HDMI

Should I use Cat 5 or 6 Ethernet in my house?

Episode 1014

Dave from California

Dave has been using Cat 5e Ethernet and plans to put it in his home, but now everyone is using Cat 6 because of gigabit Ethernet. Using Cat 6 going forward will future proof him, but at the end of the day, Wireless is a pretty strong technology. It's also way easier to setup. However, if the walls are open while he's building the house, he may as well do it. There's really no such thing as future proofing with any hardware, though. Eventually, it's going to be outdated. If Cat 6 is too pricey, 5e is fine. And he can double up on plug sockets.

How can I use my Slingbox with DirecTV? (Part 1)

Slingbox

Episode 1006

Dale from Palmdale, CA

Dale has a Slingbox, and ever since he updated his Slingbox app on his phone, it won't work unless he uses the HDMI cable. Slingbox says it's the HDCP copy protection of DirecTV. Leo says that this is most likely true. Leo recommends checking to make sure his HDMI cable is HDCP compliant. It sounds like DirecTV is turning on copy-protection to frustrate users of devices like the SlingBox.

Can I use my camcorder as a webcam?

Episode 1003

Rick from New Jersey

Rick has a Panasonic camcorder and would like to use it as a high quality webcam. Leo says that it depends on the camera. Most new ones are able to do it via HDMI. Some have live HDMI.

Rick needs is a live component or composite. It has to be able to pass the video stream out of the camera and into the PC. HDMI makes it easy. If it doesn't have that, then Leo says a capture card is likely needed. Also, camcorders will time out after a set time, so he'll have to turn that off in the settings or "pop" the cassette to keep it going. Firewire will work as it is always live.

Why can't I get DVDs to play correctly?

Episode 998

John from Newport Richey, FL

John bought a DVD player and the DVDs just aren't playing right. So he returned it and got another but he's having issues with that one as well. Leo says that if John is playing off the analog component cable, then it's likely he's dealing with copy protection and the TV isn't supporting the analog hole. Leo says to look on the back of the TV and choose the best quality connector. Ideally, HDMI is the way to go. Component will work as well, but he just needs the right cables.

Are there USB to HDMI converters for streaming video?

Episode 986

Ken from Simi Valley, CA

Ken was streaming video on an older laptop linked to his TV, and the TV gave up the ghost. His new TV has no VGA port. Is there a USB to HDMI converter? Leo says yes, it's an analog converter, but it works. The quality won't be as good and USB isn't all that fast for super high resolution. How can it do that if it's bypassing the video card? Leo says it's done with onboard software.

How do I connect the DISH Network Hopper?

Episode 967

Rich from Florence, MT

Rich just upgraded to DISH Network's Hopper, but is only getting a green screen by HDMI connection. Leo says that it could be a copy protection issue and recommends trying a different HDMI. It may also be that Rich's TV doesn't support HDCP, and the Hopper is HDCP compliant. Also, he should make sure he's plugging the cable into the proper port. The port or cable could be bad. Try the easy stuff first. Then contact DISH.