Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Jerry from Whittier, CA Comments

Jerry added a hard drive to his DVR, and he's considering a change from Dish to another service. Will he be able to keep his content? Leo says no. They're probably formatted with the same standard, but the issue is that the content is encrypted by Dish. He could still use it, but he'd have to "rebless" it with the new DVR and that would require erasing the hard drive completely. That's because Hollywood is deathly afraid he'll take that content, burn DVDs and sell them.

Watch Bob from San Jose, CA Comments

Bob wants to use his Canon Rebel T3i as a webcam. Leo says he would need HDMI passthru. He'll need a miniHDMI to HDMI cable, then he can connect it to his TV. But if his computer doesn't have HDMI, then he'll also need a video adapter. But for all of the effort required, he should probably just get a good HD Webcam. Leo likes the Logitech C920. It'll connect via USB and will work great.

Another reason the DSLR may not be a good choice is that it may time out to save battery life, or the sensor will overheat after about 29 minutes. There's also a strange taxation issue which causes the camera to not record beyond 30 minutes. So all DSLRs cut short recording time to avoid that.

Watch Ken from Cape Girardeau, MS Comments

Ken has a old Intel iMac. Should he be reinstalling OS X occasionally to keep it running well? Leo says that he could, but it's not as important on a Mac as a Windows PC. This is largely because it doesn't have a registry. But he can do it if he wants, and it's really easy to do now. Once a year or two, it's a good idea to clear out the machine and start over. He should just make sure to back up his data first though.

Watch Ken from Cape Girardeau, MS Comments

Leo says there's not much difference between the two. He uses a Mac Pro at home and likes it, but it's not very upgradeable, and any upgrades he could do would have to be external. On a PC, if he gets a tower case, upgrades are easy. Leo just got all of the video editors at TWiT Dell PCs and they will be moving to Adobe Premiere. The Mac Pro is expensive for what you get, and for pro video editors it's probably not the best solution.

Watch Brandon from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Comments

Brandon wants to know what the minimum bandwidth is that he can get away with to stream Hulu Plus. Leo says for a good quality stream, he'll want at least 5 Mbps down. But that doesn't meant that's what he would get all the time. Beware of the term "up to." Run SpeedTest.net to get an idea what the sustained throughput is. That will give him an idea. But if he's sharing bandwidth with the neighborhood, then it could be less. Netflix has recommendations which will give him a pretty good idea of what is needed.

0.5 Megabits per second - Required broadband connection speed
1.5 Megabits per second - Recommended broadband connection speed
3.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for SD quality
5.0 Megabits per second - Recommended for HD quality
25 Megabits per second - Recommended for Ultra HD quality

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Don from Mojave Valley, AZ Comments

Don wants to know if Twitter is a good way to get the attention of Samsung's support people. Leo says it is. The trend was started by a support person at Comcast with "ComCastCares." And everyone has picked up on that trend. It helps to also have "hashtags" (#) which can make it searchable. A good company will pick up on it and take quick action. But companies are now starting to get mean about the bad press they get on social media. He should mention @samsungtweets, or @samsungsupport

Companies are seeing a rise of trolling on social media and their solution is to shut down negative press rather than address it. The key is how Don says things on social media. Be nice, but factual.

Watch Paul from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Paul got his mother a Harmony remote to make using her TV system easier to use. Leo says he'll want to be sure he sets it up right. That's the complicated part. Logitech has an online database that will allow him to connect it to the internet program it. He can also program custom buttons for his favorite shows, so Paul's mother could just press one button and everything would turn on as it should.

Leo's problem with the Harmony remote is that a lot of boxes don't have "on" and "off" switches, but there are toggles, meaning he'd also have to make sure that everything is all off or all on before using the Harmony remote. If he can figure that all out though, then it's a very good choice.

Watch Chip from Cherry Hill, NJ Comments

Chip wants to know if anyone really needs to attend CES anymore since everything is available online. Leo says not really. He sends people to cover it. It's a great experience to go at least once. It's out of control, and there's so much to see. But Chip could pretty much see everything virtually now and doesn't need to feel the pressure to attend every single year.

Watch Matthew from Diamond Bar, CA Comments

Matthew has an Asus laptop and it restarts from time to time. Leo says that it's crashing and shutting down to protect the hardware from damage. Leo suspects that it's overheating. Matthew can remove the outer case and clean it out with a vaccum cleaner or blower. A fan may also have stopped working, especially one for the CPU. If the thermal paste that attaches the fan to the CPU has dried out, that could be causing overheating issues as well. A flakey power supply is also a possible culprit. Leo suggests finding an independent computer expert that can fix it.

Watch Diane from West Los Angeles, CA Comments

Diane had an old Thinkpad and she needs to replace it. Would an iPad be sufficient for her? Leo says maybe, but for what Diane does online, a Chromebook a better and cheaper option. They only cost about $200 to $300. It's simple, based on Google, and is very secure. She could even get a 15" model now. They have a nice "power wash" feature that would allow her to start over if something goes wrong. She can also attach it to an external monitor.

There's also a Chromebox, which is essentially a desktop version of the Chromebook. Another option in the Windows arena is the HP Stream.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Larry from Hisperia, CA Comments

Larry has a 7 year old laptop, and its LCD screen died. Leo says that often with laptops, the backlight goes out. If he uses it outside, he can adjust the angle to see something. If it's all black, then it's likely that the ribbon cable has finally broken from the frequent opening and closing. If he has a monitor with a VGA port and can plug it in, he can still use it as a desktop.

Another problem is the power supply. But after 7 years, they're really not worth repairing, especially since Larry can get a Chromebook for about $200, or maybe even an HP Stream.

Watch Jared from Whittier, CA Comments

Jared is having a problem with his iPhone 5 since upgrading to iOS 8. Leo says there's no denying that the experience is worse under iOS 8. Apple is working on it, but unfortunately, he can't roll back to iOS 7. There are known Wi-Fi issues and there are workarounds.

Wi-Fi is always a challenge, and Leo says it may also be congestion in his area if everyone is using Wi-Fi in the neighborhood. A lot of people are complaining now, and Leo doesn't think there's a blanket fix. Apple has been having issues with Wi-Fi since the iPad came out. Jared should try resetting the network settings, and that's about all he can do.

Watch Marty from Simi Valley, CA Comments

Marty was going out to buy a Sony X900 UHD TV, but then he heard Leo's CES report and decided to wait. Leo says that the X900 is a gorgeous TV, however, waiting may be a good idea because the standards have been finalized and any older TV won't conform to them. Marty says that Sony and Samsung are "guaranteeing" that they will work under the standard. Leo says they'll work, but will it work as well as one that's up to the new standard? That's the real question. It's a matter of how well it works, not if it works. But still, the X900 is a nice TV, and there's no real cause for delay because even if it won't work optimally, most users probably won't be able to tell the difference.

Watch Lauren from Mission Viejo, CA Comments

Lauren's laptop has green horizontal lines. She tried to restore her OS and that seemed to fix the lines issue, but now she's dealing with Windows installation issues. Leo says that's interesting because the green lines usually point to a hardware issue. Leo says that it's important to install all the updates, otherwise she's vulnerable to security issues.

Lauren says the updates get installed, but everytime she uses the computer, it asks to install more updates. Leo says that a failed update may cause the computer to keep trying to install. Stuck updates can be removed so she can move on. As long as it's making progress, she should keep rebooting until it's done. Updating with Service Packs is also helpful. Leo warns that those green lines may come back, though.

Watch Greg from Palmdale, CA Comments

Greg finished installing his home theater system and he wants to know what device is good for watching movies on his computer. Leo says that Plex is great on the Playstation or Xbox, or even the Roku or Fire TV. It connects to the media storage, such as a networked desktop. Leo likes it because it's simple. A Mac Mini would work great, and it's small. It has HDMI out so it'll plug right into his AV receiver.

Watch Mike from East Vail, CA Comments

Mike picked up a Motorola Moto G 2nd generation, but keeps auto updating over data. It does it on its own, and nobody can figure out why it's updating all the time. Leo says it sounds like the carrier doing an update every day, which is probably a phone home kind of update. It's not normal and it's likely related to his cellular service.

He should be able to go into his settings and make sure it only updates over Wi-Fi. And if the carrier is doing it, they should not charge him data for it. He can try turning off cellular data and see if it still updates. He can also go into the Google Play store app and turn on Wi-Fi only.