streaming

Why doesn't my 4K TV stream Netflix in 4K?

Roku Streaming Stick+

Episode 1493

Steve from California

Steve is frustrated with his Vizio 4K smart TV, which has a Netflix app, but it only supports 1080p and not 4K. Leo says that's because the TV is using an older version of the Netflix app. Leo recommends getting a Roku or Apple TV and then use the 4K version of the app, and it will stream in 4K. This is why Leo prefers so-called "dumb" TVs which don't have smart apps. He uses a Roku, which gets updated far more often and supports 4K apps.

Why can't I adjust the aspect ratio in my streaming app?

Sony TV

Episode 1492

John from Boston, MA

John is trying to stream movies using the FilmStruck app and they all end up 16:9. What can he do? Leo says that the Sony TV that John has uses a variety of aspect ratios. One setting is dot for dot or 1-to-1. That will give him the image it was meant to have. But the TV app is overriding that setting. It sounds like it's a shortcoming of John's smart TV. This is why Leo isn't a fan of smart TVs. Leo recommends using a Roku or cast it from his phone so that it won't override the TV aspect ratio settings.

Why does my phone keep casting to my TV?

YouTube app

Episode 1492

Brett from Woodbridge, NJ

Brett has issues accidentally casting to his TV while watching YouTube. How can he stop doing that? Leo says that something on the TV or streaming box is enabled. It's probably a Smart TV feature. Can he get rid of the button in YouTube? Leo says no, it's part of the app. He can go into his phone settings and disable casting, though. He could also look in his router and disable casting there. If his cable router doesn't do that, then he can buy his own router for $100, and it'll pay for itself in no time. Then he can block it that way, too.

What's the cheapest way to cut the cable?

https://www.att.com/

Episode 1487

James from Downey, CA

James has had it with cable and wants get rid of it and stream. Leo says for most people, the best choice is to get broadband from the cable company, and then get TV from something like YouTube TV or Sling TV. The other choice is DSL, but there will be varying degrees of success depending on how far away from the main hub one is. With DSL, it slows down the farther one is away. Fiber is the other choice, and may be the best solution of all. But its coverage is spotty. High speed wireless is coming and once that hits, one can completely cut the cable.

How can I cut the cord and replace my cable TV service?

TV remote

Episode 1484

Gary from Irvine, CA

Gary needs a new TV and wants to cut the cord. Rich suggests checking out Untangle.tv. It will walk him through the process of cord cutting and recommend streaming services based on what he wants to watch. He will have to keep his internet service to stream it, however. And for some channels, he may need an antenna, and it comes down to where he lives on whether or not that will be practical. He'll need line of sight to the broadcast antennas. AntennaWeb.org can help there too.

Should I buy an Apple TV?

Apple TV

Episode 1483

Anthony from Carpenteria, CA

Anthony wants to know what the advantage is of getting an Apple TV if all the modern TVs are so-called "smart" TVs? Rich says that apps are always better, and updated more on a dedicated device like the Apple TV. Smart TVs, on the other hand, rarely get updated, if ever. TV makers are in the TV business, not the app development business. So Apple TV has that advantage.