In these tough times, everyone is using the internet to watch videos online since there is often nothing better to do. However, if you do not need to watch a video in the highest resolution available, try to tolerate a slightly lower clarity in order to save some bandwidth for others. Videos like podcast discussions, news shows, and vlogs can arguably be viewed just fine in 480p or 720p.
During this period of social distancing, everyone is streaming. As such, Netflix has had to lower the resolution quality of streaming down to SD in Europe in order to handle the load. That's a significant degradation if you have a 4K TV. Will it happen here? Scott wouldn't be surprised if it does. As more people shelter in place, they'll be watching more, and streaming more. Coupled with working at home, kids having virtual classes online, internet traffic is going way up. Leo says one way around this is to cache content.
Mike watches Netflix with a VPN. Why is it slower? Leo says that a good VPN shouldn't slow him down all that much. So if the VPN is slow, and making it harder to stream Netflix, then try a different VPN or ISP. Also, if you're using a VPN to watch Netflix from the home computer, the upload speed may be the issue. Leo also recommends using PLEX. It uses a dedicated port and will enable him to media serve that Netflix stream, as well as movies. But again, it depends on the home upload speeds.
Marty got a message from Netflix that his Blu-ray player won't support Netflix anymore. Leo says that can happen when an upgrade can break connectivity. And it sounds like Netflix isn't going to support that anymore. The good news is, smart TVs have Netflix, as do players like the Roku and AppleTV. He can even get a $35 Chromecast and do it. Go with Roku!
David is having trouble with constant buffering with Netflix on his PS3. But it doesn't do it with subtitles. What gives? Rich says the first thing to look at is what has changed before the buffering began. Often, a change can cause those things. Rich also recommends going to FAST.com and test your internet speed. Rich also recommends uninstalling the Netflix app from David's PS3 and then reinstall it. Also, make sure that the PS3 is updated. Rich suspects that an update may not have been completely installed and uninstalling and reinstalling usually clears things up.
Frank's grandkids are coming over for Father's Day and he's worried that his internet is too slow. What does he need for on-demand streaming? Leo says that Netflix has a standard of 25MB down. But Leo says its best to have twice that.
Rob wants to know how he can find out the more accurate speeds he's getting on his internet service. Leo says that when ISPs tell you speeds, it's usually under ideal conditions are are "peak speeds." Look for the phrase "as fast as." Then go to several internet speed testing sites like Netflix's Fast.com or SpeedTest.net. User several of them and get a good average. Also do it at different times. After 6pm is going to be different because people are watching Netflix.
Bruce upgraded to an LG C7 TV, and it's been the best TV he's ever owned. He has an older generation Apple TV, not the new 4K version that's out now. He's wondering if it would be better for him to get a Mac Mini instead. He wants to know what the difference would be between Apple's tvOS and macOS. Leo says the new Apple TVs support UHD and high dynamic range (HDR). One of nice things about using an Apple TV is that it's automatic, Bruce would just have to plug in the HDMI cable and everything would work. The other thing it does is Dolby Atmos sound.
John bought a Samsung QLED 4K TV. Does he really need to get a Blu-ray player for it? All he really watches is Netflix and it's pretty good. Leo says that streaming gets compressed, so even though it looks pretty good, Blu-ray is uncompressed and will look far better. The way he can tell is by looking for "macro blocking." He'll see it in solid blacks, and it'll show bands, instead of a smooth gradient. He'll also see some jaggies in titles and text. But Leo says in spite of that, Netflix does a good job. It just depends on if he wants the perfect image or not.
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.