satellite

Can an HDMI signal degrade?

Episode 1270

John from Kingsford, MI

John has an HDMI switcher and is concerned that it will degrade the signal. Leo says it won't though. Digital signal either works or doesn't, and there's no degrading of the signal. What about juttering? Leo says that is likely coming from a bandwidth issue. It's likely the satellite connection. One issue could be distance. If he has a really long HDMI cable, it could cause weird artifacting and juttering. That's where a higher quality cable comes in handy.

Is Elon Musk really launching satellite Wi-Fi?

Episode 1247

George from Santa Monica, CA

George hears that Elon Musk wants to launch satellites to give everyone Wi-Fi access. Leo says it's true. He wants 4,000 satellites orbiting the earth so that there's nowhere on earth that you can't get high speed internet. He wants to launch them through SpaceX. Leo says that one of the problems with satellite internet, however, is the latency because of the distance it has to travel back and forth twice for each packet of data. Better than nothing, mind you, but there is a cost. Google is taking a different approach with balloons in Project Loon.

How can I watch Netflix with slow DSL?

Episode 1204

Katherine from Apple Valley, CA

Katherine has really slow internet of about 1Mbps on Verizon DSL. Leo says that's probably because she's too far away from the central hub. The farther out you are, the slower it gets. What can she do in order to watch Netflix? Leo says to get Netflix, she'll need a consistent 5-6 Mbps for standard definition, and 10-15 Mbps for HD. And that's not even including data caps. What about Satellite internet? Leo says that the best is Exede by Wild Blue, but the drawback is buying expensive equipment, data limits, and a lot of latency. But it should be fast enough.

How can I get faster broadband at home?

Episode 1164

Kelly from Fuquay-Varina, NC

Kelly's DSL is incredibly slow. Their house is "cable ready," but they don't have the ability to connect to cable since the nearest connection is a mile away. Leo says that there are good satellite providers like Wild Blue out there, but it's very easy to overwhelm the satellite bandwidth and they usually have low caps. So if Kelly is a heavy user, then that's not a good option.

What alternatives do I have to 4G internet in rural areas?

satellite dish

Episode 1138

Mark from Amherst County, VA

Mark uses Verizon 4G Wireless service and runs through 40GB in an afternoon with video conferencing. He also ends up roaming, so he's paying for that as well as overages. Verizon told him that FIOS would be coming, but Leo says that'll never happen now because they've stopped growing that out. It all has to do with a tug of war with the FCC over net neutrality.

What's a good internet option for a boat?

Boat

Episode 1112

Joe from Port of LA, CA

Joe wants to put his DirecTV on his boat. DirecTV says they can do it, but he doesn't believe them. Leo thinks that if he's in the harbor and there isn't a lot of movement, then it could be possible. But since boats move up and down according to the tides, Joe will likely lose that satellite connection often. It's not a good idea, especially for internet access.

Should I use my cell phone's data as my home internet service?

Episod 1093

Claudia from North Edwards, CA

Claudia's son wants her to combine her cellphone with her internet to make one bill. Leo says that if she can get 4G LTE internet on her cell phone, then she'd have faster speed than the satellite internet Claudia currently has. But she has to see what wireless company has high speed internet coverage in her area. If there is one in her area, then it'll not only be faster, but cheaper. Verizon makes a point of getting good coverage near military bases, so that may likely be the best option for her. Leo also recommends talking to neighbors to see what is working for them.

How can I use a satellite dish with my RV?

Episode 1044

Georgeanne from Pomona, CA

Georgeanna has an RV and a satellite dish. She's thinking about using Slingbox and a Hotspot with her cellphone, but that'll impact her data plan. Leo says that will definitely hurt the data plan, and the quality won't be all that great even over 4G. Slingbox is a good option though if she can get Wi-Fi connected to it. There are self aiming satellite antennas, but they aren't cheap.

Is satellite internet access viable for rural areas?

Episode 987

Richard from Montana

Richard lives in an area that doesn't give him either broadband or cellphone coverage, and is wondering if satellite internet is a viable option. Leo says if it's all he can get, then that's the only option. The equipment is expensive, though, and the upload speed is very slow. There's latency that's pretty bad so gaming and VOiP such as Skype would be an issue. There's also serious bandwidth caps. If that's not important, then it'll work. Leo recommends Exede, also known as WildBlue.