Pat wants to watch Fox News on Roku, and he hates that he has to jump through hoops to unlock it by entering a password. It's a pain. Leo says that many are using activation codes that they can navigate on from a mobile device. But if he's truly cut the cable, he may be out of luck. The true problem, though, is this guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude on the part of the content providers. This kind of protection doesn't stop pirates at all. Just people who do the right thing.
Yvonne wants to cut the cable and stream. Will the Roku work on her smart TV? Leo says that Roku works great for TVs that aren't smart TVs, but you can use it with a Smart TV. In fact, smart TVs generally aren't that smart, so get the Roku.
John wants to know if an Alcatel tablet will be good for streaming video. He can get one for cheap from T-Mobile. Leo says the price may indicate a subsidized two-year contract. And if he's going to do that, AT&T is currently offering a free tablet with a two-year commitment. Stream it from the store to see. If he can get it out the door for that price, it'll also work with MINT, an MVNO that offers T-Mobile service for less.
Terry wants to buy a device to cast to his home office TV. Would the Chromecast work or should he buy the FireTV Stick? Leo says that the Chromecast is a great device, but it doesn't stand on its own. He'll have to navigate to what he wants to watch on a phone and then cast to the Chromecast device. Stand-alone devices like Roku and AppleTV can act as their own independent devices. As for FireTV, Leo says it really serves as a portal to sell stuff from Amazon, so he's not much of a fan. Leo says ROKU Ultra is a better choice all the way around and will also stream in 4K.
Al says he's been watching Smarter Every Day on YouTube and he has learned about click farms that are designed to create bogus views and clicks on YouTube to not only earn ad revenue but to skew the recommendation engine to drive videos that wouldn't normally be recommended. Leo says that YouTube really needs to address this by 1) getting rid of comments, and 2) getting rid of the recommendation engine.
The latest news about YouTube is that the federal government is investigating the streaming video portal for violation of provisions of the Child Online Privacy Act. The problems are in the recommendation engine, which veers to strange videos, even in the YouTube Kids channel. Numerous complaints to the Federal Trade Commission questions if YouTube is collecting data on kids under 13.
Tom is watching TV and he gets pixelation while streaming. When he switches to an antenna, he gets the same problem. What gives? Leo says that's due to the digital broadcast. Digital signals don't degrade gracefully. It just gets bad. And it could be a host of things from the antenna, to bandwidth, to the streaming box. Leo has a hunch it's the service that's streaming the programming to him.
How is YouTube getting such a clean signal? Leo says they may be using fiber directly from a network.
Google has released details for their Stadia Streaming gaming service, and Leo says it's like renting a game console in the cloud for $10 a month. That's only the service though, as you still need to pay for each game separately. But it also provides high quality 60fps HDR and Dolby Stereo. But Leo says he really doesn't get the advantage here. Serious gamers have a gaming PC or game console. So who is this aimed at? But for those who are just getting into gaming and don't want to invest just yet in hardware, Stadia may be ideal.
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.
Mike watches YouTube off his laptop and he keeps getting popups requiring him to log into his Google account to watch videos. What gives? Leo says that Google is starting to get restrictive on some content, and it may be that you have to log into YouTube in order to view sensitive or explicit videos. That doesn't mean anything other than topics that aren't advertiser-friendly. Leo also says it enables Google to collect data on you, so they can monetize it. Get ready, that's the future.