Hey there cord cutters!
This week we're talking about the return of sports to TV and what that means for cord cutters.
Also: Q&A on sideloading apps on Fire TV, 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!
NEWS: Remember Sports??? They're Back!
After several months of upheaval, Major League Baseball, NHL hockey, and NBA basketball are all returning to the airwaves - both streaming and Over-The-Air.
(Oddly enough, baseball will even have 'fake fans' in the stands on FOX, eerily reminiscent of another FOX Sports technology blunder.)
If you dropped a more expensive streaming service from your cord cutting setup when COVID-19 first hit, and don't want to miss any of the action, it might be time to re-subscribe. AT&T TV/TV NOW have even added some new regional sports networks for hardcore sports fans.
For more frugal cord cutters, tons of action available for free with a simple TV antenna. Baseball fans with cell service via T-Mobile or Sprint can also take advantage of their free MLB.TV deal for streaming access to out-of-market games.
Are you excited for sports to return? Are you switching up your cord cutting tools and services because of its return and/or because you'd rather be at home to watch than the sports bar? Tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: Is It Safe to Sideload Apps on my Fire TV?
This week's question comes from Roland who asks, "Is it safe to sideload apps on my Fire TV? I saw you linked to instructions on how to add Peacock but doing things outside of the app store makes me nervous."
For those who aren't savvy to the lingo, sideloading is adding an app (APK) to a device outside of the 'official' app store process. And Roland isn't entirely wrong to be concerned about adding apps to his Fire TV in this way.
App Stores exist as gatekeepers for a reason. They ensure apps are designed to function correctly on the platforms they support and provide a level of oversight in terms of security and legitimacy for users.
However, there are ways to manage your risk when sideloading apps. The example Roland mentioned was from AFTVnews.com and included instructions on how to sideload Peacock onto your Fire TV. Sideloading this specific app with those instructions should be quite safe.
Why? AFTVnews.com is a source we trust (its editor recently returned from working at Amazon on the Fire TV platform) and the APK in the instructions is the official Peacock app for Android TV. Since Amazon Fire TV is a forked version of Android, there shouldn't be too many compatibility issues.
However, if you hear about a streaming TV service that isn't in any app store and sounds too good to be true (i.e. 1000s of name brand TV channels or movies for no or low cost), it's best to steer clear.
Have a question about cordcutting 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: Roku Losing Its Rep for Neutrality, & 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
In addition to the return of sports, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Check out the new series The Greatest #AtHome Videos - July 24th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS
- Documentary series POV returns for its 33rd season - July 26th @ 11:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Catch the special Penn & Teller: Try This At Home Too - July 27th @ 9:00 p.m. on CW
- Canadian 'Corrie' fans won't want to miss the Coronation Street 60th anniversary special - July 30th @ 7:00 p.m. on CBC
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: Nice Try Rogers, But No Thank You
Rogers has soft-launched a new service called SmartStream for existing internet customers.
For $5/month the service and hardware will provide integrated voice access to popular streaming services... Exactly like you can already get on Apple TV, or Fire TV, or Android TV, or Roku and NOT have to pay $5/month forever to Rogers for the privilege.
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!
If you have any feedback about the newsletter, hit reply and let us know or send us a message on social media.
The Tablo Team
P.S. - Remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for up-to-the minute Tablo news and industry updates.