Doug is having trouble with using wifi calling on his older iPhone on Verizon. Leo recommends calling up Verizon and request a Femtocell (microcell). Verizon calls it a 4G Network Extender. The FemtoCell offers cellular wifi calling in areas that cellular coverage doesn't work well. It's essentially a mini cell tower connected to your wifi. And if you are nice and tell them your service won't work in your home, so you may as well not be a customer, they should send it to you for free. Don't pay for it.
John has issues with coverage in his home town. Leo says that the irony is that AT&T is considered to have total universal coverage, but that doesn't seem to be the case entirely. Leo says to go to the carrier he's with and ask them for a FemToCel. If they want to keep his business, they'll give him one for free. With it, it will route his calls over the internet for cell service to his phone.
Paul is having an issue with dropped calls and limited cell reception. He's told he needs a receiver to boost the signal. Leo says that receiver is called a FemToCell that plugs into his internet access and routes his calls through the net. He should call his carrier and tell them he can't use their service in his house and ask them to provide a FemtoCell. In most cases they'll provide it for free. He may need to threaten to cancel his service to get it.
Naomi has a friend who can't seem to get Internet access with her mobile phone. Leo says if she doesn't have good cell access in her home, then she should ask her carrier for a Femtocel that she can connect to. It basically uses the internet to make phone calls. But she'll have to have a separate internet connection to take advantage of it.
Another option is a signal amplifier. Naomi can check out WilsonAmplifiers.com for the WeBoost. It'll boost her cell signal from where it's best to where it's worst.
Tim had AT&T and then changed carriers. He wants to know if he can use the AT&T Microcell/FemtoCell with his new carrier. Leo says probably not. It's likely locked to AT&T. All carriers offer them, however, and there's a good chance they are the same. There may be a way to hack it.
Barry gets lousy cell phone reception at work. Leo says there are signal repeaters such as the Wilson Electronics Cell Phone Signal Boost. Barry would place the antenna in a place where there is signal, and it would send the signal to the booster which would repeat it.
Leo suggests talking to Verizon and requesting a FemToCell. If they don't offer it to her, then she should threaten to leave the service. The FemtoCell will route her calls through the internet so she can at least have service in her home.
Libby has some miniDV tapes that she wants to make digital copies of. She wants to know the best method for doing this, and what format she should use. Leo says that miniDVs are already digital. So that saves a step. Since the service Libby took them to made DVDs, she can rip them and get MPEG2 files. Leo uses HandBrake and VLC Media Client, which work together to rip DVDs. Leo says to just rip it. Don't reencode it.
Julie gets terrible cell reception in her home. How can she make it better? Leo says the best way is to use a "FemtoCell" or Wireless Network extender. The FemToCell will then use her home internet connection to connect her calls when she's at home. If she contacts the wireless company and tells them she needs a FemToCell for coverage, they'll provide her with the hardware she needs.