Happy Friday cord cutters!
This week we're talking about how local channel blackouts are yet another symptom of ongoing rate hikes for broadcast TV.
Also: Q&A on Roku speakers, short cuts including a hot deal on the Tablo QUAD DVR, tons of 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> Local Channels Blacked Out for DirecTV & Dish Users Across the US
If you or someone you know still watches TV via satellite, it's likely that some local broadcast channels are missing from the lineup this week.
Dish and local channel ownership group Nexstar are at odds over the right to carry local channels in 115 local markets. Stations owned by Tegna in 51 markets are blacked out for the same reason on DirecTV and U-Verse.
Tegna is reportedly asking for a massive 24% year-over-year increase in fees DirecTV and U-Verse parent company AT&T pays to rebroadcast these local channels on their service. Nexstar is reportedly seeking over a billion dollars in fees from Dish.
These ballooning retransmission consent fees are also behind rate increases on both traditional pay-TV and big bundle streaming services.
The only way to avoid these blackouts and price hikes is to switch to watching your local channels with an Over-the-Air antenna. Not only is the content in full HD, but it's free as well.
Were you or someone you know affected by these latest local blackouts? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A > Can I Use Other Brands of Speakers with my Roku Streambar?
This week's question comes from Greg who says, "I just purchased and installed the new Roku Streambar. Easiest Roku player I have ever set up. Do any additional speakers have to be Roku brand or can other brands be used?"
Earlier this year Roku launched the Streambar which is a combination of a streaming player and a soundbar that is used to enhance your audio experience when watching TV.
While the Streambar is compact enough for use in bedrooms or apartment living rooms, some folks may wish to boost the sound output even further by pairing the Streambar with a subwoofer and additional speakers.
Unfortunately, the Streambar is only compatible with Roku-branded speakers and subwoofers so you won't be able to pair it with an existing surround sound setup.
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 > Discovery+ Streaming Service Launching Soon, & 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:
- In a recent issue of Cord Cutting This Week we mentioned that a new Discovery streaming service was on the way. Now we have more details... Discovery+ is launching in January and will cost $4.99/month for a version with ads, or $6.99 ad-free. While it won't include live streams, it will have on-demand episodes of your favorite shows from HGTV, Food Network, TCL, Discovery and more as well as new exclusive streaming shows.
- Next year, Warner Brothers will be sending their entire lineup of new movies to both theatres and HBO Max at the same time. This puts increased pressure on Roku to make an agreement to bring the HBO Max app to their platform.
- You can now use your Amazon Fire TV Cube to video chat with friends and family.
- Relive the days you stayed home 'sick' from school and check out the new The Price Is Right: The Barker Era channel on Pluto.
- Discounts on Tablo DVRs are on through this weekend including a brand new deal on Tablo QUAD OTA DVRs. Grab yours at Best Buy (in-store or online) for just $179.99 US or in Canada for just $229.99 CAD from the Tablo web store.
- And finally, grifters are taking advantage of folks with unfounded fears by selling metal cages for WiFi routers online. Needless to say, these glorified storage boxes will kneecap your WiFi signal, make streaming virtually impossible, and are a bad idea on many, many other levels.
WHAT'S ON > Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots of great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Enjoy a night of premieres on CBS on December 4th with:
- MacGyver @ 8:00 p.m. ET (also on Global)
- Magnum P.I. @ 9:00 p.m. ET (also on CTV)
- Blue Bloods @ 10:00 p.m. ET (also on CTV)
- Jason Bateman hosts and Morgan Wallen performs on Saturday Night Live - December 5th @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
- Tune into the holiday special A Holly Dolly Christmas - December 6th @ 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS
- Check out the premiere of the new drama Nurses - December 7th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Catch Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! starring Matthew Morrison (Glee) - December 9th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Or check out The Great Christmas Light Fight - December 9th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC
- Tune into the special One Night Only: The Best of Broadway - December 10th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC
- Followed by the Time Person of the Year event - December 10th @ 10:00 p.m. on NBC
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING and TV SHOWS > GENRES > HOLIDAY on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record.
CANADIAN CORNER > The 'Netflix Tax' Is Coming
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.