Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we'll be talking about a potential end to 'net neutrality' rules and what that means for cord cutters.
We're also checking out Netflix's new 'download' button for Windows users, key April viewing for sports fans, this week's must-see OTA TV and much more!
OK... now let's get to it!
RUMOR: FCC Preparing to Roll Back 'Net Neutrality' Legislation
Rumors abound that the FCC is planning to reverse net neutrality legislation which requires internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. According to several sources, the government will give up regulation and enforcement capabilities and instead ask ISPs to 'promise' not to artificially throttle traffic.
Companies like Roku with a vested interest in a fast and open internet are hiring lobbyists and gearing up for a fight to maintain the regulations.
What does this mean for the average cord cutter? Under net neutrality rules, your internet provider can't charge you more to access certain services (like Netflix for example) or artificially slow down traffic from certain sites if you don't pay up. If those regulations are removed, it could pave the way for internet companies to add even more fees or barriers for cord cutters.
NEWS: 'KODI Box' Crackdown Expands to Amazon
Two weeks ago we told you about a growing legal crackdown on the sale of so-called 'fully loaded KODI boxes'. These are Android-based streaming-set-top boxes programmed with software designed to access streams of pirated content from the internet.
That crackdown has now spread to Amazon. This week the online retailer banned the sale of 'fully-loaded' devices and have warned vendors who defy the edict that their inventory will be destroyed and payments will be withheld.
As previously noted, Android TV devices remain 100% legal as does KODI open-source media software and both can be helpful cord cutting tools. In order to avoid legal, compatibility and quality issues it's best to purchase a certified Android TV device like an Nvidia Shield or a Xiaomi Mi Box and use online guides to configure KODI software if needed.
GEAR: Streaming Set-Top-Box Review Roundup
TechHive's most recent review roundup of streaming set-top-boxes awards the top prize to the Amazon Fire TV box over market leader (and last year's winner) Roku.
Why? Amazon has updated its home screen to focus on a wider range of content, has added apps for many more popular streaming services and has a pretty sweet voice-controlled remote.
Do you agree that the Amazon Fire TV deserves top spot? Tell us on on Twitter or Facebook.
STREAMING: Netflix Adds Download Option to Windows App
This week Netflix rolled out a download for offline viewing option to its Windows 10 app. While it doesn't include ALL content, there's certainly enough to keep the kids occupied on a road trip or make your next flight slightly less painful.
How have you made use of Netflix's download option? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
WHAT'S ON: April is Showering Cord Cutting Sports Fans with Great Content
Whether you're a baseball, hockey, golf or basketball fan, this month is packed with tons of great sports action and it's all available without a cable subscription. Get the scoop on what's on and how to watch it Over-the-Air and via streaming services from the experts at Cut Cable Today!
Got predictions for NBA or NHL playoff winners? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As usual, there's lots of great FREE TV on this week including:
Don't forget to set your Tablo to record all these great shows!
- Reality show First Dates which follows couples out for dinner at a Chicago restaurant premieres - April 7 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- The Toy Box - a Dragon's Den-style show for toy concepts premieres - April 7 @ 8:00 p.m. on ABC/CTV
- In an twist on the traditional courtroom show, You The Jury has real lawyers, plaintiffs and defendents present real civil cases and leaves the judgement to viewers starting - April 7 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Comedian Louis C.K. hosts and The Chainsmokers are the musical guest on Saturday Night Live - April 8 @ 11:30 p.m. on NBC/Global
- National Hockey League playoff coverage starts - April 12 on NBC/CBC
CANADIAN CORNER: Cancel Cable, Keep Hockey
With the NHL Playoffs right around the corner, Canadian hockey fans are especially excited as 5 of 7 Canadian teams are poised to make it to the post-season.
CBC will carry tons of games Over-the-Air but cord cutters seeking to binge as much hockey as possible before summer might want to consider a subscription to the Sportsnet NOW streaming service which will carry the remaining games. At $25/month it's not cheap, but since you can cancel at any time, it could be a worthwhile investment for a few months, especially since it will also provide access to CHL playoff games too.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
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