Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
Another week, another big hardware announcement: this time from ROKU! Keep reading for the details on their new product lineup.
We're also tackling the lack of set-top-box news from the folks at Google, a price hike from Netflix, and as always this week's must-see TV!
If you, or someone you know is 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. Let’s keep this cord cutting momentum going!
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS: ROKU Announces Refreshed Product Lineup
Fall is the time for new streaming hardware announcements, and this week it was ROKU's turn. The company announced a fully refreshed lineup with only a single set-top-box option: the updated Roku Ultra. Lower-end models introduced in 2016 have faster processors, and higher-end models have added ON/OFF and volume buttons that will also control your TV.
You can check out the full lineup and all of the new specs on the ROKU website. The new models start shipping October 8th.
Trying to decide on ROKU vs. Amazon vs. Apple? Check out this overview of all the new 2017 hardware by Cord Cutters News and as always you can see our recommendations for Tablo-compatible options on our website.
What do you think of ROKU moving away from set-top-boxes and more towards stick-style form factors? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
(LACK OF) NEWS: No New Android TV Hardware Announced
Google also held its fall product announcement event this week. There were new phones, new Chromebooks, a new VR headset, and new talking home assistant tech... But no update to Chromecast and no new TV connected streaming devices.
Since the company discontinued the Nexus player in mid-2016, only one new Android TV-based streaming box - Xiaomi's MiBox - has hit the market. Given the dramatic increase in cord cutting, and the lukewarm reception to the MiBox, industry-watchers were surprised that Google decided not to get back into the game.
But, there may be some method behind their madness. Google's main focus for the cord cutting crowd is their new YouTubeTV service which doesn't currently have an interface designed for use with a remote control. That and NVIDIA is doing really well with the SHIELD, which Variety says is an 'almost perfect' device for cordcutters.
Will Google jump back on the set-top-box bandwagon, or perhaps create a Chromecast-style dongle with a remote (like the new Amazon Fire TV dongle) when/if they do enable a 10-foot experience? Is there room in the market for a low-cost Android TV device outside of the Amazon ecosystem? We'll have to wait and see...
STREAMING: (Another) Netflix Price Hike On the Way
As the streaming service continues to throw money at new original programming (to the tune of $7 billion per year), its investors were likely getting a bit antsy. Easy solution: get more cash from its massive subscriber base.
Standard plans for US customers are going up $1, while those on the premium 4K plan will pay an extra $2. Fees for the basic plan won't change. Plans in Canada already went up in August.
Is Netflix worth an extra buck or two a month for you? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
WHAT'S ON: Antenna TV Subchannels More Popular Than Cable
One of the coolest things about Over-the-Air TV is the proliferation of digital subchannels. Much of the shows they air aren't available via streaming services, and those who remember programs like Laverne & Shirley or Svengoolie can enjoy them again, and/or introduce them to an entirely new generation of fans.
So perhaps it's not surprising that according to a recent study, some of those FREE networks actually have better viewership than expensive cable-only channels like A&E, FX, Lifetime, TLC, Bravo, and MTV.
What's your favorite digital subchannel? What's your favorite show on these networks? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
Fall TV premiere season continues this week...
Again, there's so much that we're only including the highlights so for a full rundown of premieres consult your Tablo (TV Shows > Premiering) or this handy list from our friends at Metacritic.
Don't forget to set your Tablo to record all these great shows!
- Once Upon a Time returns for it's 7th season with several new cast members - October 6 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV
- One of TV's top dramas Madam Secretary is back for season 4 - October 8 @ 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
- All CW shows premiere this week in the 8:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m. ET time slots:
- Monday - Supergirl & Valor
- Tuesday - DC's Legends of Tomorrow & The Flash
- Wednesday - Riverdale & Dynasty
- Thursday - Supernatural & Arrow
If you don't have a Tablo yet, be sure to check out our amazing $99 closeout deal on 2-Tuner refurbished units!
CANADIAN CORNER: Limited Run Series a Hit in Canada & US
The limited-run TV series is becoming a trend with producers in the US as well as Canada, where three have recently debuted: The Disappearance on CTV, Alias Grace on CBC, and Bad Blood on City.
These shorter series are sought after by both actors and directors, for allowing them to embrace potentially darker roles without having to get roped into long commitments.
Are you liking the mini-series trend? Or do you prefer to watch longer running shows? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
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!