Home Theater Geeks (Audio)

TWiT

Scott Wilkinson, online editor of the AVS Forum, interviews the leaders and pioneers behind today's home theater technology. Each week Scott explores the technologies behind your screen.

Although the show is no longer in production, you can enjoy episodes from the TWiT Archives.

All Episodes

Mastering engineer Eric Boulanger talks about the process of mastering audio for music recordings. Topics include how he got into audio engineering after being a professional violinist, the process of mastering (especially for vinyl), the "loudness wars" (or as Eric prefers, the "loudness plague"), how he started his current facility called The Bakery, stories from mastering such titles as the soundtrack from La La Land and albums by Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall, and Colbie Calliat, his involvement in Apple's "Mastered for iTunes" initiative, the real value of high-resolution audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Eric Boulanger Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Sep 2017

1 hr 11 min

Color-imaging scientist Jack Holm digs deep into high dynamic range. Topics include color volume, what artists might do with an expanded palette of colors and brightness, the actual dynamic range of most images, accurate versus preferred images, the difference between PQ and HLG HDR formats, the "look" of HLG, HLG's backward compatibility with SDR displays, the problems of delivering SDR and HDR streams, expanding SDR for HDR displays versus compressing HDR for SDR displays, the importance of the viewing environment, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Jack Holm Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Sep 2017

1 hr 6 min

Journalists Mike Heiss, Mark Henninger, and Tom Norton join host Scott Wilkinson to talk about what they saw and heard at the CEDIA Expo 2017. Topics include the new Sony projectors, such as the market-disrupting VPL-VW285ES ("4K for under $5K"); the new lower-cost JVC projectors; how none of the DLP projectors looked all that great (even the really expensive ones); ultra short-throw projectors, such as the Epson LS100; LED video walls; Samsung/SpectraCal auto-calibration; Fibbr fiber-optic HDMI cables; AV processors, such as the Emotiva RMC-1; speakers, such as the Definitive Technology Demand series and Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier soundbar; the near ubiquity of voice control; our pics for the best video and audio at the show, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guests: Michael Heiss, Mark Henninger, and Tom Norton Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Sep 2017

1 hr 14 min

Tyll Hertsens, headphone maven and editor-in-chief of InnerFidelity.com, answers questions from the chat-room. He starts with a new killer headphone for less than $100, then discusses a variety of topics, including dual- and multi-driver headphones, balanced-armature drivers, whether or not price correlates with performance, how measurements correlate with performance, wireless headphones, high-res audio on headphones, his measurement and review process, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Tyll Hertsens Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Sep 2017

1 hr 7 min

Personal-cinema architect John Bishop discusses how he rates the performance of commercial cinemas with a 100-point scale, which provides a benchmark for how home cinemas should perform. In this episode, he focuses on the visual aspects, including viewing geometry, flat-field uniformity, light levels, screen materials, viewing angles, and other factors. Next, he offers ratings of various reference and commercial cinemas as well as some of the best home cinemas he has worked on. Plus, answers to chat-room questions and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: John Bishop Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Sep 2017

1 hr 12 min

Personal-cinema architect John Bishop talks about movie aspect ratios and how to accurately reproduce them. Topics include the aspect ratios of different movies through history, how some movies (such as Dunkirk and The Dark Knight) use more than one aspect ratio, his experience seeing Dunkirk in several venues with different projection setups, optical-anamorphic versus electronic aspect-ratio control, how electronic scaling affects resolution and contrast, the constant image-height approach to multi-aspect-ratio setups, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: John Bishop Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Aug 2017

1 hr 11 min

Audio engineer Bob Schulein talks about his work combining immersive binaural audio with virtual reality. Topics include the difference between VR for gaming and music recordings, different techniques for capturing binaural sound, head tracking, combining immersive audio with 3D video, Bob's latest project recording a bluegrass band in binaural audio and 3D video, binaural recordings from the artist's perspective, binaural playback with speakers, answers to chat-room questions, and more. We also play several clips with binaural audio, which can only be heard in the video versions of the podcast; the audio-only MP3 is mono, so no binaural effects can be heard in that case. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Bob Schulein Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Aug 2017

1 hr 8 min

Audio legend Bob Carver talks about what he's been up to lately with his new company, Bob Carver Corporation. Topics include tube amps and why they continue to be so appealing, new approaches to tube-amp design, increasing tube longevity, amplifier topologies, the importance of the output transformer, the relationship between power amps and speakers, damping factor, Bob's latest power amps, line-array speakers, Bob's Amazing Line Source speaker, his thoughts on subwoofers, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Bob Carver Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Aug 2017

1 hr 9 min

Nanomaterial expert Peter Palomaki talks about quantum dots and microLEDs and how they apply to video displays. Topics include what quantum dots are, how they function, what they're made of, why cadmium-based quantum dots work best but are toxic, new materials used in the shells of quantum dots, the current and future ways they're used in TVs, replacing phosphors in LEDs with quantum dots, microLEDs and how they might be used in video displays, manufacturing microLEDs, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Peter Palomaki Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Aug 2017

1 hr 6 min

AVS Forum Associate Editor Mark Henninger and host Scott Wilkinson spend a pleasant hour answering questions from the chat room. Topics include why home projectors don't yet implement Dolby Vision, 4K/UHD projectors in the $2-3K price range, home-theater lighting control, whether we prefer the LG E7 or Sony A1E OLED TV, will there ever be a single HDR format, high-resolution audio, headphone virtualization, VR for movies, Dolby Atmos, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Mark Henninger Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jul 2017

1 hr 11 min

Video technologists Joel Silver, Matt Murray, and Mark Henninger join host Scott Wilkinson to discuss the 2017 TV Shootout held during CE Week in New York City. Joel headed the event, Matt set up the entire system and was one of the judges, and Mark carefully observed the proceedings. Topics include the competing TVs, the addition of a Sony BVM-X300 4K HDR OLED broadcast-reference monitor, the move from audience voting to video-professional judges, the establishment of three performance categories (dark-room, bright room, and streaming), system setup, calibrating the TVs, the judging criteria, the comparative performance of the TVs, the winner, how closely the OLEDs performed, how the LCDs fared, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guests: Joel Silver, Matt Murray, and Mark Henninger Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jul 2017

1 hr 9 min

Video specialists Joe Kane, Geoff Tully, and Ron Williams join host Scott Wilkinson to talk about the two-day Samsung QLED and HDR10 Summit we all recently attended. Topics include what quantum dots are, current use of QDs in video displays, replacing color filters with QDs, using QDs as direct emitters under electrical stimulation, LEDs, microLED displays, the variability of HDR compared with SDR, Joe Kane's vision for reducing that variability, HDR10+ dynamic metadata, Florian Friedrich's new HDR stability test patterns, answers to chat-room questions, and much more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guests: Joe Kane, Geoff Tully, and Ron Williams Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jul 2017

1 hr 24 min

Composer John Keane talks about his latest project, a 5.1-channel album of electroacoustic music on Blu-ray. Topics include his background as a recording musician from the age of 10 or so, various recording projects, his current studio, conceiving the new album as 5.1 from the start, combining electronic and acoustic instruments, mixing the music in 5.1, creating a 2-channel mix, creating a binaural version that reproduces the 5.1 soundfield in headphones, the benefit of high-res audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Plus, we hear a bit of John's music and see the abstract video patterns that move to the music. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: John Keane Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jul 2017

1 hr 11 min

THX CTO Scott Francis talks about the company's work in commercial - and home - cinema certification, product certification, and technology development. Topics include history of THX, some technical details of the iconic signature sound called Deep Note, a new partnership with Cinemark called THX Cinema Alliance, recommendations for speaker placement and seating distance in a home theater, immersive audio, high dynamic range, audio and video product testing and certification, the company's recent acquisition by Razer, AAA amplifier technology, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Scott Francis Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jun 2017

1 hr 10 min

Don North, president and chief designer at Riva Audio, talks about the company's WAND (Wireless Audio Network Device) whole-home audio speakers, the Arena and Festival. Topics include driver designs, passive radiators, built-in class-D amps, Wi-Fi networking, closed versus open architecture, casting, Trillium technology that creates a large stereo soundfield from a single cabinet, high-res audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Don North Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jun 2017

1 hr 5 min

Calibrator David Abrams and host Scott Wilkinson talk about the LG 65C7 OLED TV. Topics include the features of this TV, the pre-calibration measurements of grayscale and colorimetry, the SDR calibration results, the effect of the color-management system (CMS), which actually works well in the 2017 LG OLEDs, the HDR calibration results, looking at the colorimetry with and without taking tone-mapping luminance errors into account, Dolby Vision calibration, real-world content, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: David Abrams Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jun 2017

1 hr 18 min

Grammy-nominated surround-sound engineer and electronic musician David Miles Huber talks about his new ambient album, GAMmA. Topics include how he conceived the project and started recording, his exclusive use of hard-panned stereo tracks for each instrument, working in several studios in Seattle, Berlin, and Belgium, combining electronic and acoustic instruments, performing several different mixes in 2.0, 5.1, and Auro 3D, high-resolution audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. We also hear two completely different mixes of the same track that are both available on the Pure Audio Blu-ray and from his website. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: David Miles Huber Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jun 2017

1 hr 9 min

Journalists Chris Chinnock of Insight Media and Mike Heiss of Residential Systems and TWICE join host Scott Wilkinson to talk about what we learned about the future of display technology at DisplayWeek 2017. Topics include color conversion of blue light to longer-wavelength colors using quantum dots and phosphors, the various forms of QLED technology (photo-enhanced, photo-emissive, electro-emissive), an early demonstration of a full-color electro-emissive QD display, bendable OLED screens, micro LED, microdisplays, AR/VR, lightfield displays, a transparent flat-panel directional speaker, answers to chat-room questions, and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guests: Chris Chinnock and Michael Heiss Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

Jun 2017

1 hr 6 min

On the 40th anniversary of the theatrical release of Star Wars, 3-time Academy Award-winning re-recording mixer Mike Minkler talks about his work on that seminal movie. Topics include how he first got hired to work on the sound, the process of pre-mixing various sound elements, the first use of front-back panning, the birth of separate low-frequency effects (called "Baby Boom" at the time), Dolby Stereo, Dolby A noise reduction, the transition from magnetic to optical soundtracks, how THX was born to assure the quality of commercial presentation, the movie's impact on the cast and crew the first time they saw it, how the future of movie sound was influenced, answers to chatroom questions, and much more. May the force be with you! Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Mike Minkler Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

May 2017

1 hr 7 min

Darin Fong talks about his headphone-virtualization software called Out of Your Head. Topics include a quick summary of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), how Darin wanted to simulate the effect of listening to a speaker-based stereo system in headphones, how he measures HRTFs in different rooms with different speakers to create presets, and how the software accepts the audio from a media player and applies the selected preset to create a binaural-audio file. We also play a few examples (be sure to listen on headphones to hear the effect!) and discuss various applications and plans for future developments. Plus answers to chatroom questions and more. Host: Scott Wilkinson Guest: Darin Fong Subscribe to Home Theater Geeks at https://twit.tv/shows/home-theater-geeks Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.

May 2017

1 hr 7 min