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Episode 983 June 1, 2013

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Marie from Temecula, CA Comments

Marie has a Vizio 50" TV that had an extended warranty. The warranty expired and of course, the TV went out right after that. Leo says that the "pop" sound when it went out could indicate that the power supply failed or it was a defective capacitor on a circuit board.

Since the extended warranty expired, Vizio really doesn't have an obligation to make it right. However, if this is a widespread issue with that model, it's in Vizio's best interest to address the issue. Leo suggests going to the place she got it and asking them if they plan to address the issue. Then contact Vizio. The key will be to politely point out how widespread the issue is. Write a letter to the CEO, and follow up with an email. It'll certainly be escalated to a VP. Another thing that Marie can do is go to the Vizio site and see if there's a recall in the offing.

If it comes down to replacing the TV, Leo says that Vizio's are still a very good brand. A Panasonic Plasma is great too, while she could still can get it.

Scott Wilkinson says that unfortunately, the average lifespan for a TV, whether due to failure or just wanting the next best thing, is about 5 years. With the current pace in the development of the state of the art, people are moving on.

Scott doesn't recommend extended warranties in general. Electronics are either going to fail right away, or after a long time. In this instance, it failed after the term of the Extended warranty. It just happened that way. Leo says that extended warranties are a profit center.

Scott also says that because of decreasing profit margins, and losing market share to Korean electronics firm, Japanese companies like Sony are really struggling.

Watch Lee from West Hills, CA Comments

Lee has three identical Samsung Blu-ray players, model D5300, that can't play Blu-rays longer than approximately an hour and forty minutes. This started happening with a recent firmware update. When it reaches that point, the video slows down and the audio drops out. Lee has to stop and restart the disc to get it to work correctly.

Scott Wilkinson said he will look into this issue and find out if its a widespread issue. If it is, Samsung will just release another firmware update that will resolve the problem.

There is a forum with a link and instructions for downgrading the firmware of the D5300:

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Elizabeth from Lakewood, CA Comments

Elizabeth just graduated from JR. High school and would like to get a laptop. Her budget is $600.

Leo says that a Chromebook is great because they're only around $250. It runs the Chrome OS, which is essentially a browser, and then she would use Google Docs to do all of her work and the browser to surf the net. It's a good budget option for a student. Macs are too expensive, sadly, with the cheapest Mac being $999.

Windows, on the other hand, has several options in that price point including Asus, Acer, and even Lenovo. In fact, Leo says that for Elizabeth, a Lenovo Yoga may be a great option, because she'd have a laptop and a tablet all in one. It runs Windows RT which comes with a free copy of Microsoft Office.

Before she buys, it's probably a good idea to contact her school and see what requirements they may have. If she's taking courses that require Windows, then a Chromebook really wouldn't help.

Watch David from Perth, Australia Comments

David believes that accessibility of the Android OS has surpassed the iPhone. David is 16 and blind and he's found that his Android phone gets updated far more often than his old iPhone, Accessibility-wise, that's been really helpful. Also, because it's a separate application, it gets upgraded even more often.

Watch John from Prescott Valley, AZ Comments

John is looking to upgrade his video camera and wants to know what to do. Leo says that camcorders have almost been replaced overnight by smartphones and DSLRs, which can provide as good or even better quality. Especially DSLRs, which offer exchangeable lenses. The slight downside is that DSLRs have a limited recording time of about 29 minutes. That makes camcorders still beneficial for long form recording. In the Brickhouse studios, Leo uses the Canon Vixia HFG20 all over his studio. They're about $1,000.

Watch Michael from Laurel, MD Comments

Michael is a hypnotist who needs a good video projector for a conference he's speaking at. He wants to know what would work with both laptops and tablets. Leo says that Epson is one of his favorites. Michael will also need an MHL adapter to move from the tablet to the projector. Michael needs to be mindful of the projector's "throw," or how far it can project. Then there's the Lumens (the brightness). The darker the room the better. Epson has a projector finder which helps to find a projector based on information about the room. Avoid PICO projectors. They're ultra portable, but very dim.

Leo also says that an LCD projector is ideal. The Epson Powerlite S11 would be great for $399.

Watch Alan from Long Beach, CA Comments

David has a Toshiba Satellite laptop and he wants to capture video from old MiniDV tapes. Leo says that David needs a Firewire card because USB just isn't fast enough. His laptop also doesn't have a PCI card slot.

An analog capture device like the ADVC110 from Pinnacle would be ideal if he were dealing with analog video, but his camera is digital, so it would downgrade the signal. David would be better off getting a PCI Firewire card for his desktop, and transfer the video to that.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Nelle from Highland, CA Comments

Nelle has a Toshiba Thrive Android tablet, but anytime she has to download something big, she has to connect to Wi-Fi. She has problems finding and connecting to public Wi-Fi spots, though.

She'd rather get an ethernet to USB adaptor so she can hardwire it in to the internet at her work. Leo says that is an interesting solution. She should look into the Bobjgear Ethernet Adaptor for Android, which should be able to do that.

Watch Grant from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Grant loves to play video games and wants to get a good computer to do it. Leo says that depending on the types of games he plays would decide just how powerful a computer he'll want to get. If he's doing first person shooter games, or games with heavy 3D graphics, then he'll want a laptop with an i7 processor and plenty of RAM.

Grant is planning on going with AMD to save money so he can improve his video game options. Leo says that's a good idea. Intel is better as a processor, but AMD still hangs in there. Built-in graphics chips aren't as good as buying a dedicated video card, so he should do that. He can also get them as low as $100 that will do the job.

Watch Sean from Clovis, CA Comments

Sean is looking to get a video camera for private investigations work. He needs a camera that will "burn" the time/date stamp on the video itself as opposed to only being able to see that time/date stamp in the viewfinder.

Leo says that used to be a popular feature, but people have complained because they don't remember to turn it off. So it's fallen away as a feature in most video cameras. In that case, Sean may need a program that will read the meta data from the video and burn it into the image while importing to the PC. Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere both support this.

PadreSJ in the chatroom suggests Visual AVCHD TimeStamp. It will add timestamp to the AVCHD files.

Sean also wants to know if there's an app that will do the same thing for video off of smartphones like the iPhone. PadreSJ says that Stampr is an app that does that.

Watch Herbert from Oregon Comments

Herbert has a Sprint Unlimited Data Plan, but he's got bad Sprint coverage and he roams a lot. He gets roaming charges and even gets cut off until the next month. Leo says it comes down to getting a carrier that has good coverage where he is. As a trucker, it makes sense to pay close attention to coverage maps. All carriers have their quirks. Leo recommends T-Mobile because he has an unlimited plan for $70, and because it isn't widely used, he seldom runs into slow downs.