Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback in last week's reader survey. We're glad to hear you're enjoying the newsletter and we'll do our best to keep bringing you an objective look at the latest in cord cutting!
This week we're sharing the latest on the ATSC 3.0 rollout from the FCC.
We're also talking about how to banish buffering, deals on gear, 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!
ASK THE EXPERTS: What Are Your Burning Cord Cutting Questions?
Over the last four years, we've learned a thing or two about all the ways and means to ditch expensive cable and satellite bills, and we'd like to share this knowledge with you!
If you have a question about which streaming set-top-box to buy, how to improve your Over-the-Air reception, or anything else cord cutting-related, send us an email or a message on Twitter or Facebook.
We might feature your question in an upcoming issue!
NEWS: FCC Commissioner Criticizes ATSC 3.0 Proposal
In a speech last week, FCC Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel shared her concerns about the current voluntary adoption proposal for the rollout of ATSC 3.0 (AKA NextGen TV).
Rosenworcel fears the agency is rushing ahead with ATSC 3.0 without understanding the consequences, and since the standard isn't backwards-compatible with current TV technology would amount to “a tax on every household with a television.”
A small handful of US stations are experimenting with ATSC 3.0 broadcasts, but there's no way for you to watch those tests right now. Why? Because ATSC 3.0-capable tuners aren't even available to either consumers OR manufacturers outside of South Korea. That's also probably why there's no current plan to offer government subsidies for 'converter boxes' like during the analog-to-digital transition.
Long story short, broadcasters are telling the FCC they should jump head-first into ATSC 3.0 'pool' and (most) of the FCC seems to agree. However, it seems clear that there are a lot of unknowns just under the surface that could come back to bite both the Commission and consumers.
We'll keep you updated on this story as it develops...
HOW-TO: Tips to Banish Buffering on Your Favorite Streaming Services
If video from internet-based streaming services or other cord cutting gear pauses frequently during playback - something called buffering - the issue could originate with your home network, and not the service itself.
Here are three things you can try to fix it:
- Check Your Speed - Use Speedtest.net to make sure you're getting the speed you're paying for from your ISP, or WiFi Analyzer to see if there's a traffic jam on your internal WiFi network.
- Set It Up Right - Your router should live in the middle of your home, as high as possible, not in the corner of your basement office. Can't move it? Try Powerline Ethernet Adapters or range extenders.
- Get a Newer Router - You don't necessarily need an expensive space-ship looking thing, but a newer router uses much faster technology than older models and allows you to avoid frequencies jammed by neighbors or other technology.
Got a story about how you managed to unclog the 'tubes' in your home network? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
DEALS: New NVIDIA SHIELD Bundle, Should You Buy a Clearance ROKU?
For those gearing up for holiday shopping, keep these tidbits in mind...
NVIDIA SHIELD BUNDLE
NVIDIA has rolled out a new cheaper SHIELD bundle aimed at cord cutters. The bundle includes the streamer and a remote, but no gamepad for $179. The NVIDIA SHIELD is one of the most powerful and flexible streaming boxes on the market, so despite the price it's worth a look. Especially since you can even turn it into an OTA DVR! One thing to keep in mind though, NVIDIA usually reserves their one big sale each year for Black Friday itself.
NEW ROKU OR OLD ROKU?
Some folks have had luck picking up last year's ROKU models on clearance, but TechHive says you might want to reconsider. Why? Because some of the new models include an updated remote which can also control your TV. Pretty neat!
PREP FOR BLACK FRIDAY TV SHOPPING
If you're hoping to score a Black Friday deal on a new TV, the good folks at Consumers Reports have outlined what kinds of deals to expect and what to look for.
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!
- Canadians won't want to miss the broadcast premiere of Long Time Running, the documentary celebrating The Tragically Hip's final tour - October 20 @ 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CTV (Check out the Canadian Corner for more details...)
- Documentary Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson celebrates the 25th anniversary of the legendary Simpsons episode 'Homer At Bat' and the Simpson's character's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame - October 22 @ 3:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. ET (depending on your market) on FOX
- Speaking of baseball... MLB Baseball's World Series begins - October 24 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
CANADIAN CORNER: Tragically Hip Documentary Airdate Pushed Up
Canada lost one of its favorite sons this week with the passing of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie.
CTV had originally planned to air the documentary Long Time Running - which celebrates the Hip's final tour - mid-next month, but given Gord's passing the broadcast premiere has been moved up to tonight.
Tablo's guide data has not yet been updated to reflect this last-minute change, so it may be best to set a manual recording for this event.
The documentary will also be rebroadcast during its originally planned timeslot: November 12th at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.
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!