Daniel is wondering if a Google Chromecast would be a good way to get more content without buying more Dish channels. He also was wondering if he could get local channels. Leo says he wouldn't get local channels with a Chromecast. The Supreme Court's decision against Aereo, a service that would stream local channels for a small fee, it will be unlikely for awhile to get local channels online.
Mike uses his phone as his internet access and he wants to use Netflix from his Android phone wired to his HDTV, but he has issues with audio sync. Leo suspects that the phone isn't powerful enough to drive it. He did get a Chromecast, but it requires a Wi-Fi signal to work.
There are other options. Leo says that using a MiFi card may help, because then it would convert the 4G signal to Wi-Fi. Also, because he rooted the phone, that could be adding to the issue. But rooting helps him to tether and use the Chromecast that way. This could violate his deal with Sprint, though.
Jeff has great bandwidth - 100Mbps down - but when he's streaming on his TV, he gets constant buffering. Leo says that smart apps on a TV are terrible. So Leo advises avoiding them and going with a streaming box like the Roku. Jeff says it's also happening with the Fire TV, though. Jeff is mostly having a hard time streaming DirecTV content. He has a SWiM box which is connected over the LAN in his house to his DirecTV receiver. There shouldn't ever be buffering, so Leo thinks it's the SWiM box.
Brandon wants to know what the minimum bandwidth is that he can get away with to stream Hulu Plus. Leo says for a good quality stream, he'll want at least 5 Mbps down. But that doesn't meant that's what he would get all the time. Beware of the term "up to." Run SpeedTest.net to get an idea what the sustained throughput is. That will give him an idea. But if he's sharing bandwidth with the neighborhood, then it could be less.
Bob wants to know when Netflix is going to replace Silverlight. Leo says that Microsoft dropped support for Silverlight a long time ago, and Netflix is slowly starting to change to HTML5, but it's not fast enough for most of us. Bob says that Silverlight goes away from time to time and it's frustrating. It has happened on the Mac. But for Windows, I.E. 11 uses HTML5. Since Bob uses XP Pro, he can't even use that. He's stuck at IE8. Leo says it's really time to get a new computer. The Chrome browser may be an option.
Joe is moving to Uruguay and he's finding that he can't use Netflix or other streaming video services there. This is just because many of the popular streaming services don't work in all countries. If he had a house in the US with a cable subscription, he could use HBO Go, or Time Warner cable's app.
ScooterX says that Netflix is in Uruguay now, but it'll be a limited catalog. Could he Slingbox with a friend's account? Leo says that would be one way to do it.
Streaming video online requires a lot of data, especially when it comes to high definition or Ultra HD content. If you're dealing with data caps, then it's even more important to pay attention to how much data you're consuming when using streaming services such as Netflix. There are settings you can adjust within your Netflix account that will help mitigate your data usage, though.
Chris recently bought an LG 4K TV. He's been enjoying Netflix and he's noticed his data has shot through the roof. Leo says that's not surprising. And if the cost went up, it's likely because Chris used more data streaming. Leo says that Chris can change the settings in his Netflix account to avoid streaming at the maximum bandwidth, but it won't look as good on that 4K TV!
James says that prices of cable and satellite services are escalating. What can he do to cut the cable and get the same programming? Leo says that content companies are raising prices and cable companies are just passing the cost along. Cutting the cable can be done by using streaming and buying ala carte channels. It would be great if he could do that and eliminate the middle man. He could also get exactly what he wants and none of what he doesn't. But the cable companies are standing in the way. That's where streaming and buying shows on iTunes and Netflix is beneficial.
Jim wants to buy his own modem and send back his Time Warner modem. But they say he has to keep it because of his telephone service. Leo says that may be true, since cable phone service uses VoiceOver IP and the cable modem box may require it. So if he is going to use his own modem for internet, then he'll need a splitter to divide the internet traffic. And that's why Leo hates cable monopolies. His only choice is his cable company. He'll get about 1-2 Mbps with Netflix at best. And that likely means a downgraded quality of Netflix.