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Episode 1549 December 15, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Cheryl from Palmdale, CA Comments

Cheryl wants to get her grandfather a Chromebook. Could she connect it to a monitor? Leo says she can get a Chromebox, which is just a desktop version of the Chromebook. Then she can connect a screen, keyboard, and mouse. They are far more secure, and easier to use. Asus makes them starting at around $200. The Chromebox 3 will also support using two monitors. And they are small enough that they can be mounted on the back of the monitor, so it's almost like an iMac.

Watch Ted from Columbus, OH Comments

Ken wants to get a sound bar. Is Vizio good? Leo says that Vizio is one of the best for the money. LG makes good sound bars as well. And there's also Sonos, but they're a little more expensive. Leo recommends going with the Vizio.

Watch Rich from Tuscon, AZ Comments

Rich recently bought a 4K TV, now he's having issues watching Blu-ray DVDs that are non 4K, because it's a bit "jerky." Leo says it's called "decoding hesitation." Scott says that the very first Samsung Blu-ray players had problems with resolution and detail. It's also related to upscaling. What's odd is that it's inconsistent, happening every 5-10 seconds. Leo also says the Blu-ray player is losing sync when decoding the data stream. A better player will fix the problem, and if Rich is looking to get the next component in his new 4K system, the Blu-ray player is where to start. The good news is that Blu-Ray players are really cheap now. Scott also recommends going with a 4K HDR player as well. Sony, Samsung, and any name brand is good. Here are the best UHD Blu-Ray players according to the Wirecutter.

The chatroom says it may be a good idea to check for a firmware update on the Blu-ray player first.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Don from Santa Barbara, CA Comments

Don recently bought a new LG TV, and he likes to watch TV with ear phones, but his wife doesn't. When he uses the earphone jack, it shuts off the speakers. What can he do? Leo says the easiest way to do it is to use dual audio outputs. Leo recommends a sound bar that he can plug into the optical port, and then he can use the headphones with the headphone jack. Vizio makes a good budget sound bar for around $100. The other option is an analog splitter.

From the chatroom - in the LG TV menu under "Sound Out", it has an option for both. Check out this video on YouTube for more information.

Watch John from St Petersburg, FL Comments

John is having trouble chrome casting with an app called Hoopla. Leo says that it's likely a rights issue, and Hoopla is preventing it on the Chromecast, but works with the iPad. Hoopla has apps for Roku and Apple TV, and they work more consistently. Leo's guessing it's a problem with Hoopla and poor Chromecast implementation.

Watch Bob from Tujunga, CA Comments

Bob's mother is in her 90s, and she's having issues writing with a pen. Leo says if she has a printer, she can use a Chromebook and type letters. Asus makes a very affordable 15" Chromebook, which will cloud print to her printer. It's only about $200 at Best Buy. That's really the best way to do it. She can use Google Docs to type.

There's also the FreeWrite Word Processor, which will print directly to a printer. It's $350.

From the chatroom - How to print via USB with a Chromebook. Leo says it's too many steps, though. He could always get a typewriter.

Watch Clarence from Chesapeake, VA Comments

Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Steve from Palos Verdes, CA Comments

Steve's elderly mother wants to keep in touch. What's a good device that he can get her so they can FaceTime or video conference that's really easy? Leo says that Facebook has a really good solution called Facebook Portal. It's really great and is a dedicated video device. Amazon also has one called the Amazon Echo Show. Google's is called the Google Home Hub, but it doesn't have a camera.

If she's on Facebook, the Portal is ideal. It also has a great story mode so that Grandma can tell stories to the kids. They are also adding some games. It even doubles as a digital picture frame.

Watch Mike from Glendale, CA Comments

Mike is having issues with Gmail, it says he doesn't have an account, but he does. Leo says that one thing to try is logging into his account with a different computer, or log into a different Google service, like Google Dashboard. If that works, then his account is active and alive. He can also have a friend send him an email, and if it bounces back to them, then his account has somehow been deactivated.

Watch Ron from Irvine, CA Comments

Ron's optical mouse is getting flakey. It won't work. Leo says a shiny surface may be causing issues. Leo recommends a Precise mousepad by 3m. It has a pattern on it that enhances the optical signal of the mouse.

Watch Richard from West LA, CA Comments

Richard wants to know if apps on his smartphones can track him if it's off. Leo says no. No app can track him if the phone is off. But it's not very useful that way. He can either remove the app, or revoke its permissions. Can the government remotely turn it on? Leo says no. Not yet, anyway.