Happy Friday cord cutters!
This week we're talking about what's new with ATSC 3.0... Which turns out is not much.
Also: Q&A on shopping for gear with specific buzzwords, 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 > Despite the Hype, It's Still 'Very Early Days' for ATSC 3.0
As we mentioned in last week's issue, the hype around the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard was evident at the recent Consumer Electronics Show.
While there are a handful of test stations on the air in a number of US cities, is there actually content to watch or gear to watch it on? TechHive asked several players in the Over-the-Air broadcast space about the state of the transition to ATSC 3.0 and how it might impact your short term cord cutting plans.
TechHive found that not much has changed since they asked the same questions last year. Even a spokesman for the standards body said it’s “very early days” for ATSC 3.0.
So, if you're delaying purchasing gear or cutting the cord until ATSC 3.0 is more widely available, you could be waiting a lot longer than you might think.
Q&A > Why No Support for 4K, HDR, or Dolby Atmos?
This week's question comes from Richard who says, "I like to buy top-of-the-line electronics and I'm having trouble finding Over-the-Air TV gear that supports 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos so I can cut the cord. Why is that?"
Purchasing the best quality gear to get the best possible experience is smart.
Unfortunately, looking for buzzwords like 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos when shopping for Over-the-Air TV gear like antennas and DVRs can lead you astray.
Why? Current Over-the-Air TV broadcasts are not created or delivered in 4K, HDR video quality, or with Dolby Atmos (aka 7.1) Surround Sound audio. The maximum resolution you'll be able to get Over-the-Air today is 1080i or 720p, and the best sound quality would be Dolby 5.1 audio.
When it comes to TV antennas, some may reference 4K or HDR support in marketing materials, but in reality, there's no such thing as a 4K antenna. If and when the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard arrives, any TV antenna will be able to pick up higher quality video and audio defined in that standard, as long as it's connected to a compatible tuner.
However, as the news story above points out, it may be years before broadcasters even create content in ultra-high definition so there's no need to wait for OTA gear with these features to cut the cord.
Have a question about cord cutting 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 > Muppets Come to Disney+, Deals, & 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 always, there's lots of great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Catch the season 3 premiere of Charmed - January 24th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Tune in to the documentary Agatha Christie's England - January 24th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Gameshow To Tell The Truth returns for season 6 - January 26th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC
- Mixed-Ish returns for its 2nd season - January 26th @ 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC/CityTV
- Canadians can catch the season 4 premiere of Burden of Truth - January 28th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBC
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING tab on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record.
CANADIAN CORNER > Router Upgrade Deals
If your home network has been struggling under the weight of work-from-home, homeschooling, cord cutting, and smart home gadgets, it may be time to upgrade your router.
Thankfully, Staples has several models on sale until January 26th to fit any budget.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
If you know someone who may be interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please feel free to forward this newsletter to them or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email. Make sure to ask them to sign up as well!