Debbie is looking to cut the cord and cancel her satellite service. Leo says that the good news is most of the programming on TV, except live TV, is available over the Internet through Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, etc. With all that, who needs satellite or cable? Debbie wants to know how she can get that content from the internet on her TV.
Amazon announced Fire TV this week, a device that is positioned to compete with AppleTV and Roku. Leo says it pretty much does the same things, but for an extra $40, you can get a wireless game controller to play games on it. Leo says it's essentially a computer running an Android OS; a smartphone minus the screen. It runs a quad core Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM, and will play Android games. Apple and Roku plan to implement this as well, but Amazon beat them to the punch.
Explaining that he had no choice but to pay Comcast's "toll" to allow users to stream Netflix content, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings blasted the cable company for anti-competitive behavior. "The essence of net neutrality is that ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast don't restrict, influence or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make," wrote Hastings on the Netflix blog. "The traditional form of net neutrality which was recently overturned by a Verizon lawsuit is important, but insufficient."
Steve loves watching Netflix but he's not getting a consistent connection. Leo says that consistency is the key for Netflix streaming. Steve's provider may be artificially slowing down the service in order to make him want to buy their competing services. That's what Comcast did. He could try using a wired connection instead of than Wi-Fi. Steve can also try using AppleTV. The streaming is far better because Apple routes the streaming through their own data center.
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.