Netflix

Should I turn off my phone's background refresh and location services to save battery life?

Episode 1437

Mike from Maine
iOS Privacy Settings

Mike just upgraded to iOS 11.1 and he's wondering if turning off Background App Refresh and Location Services will save battery life. Does it make a difference? Leo says that he would do that for privacy issues rather than battery life. It's a good idea to change it to use his location only when the app is working. Apple would let him decide both by app. Leo does recommend leaving it on for his maps app, though. Apple does a very good job of managing battery life, and in most cases, turning off all those services is a finesse he doesn't need to really hassle with.

How can I stream Netflix at school?

Episode 1394

David from Mission Viejo, CA
Netflix

David is a teacher and he wants to use Netflix as a teaching aid, but the school district won't allow streaming it into the classroom. What can he do as a work around? Leo says that there really isn't one, as he would have to have permission from the district. He could bypass the school's internet by using his cellular data and making his mobile device a hotspot.

Hackers Break Into Netflix, Release Orange is the New Black

Episode 1385

Hackers

A hacker by the name of "The Dark Overlord" broke into Netflix' servers and released the new season of "Orange is the New Black," after demanding payment not to. According to TDA, he also has shows from ABC, IFC, and other channels. Leo says that is a childish act that probably was perpetrated by an ambitious teenager and Netflix did the right thing by refusing to pay up.

Why does Netflix crash on my smart TV?

Episode 1352

Sandy from Orange County, CA
Roku Ultra

When Sandy tries to stream Netflix on her Sony Smart TV, the app crashes. Leo suspects that the app has become corrupted, and it appears to be a common problem on Bravia TVs. A refresh of the firmware should solve the problem. The OS in Smart TVs is terrible, though, which is why Leo always recommends using a Roku, Apple TV, or even the PlayStation to stream Netflix.

How can cities tax streaming services?

Seth from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1339

Seth is hearing that some cities want to tax streaming services. Leo says that is horrible. Pasadena is charging 9.4% on each streaming service starting in January. The argument is that cities are losing revenue due to cord cutting. 9.4% is a high percentage, and isn't it taxing citizens twice? They already tax the internet access, so why would people have to pay that tax twice because of streaming? It's also highly problematic from a net neutrality aspect. Will they pick and chose what services to tax? All bits should be treated equally.

Why is my Roku buffering and rebooting?

Episode 1338

Mike from Tustin, CA
Roku Ultra

Mike recently "cut the cord" and streams only via Roku. Leo says that what's apparent is that cord cutting doesn't really save money. When you consider Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime subscriptions, he's paying just as much, if not more. That's not the reason to cut the cord. The reason is to send a message that he's not going to take it anymore from the cable companies.

Why is my resolution so bad in Netflix?

Keith from New Hampshire

Episode 1334

Keith streams on Netflix and it looks terrible at the beginning. Leo says that Netflix uses an adaptive algorithm that starts off at its lowest resolution and then gets better once it guages his bandwidth. If it gets worse over time, though, that means that his bandwidth is inconsistent. Since Keith is using wireless, it could be the Wi-Fi dropping or pausing briefly, dropping packets. Keith needs to wire his router to the TV. If that doesn't fix it, he can look for the Quality of Service (QoS) setting that will enable him to set priority over what traffic he wants.

Is there a streaming alternative to live TV on cable?

Episode 1294

Ralph from Huntington Beach, CA
Roku 4

Ralph has been victim of the transition from Verizon to Frontier and he's looking for live TV alternatives. What about cable TV over the internet like Vstream? Leo says it depends on the source of the channels they bring. Many are either illegal, or foreign language TV. He could end up with soccer from Ecuador. It's not going to be ABC, ESPN or his local news. It really comes down to content. He'd really be better off going with Roku and then add things like Netflix, HBO, etc.