hulu

Cutting the Cord has Become More Popular

Episode 1425

Sling on Apple TV

Rich says that the most popular question he gets these days is on how to cut the cord and get rid of your cable or satellite connection. That shows a serious trend — 22 million cord cutters and 34 million "cord nevers." But it's also far more complicated and you really don't save any money by doing it. Live and local channels is also still a challenge, and there are multiple services:

Is the Chromecast a good way to get more TV content without buying more Dish channels?

Daniel from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1161

Daniel is wondering if a Google Chromecast would be a good way to get more content without buying more Dish channels. He also was wondering if he could get local channels. Leo says he wouldn't get local channels with a Chromecast. The Supreme Court's decision against Aereo, a service that would stream local channels for a small fee, it will be unlikely for awhile to get local channels online.

What alternatives are there to cable and satellite companies?

Episode 1122

James from Sparks, NV
Television

James says that prices of cable and satellite services are escalating. What can he do to cut the cable and get the same programming? Leo says that content companies are raising prices and cable companies are just passing the cost along. Cutting the cable can be done by using streaming and buying ala carte channels. It would be great if he could do that and eliminate the middle man. He could also get exactly what he wants and none of what he doesn't. But the cable companies are standing in the way. That's where streaming and buying shows on iTunes and Netflix is beneficial.

Is there any single service for all of my entertainment content?

Mike from Detroit, MI

Episode 1050

Mike wants to know if there is any one service that can offer all his entertainment needs: music, movies, tv shows, eBooks, audio books, etc. Leo says that Apple and Amazon would probably be the closest, but the entertainment world is pretty fragmented between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Audible, and others. Leo says that people are basically used to the idea of paying several smaller fees a month instead of one large cable bill. The irony is, people aren't really saving anything, which was the main force driving cord cutting.

How does streaming work?

Tony from Kentucky

Episode 945

Tony was streaming while he's on the road and the TV show stops every so often. Leo says that's called "buffering," which is when the stream has to stop for a second while it waits for all the data to be downloaded in order so it can continue. Sometimes a packet of data will get lost or delayed, so the media has to stop and wait for the data packets to "catch up". It usually has to load 30 seconds of the content before it can start playing again. If it's starting and stopping all the time, that usually points to an internet bandwidth problem.