to fix that. After all, this is the year of home automation.

  • Podcast #926: TV Buying Guide 2019

    Dec 13 2019

    Back in the day you had top tier TV manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic, and even RCA. Everything else was second rate. That meant the picture wasn’t very good. There really weren’t any features to speak of. It was all picture quality. Yes you could buy a cheap 20 inch TV for your den or bedroom which didn’t look that great. But who cared you were probably only watching the news or Johnny Carson before you went to bed.

  • Podcast #925: Speaker and Receiver Buying Guide 2019

    Dec 06 2019

    Each year in December put out seperate buying guides for receivers, speakers, and TVs. This year with the shortened buying window we decided to double up on our guides. Today we take a look at speakers and receivers. The things that make sound! We have also decided to give you a collective guide rather than our individual picks targeting an entry, mid, and “high” level product. We put high in quotes because in our hobby, high can be really high.

  • Podcast #924: What we are Thankful for

    Nov 28 2019

    This week the HT Guys are thankful for all our loyal listeners who have been with us throughout our 15 years of podcasting. We also discuss a THX tuned speaker system that does not need an AV Receiver and the first DIY Security system that is HomeKit ready.

  • Podcast #923: Black Friday Guide 2019

    Nov 22 2019

    Well Black Friday is almost here. Just like all the years we’ve talked about it, there are some exceptional deals to be had. The question is where do you put your focus. If you’re going to wait in line somewhere, where is the right place to maximize your reward for that time?

  • Podcast #922: Why Your Home Theaters Probably Stink (A Counterpoint)

    Nov 15 2019

    We found this article over at CEPro titled Why Your Home Theaters Probably Stink which immediately put us on the defensive. We understand that CEPro is aimed at integrators and that in their context a Home Theater is not what we have in our family rooms. Regardless, we wanted to challenge the notion that our modest home theaters stink! We’ll go through the article point by point.

  • Podcast #921:Network TV Update and the Best Cheap Earbuds

    Nov 08 2019

    Network TV update and what are the best cheap earbuds from RTINGS.com

  • Podcast #920: Optoma CinemaX P1 UST Projector

    Nov 01 2019

    For the past year or two we have been talking about removing our projectors and replacing them with very large format TVs. There are a few manufacturers that produce TVs greater than 85” in size and we were stuck in analysis paralysis. There is a video that accompanies this review. Please watch it to help understand the capabilities of this projector.

  • Podcast #919: Confessions of a Cord Cutter

    Oct 25 2019

    We received a great email from our listener Dennis Comfort describing his journey to becoming a cord cutter. Well maybe a cord swapper. Whatever you call it he saved $90 a month! Thank you Dennis for sharing your experience with us!

  • Podcast #918: Best 4K Projector and Affordable 65" TVs

    Oct 18 2019

    This week we discuss two articles at AVS Forum. The first one is the “Best 4K Home Theater Projectors on Amazon”. The second article is the “Best Affordable 65” TV”.

  • Podcast #917: IOGEAR Wireless 4K UHD

    Oct 11 2019

    One of the reasons Ara ended up buying his UST projector system is that he didn’t want to route new cables in his hard to reach crawl space. However, he may have reconsidered that decision had he known about the IOGEAR 4K UHD transmitter/receiver kit (MSRP $299.95).

  • Podcast #916: New Echo Devices

    Oct 04 2019

    Last week Amazon introduced a slew of new Echo based products. On today’s show we try to figure out when will Amazon take over the world!

  • Podcast #915: Fall TV 2019

    Sep 27 2019

    It's that time of year when baseball crowns a world champion and football dominates our weekends. But there is something else that we are happy about at the HDTV and Hometheater podcast… TV is out of reruns! Today we run down the Fall TV schedule from ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, and NBC.

  • Podcast #914: CEDIA 2019

    Sep 20 2019

    Last week more than 20,000 home tech pros and 500+ exhibitors convened in Denver for the 2019 CEDIA Expo. This week the HT Guys run down some of the cool product announcements that came out of the show.

  • Podcast #913: Robert Spivack of DoItForMe.Solutions

    Sep 13 2019

    This week we have an interview with Robert Spivack owner of DoItForMe.Solutions.

  • Podcast #912: Make Your Family Love Your Smart Home and Filmmaker Mode

    Sep 06 2019

    This week we take a look at what it takes to make your family love the Smart Home you created and what Hollywood directors are doing to make sure you watch their movies the way they intended.

  • Podcast #911: Hacking a Sonos Speaker, Best Wifi Speakers, and Samsung entering the OLED game

    Aug 30 2019

    This week we take a look at taking apart a $99 powered Ikea Sonos speaker and transplanting it into any speaker you want. No allen wrenches are required. Then we take a look at the Best Wifi speakers of 2019 and finally we discuss Samsung entering the OLED market.

  • Podcast #910: What happened to the HTPC?

    Aug 23 2019

    When we first started doing the podcast many many years ago, the Home Theater PC was a thing. DIYers built them from scratch and others who were not so technically inclined could buy fully built ready to go products from third party vendors. Xbox owners were lucky enough to have the Windows Media Center client built into their gaming consoles so they could leave the PC in an office and still have the HTPC experience in the family room.

  • Podcast #909: Sonos Company Profile

    Aug 16 2019

    Sonos was one of the first companies that sent our fledgling podcast equipment to review. We were just starting as were they. It made us feel like we were legitimate and could make a go of this podcast thing. Now almost a thousand podcasts later we are still going and so are they. One of us has grown exponentially and the other records a podcast every week! This week we are going to profile Sonos Inc. Much of this information comes directly from the Sonos website.

  • Podcast #908: Story Time

    Aug 09 2019

    Ara and Braden go back in time to talk about a then revolutionary communication protocol that they worked on.

  • Podcast #907: Sevenhugs Smart Remote Review

    Aug 02 2019

    We were asked by a listener to take a look at the Sevenhugs Smart Remote ($199 without contextual awareness and $299 with) a few weeks back. The makers of the remote call it “The world’s smartest and easiest to use remote control. Stop wrestling with remotes and apps and simplify how you control your entire home.” That’s quite a statement in a world that has plenty of smart remotes. The question is whether that is a true statement or not. There is a video that goes along ...more

  • Podcast #906: The 7 Best LED LCD TVs - Summer 2019 (RTINGS.com)

    Jul 26 2019

    The editors at RTINGS.com have just updated their Seven Best LED TVs for the Summer and we bring those to you. RTINGS.com is a great resource when you are looking to buy a new UHD TV. They have the most thorough reviews of any site on the Internet. All the TVs that we discuss come with an in depth review that can be found at the links below.

  • Podcast #905

    Jul 19 2019

    As we add more speakers to our home theaters our current AVRs may not have enough amplifiers to drive the system. A solution to this problem is a seperate amplifier. Power amplifiers have minimal functionality beyond driving speakers but they have quite a bit in the way of design to provide a clean signal to get the most out of your speakers.

  • Podcast #904: Dedicated Home Theater vs. Media-Friendly Living Room

    Jul 12 2019

    We saw this poll over at AVS Forum, Dedicated Home Theater vs. Media-Friendly Living Room and since we are going through this same analysis we thought it would be good to share the results and discuss the pros and cons of each.

  • Podcast #903: Are AVRs too complicated? And the Best Smart Plugs for 2019

    Jul 05 2019

    On this week’s show we discuss whether the new Ultra Short Throw projectors that Hisense is making are a viable replacement for large format LCD/OLED display. And are AVRs too complicated which accounts for the rise in sound bar sales. Finally we go through a list of the best Smart Plugs for 2019 as decided by CNET.

  • Podcast #902: Vizio P-Series Quantum X

    Jun 28 2019

    If you have been listening to the show for a while you would think there are only four TV manufacturers out there LG, Samsung, TCL, and Sony. Obviously there are many more but the aforementioned manufacturers dominate the news. Today we want to talk about a manufacturer that rose to be an extremely popular brand in the US but has been pretty quiet lately, Vizio.

  • Podcast #901: Samsung’s The Wall Luxury

    Jun 21 2019

    Samsung just announced their “Wall Luxery” display technology will be available in July of this year. Maybe they will announce a “Wall Economy” for mere mortals some day. We also discuss if Samsung Smart TVs are a security risk to your network and is it worth studios time and money to give old movies the 4K Treatment?

  • Podcast #900: Five Items Every Home Theater Needs that Cost Less than $500

    Jun 14 2019

    We love our home theaters and want to get the most out of them that we can. This list is not about the actual AV parts, Display, Receiver, Speakers, etc, but more about things that will help you enjoy your home theater more.

  • Podcast #899: Cord Cutting, New TV Tech and Aereo Back from the Dead?

    Jun 07 2019

    This week we discuss the top five Cord Cutting Stories to watch for this Summer, look at a new TV technology and bring Aereo back from the dead.

  • Podcast #898: Thoughts on the State of Home Audio

    May 31 2019

    In a recent interview with TWICE Magazine Tom Summer of Yamaha shared some thoughts on the state of home audio. The following are excerpts from that interview.

  • Podcast #897: Email and News

    May 24 2019

    Braden is on travel this week so we have a short show for you this week. Email and News. Have a great weekend everyone!

  • Podcast #896: Best Overall 4K TV

    May 17 2019

    We get asked what’s the best TV I can buy from time to time and we always reply with, “That depends on what you want to use it for”. Few people have a specific purpose. Mainly it's for overall viewing. So when we ran across a page over at CNET that helps you select the best TV we thought it would be great to share it with all of our listeners.

  • Podcast #895: Sennheiser Momentum vs GoNovate Airo True Wireless Headphone Face-Off

    May 10 2019

    Recently my Bragi Dash Pro headphones broke which ended my love hate relationship with them. I loved how they were truly wireless, had great sound, and fit comfortably in my ear. I hated how the Bluetooth connection was flakey, the short battery life, and were really expensive. Granted they do far more than play music wirelessly. It could track your heart rate and was geared towards people who worked out.

  • Podcast #894: USB 4.0

    May 03 2019

    The USB Promoter group recently announced that the latest specification (4.0) will be released towards the latter part of the year which means USB 4.0 devices should be available at sometime in early 2021. Here is a quick rundown of what you can expect.

  • Podcast #893: Master Quality Authenticated - MQA

    Apr 26 2019

    We recently received an email from Scott in Pine Arizona asking us to talk about MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio. We’ll take a look at it from a 30,000 foot level in the hopes that you take a deeper look on your own.

  • Podcast #892: Is Amazon Listening to You?

    Apr 19 2019

    Today we are on travel but we pre-recorded a short conversation about an article over at Bloomberg that discusses Amazon employees listening to recordings of echo conversations. The conversations are then compared to what the echo thought was said. All in an effort to increase accuracy of the echo's voice recognition software.  

  • Podcast #891: Interview with Gary Yacoubian of SVS

    Apr 12 2019

    Last week we told you about the new speakers that SVS introduced, the Prime Pinnacle ($799.99 each) and this week we asked Gary Yacoubian President of SVS to join us on the show to discuss what went into the design.

  • Podcast #890: Monoprice Monolith Cassette Series Smart Boombox

    Apr 05 2019

    Almost at the same time as when we started our podcast we discovered Monoprice. For us Monoprice was a company that built and sold high quality HDMI cables at a fraction of the price as big box retailers. They have come so far over the years to where they sell electronics, speakers and home automation products. But today we are super excited about their new high end product.

  • Podcast #889: AppleTV Plus, Channels, and Arcade

    Mar 29 2019

    This week Apple launched it's new TV streaming service called AppleTV Plus. The service features original content along with a redesigned AppleTV app. According to Apple the new service will be “the new home for the world’s most creative storytellers featuring exclusive original shows, movies and documentaries”. Apple will spend about $2 Billion initially

  • Podcast #888: Crutchfield Speaker Comparison Tool

    Mar 22 2019

    For years we have been saying that the only way to know how speakers will sound in your home is to listen them in your home. That isn’t always possible. Many online speakers companies do offer a no cost in home “Audition” of their speakers which truly allow you to hear what they will sound like in your environment. But even with that it's hard to A/B different sets of speakers. Perhaps you can have a few sets on hand and then swap out cables. But more than likely you will order...more

  • Podcast #887: How are this Season’s New TV Shows Doing?

    Mar 15 2019

    Back in September we ran down the new network TV shows and we are sure you are wondering how they are doing! Well you are in luck. Today we’ll discuss how they have fared now that the season is about ⅔ complete. The renewal scorecards come from tvline.com

  • Podcast #886: Best Smart TVs for Streaming

    Mar 08 2019

    More and more people are streaming content these days. At one time it was a cool novelty but today it's how many of us get our television. Netflix and Amazon are at the forefront of 4K UHD content followed closely behind by Apple, Amazon, and Google. So with all this content out there you may be asking yourself which TV should buy that works best with streaming content.

  • Podcast #885: HDMI 2.1

    Mar 01 2019

    After reading Robert’s email we thought it might be a good idea to review the HDMI 2.1 specification will everyone. The following information and more is available at HDMI.org. HDMI® Specification 2.1 is the most recent update of the HDMI specification and supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.

  • Podcast #884: Hollywood is Now Irrelevant

    Feb 22 2019

    “Hollywood is now irrelevant,” says IAC Chairman Barry Diller the former CEO of Paramount and Fox, talks about the diminished power of movie studios and why “Netflix has won this game. It was these six movie companies essentially were able to extend their hegemony into everything else. It didn’t matter that they started it. When it got big enough, they got to buy it. For the first time, they ain’t buying anything. Meaning they’re not buying Netflix. They are n...more

  • Podcast #883: SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase

    Feb 15 2019

    Ever since Ara has begun building speakers he has been searching for ways to drive them. He has tried small desktop amplifiers with some real success. His current go to is the AudioEngine N22 (MSRP $199) desktop amplifier 40W a channel. That works great for most desktop and some booksehelf setups. If you wanted to go wireless you had to add the Audio Engine B1 (MSRP $189) Bluetooth receiver. This did add AptX, including AptX HD support which allowed for high quality listening. The cost of the t...more

  • Podcast #882: Bluetooth 5.1 and the Smart Home

    Feb 08 2019

    Today we discuss the new Bluetooth 5.1 specification and how it could impact your smart home. We look at the top ten global TV brands and the reasons why some have not yet bought into the Smart Speaker craze.

  • Podcast #881: Interview with the Owners of Creative Sound Solutions

    Feb 01 2019

    Ara recently purchased a DIY Speaker kit (Model P215 $439) from Creative Sound Solutions because he has heard a lot of great things about the company and products. He reached out to Dan Poinsett and Kerry Armes the owners of Creative Sound Solutions and they agreed to come on the show and talk about their company and DIY speaker kits.

  • Podcast #880: Netflix Audience Numbers

    Jan 25 2019

    Netflix audience numbers have been a mystery for some time now. World wide Netflix has 130 million subscribers but what and how much they are watching have never been disclosed by the streaming service. In a letter to shareholders Netflix has revealed some of its audience numbers and plans for 2019. We present and discuss this letter on today’s show.

  • Podcast #879: QLED vs OLED vs LED

    Jan 18 2019

    The Super Bowl is right around the corner and that is a time when many Americans buy new TVs. Right now there are three competing technologies (QLED, OLED, and LED) readily available for purchase. With the help of RTINGS.com we try to help you make an informed decision.

  • Podcast #878: CES 2019

    Jan 11 2019

    CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is the world's gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. It has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years - the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it attracts the world's business leaders and pioneering thinkers.

  • Podcast #877: Predictions for 2019

    Jan 04 2019

    Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2019. Our crystal ball isn’t as clear as a good HDTV but we faithfully give it another shot nonetheless.

  • Podcast #876: Prediction Review for 2018

    Dec 28 2018

    Wow. Another year in the books. And another year of stellar prediction results! With that it's time to see how we did with our 2018 predictions. If you’re feeling nostalgic, the predictions are from Episode 825.

  • Podcast #875: Amazing Last Minute Home Theater Gift Ideas

    Dec 21 2018

    It's just a few days until Christmas and you have a home theater lover in your circle that you haven’t been able to find a gift for. We “The HT Guys” have you covered. We have a list of items that you can go out and buy from, gasp, a physical store! Yes you’ll have to go battle the crowds but with our list it will be easy! All gifts can be had for less than $100.

  • Podcast #874: Ultimate Home Theater in a Box for 2018

    Dec 14 2018

    Each year we design a Home Theater setup that is considerably better than a typical home theater in a box. We have seen complete setups for less than $500 from manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic that quite frankly do not sound good. While our system costs more than a name brand HTIB your satisfaction will be dramatically more. Plus we include EVERYTHING you need to actually setup a home theater. Minimum components for our system are an HDTV, a receiver, a means to get content (streaming box,...more

  • Podcast #873: HDTV Buying Guide 2018

    Dec 07 2018

    Tis the season for us to go shopping and to continue to help you spend your money - one of our favorite times of the year. If you or anyone in your life is looking for a new UHD TV this Christmas, but still aren’t sure which one to buy, we’ve got you covered. We each pick two TVs and one ‘money is no object’ / ‘dare to dream’ TV for you to consider.

  • Podcast #872: Receiver Buying Guide 2018

    Nov 30 2018

    This week starts our annual shopping spree where we get to spend your money on new products for your home theater. We’ll start the spree with receivers. As always, our goal is to maximize the value for your dollar, so we aren’t necessarily concerned about getting the latest product or the latest features. It's about getting a good product at a great price so you may even see some of last year’s gear on the list. All these receivers are readily available online or at a big box s...more

  • Podcast #871: Giving Thanks 2018

    Nov 22 2018

    Each year at this time of year we do a show where we discuss what we are thankful for. There are the obvious things to be thankful for like our families, especially our wives who put up with our home theater obsessions. And of course we are thankful for you, the listener/reader of our show. So as is tradition over the last many Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.

  • Podcast #870: Black Friday 2018

    Nov 16 2018

    The older we get, the more things seem to sneak up on us, even though we know we should be expecting them. It happened again; Black Friday is already here. Just like all the years we’ve talked about it, there are some exceptional deals to be had. The question is where to you put your focus. If you’re going to wait in line somewhere, where is the right place to maximize your reward for that time?

  • Podcast #869: SiliconDust Streaming TV Service

    Nov 09 2018

    We recently read a news story about a TV streaming service from SilconDust, makers of the HDHomerun a device that allows you to take your over the air TV signal and broadcast it over your network to mobile devices as well as set top boxes like the AppleTV.

  • Podcast #868: 2018 TV Shows, So Far

    Nov 02 2018

    To find out which shows were the most popular this year so far, Nielsen estimated the average number of US viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming. ABC's massive success with "Roseanne," along with CBS' high ratings across numerous shows on this list, demonstrates how broadcast networks remain the heavyweights in overall viewership — even in the age of streaming. Here are the 10 most popular TV shows of 2018 so far, according to Nielsen's ratings.

  • Podcast #867: Speaker Bar Giveaway

    Oct 26 2018

    Ara was called away for an emergency. Everything is A-OK, but it was one of those things that just had to be handled immediately. In the mean time, we have a brief micro-cast announcing our latest giveaway. Details can be found at: www.htguys.com/soundbar

  • Podcast #866: Receiver Recommendation, Under $500

    Oct 19 2018

    We received an email from Santosh in the Bay Area of California asking if we could recommend a receiver for a modest home theater system to go in his medium sized family room. We thought, "no problem! We know the exact receiver to recommend." However, like everyone, he did have some requirements; the biggest one being that it could not exceed $500. On Santosh’s must have list: 4K, HDR, and ARC to support Digital Audio from his smart TV.

  • Podcast #865: Top Home Theater Design Mistakes

    Oct 12 2018

    Sound & Vision author John Sciacca has spent the past 20 years in the custom installation industry, and has worked with at least a thousand clients during that time. A regular part of his job is consulting with clients on the design and installation of media rooms and home theaters. Sometimes the project is a new build (the best). Other times it involves repurposing a room or trying to fix and improve an existing room.

  • Podcast #864: The 7 Best 70-75-77 inch TVs

    Oct 05 2018

    Large TVs are becoming increasingly popular, with manufacturers releasing more models in the 70-75-77" range. The 2017 models in these sizes are becoming cheaper while the 2018 ones are now the flagships of each manufacturer. Rtings.com tested 33 TVs available in a 70-75-77" size and provided their recommendations for the best ones to buy in 2018.

  • Podcast #863: New TV Shows for Fall 2018

    Sep 28 2018

    This year’s batch of Fall TV Premieres snuck up on us a bit. Here we are, the last show in September, and just now getting to the new shows coming out. In fact, this prior week may have been the biggest week for new and returning show premieres of the season. If you missed something that looks great, the good news is that you can probably find it on Hulu or the Networks’ streaming app.

  • Podcast #862: Best of CEDIA 2018

    Sep 21 2018

    TWICE has announced the winners of their annual Best of Show awards at CEDIA Expo. The products were nominated by the manufacturers and a team of judges was employed to walk the floor and rate the products on a number of criteria, including its value, impact, and how unique it was to the market.

  • Podcast #861: Monoprice Stitch and CEDIA 2018

    Sep 14 2018

    The 2018 edition of CEDIA Expo is now history. CEDIA is one of the two big annual trade-only shows covering AV gear. CES, held each January in Las Vegas, is the big Kahuna. Apart from every electronic gadget on the planet (and some not so electronic) the main event at CES is the launch of all the new Ultra HD TVs for the coming year (not to mention the 8K sets waiting for their close-ups)...

  • Podcast #860: Konnected.io

    Sep 07 2018

    The idea behind Konnected is pretty great: It works as a bridge to connect your traditional wired alarm system to your smart / home automation system. We have a good friend, Rod, of prior Blu-ray Review fame for those who remember them, who has used Konnected. We were able to get him to join Ara to share his experience with it on the podcast.

  • Podcast #859: One week with FuboTV

    Aug 31 2018

    The HT Guys have officially joined the ranks of the cord cutters with Braden opting to cancel his Cable TV service entirely. We have been working on trimming the cord for a while, but this is cold turkey… Was cold turnkey. Braden quickly found something lacking and turned to fuboTV to fill that missing hole in his home theater.

  • Podcast #858: Streaming TV: SiliconDust, Netflix, Amazon...

    Aug 24 2018

    Everything new is still the same old thing. Netflix is the new HBO, SlingTV is the new Comcast; we aren't creating anything new, we're just recreating the same old paradigms. Are consumers really benefitting from the shift from traditional cable and satellite to streaming? Perhaps its too soon to tell.

  • Podcast #857: HT Guys Origins: Sony Pictures / ADSG

    Aug 17 2018

    Another very special episode, keeping the streak alive while on vacation, we take the opportunity to share some behind the scenes moments leading up to the formation of the HT Guys and the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast, specifically the Sony Pictures / ADSG years.

  • Podcast #856: 75 inch TV Recommendation

    Aug 10 2018

    We had a listener ask for a recommendation on a 75 inch HDTV in his price range. In true HT Guys fashion, we got a bit too involved in the research and comparisons and had to put a show together all about it. There's also some info on DIY Automation and OLED vs QLED TVs.

  • Podcast #855: Roku Wireless Speakers and AI

    Aug 03 2018

    "This solves the conundrum that lies at the heart of modern technology, threading its way from your phone to your dishwasher to your air conditioner: “Currently you need to be smart to use a smartphone,” ...At this stage AI is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s going to happen in the future, When we talk about AI many people think of voice assistants, but it’s much more than that. It’s going to be voice plus vision plus gesture recognition, plus context, plus kno...more

  • Podcast #854: Samsung’s 34-foot Onyx LED TV

    Jul 27 2018

    Last month we read a news story about the bid by Samsung to replace projectors in movie theaters. Now Digital Trends has an article that provides a few more details about this technology. Our hope is that it can find it's way into our living rooms in the not too distant future.

  • Podcast #853: Buttshaker Bonanza

    Jul 20 2018

    It’s been quite a while since we’ve talked about turning the low frequency effects from your movies and tv shows into physical movement you can feel in your furniture. We reviewed a system many years ago and loved it, but it was pricey at the time and neither of us ended up installing it. Turns out Amazon has some options that make it affordable enough to put the buttshaker experience in a lot more seats.

  • Podcast #852: The best projectors

    Jul 13 2018

    Whether you're outfitting a small space for an occasional movie night, upgrading your living-room home-entertainment system, or building a dedicated home theater, Engadget has a projector recommendation for you.

  • Podcast #851: 4K Streaming and Home Theater Earbuds

    Jul 06 2018

    fuboTV (fubo.tv), the leading sports-first live streaming TV service in the U.S., has launched 4K HDR10 support in Beta, becoming the first virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) to offer content in ultra-high definition and high dynamic range.

  • Podcast #850: OLED and HDR

    Jun 29 2018

    We have a few topics to cover, some arising from emails from listeners, some ripped straight from the headlines, and a couple from articles we've enjoyed and wanted to share. All of this culminating with a discussion on how HDR could potentially impact the expected lifespan of an OLED TV.

  • Podcast #849: A very special...

    Jun 22 2018

    This week's episode is a very special one: The HT Guys go on vaction. With limited time to plan and record, and no access to email or news stories, the guys still work hard to bring a short show together. Braden shares a story about bridging the past and the present and Ara recalls a very special moment for him from his time at Sony Pictures/ADSG. Until next week!

  • Podcast #848: E3 Show with Rod Williams

    Jun 15 2018

    HT Guys Senior Correspondent Rod Williams found himself at the E3 show and had some great insights and stories to share with the HT Guys audience. E3 is short for the Electronic Entertainment Expo and 2018 marks 24 years of E3. At the show, hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers from the video game industry present new and upcoming products to the attendees, primarily retailers and members of the video game press. The event, organized by the Entertainment Software Associati...more

  • Podcast #847: Father’s Day Wish List

    Jun 08 2018

    Whether you are a dad, have a dad, know a dad or are married to a dad, odds are there’s some sort of a Farther in your life somewhere. And odds are that Father would really enjoy having their home theater tricked out for Father’s Day this year. If you’re wondering what you should gift, here are a few of the items on our wish lists.

  • Podcast #846: Canceled or Renewed 2018

    Jun 01 2018

    If you’re getting dizzy watching shows that were canceled a while ago, make a revival on a different network, only to have that network cancel some shows that were also quite popular, causing them to move to yet another network, or a number one rated comeback show that was practically guaranteed another season get abruptly canceled for crazy tweets, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here’s the full list of what’s gone, what‘s coming back, and what network to...more

  • Podcast #845: HDR Explained and SVS Soundpath Review

    May 25 2018

    HDR stands for high dynamic range. Theoretically, the technology can provide a higher level of contrast between light and dark images on the screen to create a much more realistic image. We say theoretically because some of the first titles coming out of Hollywood have been somewhat underwhelming. Just like going to HD, Hollywood will get better at mastering in HD. As will the move to better HDR formats.

  • Podcast #844: CNET’s Guide to Smart Living

    May 18 2018

    While this may or may not be the year of home automation (or maybe it was last year?), the idea of making some aspects of your home more automated or “smarter” is becoming much more approachable and affordable. CNET recently put together a collection of articles about how to get into the game that offer some interesting tips and pointers. This isn’t a definitive guide for the hard core home or life hacker, but it helps those who aren’t yet in the game to dip a toe in the ...more

  • Podcast #843: Sony A8F Review from RTINGS.COM

    May 11 2018

    Today we have a review of a Sony A8F OLED TV from RTINGS.com. The A8F is a OLED 4K HDR TV with 4K HDR Processor X1™ Extreme, Acoustic Surface™ technology and Android TV. The Acoustic Surface is supposed to produce deeper bass by vibrating the glass. We’ll see if that is what the reviewers experienced below. It comes in three sizes 55”, 65”, and 77”. Read the full detailed review at RTINGS.com.

  • Podcast #842: VR Jackets and Mobile Movie Theaters

    May 04 2018

    Disney Research teamed with MIT to build a bizarre virtual-reality "force jacket" that can simulate physical sensations. Including creepy ones. Combine that with the Royole Moon, a virtual 800-inch curved movie screen (about 66 feet) you can strap to your head and home theater just got a lot weirder.

  • Podcast #841: OLED Burn-in Follow Up

    Apr 27 2018

    We asked our listeners - who are also OLED owners - to give us their own direct experience with OLED, especially related to burn-in. We got some great feedback. Maybe it'll change your mind on buying an OLED. Or maybe not.

  • Podcast #840: Real Life OLED Burn In Test

    Apr 20 2018

    Walking through a large electronics store the other day something caught our eye on one of their OLED display televisions. While you’d like to hope it was the vivid, realistic images on screen, it wasn’t. It was the obvious burn-in. And it was bad. You could clearly see a shadow of the bottom logo bar / ticker from content they must use regularly peeking through what would have otherwise been a stellar video presentation. The burn-in scare was one of the factors that ultimately led t...more

  • Podcast #839: Channel Master SMARTenna+ Review

    Apr 13 2018

    Channel Master has introduced a new indoor antenna that gives the Mohu Leaf a run for the money. The Channel Master SMARTenna+ is a mostly paper thin amplified antenna that can easily be placed inside your home and pulls in quite a few channels. There is a processor built into the bottom of the antenna which helps “Steer” the antenna to maximize the reception. No more moving the antenna around until you find the right position. Just press a button and the signal is locked in. ...more

  • Podcast #838: Short Throw Projector Follow Up

    Apr 06 2018

    On Episode 836 we talked about the idea of short throw projectors for home theater use and asked the question: Why aren’t more people using them in their homes? Their price per square inch of screen real estate seems like, at least on paper, the most cost effective way to get a huge screen at home. So why aren’t they flying off the shelves? We had a ton of great listener feedback on it, so we decided to create a feature out of it.

  • Podcast #837: Interview with ReelGood.com founder David Sanderson

    Mar 30 2018

    James from Illinois sent us an email tipping us off to a service at Reelgood.com. Reelgood is an extensive streaming guide, with every TV show and movie available to stream online. Browse through every TV series and movie and sort by title, release year, genre, IMDB rating, and, most important -- see where to watch it. Then play with a single click or tap.

  • Podcast #836: Short Throw Projectors

    Mar 23 2018

    There was a short throw projector on Woot! this week for $999. Not a bad price at all for the potential to have a 100” television in your family room or home theater. That got us thinking… Why aren’t more people using short throw projectors in their homes? Their price per square inch of screen real estate is by far the most cost effective way to get a huge screen at home, and the install and setup is a snap. So what gives? Why aren’t people using them.

  • Podcast #835: Control4 & Home Automation with Adam Pizzo

    Mar 16 2018

    Interview with Adam Pizzo. He is a home integrator specializing in Control4. Adam is based in Toronto and was kind enough to come on the show and talk about what a home integrator can do for your home.

  • Podcast #834: The Devices We Can’t Live Without

    Mar 09 2018

    Research firm iQor recently commissioned an online survey called the Customer and Product Experience (CPX) 360 Survey (part 2). It was conducted online and polled 1,004 U.S. adults 18 and up living in a “smart household” environment from Nov. 9 to Nov. 17, 2017. The goal was to gauge customer experience and customer service expectations of buyers of consumer technology in today’s digital age. All respondents indicated they own or regularly use: a smartphone, a computer (desktop...more

  • Podcast #833: Philips Hue Lights

    Mar 02 2018

    For many home automation is limited to lights turning on and off at prescribed times. Others would like the ability to control their lights while they are away from home. For these people full blown automation is not necessary. There are a growing number of products that will let you do this. They range from smart wall plugs to wifi connected light bulbs. One such solution are Hue lights.

  • Podcast #832: Smart Speakers and Dumb Aspect Ratios

    Feb 23 2018

    If you haven’t already invested in one of the many smart home speakers on the market, this summer you’ll have even more options, as Facebook plans to unveil its own version of voice-enabled smart home speakers, called Fiona and Aloha. Looking like something one might buy at Hobby Lobby, the $70 ClearStream View is a large, black picture frame with cutouts for family photos. Concealed in its back is a flat HDTV antenna.

  • Podcast #831: Apple HomePod Review

    Feb 16 2018

    Most are probably well aware that Apple released it's smart speaker, the HomePod ($349), last week. As you would imagine you can’t click a link without somehow landing on a page that has a review. Well we’re adding our two cents to the discussion. But we’ll try to be succinct.