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Tablo Cord Cutting This Week Archives

So. Many. New. Streaming. Gadgets.

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We've made it to yet another Friday cord cutters!   

This week we're talking about not one but TWO big streaming gadget product launches.

Also: Q&A on Ethernet connections for streaming sticks, short cuts, 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 > Roku & Google Launch New Streaming TV Products 
Roku Ultra 2020
It's been another big week for streaming TV gear announcements... First up let's talk about Roku!

Roku has two new products available for pre-order and expected to ship mid-month: the 2020 Roku Ultra streaming box and a new smaller 'Streambar' for folks who also want a better TV audio experience.

This year's Roku Ultra has a newer, faster processor, 50% more range on its WiFi antennas for buffer-free streaming, and supports Dolby Vision. The one downside? No micro USB slot which on older models lets you boost the onboard memory.

Roku Streambar 2020

The new Roku Streambar combines the streaming TV technology you expect from Roku with speakers for better, room-filling sound. Much smaller than its predecessor and only $30 more than a Roku Ultra, it might be the first streaming soundbar to be a hit with consumers.
Chromecast with Google TV

On the Google/Android side, the Chromecast with Google TV has been officially announced after more pre-launch leaks than a porcupine's raincoat. Unlike previous devices called Chromecast, the 4K streamer has its own dedicated remote with quick launch buttons that can supposedly be re-programmed.

It runs a slightly altered, content discovery focused version of the Android TV operating system (kind of like Amazon Fire TV) that's been dubbed Google TV. Despite the name change, it should be compatible with all TV apps from the Google Play store.  

Are you grabbing a new Roku or the Chromecast with Google TV? Tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter

Q&A > How Can I Connect a Streaming Stick via Ethernet Instead of WiFi?
Chromecast Ethernet

Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.

This week's question comes from Elizabeth who says, "I've tried a lot of things to fix the buffering problem I have on my streaming stick in the basement including changing WiFi frequencies and adjusting the location of my router. The only thing I haven't tried is switching to an Ethernet connection but my stick doesn't seem to have that option... Is there a solution?"

Elizabeth didn't mention what type of streaming stick she had so the answer is maybe...

Streaming TV sticks cram a lot of technology into a very small space and generally omit Ethernet ports. This can limit the flexibility of streaming sticks for those with spotty WiFi, as Elizabeth has unfortunately found out. 

The good news is that both Amazon Fire TV sticks and the new Chromecast with Google TV have optional Ethernet adapters, sold separately, that can help you beat the buffering blues with a hardwired connection. The only streaming stick we've seen with Ethernet built-in is the high-end NVIDIA SHIELD.

Alas, Roku streaming sticks are the exception as they don't have the USB ports that enable the use of accessories like Ethernet adapters. That's why we generally recommend Roku fans skip the sticks in favor of the Ultra model which has an Ethernet port built-in.      

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 > Testing New Fire TVs, YouTube TV Yanks RSNs & More
AFTVnews benchmarks

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: 
  • Despite the low price points, the new Amazon Fire TV sticks should be decent based on performance benchmarks done by AFTVnews.com. The 2nd generation Fire TV Cube is still #1, however. 
  • YouTube TV has yanked Sinclair's Regional Sports Networks from its popular streaming service.
  • The team at TechHive has some advice on which Roku models cordcutters should buy, and which to ignore.
  • The new Google TV operating system has a cool 'apps only' mode that reduces ad-related clutter. 
  • Saturday Night Live is back tomorrow and they'll even have a live COVID-screened audience, despite New York health authorities questioning whether their plans follow State guidelines.   
  • Finally, you'll be shocked at the price of the new car won by a contestant during the 1972 premiere season of The Price Is Right.   


As fall TV season gets into full swing, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
Next on Fox
  • Undercover Boss returns for its 10th season - October 2nd @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
  • Tune into a new season of Austin City Limits - October 3rd @ 11:00 p.m. ET on PBS
  • Saturday Night Live is back with host Chris Rock and musical guest Megan Thee Stallion  - October 3rd @ 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC/Global 
  • Catch the premiere of the 2nd season of Pandora - October 4th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
  • Tune into the mystery miniseries Flesh and Blood on Masterpiece - October 4th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS
  • Followed by the British political drama miniseries Cobra - October 4th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on PBS
  • Check out the two-part black-ish Election Special - October 4th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Season 4 of the sitcom One Day at a Time makes its broadcast debut... (if you missed the first few seasons, catch up on Netflix first) - October 5th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
  • Canadians can tune in to the new drama The Sounds - October 5th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBC
  • Followed by season 2 of Canadian crime drama Pure premieres - October 5th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CBC 
  • Originally aired on the DC Universe streaming service, check out the broadcast premiere of Swamp Thing - October 6th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
  • Ellen's Game of Games returns for season 4 - October 6th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on NBC/CTV
  • Or catch the premiere of the sci-fi drama neXt starring Mad Men's John Slattery - October 6th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX/Global
  • Canadians can enjoy season 3 of the British comedy Catastrophe - October 6th @ 9:30 p.m. ET on CBC 
  • Check out the premiere of The FBI Declassified - October 6th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS/Global
  • Drama series Devils premieres - October 7th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
  • Followed by season 2 of the drama Coroner - October 7th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
  • Canadians can check out the sci-fi series War of the Worlds - October 7th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBC
  • Followed by the premiere of the new series Trickster - October 7th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CBC 
  • The first COVID-era sitcom Connecting... premieres - October 8th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC/Global
  • Or check out the first of Supernatural's last 7 episodes - October 8th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW 
  • Followed by the season 3 premiere of The Outpost - October 8th @ 9:00 p.m. ET on CW
  • Canadians can check out the premiere of the drama Departure - October 8th @ 10:00 p.m. ET on Global

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 > New Streaming Gadgets Coming to Canada
Roku streambar
One of the 'fun' things about being Canadian is getting excited about a gadget only to find out it's not going to be available here

Let's go with the bad news first... Once again Roku isn't bringing the Roku Ultra to Canada. However, you will be able to get the new Streambar starting in late October for $189.99 CAD. 

Now the good news... The new Amazon Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick LITE are both already shipping in Canada and the new Chromecast with Google TV is also available for pre-order and will be shipping mid-October.

Given the Fire TV sticks and Chromecast are more affordable at $50, $60, and $70 CAD and they tend to support more Canadian streaming services, they seem like a better bet. 


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. 

Stay tuned!
The Tablo Team
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