streaming

Judge Approves AT&T/Time Warner Merger, Opening the Floodgates

Episode 1498

AT&T Logo

A federal judge approved the merger of Time Warner and AT&T this week, opening the floodgates for even more large mega corporate mergers. Comcast moved almost instantly to provide a massive bid on 21st Century Fox, outbidding Disney by over 15%, setting off a huge bidding war. Leo says that the judge got it wrong and this represents a serious problem for consumers, even though customers like it because it saves them money in the short run.

Scott Wilkinson on Home Theater

Episode 1497

Scott Wilkinson

Over at AVSForum, Scott has an article on how to watch the World Cup in 4K HDR. You basically need to either be a Comcast subscriber with the Infinity X1 service, or be a DirecTV subscriber. For Comcast, it will also be a one day delay, and in Spanish! Leo says that makes it useless in today's world. Layer 3, owned by T-Mobile also has coverage.

Streaming online, you can get the World Cup if you have a HiSense TV. There's an app for it that you can install.

Why can't I connect my iPhone to my Roku?

Episode 1494

Christian from Oconomowoc, WI
Roku Ultra

Christian recently bought a Lightning to HDMI cable to connect his phone to his Roku, but it doesn't work with Hulu. It only plays the sound, not the picture. Leo says it sounds like it isn't HDCP compliant. Copy Protection is probably what he's running up against. Hulu's site says it doesn't support it. There may be a workaround, though. He should try scrubbing through the timeline. According to the chatroom, 9/10 times it will bring the video back. Another solution is to log out and log back in. But if he has a Roku device, why not just use the Roku app?

Why doesn't my 4K TV stream Netflix in 4K?

Episode 1493

Steve from California
Roku Streaming Stick+

Steve is frustrated with his Vizio 4K smart TV, which has a Netflix app, but it only supports 1080p and not 4K. Leo says that's because the TV is using an older version of the Netflix app. Leo recommends getting a Roku or Apple TV and then use the 4K version of the app, and it will stream in 4K. This is why Leo prefers so-called "dumb" TVs which don't have smart apps. He uses a Roku, which gets updated far more often and supports 4K apps.

Why can't I adjust the aspect ratio in my streaming app?

Episode 1492

John from Boston, MA
Sony TV

John is trying to stream movies using the FilmStruck app and they all end up 16:9. What can he do? Leo says that the Sony TV that John has uses a variety of aspect ratios. One setting is dot for dot or 1-to-1. That will give him the image it was meant to have. But the TV app is overriding that setting. It sounds like it's a shortcoming of John's smart TV. This is why Leo isn't a fan of smart TVs. Leo recommends using a Roku or cast it from his phone so that it won't override the TV aspect ratio settings.

Why does my phone keep casting to my TV?

Episode 1492

Brett from Woodbridge, NJ
YouTube app

Brett has issues accidentally casting to his TV while watching YouTube. How can he stop doing that? Leo says that something on the TV or streaming box is enabled. It's probably a Smart TV feature. Can he get rid of the button in YouTube? Leo says no, it's part of the app. He can go into his phone settings and disable casting, though. He could also look in his router and disable casting there. If his cable router doesn't do that, then he can buy his own router for $100, and it'll pay for itself in no time. Then he can block it that way, too.

What's the cheapest way to cut the cable?

Episode 1487

James from Downey, CA
https://www.att.com/

James has had it with cable and wants get rid of it and stream. Leo says for most people, the best choice is to get broadband from the cable company, and then get TV from something like YouTube TV or Sling TV. The other choice is DSL, but there will be varying degrees of success depending on how far away from the main hub one is. With DSL, it slows down the farther one is away. Fiber is the other choice, and may be the best solution of all. But its coverage is spotty. High speed wireless is coming and once that hits, one can completely cut the cable.