Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about how to avoid getting scammed when buying a TV antenna for cord cutting.
Also: The latest on ATSC 3.0, what's new on Netflix, deals, 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: Sinclair Stations Full Steam Ahead on ATSC 3.0
Broadcast conglomerate Sinclair says they're planning to launch ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in 26 markets before the end of the year.
(Not familiar with ATSC 3.0? Get caught up here.)
There's no word on which markets have been selected. The company also says they'll 'seed the market with low-cost transition devices' so that consumers can actually view the broadcasts since there aren't any commercially available TVs, tuners, or DVRs that support the standard.
This seems to be a very aggressive timeline given the transition to ATSC 3.0 is not required by the FCC, but instead a voluntary rollout.
So why is Sinclair so hot-to-trot on ATSC 3.0?
Critics of the transition say it's likely financially motivated since according to consumer advocacy site BroadbandNow, the company has cash and patents riding on its success.
Here's the good news for those who already have cord cutting gear using current standards...
Even if by some miracle Sinclair manages to make the significant infrastructure upgrades required to get this off the ground before 2020, stations in those markets are required by law to continue current ATSC 1.0 broadcasts for an additional 5 years.
Q&A: Is the LiveWave Antenna Good?
This week's question comes from Ellen who says, "I keep seeing ads for this LiveWave TV antenna. Is it any good?"
Surging interest in antenna TV has resulted in lots of cool new technology aimed at cord cutters. But unfortunately, it’s also bringing out scammers looking to make a quick buck.
Products like the LiveWave, Magic Stick, and Clear TV Key antennas are about effective as a paper clip and should be avoided.
The packaging and marketing materials on antennas like these and others – including ones listed online as ‘Best Seller’ and ‘Amazon’s Choice’ – are filled wacky, and even all-out false claims and can lead unsuspecting consumers astray.
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: Gear Deals, Omniverse Lawsuit Update, & 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:
STREAMING: What's New On Netflix
Alongside all of the free TV you can watch with an antenna, check out our picks for great shows and movies on Netflix for you to enjoy in March:
See a full list of new Netflix shows in the US and in Canada.
- Check out some excellent movies including A Clockwork Orange, Winter's Bone, Apollo 13, and The Notebook
- Or Netflix originals including Arrested Development season 5B, Queer Eye season 3, and Santa Clarita Diet season 3
- The kiddos will want to enjoy Christopher Robin, Stuart Little, and Spy Kids 2
- Canadians can also enjoy box office hits including Eighth Grade, La La Land, and The Girl on the Train
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As usual, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Catch The Oscars live from Los Angeles - February 24 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV
- Singing competition The Voice returns for season 16 - February 25 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC/CTV2
- Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) stars in the new crime drama The Enemy Within premiering - February 25 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Reality competition World of Dance returns for season 3 - February 26 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC/CTV
- Scott Foley (Scandal) and Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) star in the new comedy-drama Whiskey Cavalier - February 27 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV
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: CRTC Report Out on Misleading Sales Practices
Canada's telecom regulator release its report sales tactics this week. The report found exactly what consumers expected: systematic, industry-wide use of aggressive and misleading practices when it comes to selling TV, internet, and cellular services.
Despite noting that these tactics harm consumers - especially vulnerable populations like seniors - critics are concerned the CRTC's report doesn't lay out specific plans for combating the issue.
Others, however, point out that the regulator was only tasked with creating a report, not with implementing next steps which they say will require additional proceedings.
We'll have to wait and see if anything changes.
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!