How can I cut the cord on my satellite service?

Debbie from Pennsylvania

Episode 1073

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 Launches Fire TV

Episode 1071

Amazon Fire 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.

Netflix Wants Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

Episode 1068


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."

Why am I having so much trouble with Netflix streaming?

Episode 1067

Steve from Los Angeles, CA

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.

Should I buy security software or use freebies like Microsoft Security Essentials? (Part 1)

Drew from St. Louis, MO

Episode 1064

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.

How will the Netflix/Comcast agreement affect me?

Ed from Mizzoula, MT

Episode 1060

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.

How can I grow my YouTube audience?

Joshua from Nashville, TN

Episode 1058

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.

Why is my Internet streaming so slow in the evening?

Dave from Santa Clarita, CA

Episode 1057

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.