Sports

Thanksgiving 2016: TV Viewing Guide for Cord Cutters

Thanksgiving 2016: TV Viewing Guide for Cord Cutters

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

Happy Turkey Day week everyone! I hope you all will get to take some time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends this weekend. Over here we will be enjoying lots of food, family, and football! “Here we go Steelers, Here we go!” Whether you are a football fan or not here are some of the best things to watch this Thanksgiving break. So, kick your feet up, relax and tune into some of these binge-worthy programs.

Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast on NBC @ 9 am (in all timezones). I think the best way to watch NBC as a cord cutter is using my favorite HD Antenna to bring in your local NBC station.

Watch the ‘NFL on Thanksgiving Day’ triple-header

Tune into this American tradition and cheer on your favorite team while the bird is in the oven. All of these games can be watched using and HD antenna.

  • Minnesota Vikings @ Detriot Lions – 12:30 PM EST on CBS
  • Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 4:30 PM EST on FOX
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts – 8:30 PM EST on NBC

Watch a movie with the whole family

The new kid favorite, Zootopia, is on Netflix right now. Or, pop some popcorn and turn on Finding Dory or The Jungle Book. Both can be rented from Google Play (check out my trick to earning free rentals!) or Amazon Video.

Binge-watch the new Gilmore Girls miniseries

Netflix will release all 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life this Friday, November 25th.

Tune into the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon

If you like getting all nostalgic around the holidays then tune into the Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon on Thanksgiving day! 6 of the most popular episodes will air back-to-back, starting at 9 am, on Shout! Factory TV. You can watch Shout! Factory TV for free on the Pluto TV app (CH515) on your Roku or Fire TV.

Watch 5 straight hours of Friends or The Big Bang Theory

TBS will carry 5 straight hours of Friends from 11 AM to 4 PM followed by The Big Bang Theory from 4 PM – 8 PM. The best way to watch TBS is through the Sling TV Orange package for only $20 per month. If you haven’t tried Sling then signup for their 7-day Free Trial now!

Relax with a Star Wars marathon

TBS will also be airing a Star Wars marathon the day after Thanksgiving. Starting at 6:45 AM they will show The Phantom Menace, Attach of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Instead of fighting the crazy crowds at the mall, curl up on the couch and shop all the hot deals on Amazon from the convenience of your laptop.

 

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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

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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.

 

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Posted by Dan in PlayStation Vue, Sports, 0 comments
The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

The Best Ways to Watch NFL Games without Cable

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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!

 

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The Cord Cutter’s Ultimate Guide to March Madness

The Cord Cutter’s Ultimate Guide to March Madness

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Updated 3/17/2016 – Apparently the NCAA March Madness smartphone app doesn’t support Sling TV logins. So in order to watch games on TBS, TNT and TruTV while you are out and about you will have to use the Sling TV app for iPhone or Android.

Ahhhh…March. You have finally arrived. With your longer days, warmer temps and, most importantly, college basketball tournaments! That’s right everyone, March Madness is officially upon us. Here’s how you Cord Cutters out there can catch all the action from conference tournaments, such as the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC to the NCAA Basketball Tournament (A.K.A. the March Madness Tournament). Check out our guide below so you can tune into your favorite teams vying for a chance to go to the Big Dance.

Big Ten Tournament

March 9th – 13th in Indianapolis, IN

ESPN, ESPN2 and the Big Ten Network will carry the first three rounds of the tournament.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV).
  • Big Ten Network – Unfortunately, BTN does not offer a stand alone service to Cord Cutters. Your best option, invite a friend over that has a cable subscription, download the BTN2Go app to your Roku and let them login. If all else fails…visit your local sports pub 🙂

CBS will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • CBS – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local CBS station for free.

ACC Tournament

March 8th – 12th in Washington, DC

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry all of the tournament games.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV).

Big 12 Tournament

March 9th – 12th in Kansas City, MO

ESPN2 and ESPNU will carry the first two rounds of the tournament.

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • ESPN and ESPN2 – The same Sling TV subscription as above, but you can go ahead and cancel the Sports Extra package.

Big East Tournament

March 9th – 12th in New York City

FS1 will carry all of the tournament games, except for the final game.

  • FS1 – Unfortunately, FS1 does not offer a stand alone service to Cord Cutters. Your best option, invite a friend over that has a cable subscription, download the Fox Sports Go app to your Amazon Fire TV and let them login. If all else fails…visit your local sports pub 🙂

FOX will carry the final game.

  • FOX – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local FOX station for free.

SEC Tournament

March 9th – 13th in Nashville, TN

The SEC Network will carry the first three rounds of the tournament.

ESPN will carry the semifinal and final games.

  • ESPN – The same Sling TV subscription as above, but you can go ahead and cancel the Sports Extra package.

NCAA Selection Sunday Show

March 13th – 5:30 PM EST

NCAA.com and CBS will carry the NCAA Selection Sunday Show, where the NCAA basketball committee selects which teams have made the field for this year’s March Madness bracket.

NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 15th – April 4th

Coverage of the entire NCAA March Madness Tournament will be spread out across CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV. To figure out exactly what time and channel your favorite teams play on you will have to wait until the official bracket is set. Until then, have no fear. Here’s how you can catch any game on any channel throughout the tournament.

  • CBS – Use an HD Antenna to pull in your local CBS station for free.
  • TNT, TBS and TruTV – Sign up for Sling TV’s $20/month package and download the app to your favorite streaming media player (like Roku or Amazon Fire TV). TruTV is not normally part of the $20 base package, but since Sling TV loves their customers, they are giving all subscribers to the $20 package a free preview of TruTV during the tournament. From March 13th through April 12th you can catch all the games broadcast on TruTV without paying a dime more. Now that’s customer service!!!
  • Not going to be at home – Download the NCAA March Madness app on your mobile phone and login with your Sling TV username to watch CBS games for free. Download the Sling TV app for iPhone or Android and login to your account to watch TNT, TBS and TruTV games.

There you have it folks. That’s how you can watch all the March Madness action you can handle without cable.

 

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The best ways to watch Super Bowl 50 without cable

The best ways to watch Super Bowl 50 without cable

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The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers face off in Super Bowl 50 this Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. EST. With only a few days till kickoff, here are the best options for tuning into the big game without cable.

  1. Tune into your local CBS station on your television using an HD antenna. CBS will be carrying the game live through local affiliates.
  2. On your computer or tablet point your browser to www.cbssports.com/nfl/superbowl/live/player. CBS will be streaming the game live to anyone with an internet connection.
  3. Download the CBS Sports channel for Roku or CBS Sports app for the Amazon Fire TV. CBS will show the game live, for free, through their app.

The best part is that all 3 options will be showing those beloved Super Bowl commercials…so you won’t miss a moment of the action.

 

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