Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Pete's DVD drive just tends to stop working at times. It tries to read the disc, and then gives up. Pete is wondering if it can be easily replaced in his laptop. Leo says that it depends on the laptop. It's easy on some, plug and play, and impossible on others. It's not worth fixing it. Leo advises getting an external drive. They're cheap.
The chatroom says to use a laser lens cleaner. But if it's failing, it's failing, and should be replaced.
Sam wants to know how to increase the hard drive space on his TiVo. He's using the TiVo Premiere and it's running out of space. Leo says that AVS Forum is an ideal site for tips on doing that. There's also Weaknees.com, which sells TiVos with upgraded drives and sells the parts for the upgrade which are "blessed" to run on TiVos.
The Amazon Echo is a cylinder that contains speakers and microphones that are always listening for you to address it, using the wake word "Alexa." It's designed to hear you from anywhere in the room. It responds with information about the weather, sports, news, and will start playing music when you tell it to. Amazon has a demonstration video, in which they say that it isn't listening until you say "Alexa" -- except that it does have to listen to hear when the wake word has been uttered. The real question is whether Amazon is actually listening, or can listen, to everything being said.
If you're a GoPro geek, you're going to love this week's gadget from Joby. It's the Joby Suction Cup & Locking Gorillapod Arm. The quick-twist design can easily grip and secure to any clean, non-porous surface. Once secured, you’re ready to position your video camera! The two pivot points rotate 360° and pivot 180° side to side. $39.95.
Video Company Demo: http://vimeo.com/110138884
Stan is having trouble with Windows 8.1 on his Asus computer because it's locking up when he boots. Geek Squad can't fix it, either. He reinstalled Windows 8.0 and it works just fine. Leo says that there's probably something incompatible in the video card drivers for version 8.1.
Neal would like to get a new computer, but he doesn't know what size MacBook he should get. Leo says that the 13" MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM is more than adequate for what Neal needs it for, and with 13 hours of battery life, it's a great deal. The only limitation is that it has a smaller 128GB hard drive. But that's big enough for basic work. He can get an external drive to store all of his data and move it over from the old computer.
Brett wants to know if there's an app that can help with Chromecast and incompatible apps. Leo says that AllCast will do it. He can also open the stream in the browser and cast that tab to the Chromecast.
Miracast has been around for awhile, but the problem is that casting to tabs is in beta. Leo advises getting a Roku.
Mike is going to South Korea and needs to download maps to use. Leo says that using a smartphone may be the best option. If he buys a separate GPS, he can order maps and install them via USB. Mike says that Korean GPS are terrible. ExpertGPS.com has maps for South Korea that works with Garmin GPS.
Mark bought a Dell Desktop with Windows 8 and downgraded to Windows 7. But his USB 3 hard drive isn't working right when waking from sleep, even after he's re-installed the drivers. He has to reboot the computer to get it to read the hard drive.
Leo says to check out the USB Root Hub. He should make sure that the checkbox "wake from sleep" is enabled (checked). Otherwise it won't wake up.
Kevin is looking for a camera/camcorder option that can record video and take stills at the same time. Leo says that most cameras can do that today. He's also wondering about taking photos at distances over 50 feet. Leo says he likes Olympus. They have the Stylus Sp-100 with the Eagle Eye 50x optical zoom.