Hey there cord cutters!
We're back from summer hiatus! Thanks so much for continuing to invite us into your inbox each week.
This week we're doing a deep dive on TV antenna mileage claims.
Also: Q&A on why a unified view for cord cutting is hard to find, 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: What You Need to Know About TV Antenna Mileage Claims
Most Over-the-Air TV antennas are marketed based on 'mileage'. This mileage rating is supposed to estimate how far away you can be from the local broadcast towers and still receive a signal under ideal circumstances.
In the real world, most cord cutters need to contend with buildings, trees, mountains, and other obstacles between the broadcaster and their homes. They also have to deal with curvature of the earth which will block signals once you're about 90-100 miles away.
This is why any cord cutter should be wary of antennas like the one above that claim mileage ratings beyond the laws of physics. Quality antennas will be marketed with realistic mileage ratings, and backed up with customer service that will help you choose the right model for your needs.
If you want to learn more about mileage ratings for TV antennas, check out this video from Tyler the Antenna Man.
What's the most ridiculous antenna marketing you've seen? Tell us about it via Facebook or Twitter.
Q&A: Why Isn't There a Unified App for Cord Cutting?
This week's question comes from John who asks, "Why do we have to travel from app to app to watch content? Someone should build a consolidation app that presents it all in one guide."
Although the savings of cord cutting often outweighs the need to hunt for content across apps, it's still understandable why folks are looking to ease some of this friction. The team at TechHive wrote about this very problem earlier this year.
There are two primary reasons why a fully universal and unified view of content within apps is hard to find: technology and business/competition.
On the technology side, apps like Tablo in which the content doesn't live in the cloud and isn't universal across all users is difficult if not impossible to aggregate via common methods. And more niche streaming services may not have enough viewership to make the technology investment required for aggregation worthwhile.
On the business side, platform owners are unlikely to help make a competitor's streaming service easier for cord cutters to watch. Streaming companies also prefer to keep their customers' eyeballs within their own apps versus an aggregator as 'time in app' is a key metric for attracting investors and advertisers.
The good news is some aggregation enhancements mentioned in the TechHive article above are now available on platforms like Amazon Fire TV. There are also apps like ReelGood and JustWatch that tell you where specific shows are streaming and allow you to organize your viewing. Even Google is supposedly working on an aggregator for streaming content.
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: Deals on Tablo DVRs, Amazon Fire TV, & 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:
- Canadians can catch The Conservative Party Leadership special - August 23rd @ 5:00 p.m. ET on CBC
- Catch ongoing PBS NewsHour (Republican) Convention Coverage - starting August 24th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS
- Tune into The Ticket: The First Interview — A Special Edition of 20/20 - August 23rd @ 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC
- The delayed 2nd season of Love Island premieres - August 24th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS/CTV
- Catch the variety special Women in Film Presents: Make It Work! - August 26th @ 8:00 p.m. ET on CW
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: Price Hike On The Way for TekSavvy Customers
The ongoing legal wrangling around broadband internet pricing between the CRTC, Canada's big telecom companies, and independent ISPs is a years long saga.
While CRTC hasn't officially reversed its controversial decision to reduce the rates independent ISPs like TekSavvy pay for the ability to resell broadband internet from Bell, Rogers, Shaw, & Videotron, the federal government has issued a statement questioning the decision.
Due to this continued uncertainty, one of Canada's biggest independent ISPs, TekSavvy, has announced a $5-$10/month price hike for customers starting in October. This is after the same company slashed rates when the initial CRTC rate reduction was announced.
With no end in sight for this battle, Canadian consumers are again left to deal with the fallout.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
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The Tablo Team
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