Mark wants to create a media server in his home that he can stream throughout the house. Is there a server that works across multiple platforms that will allow him to go from room to room and remember where he was? Leo recommends Plex. It's based on the XBox Media Center and they've gone well beyond that. And XBMC will remember where he is.
Drew wants to know if Microsoft Security Essentials is good enough or should he buy an AVS. Leo says that MSE is good if he doesn't want to pay for one, but if he's willing to buy it, then he should. Eset's Nod 32 has heuristics that enables it to anticipate viruses before they happen. But the antivirus software can give a false sense of security. If he relies on that and doesn't change his online behavior, he's going to get infected anyway. If he runs as a limited user, he can protect himself against 90% of all the bad stuff out there.
Jim just got a new LCD TV but doesn't get the cable service until Tuesday. He'd like to watch the Oscars. Leo says that ABC is going to stream the Oscars live, but only for those who subscribe to cable or satellite. He would have to log in to watch it over the Internet.
Ed wants to know about the Netflix and Comcast deal and how it will affect users of the services. Leo says that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast for access to it's customers without buffering. Suddenly, over the last few months, the service was unwatchable on Comcast because of constant buffering. Leo wonders if Comcast intentionally slowed down Netflix traffic to blackmail them for extra money. Comcast is now double dipping, getting payment from users, and from providers for the same traffic. This is pretty anti competitive.
Joshua has a YouTube channel he's proud of, but he's not happy with his view counts. Leo says that view counts can lag behind on YouTube if they come in too fast. If he's actually talking about overall subscriptions and viewership, there's a misconception due to the success of videos that go viral. Viral views are an unrealistic barometer. Leo also says that we overestimate the value of a YouTube view because we don't know how YouTube counts views or how often a video is viewed multiple times. How could he make it go viral? Humor is a good method.
Dave cut the cable with Time Warner. He's now using Netflix, but he's suffering from severe a slowdown from 20MB to 0.5 MB down. Leo says that's because everyone in Dave's neighborhood is watching Netflix all at the same time. Leo also thinks that Comcast is slowing down Netflix traffic on purpose. So Time Warner cable may be doing the same thing. Leo also says that it may be Wi-Fi congestion. Try connecting a hardwire and see if the streaming improves. If it doesn't, then it's clear that Dave's internet service is being throttled.
Brett wants to know why there's a delay when he's watching TWiT through Chromecast. Leo says it's just the natural delay of compressing and steaming it out, which is normal. Brett also says it's very loud. Leo says he can just turn it down from his device that he's casting to the Chromecast.
Netflix premiered season 2 of "House of Cards" this week, and Leo says that streaming is the third golden age of television. Netflix streams the entire season all at once, with no commercial interruption. And they don't have to worry about audience, advertisers, or anything else; just the quality of the episode. Leo says it's better than going to the movies because you can see the development of characters and stories over a longer period than just 2 hours.
Chuck uses his media center computer as a TIVO. His video plays fine, but the audio drops out or is out of sync. Media player doesn't work either. What can he replace it with? Leo says that Windows Video Player can be replaced by VLC Media Player. This may not help if the video is copy protected, though.
Leo said that NBC spent a lot of money to get exclusive control of the Olympics and to see it online, Randy has to verify who his cable or satellite subscription is with. The only way to complain about this is to complain to the Olympic Committee, but they're making money hand over fist. The BBC, by contrast, is streaming it live and some people run VPN software to log in and watch it live as it happens. It's an illusion that the Olympics are a great public spectacle. They really aren't. It's a commercial enterprise now.