Deal Alert! Roku Streaming Stick for $34.99 and TCL Roku 55″ 4K TV for $399.99

Deal Alert! Roku Streaming Stick for $34.99 and TCL Roku 55″ 4K TV for $399.99

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Get your holiday shopping done early! If you’ve been looking to cut the cord or upgrade your streaming setup there’s no better time than now. If that sounds like you, then here are these early Black Friday deals you’ve gotta check out!

Get my favorite streaming device for new cord cutters, the Roku Streaming Stick for just $34.99. That’s the lowest I’ve ever seen this streaming player priced, at $15 off! Amazon reviews give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

If you are looking to overhaul your TV and streaming device, go with this awesome all-in-one solution, the TCL 55″ 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV for just $399.99. This is another record low price for this TV, at a whopping $300 off! Amazon reviews give it 4 out of 5 stars!

From Amazon.com:

Get big streaming power in a pocket-sized, easy-to-use stick. The 2016 Roku Streaming Stick delivers fast performance with a quad-core processor and dual-band wireless. Device works with all top movie and TV streaming services, including Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, Google Play, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and 3,000 more channels. Access 300,000+ movies and TV episodes plus music, sports, games, international content, and kids’ programming. Unbiased search across top channels shows you where content is free or cheapest to watch. And because Roku Streaming Stick is portable, you can stream to different HDTVs in your home, dorm, or hotel room. The Roku Streaming Stick delivers fast performance with a quad-core processor and dual-band wireless. Simple. Access your own subscriptions like Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, Google Play, Netflix, or Hulu. Rent or buy on-demand, and enjoy hundreds of free channels. Save time and money with search results that show you where movies and TV shows are free or cheapest to watch. Totally portable, and streams to different HDTVs in your home, dorm, or hotel room. Private listening via mobile. Use your smartphone or tablet and the Roku mobile app for iOS and Android to enjoy private listening anytime via your Bluetooth or plug-in headphones. Mobile control transforms your iOS or Android mobile device into a Roku remote, search with voice or text, and send photos, video or music, to your TV from your phone or tablet.

From Amazon.com

TCL, one of the world’s best-selling TV brands, and Roku, America’s most popular streaming service have come together to bring the latest in 4K technology and design. We’ve simplified the4k Ultra HD TV so you can instantly enjoy endless entertainment. Choose from more than 3,000 streaming channels that feature 350,000 movies and TV episodes plus live sports, news, music, kids and family, food, science and tech, fitness, foreign language and so much more.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Deals, Roku, 0 comments
A PlayStation Vue Weekend: How I Streamed Big Ten Network, ESPN and Fox Sports

A PlayStation Vue Weekend: How I Streamed Big Ten Network, ESPN and Fox Sports

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Hey guys! This weekend there were a lot of sporting events on TV that I wanted to watch. Most of them, unfortunately, on channels that I don’t get with my basic $20 per month Sling TV Sling Orange package. Sure, I could have upgraded my Sling subscription to get the majority of the sports channels, but I still wouldn’t get Big Ten Network and I thought this may be a good opportunity to try out PlayStation Vue and share my experience with you.

PlayStation Vue is Sony’s over-the-top streaming TV service. It offers a lot of the same channels that you can stream with Sling TV with the addition of some key ones for my viewing needs this weekend. Their packages are priced slightly higher than what you will find with Sling, but with the additional channels, I guess that can be expected. Big Ten Network, which historically has been a challenge for Cord Cutters to be able to watch, is what really sets PlayStation Vue apart in this case.

Let me break down which sporting events I was looking to watch so you can see why PlayStation Vue was the best choice for my weekend viewing, cheering, and…eventually crying and disappointment in my teams 🙁 (but enough of that sob story).

sports_table

psvue_core_sports

From the list and picture above you can see that the PlayStation Vue Core package ticked the box for every sporting event I was hoping to watch this weekend. Big Ten Network being the ultimate  kicker here. PlayStation Vue is currently the only over-the-top service that provides access to Big Ten Network outside of traditional cable.

So…how did it go? What did I think?

Overall I was very impressed with PlayStation Vue and enjoyed my viewing experience. The video quality was excellent while watching all the events, especially the soccer game on FS1 and the IU basketball game on ESPN. I never had any issues with buffering or freezing video, which is something that can happen when streaming live events like sports.

I was especially impressed to find that PlayStation Vue includes not only the primary Big Ten Network channel but also a few alternate channels right inside their app. This is nice when BTN broadcasts multiple games at the same time. You have the option to watch any of the games that are being aired and you aren’t restricted to only the one game that is closest to your viewing market.

Something that I found a little odd was that PlayStation Vue did not broadcast my regional Fox Sports channel, Fox Sports Indiana or Midwest, like I thought. This was frustrating on Saturday night when I wanted to watch the Pacer’s basketball game. I was able to find a workaround by downloading the Fox Sports Go app to my Fire TV and logging in with my PlayStation Vue credentials. The Fox Sports Go app then let me stream the game. So, even though the channel is included in my subscription, I was only able to watch it through the Fox Sports Go app. I guess this workaround is worth keeping in mind in the future if I find there is ever another game that isn’t being broadcast through the PlayStation Vue app but is airing on a channel that is in my subscription.

A slight negative, that I feel is worth noting, is that I found the guide and menus inside the PlayStation Vue app to be quite slow. This made navigating through the user interface frustrating at times, especially while still getting used to the app. I do however appreciate that they included the familiar “guide” screen that is sometimes omitted from streaming apps.

To sum up my experience with PlayStation Vue this weekend I would say that it was great for the most part. I was able to watch all the sporting events that I was hoping to in crystal clear HD without any major hiccups. Although Vue is slightly more expensive than some of the other streaming services out there, I found I could get the most sports channels in one package than any other service. I also really appreciate the fact that I can get Big Ten Network through a subscription to PlayStation Vue which makes this service a big win for Big Ten fans.

If you’d like to test out PlayStation Vue this weekend like I did or if there is a big game coming up on a channel in one of their packages, give it a try. PlayStation Vue has a 7-day free trial with no strings attached.

Have you used PlayStation Vue before? If so, what did you think? Got any questions about Vue? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in PlayStation Vue, Sports, 0 comments
Watch Local and National News as a Cord Cutter

Watch Local and National News as a Cord Cutter

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

With the Presidential Election right around the corner, the end to what surely has been a circus of an election season, you may be looking for the best way to watch the news as a cord cutter. Here are some of my favorite ways to help stay glued to your TV this November without missing a thing. Whether you want to tune into local election coverage or national news, you can watch it all on TV without cable.

You can use an HD antenna to watch the News at no monthly cost.

If you don’t have an antenna yet then you’ve got to pick up a Mohu Leaf 30 (click here to get it on Amazon.com). This thing is as simple as it gets, plug it in, hang it on the wall with a thumbtack, and watch free broadcasts on NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX. You’ll be able to tune into local and national broadcasts all throughout the day. Whether you like waking up with the Today show, tuning into your local afternoon newscast, or catching 60 Minutes every evening, all this great news coverage can be pulled up on your TV with just a simple antenna.

Cord Cutters have a ton of options to stream the news to your TV.

If you don’t have a streaming device yet then I recommend you get a Roku Streaming Stick, its super easy to use and pretty affordable (click here to get it on Amazon.com). With a device like a Roku, this is will give you access to national 24-hour news coverage. You may be familiar with some of the traditional paid news channels, but through your streaming device you have access to some pretty good free news channels and apps. The most popular one that you’ve got to check out is the CBS News app (watch on Roku / watch on Fire TV) which provides a live 24-hour national news broadcast that covers everything from breaking news to what’s happening with our favorite celebrities. My favorite way to watch free streaming news as a cord cutter is on the various news channels in the Pluto TV app (watch on Roku / watch on Fire TV). These channels carry aggregated video clips and live streams from the most popular news sources in national news, business and finance news, and even tech news.

As a cord cutter, my favorite way to watch premium news channels is through Sling TV.

If you’re a fan of CNN, MSNBC or HLN then you’ve gotta try out Sling TV. Sling TV is the most reasonable option for people that like to stay up-to-date on the news, with plans starting at just $20 per month. With the most basic Sling Blue package, you can watch all the news you can handle on CNN. If you want to expand your news options then Sling offers various addon combinations that will give you access to more channels including MSNBC and HLN.

If you haven’t tried Sling TV yet, you definitely should! They offer a free 7-day trial with no strings attached. If you only want to try it out for the next week to watch election coverage then sign up today and cancel next week and don’t pay a dime. You can’t beat that!

The most comprehensive news coverage can be found on PlayStation Vue.

If you’re a news junkie then your best option is PlayStation Vue. In their most basic package, Access, you get all the most popular news stations: CNN, HLN, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, and CNBC. Playstation Vue is a little more expensive than Sling TV, but if you can’t live without having all the premium news channels I would recommend checking it out. They also offer a free 7-day trial with no strings attached.

How do you plan to tune into all the excitement of the Presidential election? Do you have other ways that you like to stay up to date on breaking news?

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Antenna, Free, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Streaming, 2 comments
Cord Cutting with Kids, Can It Be Done?

Cord Cutting with Kids, Can It Be Done?

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

For many households, the biggest concern when going cableless is the kiddos. How are my kids going to adjust? Will they still be able to watch their favorite shows?

Luckily, kids are fast learners and now, more than ever, there are tons of ways for kids in a cord cutting household to watch their favorite shows.

The good old HD antenna can get a lot of free kid’s programming on local stations. If you need help finding an HDTV antenna for your TV, check out my article here. Your local PBS channel has always been a great go-to for kids shows. Everything from daily morning cartoons to afternoon educational classics can be roped in with an antenna for free! And don’t forget about those Saturday morning cartoons that air on NBC and PBS.

An HD antenna is a great option for kid’s content, but streaming shows is where you are going to get the most options and convenience.

There is a lot of kids content that can be streamed on your TV, some of it is even FREE! If you’re wondering what the best way to stream children’s shows on your TV is, I recommend either a Roku or Amazon Fire TV which you can read more about here. All of the below apps can be installed through the Roku Channel Store or Amazon’s website.

Some of the best free streaming content can be found on the Pluto TV app on the various Kids and Cartoon channels. You can even find completely free episodes available on popular network apps like PBS Kids, Disney Junior, Nick Jr, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. The main advantage to streaming your kids’ favorite shows is that it’s entirely on-demand.

You can turn on a show whenever it fits in the day’s schedule the best and, even better, close the app when it’s time for dinner or bed!

Netflix is also a great source for Kids TV shows and Movies. The selection gets updated from time to time, but they always offer a ton of your kid’s favorites. One of the nicest things about using Netflix with kids in the home is that they have a dedicated “kid mode”. You can set up a profile, configure it for kids content only, and only shows and movies rated 12 and under will be displayed in the Netflix guide.

Amazon Prime Video, which is included with your normal Prime membership, offers a “Kids & Family” genre in the TV show and Movie categories. Their selection is comparable to what you will find on Netflix and they also refresh their library every so often. Amazon recently partnered with PBS Kids to be the premier streaming service for the majority of PBS shows for kids. This means that if you have Amazon Prime then you have full access to complete seasons of some of the best PBS series for children.

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are also excellent services that provide access to some of the most popular kid’s channels.

Everything from Disney Channel and Cartoon Network to Sprout and BabyTV can be included in a subscription to Sling TV or PlayStation Vue. Through their apps you will get access to live feeds of the channels, just like with cable, but you also get access to some on-demand content for viewing whenever you want. If you need help figuring out which service and which plan fits you best, check out my article comparing the two here.

What kinds of programs do your kids like to watch? If you’ve cut the cord already, how did your kids adjust to the new setup?

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan, 0 comments
Simplify Your Family Room With a Smart Universal Remote

Simplify Your Family Room With a Smart Universal Remote

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Does your family suffer from TMR (Too Many Remotes) Syndrome? Is your coffee table covered in umpteen different remote controls, but you can never find the one you need? If this rings home for you then you should consider getting a smart universal remote control for your entertainment system.

One of the things we found after we cut the cord is that we no longer had an easy way of controlling our entertainment system. The remote we had been using got sent back with our cable box. We still had the original remote to our TV, and the one for our sound bar, and now a remote for our new Fire TV, and even the good old DVD player remote in case we wanted to dust off a DVD.

All of these remote controls worked fine, but that was just it, we needed them ALL!

Another thing we struggled with was switching from one source to another in a way that didn’t want to make us pull our hair out. We always had a hard time remembering which inputs were for the Fire TV and what we had to switch when we wanted to watch the antenna. A lot of times our evenings would start out a little something like this:

Wife: “Hey! Let’s watch a movie on Netflix. What do I need to change the TV to again?”

Me: “Uh…change the TV to HDMI 1 and the sound bar to TV. No, wait, TV is for TV. I mean…Input 3. Yeah, definitely Input 3.”

Wife: “Which remote is for the soundbar? Is that the Vizio? I think the batteries might be dead.”

Me: “Faaan-tastic!”

Then, one day, the remote controls gods shined down on us.

We were introduced to the holy grail of remotes, the best thing since sliced bread (literally!), the Logitech Harmony smart universal remote control. This thing was “da bomb”. It could replace all of our existing remotes and control all of the devices in our entertainment system. Some models could even be used to control our Fire TV or Roku.

One of the best features of the Harmony remotes is that you create shortcuts, they call them “Activities”, which turn all your devices on and to the correct inputs for the source you want to watch. So pressing the “Watch TV” button turns your TV on and to the antenna input and your soundbar on and to the right input. Then, if you press the “Watch Fire TV” button it changes your TV and the soundbar to the correct inputs for the Fire TV.

If this sounds like something that your family needs in their lives, then I highly recommend getting a universal smart remote control. Specifically, the Logitech Harmony Companion and Logitech Harmony 650 would be my top choices. The Companion remote includes some advanced features like the hub, which can control devices behind a closed entertainment console door and can also control a Roku or Fire TV. The 650 is the more reasonably priced model, but still has all the smart features to help simplify your TV watching experience.

                    

If the Logitech remotes seem a little too extravagant, then I’d suggest trying out the SideClick remote. This little guy clips right onto the side of your Roku or Fire TV remote and provides just enough buttons to control the basic features of your TV and entertainment system. It’s as simple as it gets and can help eliminate some of those pesky remotes from your coffee table.

sideclick

Sideclick for Roku | Photo Credit: sideclickremotes.com

So, what do you think? Could your families case of TMR syndrome be cured with one of these universal remote controls? I know we’ve been cured in my house!

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan, 2 comments
The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Hulu

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Hulu

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Happy fall everyone! My favorite time of year! The leaves are changing, it’s football season and all my favorite shows are back with new episodes! With all that awesome it also means the days are getting shorter and our routines are getting busier. That’s why today I want to introduce you to your new best friend for this TV watching season, Hulu.

Hulu is a premium streaming service that offers its subscribers access to episodes of their favorite TV series.

Hulu includes programming from 3 of the 4 major networks: NBC, Fox, and ABC. The great thing about using Hulu is that you can watch shows on-demand, whenever it’s most convenient for you, starting the next day after they air live. Hulu even lets you watch some shows on premium channels like Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Hulu has been around for a while but has really grown in the last few years.

They even produce their own content now, like The Mindy Project and The Path starring Aaron Paul.

You can stream Hulu through their app on Roku and Fire TV or a number of other ways that you can see on their website here. If you’ve been wanting to try out Hulu there’s no better time than now. Just follow my guide below as I show you how to get everything setup and running.

What you will need:

  1. Computer or Smart Phone
  2. Roku or Fire TV (which one’s right for you?)
  3. Internet Connection

Subscription Details:

  1. Cost: $7.99 per month (with commercials) or $11.99 per month (commercial free)
  2. Free Trial: 1 week
  3. Cancellation Policy: Cancel anytime

Setup and Usage

hulu1     hulu2

hulu3     hulu4

hulu5     hulu6

hulu7     hulu8

hulu9     hulu10

hulu11     hulu12

hulu13

My Final Thoughts

I really enjoy using Hulu. They have a really nice interface that makes it easy to find and favorite the shows I routinely watch. The streaming quality is really good as well. I’ve been the most impressed with the amount of content you get with your subscription, including cartoons for kids and even movies. The only thing I don’t particularly care for are the ads that take the place of commercials. It makes it a little difficult when trying to fast forward through part of a program, but I guess I could always up my subscription to the commercial-free option if it bothers me too much.

What does everyone think of Hulu? If you’ve used it before, what do you like or dislike? If not, are you thinking of giving it a try?

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Guides, Streaming, TV, 0 comments
Our Cord Cutting Setup That Saves Us Over $100 Each Month

Our Cord Cutting Setup That Saves Us Over $100 Each Month

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

When we cut our cable in 2014, we weren’t sure exactly where to start. We had heard some things about it and did a little research, but we were nervous. Would it work? Could we figure it out? What if we really miss all those channels that are included in our cable bundle?

It came to the point where there were no more excuses.

We had to bite the bullet, jump right in, and try it. We could figure things out as we go and we really had nothing to loose. In reality, we had only everything to gain with all the money we would be able to save and put towards student loan debt.

Our monthly bill to the cable company had climbed to an astronomical $165. If we could reduce that and still enjoy our favorite TV shows we would be happy campers. We could concur our ultimate goal to reduce our monthly spending to help pay off debt and ultimately build wealth. We could do it and still enjoy some relaxing couch time in the evenings.

Below are the steps that we took to become a cableless household.

We started simple and added things as we felt we needed them. Looking back it was much easier to make the switch then either of us thought. The devices and apps were actually very user-friendly and with a little patience we figured them out in no time.

The first thing we did was buy some HD antennas to test things out. We chose the Mohu Leaf 30 Paper-Thin Antenna to put in our guest room because it was super easy to install and is easily hidden on the wall behind the TV. For the remainder of our TV’s we got the Winegard Freevision HDTV Antenna, hung it in our attic and connected it to the existing coax cable lines that run inside the walls to our other TVs. Once we found out we could get tons of crystal clear stations for free, we were convinced. This cord cutting thing was actually going to work! With these antennas, we could watch live TV on the major networks for $0 each month! Here are the antennas we bought and still use today:

     

Live TV was great and let us watch a ton of stuff, but we needed something to complement the live local channels.

We wanted to stream stuff on demand, so we bought an Amazon Fire TV for the family room and a Roku Stick for the bedroom. Since we watch the most TV in our family room the Fire TV is the perfect solution because it is super powerful. In our bedroom, the Roku Stick was a great choice because it was low cost and has the right amount power to support our occasional streaming needs. With these streaming devices, we were able to install apps like YouTube and Netflix that let us binge watch shows and movies whenever we wanted. Here are the streaming boxes we have:

     

YouTube had a lot of great free stuff to watch and we already had a Netflix subscription so we were familiar with the things we could watch in the app, but we still were missing a few things. If we couldn’t watch a new episode of a show when it aired live, we didn’t have a way to view it on-demand. This had been where our DVR would have come in handy in the past, but it went out the door with our overpriced cable. Luckily for cord cutters, there are plenty of alternatives to a traditional DVR. After some research, we settled on the service PlayOn. We bought the Lifetime license and installed their companion apps on our laptop and the Fire TV and Roku. Now we could stream shows from the NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox websites directly on our TV’s after they become available for free viewing. This worked surprisingly well, was pretty easy to setup, and we still use it to this day.

playon-logo

After about a month of living the cord cutting life, we were hooked! We didn’t miss cable one bit. The picture from the antennas was fantastic, the streaming boxes and apps were working great, and we loved all the freedom we had to try new services without being held down by contracts. There was just one thing left to do, cancel our cable bundle and switch to an internet-only plan. For this, we went with Comcast because they are one of two service providers in our area and offer the best speeds. To help with the monthly cost and to avoid signing a contract we purchased our own cable modem and WiFi router. We could have used the ones provided by Comcast, but they would charge us a rental fee. The modem and router had very clear setup instructions and they paid for themselves after a couple months. Here are the two devices we got that give use wireless internet all throughout our house:

     

After a year of using our cord cutting setup, it was 2015 and more cableless services had made their way to the market. The one that caught our eye was Sling TV. This was a service that Dish Network came out with to provide cord cutters the ability to stream premium TV channels at an affordable price. This was pretty ground breaking because in the past most of these channels were only available with a cable subscription. For as little as $20 each month, Sling TV would let us watch channels like ESPN, HGTV and CNN using their apps on our Fire TV and Roku. Best of all…NO CONTRACT! We were able to sign up and cancel whenever we wanted. For us, this was a great solution that rounds out our cord cutting setup.


 

The last monthly cable bill we paid in 2014 was $165! After the upfront costs of getting things setup, we now spend only $55 each month. We pay $25 for Internet service, $20 for Sling TV and $10 for Netflix. That’s $110 back in our pockets every month!

This is the cord cutting setup that we put together to fit our needs. It has been working out great and we love the financial freedom it has provided us over the past few years. With such a great experience, we can’t ever imagine switching back to cable.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Amazon Fire TV, Antenna, Roku, Sling TV, Streaming, TV, 0 comments
The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

The 2016 NFL season has officially kicked off! As a cord cutter, you have several options to cheer on your favorite team while watching on your big screen. The NFL schedules 4 different times each week when games are played, Thursday Night, Sunday Afternoon, Sunday Night, and Monday Night. To help you see which ways you can tune into these games each week, I’ve broken this guide down accordingly. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to catch all the NFL action on TV this season without cable.

All but 4 of the Thursday Night Football games this season will be broadcast, for free, nationwide on NBC or CBS.

The Thursday Night games that are on NBC or CBS will be best watched through an HD antenna connected directly to your TV. I suggest the Mohu Leaf 30 HD antenna for most people. For more info on antennas check out my post here. If you don’t want to miss those 4 TNF games not shown on NBC or CBS, you’ll have to tune into the NFL Network. You can sign up for either the Sling TV Blue package ($25 per month) or the PlayStation Vue Core package ($34.99 per month), both of which include a live stream of NFL Network. Sling and PlayStation Vue can be streamed using apps on your Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

The best way to figure out which channels will be broadcasting the different games each week is to check the schedule on NFL.com.

For the Sunday afternoon games, CBS and Fox are still the stations to tune into. Just like on Thursday Night, plan to use your HD antenna to catch the games being shown in your local market. Pro tip: I like to check the broadcast maps on 506 Sports to see what games are going to air each Sunday in my area. That way I know if I’ll be able to cheer my team on at home through my antenna or if I need to plan an afternoon visit to my local sports pub.

NBC has the broadcasting rights for all Sunday Night Football games of the 2016 season. This is great news for cord cutters because we can use our HD antennas once again to catch every Sunday Night game live!

Monday Night Football, the main event that closes out every football weekend, will be broadcast on ESPN this season.

The most affordable way to catch all the MNF games on ESPN is through a Sling TV Orange subscription ($20 per month). You can use the Sling TV app on your Roku or Amazon Fire TV to watch all these games in crystal clear HD. Alternatively, you could opt for the PlayStation Vue Access package instead, which also includes ESPN, ($29.99 per month).

Finally, if you’re one of those diehard fans that loves to watch the bonus coverage on NFL RedZone every Sunday, you’re in luck! NFL Redzone is now available without cable! For an extra $10 per month, you can add the Sports Extra add-on, which includes NFL RedZone, to a Sling Blue subscription. Or, for PlayStation Vue Core subscribers, you have the option to pay an additional $39.99 per year to add the channel all season long to your package.

As you can see, for cord cutters, just an HD antenna will allow you to watch the majority of NFL games this season. Couple that with a Sling TV Orange subscription for $20 and you won’t miss a thing!

There you go, the best ways to watch NFL games this season without a pricey cable contract. Are you excited to start cheering on your favorite team? I know I am!

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Antenna, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, Sports, 0 comments
How to Survive Without a DVR as a Cord Cutter

How to Survive Without a DVR as a Cord Cutter

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

Whether you aren’t home when your favorite show airs or you just don’t have time to sit down and watch TV until the kids go to bed, the good old DVR has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. When considering the life of a Cord Cutter you may be freaking out because no cable box means no DVR! Rest assured, there are plenty of ways to binge your favorite sitcom without paying for high priced cable. As a cord cutter, you need to shift your thinking from DVRs to On-Demand. Instead of having to schedule, update, and delete recordings for your favorite shows, there are services out there that publish the episodes as they air for you to stream, from the cloud, whenever you want. Here are some of my top ways for cord cutters to watch shows on-demand, without a DVR, after they air.

You can watch major network shows the day after they air with a few different subscription services.

The most popular option you may have heard of is Hulu, which carries shows from NBC, FOX, and ABC in addition to other networks as well as some original content. For $7.99 per month, you can watch new episodes the day after they air with advertisements or commercials. For ad-free viewing, you can add the “No Commercials Ad-On” for an extra $4. The Hulu subscription also includes past seasons of shows for your binging pleasure.

CBS does its own thing separate from Hulu. They offer their service, CBS All Access, for $5.99 per month. With your subscription to CBS All Access, you can watch new episodes of CBS shows the next day after they air and you get access to complete past seasons as well. There is also a commercial free subscription for $9.99.

Both the Hulu and CBS All Access services have apps for Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

If you don’t mind waiting a few days after a show airs, there are a few free and cheap ways to watch.

From your computer’s internet browser, you can watch shows on Yahoo View (which is a collection of what’s available on the NBC, FOX and ABC websites). New episodes are made available about a week after they air and usually the last 4 episodes are able to be streamed. It’s completely free to watch, but you will have to sit through the occasional advertisement or commercial.

If you’re after shows that are broadcast on CBS, then head over to CBS.com to see episodes for free with similar availability and viewing terms.

Most people aren’t fond of sitting in front of the computer screen and prefer a more “TV friendly” way to watch the free shows available on the network websites. If that sounds like you, then try out PlayOn. For a one-time fee of $59.99 (or less, they run sales often!) you can download their software which runs on a Windows PC. You add what they call “channels”, which are essentially links to the websites of NBC, FOX, ABC and CBS, and then the software on your computer “casts” the videos from those channels to the PlayOn app on your Roku or Fire TV. It works really well and the PlayOn app lets you navigate the websites through menu options, so it’s really easy to find the latest episode of your favorite show.

You can even watch shows on premium stations after they air if you subscribe to one of the over-the-top streaming services.

If the shows you like to watch are part of your Sling TV subscription, then check out their own On-Demand selection right in the app. You can do this by selecting a station in the app, pressing the down button and then selecting the show you want to watch. Sling usually carries the most recent season or two and you can even catch episodes right after they air.

PlayStation Vue also has a few ways to catch up on your favorite shows. In addition to the On-demand content offered by Vue, you also have a 28 day DVR built into the service that lets you “save” your favorite show to view at a later time.

If after all these options you still don’t think you can survive without a DVR, then you can always buy your own Over-The-Air DVR.

The Tablo DVR is one of the best OTA DVR’s on the market today. You buy the DVR box, plus a USB hard drive, connect your HD antenna to the back and login to your home WiFi. The Tablo DVR then records shows from any channel that you can receive over-the-air and when you are ready to watch, you stream the show from the DVR through an app on your Roku or Fire TV. The shows are saved on your hard drive for as long as you like. If you’re interested, you can learn more on Tablo’s website.

I suggest trying out all the options above for yourself to see which one fits you the best. They even offer free trial periods so you don’t have anything to lose.

So, do you think you can survive without your DVR? Which of the ways to watch sounds like the best option for you?

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Amazon Fire TV, DVR, Roku, Streaming, TV, 4 comments
How can I watch premium, dare I say “cable”, channels as a cord cutter?

How can I watch premium, dare I say “cable”, channels as a cord cutter?

This post may contain affiliate links. See the full disclosure here.

So what about those premium channels that are traditionally referred to as “cable channels”? Can I get those? I can’t go without my daily fix of SportsCenter or House Hunters. Well, lucky for you, as a cord cutter, you’ve got options and that’s what cord cutting is all about. Over the past two years, a few internet television services have come to the market offering small packages of premium channels that can be streamed directly to your TV. All of these services are available for a small monthly fee without any sort of contract, meaning you can sign up today and cancel tomorrow. This gives you the flexibility to only sign up for months that you will actually be watching these channels and then cancel during the other months so you aren’t wasting your money on something you’re not using. If you love football and only need ESPN to watch Monday Night Football, then you have the option to only sign up from September through December. Or, if you are a teacher and you love watching HGTV in the summer time when you are on break, then only sign up for the summer months. This kind of flexibility is what makes cord cutting so attractive and saves you tons of money! The way that you watch these services is through apps available on streaming media devices like Roku or Amazon Fire TV. If you haven’t picked one of those up yet then check out my guide to help you make the decision. The best part is that all of these services offer free trials so you can try them all out to see which works best for you at no cost! When was the last time a cable company offered you a free trial?? I’ll go ahead and answer that one for you…NEVER!

Live TV. $20 a month. No Cable Company. Sling TV.

Sling TV – Sling is the pioneer in affordable internet TV packages. This is actually a product of Dish Network that was released back in February of 2015. Sling TV’s mission is to “Take Back TV” and that’s exactly what they’re doing with their packages. You start by signing up for a base package of either $20 or $25 a month and then you have the option of purchasing “add-ons” of additional channels in a particular category for an extra $5 to $15 a piece. The channel selection varies slightly depending on the base package that you go with. Check them out at the Sling TV website to see what suits your needs best and to signup. You can download the Sling TV app on either your Roku or Amazon Fire TV.

sling_orange

Sling TV Orange Package | Photo Credit: sling.com/service

sling_blue

Sling TV Blue Package | Photo Credit: sling.com/service

 

PlayStation Vue – PlayStation Vue is Sony’s answer to Sling TV. They were the second major player to enter the internet TV game, launching nation-wide in March of 2016. Despite its name, you do not need to own a PlayStation in order to signup and use this service. There are 3 tiers to choose from with Vue: Access, Core, and Elite. The Access package starts at $29.99 and Elite goes all the way up to $44.99. It may seem like a lot, but you get a heck of a lot of channels bundled up for that price. Another bonus feature included in all 3 tiers is a 28-day cloud DVR. You can record shows on any of your channels and watch them up to 28 days later.  The PlayStation Vue app is available for both Roku and Amazon Fire TV. For the latest package and pricing info check out www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/.

psvue_access

PlayStation Vue Access Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

psvue_core

PlayStation Vue Core Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

psvue_elite

PlayStation Vue Elite Package | Photo Credit: playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/

 

Updated: SFN TV Now has discontinued their nationwide streaming option. Reports are that they will resume this service in the future at which time this guide will be updated.

SFN TV Now – Sothern Fibernet is the latest provider to enter the game with their SFN TV Now service. They pride themselves on offering the most affordable entry level packages starting at just $5! For this price range, you will only get access to the Faith channels, or at the $10 level to Atlanta’s local stations. Most of you will be interested in their Popular or Max packages starting at $34. These packages include the nationwide premium stations you are most familiar with. To sweeten the deal they have included a 7 Day Cloud DVR with their packages. To get more information on SNF TV Now head over to their website southernfibernet.com/index.php/television. Currently, SNF TV Now is only available on Roku (3 and 4 only), but they plan to add additional device support in the future.

sfn_popular

SFN TV Now Popular Package | Photo Credit: southernfibernet.com

sfn_max

SFN TV Now Max Package | Photo Credit: southernfibernet.com

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Amazon Fire TV, PlayStation Vue, Roku, SFN TV Now, Sling TV, Streaming, 0 comments