Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're discussing price hikes on streaming TV packages including DirecTV, Sling, and PS Vue, and how smart cord cutters can continue to maximize savings as fees go up.
We're also talking about why DirecTV customers should double check their bills, sharing a how-to on a family-friendly way to cut cable, this week's must-see OTA TV and more!
As always, if someone you know is interested in 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: Streaming TV Is Getting More Expensive
Some of the most popular streaming TV services - including Sling and PlayStation Vue - have announced price hikes of at least $5/month depending on the package. AT&T's DirecTV Now is also going up by $5, despite promising reduced TV prices in court during its acquisition of Time Warner.
These increases shouldn't come as a surprise though. As Cordcutters.com points out, these services are designed to turn a profit, and most have actually been losing money. Additionally, some of the older services like Sling are likely offsetting price increases from their own contracts with content providers.
That being said, streaming TV is still more affordable, and doesn't carry the bogus fees or contracts of traditional cable or satellite subscriptions.
In order to maximize your cord cutting savings make sure to:
And remember, Over-the-Air TV still has the best 'monthly' price of all cord cutting television options: FREE. If you're able to receive channels in your area, a TV antenna is likely to be the best cord cutting investment you'll make.
- Avoid bloated bundles - Skinny options like Philo cost as little as $16/month
- Cancel subscriptions when you're not using them (like during the summer) or rotate between different services depending on content availability
- Take advantage of free trials and/or totally free streaming services like the Roku Channel, and Hoopla
Are you concerned about streaming TV price hikes? Have you changed your cord cutting plans because of them? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter.
ICYMI: AT&T or DirecTV Now Customer? Check Your Bill!
Speaking of DirecTV Now, if you were a subscriber to that service or a wireless subscriber of its parent company AT&T between August and December of last year, make sure to check your bills.
The company has been accused of sketchy sales practices that caused some customers to pay for the streaming TV service even if they weren't using it, or in some cases paying for multiple subscriptions at once.
And while we're talking about your AT&T bill, the company is expected to raise an extra $800 million a year by hiking its 'administrative' fee from .76 cents to $1.99.
HOW-TO: How Corey Cut the Cord on Cable
This week on the blog we've got a fresh installment of our series 'How I Cut the Cord with Tablo'.
In his post, Corey talks about the tools - including Tablo and Roku - that he used to make the transition away from cable easy for his entire household including his wife, kids, and even his parents.
See all of Corey's tips, and check out the full series for even more cord cutting how-tos on the Tablo blog.
DEALS: Save on Cord Cutting Gear
With these great deals, you'll be able to get the cord cutting gear you want and still have cash left over for your summer vacation:
- Save $180 on this sweet 49" TCL Roku 4K Roku-enabled Smart TV
- The sexy new Mohu Blade TV antenna is $10 off with FREE shipping
- (Limited time) Save $5 when you purchase 2 Amazon Fire TV sticks with the code 2PACK
- While supplies last, grab a refurbished Tablo OTA DVR at its lowest price EVER! ($89.99 US for a 2-Tuner or $189.99 US for a 4-Tuner)
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
Along with continuing coverage of the FIFA World Cup of Soccer, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- New show Food Flirts celebrates unique ingredients and recipes - July 5 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Explore the people, rituals, and food of multicultural America with chef Marcus Samuelsson in No Passport Required premiering - July 10 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- New adventure fantasy show The Outpost premieres - July 10 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Kids' favorite Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood returns for its 4th season - July 11 @ 9:30 a.m. ET on PBS
- Catch season 2 of the nature program Earth's Natural Wonders followed by the documentary series Kingdoms of the Sky - July 11 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Loved The Eliminator portion of the 80s show American Gladiator? Then you'll enjoy the new competition series TKO: Total Knock Out - July 11 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
CANADIAN CORNER: TCL Brand TVs Coming to Canada
TCL TVs are FINALLY coming to Canada. Since partnering with Roku - which acts as the Smart TV operating system on its televisions - the company has gone from relatively unknown to one of the top-selling brands in the US.
Their TVs are consistently lauded by reviewers as providing excellent quality for relatively low prices.
TCL says its products will go on sale in Canada within the next three months. We'll keep you posted when we see them arrive!
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!