Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about a new type of commercial break coming soon to your favorite streaming TV services.
Also: your cord cutting questions answered, hot deals & free shipping on Tablo DVRs, 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: Hulu, DirecTV Introducing 'Pause Ads'
Advertisers know that consumers are actively trying to avoid commercials. As viewership continues to shift to DVR and streaming, Madison Avenue has to find new ways to reach us, including what they're calling 'pause ads'.
These new video ads will automatically play when the user hits pause on a video. Hulu and DirecTV users can expect to see them starting in 2019.
While 'pause-vertising' might be fine if you're making a run to the kitchen for a snack, it could be downright annoying if you're pausing because your phone is ringing or your spouse is shouting at you from another room.
As even more insidious ad insertion methods are invented, it's even more important for cord cutters to choose services and devices that provide a maximum amount of control over their playback experience.
What do you think about 'pause ads'? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter!
Q&A: How Can I Avoid OTA TV Interference from Cell Towers?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
This week's question comes from Greg who asks, "What can be done about OTA signal interference from cell phone towers? Are there filters? Are some better than others?"
LTE cell phone networks deliver super-fast data connections to mobile phones and hotspots. The spectrum used by LTE (which is growing rapidly) is adjacent to the one used by Over-the-Air TV. In some cases, these signals can interfere with OTA TV reception causing breakups in your picture and sound or cause you to lose the signal on some channels altogether.
Some higher-end TV antennas, distribution amplifiers, and tuners (including the ones in Tablo OTA DVRs) already include some LTE filtering, but if you do live near a cell tower, investing in an in-line LTE filter could be worthwhile for an improved experience.
The folks at TechHive reviewed several and recommended choosing a model designed specifically for the US/Canadian market because of their accuracy in blocking the correct frequencies.
Something to keep in mind though: while LTE filters can significantly reduce errors in the incoming broadcast stream, they often also reduce signal power which can lead to reception problems on weaker channels.
Still, many Tablo customers have had great success using these LTE filter products so it's certainly worth trying if you believe this type of interference is degrading your OTA TV experience.
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!
DEALS: Holiday Savings & Free Shipping on Tablo OTA DVRs
Have a cord cutter on your holiday gift list? Planning to cut the cord in the New Year? Then you won't want to miss these hot holiday deals and discounts on Tablo OTA DVRs.
Our US and Canadian web stores are fully stocked with brand new and lovingly refurbished Tablo units, including Tablo DUAL LITE.
On top of savings on refurbished units, until December 31st, you can also enjoy FREE shipping from the Tablo web store to the continental US and most Canadian provinces.
Just add an eligible Tablo DVR to your cart and enter the coupon code SHIPFREE at checkout.
Get the full scoop on the Tablo blog.
Already have a Tablo but are looking for a deal on a Roku or the powerful NVIDIA SHIELD? Check out the latest deals roundup from CordCuttersNews.com.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As usual, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Enjoy the holiday favorite Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - December 8 @ 8:00 a.m. ET on CBS (Dec 9 @ 7:00 p.m. ET on CBC in Canada)
- Jason Momoa hosts with musical guest Mumford & Sons on Saturday Night Live - December 8 @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- Tune into the special CMA Country Christmas - December 10 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC
- Enjoy the musical special Pentatonix: A Not So Silent Night - December 10 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- America's Got Talent fans will want to check out Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas - December 11 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS/MOVIES > GENRES > HOLIDAY filter on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: CTV Launches New Digital VOD Platforms
This week CTV added two new free video-on-demand sections to its apps/website offering a selection of movies as well as 'throwback' TV shows including Community, The Facts of Life, and Dawson's Creek.
The content is ad-supported and available on CTV.ca as well as apps for iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire Stick.
But like many platforms owned by legacy media companies, it's not designed to be easy for cord cutters to watch that content on an actual television.
The singular leanback app for the Amazon Fire TV does not allow you to access the content without 'activating' your device, which requires a cable or satellite provider login. You can, however, use Chromecast with the CTV website but not your Android device mobile device. You can also Airplay content from your iOS device to your Apple TV.
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!