Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about why you might have to upgrade your Roku to keep watching Netflix....
Also: Q&A on alternatives to the INPUT button, 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 You May Need to Upgrade Your Roku
Roku is ending support for some of its oldest models which were primarily sold between 2008 and 2011.
These 'legacy' Roku devices will no longer be eligible for updates from Roku and some streaming services like Netflix.
Not sure which model of Roku you have? Go to your Roku’s Home screen and select SETTINGS > SYSTEM > ABOUT > OK.
Some Roku customers balked at the announcement, wondering if this is planned obsolescence and/or a tactic on Roku's part to sell more devices.
While it's understandable that folks may not want to spend money to upgrade, this decision is not an anti-consumer plot.
Here are a few reasons why older Roku players should be retired...
- Hardware Limitations - Just like you can't expect a senior citizen to run as fast as a teenager, you can't expect decade-old hardware to do the same work as the newest devices. Older Roku models just weren't designed to do what we're asking of them today.
- App Selection - With smaller on-board memory, older Roku devices are taxed by the sheer variety of apps being used regularly by cord cutters. After all, there are 150% more 'channels' on Roku today than there were 5 years ago.
- Advanced Graphics Processing - Early Roku apps were of very basic design. Today's apps offer flashier interfaces with animations, complex grid guides for Live TV, and much more which older hardware just can't handle.
- Live & 4K TV - Streaming live TV and high-quality video requires a lot of horsepower and very fast WiFi, both of which these older devices lack.
In order to get the most out of your cord cutting setup, you should plan to update your streaming TV devices at least every 5 years.
Spending a bit more to get top-of-the-line hardware will help ensure it stays useful for a longer period of time.
Do you currently use a Roku device that is on the legacy list? Do you plan to update? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: How Can I Solve the Input Button Problem?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Ramon who says, "My 80-year old mother-in-law recently moved in. She's not used to having to switch inputs, so when she wants to shift between the TV and Netflix I get a call to 'fix' the TV. How do I make this easier for her?"
The INPUT button has been a roadblock to many cord cutting endeavors. It can be too much to expect visitors or family members to aren't tech-savvy to select the correct remote from the pile on the coffee table and switch between TV interfaces.
Thankfully, that's why Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) was invented.
CEC is a setting on most TVs that allows the screen to automatically switch to the correct HDMI input when buttons on that connected device's remote are pressed.
That will solve switching from the TV to the Roku, but switching back would be made easier by upgrading to a television with a modern Smart TV interface like those on TCL Roku TVs.
These TVs have a single, simple remote that features power and volume buttons, and an interface with user-defined home screen icons for HDMI-connected devices and other inputs. That way it's easy for everyone in the family to access their favorite content.
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: Fire TV Cube Test, Data Cap Tools, & 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:
- The 2019 Amazon Fire TV Cube is shipping, and Cord Cutters News has a head-to-head review with the 2018 model.
- Dog chewed your Fire TV remote? Learn how to replace it without buying a whole new device thanks to this tutorial from CordCutters.com.
- Around 2000 Comcast customers are getting a refund after being incorrectly charged for data cap overages.
- If your internet service does have a datacap, you might be interested in Roku's new bandwidth saver mode which is part of its upcoming 9.2 firmware update.
- If you don't have Roku or are looking for other ways to stay under your data cap, TechHive has a few suggestions but notes that streaming players need more built-in tools to help cord cutters manage data use.
- And in case you recently looked for but couldn't find a Tablo DVR on Amazon.com, we're working on getting the listings back up because Tablo is and always has been 100% legal. In the meantime, you can still buy our products from Best Buy and TabloTV.com, where we also happen have screaming deals on refurbished models and FREE shipping.
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- The 2nd season of the reboot of Charmed premieres - October 11 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Followed by the 3rd season of Dynasty - October 11 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
- Stranger Things' David Harbour hosts with musical guest Camila Cabello on Saturday Night Live - October 12 @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- The 8th and final season of Arrow premieres - October 15 @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
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: CBC and Netflix Are Parting Ways
Despite working closely on several successful productions over the past few years, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has announced they'll no longer be working in partnership with Netflix on new programming.
Less than a year ago the public broadcaster was singing a different tune, citing co-production as important to the future of the CBC. Shows including the award-winning Anne with an E were co-created with Netflix.
This turnabout does fit the the 'doom and gloom' narratives coming from other Canadian broadcasters and content creators who feel that major streaming services should be required by law to make the same investments in Canadian content as they do.
However, experts say the Canadian film and television production industry is doing quite well and that companies including Netflix are investing heavily in the country already.
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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