Netflix

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.

How do I cut the cable?

G. Scott from Lake Tahoe, CA

Episode 1257

G. Scott is thinking of cutting the cable, and streaming all of his TV online. Leo says that we're on the cusp of being able to do that with the FCC looking to allow third party cable boxes. But the industry is drastically changing as it becomes easier and easier to get TV shows online. The only challenge is live TV, but if he has a direct line to the TV stations with no obstructions, he can put up a TV antenna and get even better HD quality then that cable box anyway. But even that is changing, and Leo predicts that we'll have live streaming everywhere very soon. It's already started.

Why does Netflix play audio so low?

Robbie from California

Episode 1235

Robbie has been having issue with the Netflix app in his Phillips TV. The audio is really low. Scott says that's not uncommon for TVs -- they're not very smart. He recommends connecting the Roku separately and running Netflix through that. If it does the same thing, then he may need to go into the audio settings and see if there's a limiter or something that's enabled.

How can I AirPlay Netflix?

Episode 1228

Jerry from Idaho
Apple TV

Jerry has been traveling around via RV and he's having issues connecting to the internet, especially with his iPhone and Apple TV through hotspot mode. Leo says it's probably not fast enough to stream Netflix through his iPhone. But it's also very possible that AT&T is blocking Netflix or slowing it down. AT&T doesn't like that unlimited plan that Jerry has, and it's possible that they are throttling his connection after a certain amount of data. He's even tried it with Chromecast and it won't work either.