It's Friday again cord cutters!
This week, along with testing out a bit of a different look for the newsletter, we're talking about the escalating tensions between Roku and NBC over app distribution.
Also: Q&A on 4K up-scaling support, short cuts, must-see OTA TV, and more.
As always, if you know of someone who might need some insight or help with cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please forward our newsletter, or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email.
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS > NBC & Roku Beef Escalates
NBCUniversal announced its new streaming service Peacock has hit 15 million subscribers, despite lacking distribution on the two biggest streaming platforms, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Perhaps backed by those solid subscriber numbers, NBCUniversal felt comfortable ramping up its advertising-related beef with Roku this week.
The company's distribution deal with Roku for its existing slate of 'TV Anywhere apps' expired in August. Depending on who you ask, the real source of rising tensions are either because NBC rejected Roku's extension offer, or because Roku backed away from a deal at the last minute that would keep those apps and add Peacock to the platform.
This means NBC apps could disappear from Roku devices and Smart TVs as soon as this weekend leaving even more consumers, including those who still pay for cable but use Roku to access additional content, in the lurch.
Has this beef between Roku and NBC impacted your streaming plans? Tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A > Do Roku & Fire TV Devices Upscale Too?
This week's question is a follow-up on last week's Q&A from Larry who says, "You mentioned that the NVIDIA SHIELD boosts the quality of video for a better picture even if the source isn't 4K... Does the same hold true for the ROKU streaming stick + HD/4K/HDR and the Fire Stick 4K?"
Thanks for the great question, Larry! As we mentioned last week, just like the geeks on your favorite TV crime show use computer technology to 'enhance' pictures or video, the NVIDIA SHIELD uses AI up-scaling to artificially boost the picture quality of video.
This high-end streaming device is designed and manufactured by a company best known for their fancypants graphics cards used by PC gamers and digital artists, so the NVIDIA SHIELD is indeed the only streaming set-top-box on the market with this capability.
While devices from Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV can display content created and delivered in 4K when connected to a 4K TV, none of these have the processing power or smarts to boost video quality.
This is definitely a case of 'you get what you pay for' as the SHIELD starts at $150 USD, making it at least 3x the price of lower-end Roku & Fire TV 4K models.
Have a question about cordcutting that you'd like answered? Send us a note and you may see your question in an upcoming issue of Cord Cutting This Week!
SHORT CUTS > Try Commercial Skip Again for Free, & More
Most weeks there's more news than we can cram into this email. Thankfully 'short cuts' delivers the cord-cutting news and deals we didn't have room for, including:
WHAT'S ON > Must-See OTA TV
As fall TV season ramps up, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Catch season 10 of the documentary series Art in the 21st Century - September 18th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Need a break from real life? The new series World's Funniest Animals should do the trick - September 18th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
- 60 Minutes returns - September 20th @ 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
- Tune in to the 72nd Emmy Awards - September 20th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV
- Comedy series Last Tango in Halifax returns for season 5 - September 20th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Cable series L.A.'s Finest comes to broadcast TV - September 21st @ 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Followed by the drama Filthy Rich - September 21st @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX/CTV
- Dateline returns - September 21st @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Catch the miniseries Manhunt: Unabomber - September 21st @ 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
- Tune into the Time100 special - September 22nd @ 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC
- The Masked Singer returns for season 4 - September 23rd @ 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX/CTV
- Followed by the new reality show I Can See Your Voice - September 23rd @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX/Global
- Star Trek: Discovery makes its broadcast debut - September 24th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER > Cogeco Acquisition Battle Gets Uglier
Despite already rejecting a takeover bid, one of Canada's last independent telecom companies is still under pressure to sell to Rogers and US-based cableco Altice.
Cogeco says Rogers and Altice are 'engaging in bad faith tactics' by making announcements regarding negotiations without the knowledge of Cogeco's majority shareholders.
Rogers and Altice deny this and say they're committed to pushing through with the deal which would see Rogers acquire all of Cogeco's Canadian assets, because what Canada really needs is for Rogers to get an even bigger share of the market... *insert eye roll*
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
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The Tablo Team
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