Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about more price hikes coming to cable TV.
Also: Answers to your cord cutting questions, streaming TV news, must-see OTA TV, and more!
As always, if your mom, dad, brother, sister, wife, husband, friend, colleague, or casual acquaintance 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: Price Hike Coming for Spectrum Customers
If you or someone you know is still a customer of Spectrum's cable TV service, a price hike is coming.
Cord Cutters News reports that the broadcast TV fee, device rental costs, and Latino channel package prices are all increasing. When totaled up, some customers could wind up paying more than $90 more annually. Yikes.
For another $10, they could score a deal on a Tablo DUAL LITE OTA DVR (on sale until 10/27 for $99.99 at Best Buy) and never have to pay another cable bill again.
Q&A: My TV Isn't Smart... Can I still use a Fire TV Stick?
In our newest feature, we're asking you to 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 someone calling themselves 'Swing Guitar Player' who asks, "We have a 32" LG television in our bedroom that is NOT a 'Smart TV'. Will the Amazon Fire Stick actually work for us?"
Thanks for your question, Guitar Player!
The good news is there's a very good chance that your older LG TV will work with the Amazon Fire TV stick.
While Smart TVs are all the rage these days because they have built-in internet connectivity and apps, they aren't the only way to get streaming television on your big screen. (And some would argue that built-in 'smarts' are also not the best way to do this!)
For those who don't want to have to purchase an entirely new TV set, streaming set-top-boxes and sticks like Amazon Fire TV or Roku are an easy and affordable way to add 'smart' functions to a 'dumb' television.
Here's how these devices work... All televisions manufactured after 2004 should have at least one HDMI port on the back or side that looks like this:
Streaming set-top-boxes should come with an HDMI cable that connects the box to your TV. (If not, you can pick one up for as little as $3.) Streaming sticks, like the Amazon Fire TV shown above, plug directly into this port.
HDMI connections allow the streaming device to deliver video and sound to your television. (You'll need to use the input button on your TV's remote to switch to the HDMI input you've connected the device to in order to see it on the screen.)
These streaming devices also have built-in internet connectivity (either just WiFi, or WiFi and Ethernet) so that when connected to your home's WiFi router, they can access apps like Tablo and content from free and paid streaming services like Netflix.
If your TV is older and doesn't have an HDMI port, your only option is a Roku Express+. It's the only streaming device on the market that includes older style 'composite' connectors for audio and video.
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: Quick Cord Cutting News Tidbits
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:
- DirecTVNow's subscriber growth has stalled significantly since hiking prices and ending popular 'free device' promos
- Perhaps some will jump ship to low-cost option Philo which recently added three Hallmark channels to their $16/mo. lineup, just in time for the network's popular holiday-themed movie marathons
- Or maybe Apple TV's streaming service which, if the rumors are true, will be launching in early 2019 and will include a drama starring The Office's Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Anniston
- Fox News' streaming service has announced a launch date (late November) and a price ($6/mo. or $65/yr)
- Skipping commercials on streaming services is not always a great experience like it is on Tablo... TechHive looks at the best and the worst fast-forward preview technology.
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 November:
- Love sci-fi? Enjoy the classics Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Children of Men, Bram Stoker's Dracula, or the new season of Mystery Science Theatre: 3000
- Revisit your youth or introduce a new generation to the teen classic Sixteen Candles
- If you loved O Brother Where Art Thou, check out the Coen Brothers' latest movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
- Have insomnia? The English Patient is a certain cure
- House of Cards returns for season 6 (minus Spacey)
- The kids will want to check out the return of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Best Gift Ever
- Canadians can also enjoy the dark comedy Happy! starring Chris Meloni and Patton Oswalt, Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the space flick Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt
See a full list of new Netflix shows in the US and in Canada.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
There's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Don't miss the exciting action as the Red Sox take on the Dodgers in MLB Baseball's World Series - October 26, 27, & 28 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Supernatural drama Midnight Texas returns for season 2 - October 26 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Get in the spooky spirit with A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway - October 29 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Canadians can also enjoy the premiere of comedy In the Long Run starring Idris Elba - October 30 @ 9:30 p.m. ET on CBC
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: Cable Providers Downplay Customer Issues
This week, the CRTC is holding hearings with Canada's biggest telecom companies regarding customer complaints of misleading or aggressive sales practices.
Despite hearing from consumer groups and customers themselves, the providers say there isn't a systemic problem as suggested.
The regulator's report is due in 2019.
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!