Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about the cool (and not so cool) features coming to Apple TV with tvOS 13.
Also: Q&A on streaming remote alternatives, 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: Apple TV Adds User Profiles, Auto Play Previews in tvOS 13
Apple had their big developer shindig earlier this week and unveiled some of the new features coming to Apple TV with tvOS 13.
The big thing for parents (or for significant others/roommates with wildly different TV-viewing habits) is the ability to have separate user profiles, as Netflix does now.
The other thing Apple is borrowing from Netflix for this update is much less cool. tvOS 13 will have a similar full-screen auto-play video preview when you're browsing the new home screen. TechHive calls this the 'scourge' of streaming TV, and we have to agree.
Alas, the analytics show that these home screen previews generate more user engagement, so this shift away from 'peaceful browsing' is likely to spread.
Do you hate auto-play video trailers? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: Can I Replace My Streaming Device's Crappy Remote?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Samantha who says, "We're an Apple house so when we cut the cord I bought an Apple TV for streaming. It's fast but the whole family HATES the remote. It's always getting lost in the couch and the trackpad is way too touchy. Is there an alternative?"
So many Apple TV users have this exact same complaint. Unlike its competitors, Apple decided to use a touch-based trackpad instead of a more standard directional pad on its remote.
There are a few benefits to this - like the ability to use 'swipe' gestures to quickly zip through the timeline of a video or a menu - but it can prove too zippy for some folks, like Samantha and her family.
As a first step, we'd recommend going into your Apple TV's settings menu. Under 'Remotes & Devices' you'll see an option called 'Touch Surface Tracking'. The default is medium, so try switching it to slow to reduce the sensitivity.
If that feels better, an aftermarket rubber case can keep it from slipping under the couch cushions.
Another option is using your phone. Like most streaming devices including Roku and Fire TV, Apple has an official 'remote app' that'll turn your iPhone into a controller for your TV.
Don't want to turn your $1000 phone over to the kids? There are even more alternatives. In fact, the folks at CordCuttersNews.com recently did a roundup of universal remotes that will work with Apple TV and provide a more traditional remote 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!
SHORT CUTS: How To Watch the FIFA Women's World Cup, & More
Some 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
Along with the NBA and NHL finals, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Magic show Masters of Illusion returns for season 6 - June 7 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Or check out the premiere of The Big Stage, a refreshingly non-competitive platform for acts from around the world - June 7 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
- James Corden hosts The 73rd Annual Tony Awards - June 9 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS/CTV
- ABC is 'all in' on classic game shows this summer with:
- Celebrity Family Feud, The $100,000 Pyramid, and To Tell the Truth starting June 7 @ 8:00 p.m. ET
- Press Your Luck premiering June 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET
- Card Sharks premiering June 12 @ 9:00 p.m. ET
- New reality show First Responders Live follows firefighters, police, and EMS workers - June 12 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING filter on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: Amazon Prime Video Channels Are Live
If you have an Amazon Prime Video account, you can now subscribe to individual channel packages to boost your access to streaming TV content.
While the selection isn't as robust as what's available in the US, this is the first time Canadians have been able to access content from networks like HGTV, Food, Teletoon, Adult Swim, and more outside of a cable subscription.
You can also use it as a single point of subscription for stand-alone services like Hayu, Acorn TV, OUTtv, and Shudder.
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!