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Should I Pay for Google Voice?

Google Voice

Episode 1585

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

Gary wants to know if it's worth buying the G Suite from Google. Leo says it makes a lot of sense for companies, but for $10 a month, Gary won't get anything new. Google is replacing Google Hangouts with Meet and Chat, so he may have the opportunity to use that. It also offers Google Voice for new users. Look around. Check out Grasshopper, Mighty Call, or Line2. Leo uses Ring Central. 

Gary also found out that PlayOn, his DVR service online, is going up to $50 a month. Leo recommends YouTube TV as PlayOn requests a password apparently to access some services to record to the DVR.

Is the Fire TV Stick Great Alternative to Satellite Service?

FireTV Stick 4K

Episode 1583

Gloria from North Hollywood, California

Gloria wants to know if the Fire TV stick is a good deal for cutting the cord. Rich recommends the Fire TV Stick 4K because it's the best option and it's only $10 more. Then he recommends also picking up the Fire TV Recast for the local channels. However, Gloria will need an antenna or subscribe to DirecTV Now for those local channels, minus KTLA. 

Disney Lays Out Details for their Streaming Service - DISNEY +

DISNEY +

Episode 1582

Disney+ launches November 12th, for $6.99 a month. This will include more than 25 original series and 10 original films, plus the entire Disney catalogue of 7500 TV episodes and 2500 films, content from National Geographic, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, ESPN, and more. Rich adds that Disney will also probably offer a bundled deal with HULU, which offers LiveTV as well.

Rich says that by comparison, that will put tremendous pressure on Apple and Netflix who are charging more.

Is NitroTV a Legitimate Alternative to Paid Services?

HBO

Episode 1575

Carlos from San Jacinto, California

Carlos would like to cut the cord with DirecTV, but he has 2TB of movies on their service. How can he get them?  Is NitroTV a good deal? Leo says that NitroTV is an over the top service, and it sounds a bit suspicious. They charge just $20 and you get everything including premium channels? How can that be when HBO charges $15 a month? And they're offering all channels for no extra charge? No way that isn't piracy. 

 

How Can I Watch Amazon Prime Video Offline and in the Air?

LonelyScreen

Episode 1574

Bob from San Diego, CA

Bob would like to download Amazon Prime shows from his iPhone and play them back on his PC. Leo says he hasn't used LonelyScreen, but a quick perusal shows it may be OK. The Chatroom says AirServer is another. However, using applications that rely on WiFi won't work out of range. 

Amazon Prime also lets users watch offline content. Some Hotels are now offering Chromecast support.

How Can I Cut my Cable Subscription and Still Watch TV?

 AT&T

Episode 1574

Mike from Corona, CA

Mike has AT&T for all his services. But his rate just doubled. So he's looking for an alternative. Leo says to just call them up and tell them he is leaving unless he gets a better deal. Cord cutting is not really cutting the cable if they also provide internet and often they'll raise the rate because he is not using their cable service. In general, he doesn't really save when he adds in Netflix, Hulu, and then gets live TV from a streaming service like YouTubeTV or Sling.

What's a Good Phone for Chromecast?

Motorola

Episode 1571

Ken from Merced, CA

Ken has Android and he's having issues with Chromecast. Leo says that Ken's smartphone is fairly old, running Android 4.3 (too old for Chromecast compatibility). So he'll need to get a newer device under his budget of $300. Leo says that his current favourite budget smartphone is the Motorola Moto G6. He can get them unlocked directly from Motorola for under $200. Google Fi is selling the G6 for $99.

How Can I be a Cord Cutter

YouTube TV

Episode 1570

Denny from Camarillo, CA

Denny's parents want to be cord cutters, get their TV from the internet, and use their wireless data. Leo says they'll need at least 10 Megabits/second download speed to watch Netflix in HD. He can check at fast.com to see how fast their internet connection is. Going beyond the data cap will cost them money, and that can happen pretty quickly at .5 GB an hour. Cable companies charge more for internet if they choose not to buy a whole TV package. Leo also recommends getting the over-the-top TV service like YouTube TV for $40 a month.

Why can't I stream from my Samsung smart TV?

Samsung

Episode 1569

Greg from Los Angeles, CA

Greg can't mirror his phone with his Samsung smarTV, but he can use his hub to search the internet. Leo says the TV has to be cast-enabled to do it, and the feature may not be turned on in the settings. It could be DNLA or AirPlay. But it also says "smart hub is trying to update." Leo says that Samsung is notorious for not updating their TVs, and it will eventually get to the point where it can't be updated online. It's clearly looking for the update though. Samsung does suggest you can reset the country and that will fix it. The wrong country code could very well cause this issue.