Sound trace: Antenna shouldn’t be choosing up any channels? There’s an app for this | Arts and leisure

Question: How can I receive more than two channels in my rural home? Right now I have a big antenna on a rotor outside. What better antenna that would help? I have good internet but am trying to save some money on cables.

– RS, Crosslake, Minnesota

A. A large, directional outdoor antenna on a rotor is pretty much the ultimate for wireless television reception. If it can’t feed in enough channels, there really is nowhere else to go in terms of antenna upgrades.

Your situation is a perfect use for the Locast app, which has featured a lot in the column lately. Locast will broadcast your local channels over the internet for $ 5 a month. Locast can be used with a Smart TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire Stick. You may be able to use the app on your phone or tablet and stream it straight to your TV (if compatible). Locast.org

Capsule II and Nebula Portable Solar Projectors: The projector I tested last week produces a very large, beautiful image, but external components (a signal source and sound system) are required to complete the experience. Not everyone wants that level of dedication or complexity, and I recently tested two Nebula DLP projectors that do everything in one compact component.

Both projectors have HDMI inputs and contain the Android TV 9 operating system, which makes them “intelligent projectors”. They connect to Wi-Fi so you can install apps like Disney + and Hulu and watch them right from the projector. They focus very quickly and accurately and there is no zoom lens so you can control the size of the image by varying the distance between the projector and the screen. Their LED light sources last for 30,000 hours and there are no lamps to replace. Both can run on internal batteries, but play time is limited at full brightness. So leave them connected unless they are displayed for an hour or less. Both models can be used as projectors for business presentations and are also good for video games.

The $ 579 Nebula Capsule II is the size and shape of a large beverage can and is an upgrade of the popular Capsule Max projector. Android TV 9.0 has a significantly improved user interface and makes the picture look cleaner and more natural than before. It produces a 100-inch 720p picture, and the high-end Scan Speak speakers sound great.

The $ 599 Nebula Solar Portable has a resolution of 1080p and displays the HDR10 High Dynamic Range when playing 4K sources. While I love the Capsule II’s form factor, the Solar Portable really won me over. The home theater projector I tested last week can produce a bigger, brighter, and slightly smoother image, but the Solar Portable image was just as sharp and I preferred its color rendering, possibly due to the LED light source. For many consumers who want to have fun projecting, the Solar Portable is likely a more satisfactory choice than a full size home theater projector. You give up a bit of brightness, image size and quality, but in return you get a much smaller form factor, good sound, simplicity, smart Wi-Fi capability, available battery power and never have to replace a lamp. seenebula.com

You can project onto a white wall, but I strongly recommend a screen. My first choice remains the JWST 1.1-gain 120-inch screen and stand, $ 165 on Amazon. A good indoor starter is the Owlenz 120-inch folding screen for $ 19.99. It doesn’t wrinkle, fits in a small bag, and includes wall hooks.

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