Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about why your first purchase as a cord cutter should be a good quality WiFi router.
Also: Q&A on mysterious app installations, short cuts, must-see OTA TV, and more.
As always, if you know of someone who might need some insight or help with 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!
IN-DEPTH: Why A Quality WiFi Router Is Critical for Cord Cutters
In a recent video, the folks at The Cord Cutting Report argued that the first purchase for a new cord cutter shouldn't be a streaming device like a Roku or Fire TV, but a good quality router. And we don't disagree.
Not only will this save you from recurring modem/router rental fees from your ISP, but will also save you from having a bad streaming TV experience thanks to the poor quality equipment they're likely providing.
Even if the internet access package you're paying for is fast enough to stream live TV or 4K video, you could still encounter buffering or pausing of the video if the streaming stick or Smart TV you're watching on doesn't have a strong enough connection to your router.
While expensive mesh WiFi systems are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, a good quality router that is placed centrally is a better bet for the average home. If you're having trouble with WiFi coverage in just one room, a Powerline Ethernet Adapter is a simple and affordable fix.
And with a new generation of routers coming out to support the latest WiFi 6 standard — which almost no internet connected devices can currently take advantage of — it's a great time to score a deal on a quality WiFi 5 router. In fact, the budget router option recommended by The Cord Cutting Report is on sale for just $51.99.
Did a WiFi router upgrade make a huge difference in your cord cutting experience? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: Why Is My Roku Adding Channels By Itself?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Craig who asks, "Apps like Newsy keep force installing themselves on my Roku. Is there some way to block these seemingly random installations? I've uninstalled many of them multiple times, but they keeping getting reinstalled."
Well Craig, we have good news. Your Roku is not haunted nor is there an evil plot by Roku to get you to watch Newsy or some other streaming channel.
The first potential culprit is a Roku feature that will ensure the same channels are downloaded to each Roku device linked to your Roku account. If you have two Roku devices in the home, one person in the family may be re-adding the Newsy channel every time you delete it.
The second culprit might be the combination of your choice of Roku screensaver and your use of a universal remote versus the standard remote that comes with your Roku player. Certain Roku screensavers like the one pictured above, have ads for streaming channels embedded within them. Folks using universal remotes were unknowingly skipping past the 'I agree' screens of these advertised channels when waking up their Roku devices.
There are two fixes for this (beyond reprogramming your universal remote). First, you can switch your screensaver to one of the more generic 'clock' options by going to SETTINGS > SCREENSAVER > BROWSE SCREENSAVERS. Secondly, you can require a PIN code to be entered before downloading any channels to the Roku by logging in to your account at my.roku.com.
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: Tools for Tracking Streaming Subscriptions, & More
Most 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:
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- American Idol returns for season 18 - February 16th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC/CTV2
- Or catch the premiere of Duncanville from the animation team behind Bob's Burgers - February 16th @ 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX/CityTV
- Enjoy the new musical drama Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist - February 16th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Followed by the season 3 premiere of Good Girls - February 16th at 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Canadians can tune in to the season 4 premiere of Workin' Moms - February 18th @ 9:30 p.m. ET on CBC
- Watch the Democratic Candidates Debate live from Las Vegas - February 19th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: 5TB Hard Drive Deal
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!
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The Tablo Team
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