Home Theater United Podcast

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November 15, 2021  

Episode 30 - Black Friday with Todd Erwin

Black Friday With special guest Todd Erwin

Reconnection (5m or less):

  • Republishing first handful of episodes in feed?
  • Sam’s Basement update, new mac, new mic! Watching shows in the living room.
  • ANOTHER SHOW next Monday!
  • Films to be buried with and other podcasts

Black Friday (Target time 1h or less):

  • What Black Friday means to you
  • When BF actually starts, and how long it lasts?
  • Current deals?
  • Future deals?
  • Is Black Friday really the best time to buy a new TV?
  • Black Friday tracking: Slickdeals, Twitter, Other web resources?
  • Camping out?  
  • Quick mention - cosmos: possible worlds, predestination

Quick Good Band and Ugly:

Sam - The Imitation Game, Rogue

Brian - Lion

Todd - Only Murders in the Building

October 18, 2021  

Episode 29 - Room within a room - With Dave Upton

October 18, 2021 8:00 PM EST

Room Within A Room With special guest Dave Upton, co-owner Home Theater Forum

Reconnection (5m or less):

  • Black Friday is coming up!
  • Sam’s theater is demolished!  The Podcast studio too.
  • New Macbooks plus Apple Logic now natively encodes Dolby Atmos!

Room Modes (Target time 1h or less):

Quick Good Band and Ugly:

Sam - Green Knight UHD Disk and extras 

Brian - Westworld Season 2

Dave - Lost City of Z

September 23, 2021  

Episode 28 - Room Modes with Dave Upton

Reconnection (5m or less):

  • Mike Alder music video - TV TOO HIGH! =)
  • Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer
  • Value Electronics Shootout winners
  • Sam - baby did a bad bad thing

Room Modes (Target time 1h or less):

September 6, 2021  

Episode 27 - Home Theater Snacks Nom Nom


  • RIP Michael K Williams
  • CEDIA was a bust
  • Connections made via CEDIA, Powershades and MantelMount
  • Value Electronics Shootout next weekend!

Snacks Nom Nom:

  • History of theater snacks
  • What are your favorite snacks?
    • Sam

      • ‘Secret’ mix popcorn
      • Candy choices go!
    • Brian
      • Popcorn
      • Chips
      • Bags vs. bowls
      • Drinks
      • Bathroom breaks
      • Eating at the theater
August 9, 2021  

Episode 26 - What Are You Watching

Home Theater United

Episode 26

August 9, 2021 800 PM EST

What are you watching?


Reconnection (5m or less):

  • Sam’s got booth time lined up for CEDIA.  STAY AWAY COVID!
  • Brian’s 2003 CEDIA memories

Interview (Target time 1h or less):

  • What are you watching?
    • Sam
      • Ted Lasso
      • The Green Knight
      • Suicide Squad
      • Mr. Corman
    • Brian
      • Olympics
      • 500 Nations
      • Wyatt Earp / Tombstone
      • 1917
      • Selma
      • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quick Good Band and Ugly:

Sam - Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

Brian - Nymphomaniac 5-hour director’s cut



Infinite Jest

21 hour Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


July 27, 2021  

More on Amps with John Rice and John Dirk

John Rice returns to fill in some of the details on amps and separates we didn't get to.  And longtime HTF member John Dirk joins to bring another perspective and talk about his journey from receiver to separates.  Brian and Sam get schooled on why higher wattage doesn't necessarily mean 'louder'.  And the John's get to show how they would spend Sam's upgrade budget to move to separates while being able to run HDMI 2.1, VRR and other new tech.

  • Introducing John Dirk

    • John’s history with amps
    • What John is running today
  • Round two on amps and separates versus integrated receivers
    • John Rice had points he didn’t get to make last time
  • Build Sam a recommended Amp stack
    • Can it do HDMI 2.1?  Only two inputs or more?


Quick Good Band and Ugly:

Sam - Spiral from the book of Saw

Brian - Birds Of Prey

John Rice - Colossal

John Dirk - Cowboys and Aliens

July 12, 2021  

Home Theater Forum’s Todd Erwin and Neil Middlemiss return to talk reviews, streaming, and helping new members

Special Guests/topic: Todd Erwin and Neil Middlemiss from the HTF Review Crew return

  • Atmos music
  • Guiding home theater beginners with buying advice
  • Streaming frustrations update
  • Sam’s THX Onyx Review follow up
  • Latest Reviews with Todd and Neil
  • Good, Bad and Ugly
June 28, 2021  

Steve Martz and Andrew Mason of THX

June 28, 2021 730 PM EST

Special Guests/topic: THX and the Onyx lossless DAC Amplifier with:

  • Andrew Mason, Senior Staff Engineer, Product Development, THX Ltd. 
  • Steve Martz, Vice President, Global Technology, THX Ltd.

THX Onyx - a powerful DAC/amp for your headphones

How to set up THX Onyx - YouTube 



  • We took a show off.  Had been going pretty hard for 5 months since start of year.  Good to take a break but lining up more guests now. Can’t guarantee it will remain every 2 weeks but that’s the target.  Open to guest suggestions and connections from our listeners
  • Sam’s going to CEDIA!  Anyone else gonna make it?
  • Looks like CES is a GO and Sam will try to make it there too.
  • Brian wrote a screenplay! Hoping to have a screenwriter focused podcast episode soon.

THX Introduction : 

THX has a storied history in home theater, first via George Lucas, then as an independent company, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Razer.  THX began certifying theaters for a quality audio and video experience so that movie goers could enjoy the film the way the creator intended. THX took this concept into the home theater product sector, offering the THX Certification service to worthy brands who can pass and have verified through hundreds of tests the high quality experience provided by their product.  In recent years, THX has also evolved into providing such technologies, in addition to its THX Certification service - such technologies as THX Spatial Audio and THX AAA.   

And now - its very first introduction direct to consumers of a product with the same mission - to empower quality entertainment where and when you want it with the THX DAC/Amp, a portable solution for enjoying lossless, crystal clear audio from your portable device over wired headphones. 

Interview :

  • How has the Razer transition been going?.  How do Razer and THX work together? 
  • On the THX web site there are 366 THX certified products but only one that is THX branded.  Is this a one off or the start of a trend?  Will we see more THX branded products?  Consumer products or are production products a possibility?
  • It looks like THX certification is still going.  What does that mean in a world of Atmos and Lossless?
    • Since the razer acquisition it seems like THX is in a prime position to help guide consumers to higher quality AV.
  • Please tell us a bit more about THX Onyx product
    • Who is this product aimed at? What if I don’t have ‘golden ears’?
    • Can consumer level headphones benefit from THX Onyx? If not, where’s a good starting point for headphones that do benefit?
    • Does it work with the new Apple Lossless / THX Spatial audio?
    • What do you need to get the most from THX Onyx?  Is Apple Music enough now or are Tidal / Amazon Music still better options?
  • What’s going on with Deep Note?  Are you / did you really replace it?
  • What’s next for THX?  

Quick Good Bad and Ugly:

Sam - Fast and Furious 9  

Brian - Glory

Guests - Parasite, Thor Ragnarok

May 31, 2021  

Brett Bjorquist of Kaleidescape

Brett Bjorkquist, Senior Manager, Dealer Engagement, Kaleidescape joins us to discuss Kaleidescape, known for a hardware/software solution that brings full resolution audio and video movies to the home.

  • A brief introduction to Kaleidescape.
  • How do you measure the quality differences between Kaleidescape vs UHD disks, Blurays, and 4K streams?
  • How do you see the different tiers of hardware breaking down by consumer? 
  • Your software gets great user reaction, what’s the latest on that? Any chance of a software only solution?
  • Who do you see as the typical Kaleidescape consumer?
  • What would you consider a minimum necessary home theater to get the most out of a Kaleidescape system? 
  • Are all studios on board?  What about independents / Criterion?
  • What’s on your roadmap for improvements to the system?
  • The elephant in the room: Price.  Is price a driving concern for you?  Is there a big enough market for this service at this price?  Is this price sustainable in a streaming first / subscription based world?
  • There’s no ties to Movies Anywhere or any other storefront right?  Is that something you’d consider?
  • Is Apple’s effort to bring lossless audio to music a concern?  If they go full lossless quality on audio in movies what then?
  • What audio and video formats does Kaleidescape support? 
  • What is your own theater like?  
  • What do you wish people understood about Kaleidescape better?  What would make using the system even better in their homes?


May 17, 2021  

Display calibration with Tyler Pruitt and Gregg Loewen

Special Guests: Tyler Pruitt of Portrait Displays (Calman) and Gregg Loewen of LionAV / Professional Video Alliance

Gregg and Tyler are on to discuss their work helping consumers get the most out of their displays, from monitors to flat panels to projectors.

  • What’s the takeaway on calibration these days?  Is is any easier for a lay person to get good results?  
  • What should enthusiasts look for in a calibration service?  How can they decide to do it themselves vice getting professional help?
  • Is Apple’s effort to build in calibration a gimmick or the real deal?  Isn’t it better to calibrate at the display than the player? 
  • How has the introduction of HDR into the mix changed calibration?
  • What’s the deal with all the HDR standards?  Should we care about anything besides HDR10 and Dolby Vision?
  • Can home projectors ever compete for accuracy again in an HDR world?
  • Do we -really- need displays capable of 1000 nits or more to get ‘real’ HDR?
  • Bias lights seem to have faded as a big deal, do you guys still recommend them?  Are people still putting them in?
  • Any thoughts on 3D or High Frame Rate from a calibration perspective?  How about gaming?
  • Where do you stand on streaming?  Do streams benefit significantly from calibration?  Are streams viable from an accuracy perspective?
  • What do you wish people understood about your job better?  What would make calibrating their theater better?
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