Streaming

Unboxing, Setup & First Impressions of the All New AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV

Unboxing, Setup & First Impressions of the All New AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV

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

 

Last week I got in the mail the all new AirTV Player & Adapter by Sling TV. I’m really excited to test this device out over the next week or two and share my full review with you. In the meantime, I wanted to give you a look at what comes with the AirTV Player and Adapter and what the setup process looks like. This is a really innovative product for cord cutters because it brings together Sling TV streaming channels and free Over-The-Air local channels right in the same interface on the same TV input. If you want to read more about why I think this is going to be the most user-friendly cord cutting device yet, read my full article here. If you have any questions about the AirTV Player or Adapter or want me to try anything out during my testing, just leave a comment below.

 

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Antenna, Sling TV, Streaming, TV, 0 comments
Sling TV AirTV Player: The Most User-friendly Cord Cutting Device Yet

Sling TV AirTV Player: The Most User-friendly Cord Cutting Device Yet

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

The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show wrapped up last week and one of my favorite new cord cutting products released during the show was the AirTV Player by Sling TV. This is the first time Sling TV has released their own branded streaming device, and I must say they did a phenomenal job. With AirTV they really focused on solving one of the most difficult hurdles with cord cutting, the separation between local Over-The-Air (OTA) channels and streaming channels. The main purpose of the device is to incorporate your local OTA channels, received through an antenna, into the Sling TV app without increasing your monthly Sling subscription. I really feel like they hit a big pain point with would-be cord cutters with the AirTV Player. That’s why I think it’s the most user-friendly cord cutting device yet! Here are some of the features that I think will make this the #1 recommended device for new cord cutters.

Easy Setup

When you get your AirTV there are only a few connections you have to make before you are up and running. Plug in the power cord, HDMI cable to an available port on your TV, the USB OTA tuner card, and finally your antenna to the USB OTA tuner card…that’s it! Once you power it on the app and channel setup process starts automatically. The remote can even program itself to your TV and sound system through the HDMI connection so you can start controlling your entire setup right out of the gate.
sling-airtv-player

Sling TV AirTV Player | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Everything On One Screen

After the initial setup, every time you turn the AirTV on it boots straight into the Sling TV app and the new app on AirTV now contains all your TV channels. You no longer have to change inputs on your TV and sound bar and fumble around with 3 different remotes to bounce between OTA and streaming. Even better, you don’t even have to switch between different apps. Using the Sling TV App on AirTV you can watch Sling streaming channels, OTA channels, and even Netflix shows all in the same beautiful user interface.
airtv-guide-netflix

Sling TV app on AirTV | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Simple Powerful Remote

The remote that comes with the AirTV also has the ability to control your TV and sound bar. The remote has Voice Search and Voice commands so you can find content and control your AirTV just by talking to it. There are dedicated Sling and Netflix buttons right on the remote that allow you to access these apps in one click without having to scroll through long confusing menus.
airtv-remote

AirTV Player remote | Photo Credit: airtv.net

Versatility and Performance

The AirTV Player by Sling TV runs the Android TV operating system. The big advantage with running Android TV is that you have a large preexisting library of apps that have already been developed for players such as this. Another great feature is that with Android TV you can install virtually any Android app available in the Google Play Store. The AirTV Player also supports 4K Ultra HD video so you are getting the latest and greatest technology built into this device. The AirTV Player also includes a handy over the air programming guide that will show you upcoming programs with show data.

If you’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on cutting the cord in your house because of the complexity of multiple devices, an abundance of apps, or the pains of switching between OTA channels and streaming channels, then your wait is over. I really think that the AirTV Player from Sling TV is the answer you’ve been waiting for. With this device, you get the traditional TV watching experience with the freedom and savings of cord cutting.

To top it all off, Sling TV is running a special introductory offer. Right now, when you buy an AirTV, Sling will give you a $50 credit to use toward your Sling TV subscription!

You can get the AirTV Player with OTA AirTV Adapter for $129.99 at www.airtv.net/store.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan, 0 comments
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.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan, 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
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
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
The best apps to watch free streaming content

The best apps to watch free streaming content

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

One of the best parts about cord cutting is that you get the chance to explore all the apps that are available for streaming television and movie content. What you will find is that there are a lot of apps that offer great content completely free. That’s right, zero, zilch, nada…FREE! So before you go out and sign up for a bunch of subscription based services, check out my list below of the best apps to watch FREE streaming content. All of these apps are available on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. If you’re not sure which to get, check out my previous post to help you decide which streaming media player is the right choice for your household.

 

Pluto TV – Pluto is like public access television meets internet videos. What do I mean by that? The team at Pluto spends hours searching the internet, finding and organizing free videos into categories, or “channels”, that stream 24/7. The content is mostly from YouTube but also from big broadcasting sites like NBC and Bloomberg. They have everything from News, Sporting Events, Documentaries, Kids programs, even a channel dedicated to nothing but yoga lessons.

Pluto TV app for Roku / Pluto TV app for Fire TV

Crackle – This is Sony Pictures Entertainment’s totally free answer to the popular paid services like Netflix. Crackle offers a rotating selection of classic movies and television series in addition to a collection of some original content like Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Sports Jeopardy!

Crackle app for Roku / Crackle app for Fire TV

Tubi TV – Tubi is another free alternative to Netflix. They offer a collection of TV series and movies to stream right to your living room. You will find mostly “oldie but goodie” classics and some hidden gems like those in the Cult Favorites and Good Eats sections. Tubi currently has the largest library of free TV and movies on the internet.

Tubi TV app for Roku / Tubi TV app for Fire TV

Popcornflix – This is one of the original completely FREE streaming services for movies and webisodes. Most of them fall into the independent and classic genres, but they are entertaining none the less. Popcornflix really stands out in the Family section, offering a ton of classic kids movies and TV shows.

Popcornflix app for Roku / Popcornflix app for Fire TV

PBS Kids – For kids, one of my favorite apps is PBS Kids. They offer totally free episodes of all the favorites, like Sesame street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Odd Squad. There are usually about 4 free episodes available for each show and they add new episodes every couple days.

PBS Kids app for Roku / PBS Kids app for Fire TV

Disney Junior & Disney Channel – If you have kids that are into Disney shows then the Disney Junior and Disney Channel apps are a must. Younger kids will love watching episodes of Doc McStuffins, PJ Masks and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. For older kids, Austin & Ally, Descendants Wicked World and Girl Meets World episodes will be a big hit.

Disney Junior app for Roku / Disney Junior app for Fire TV

Disney Channel app for Roku / Disney Channel app for Fire TV

CBS News – The best way to catch all the latest breaking news stories is through the CBS News app. They offer a 24/7 live stream of national news as well as a selection of highlight clips. Everything from in-depth looks into what’s going on in the world to worldwide coverage of breaking news as it happens.

CBS News app for Roku / CBS News app for Fire TV

Weather Nation – It may seem silly to watch a weather channel on your TV with all the phone weather apps out there these days, but nothing replaces the security of having local forecasts and radar on your TV while that big storm is rolling in. They also follow some interesting stories, so this can be a great stream to just leave on in the background while you are busy at home.

Weather Nation app for Roku / Weather Nation app for Fire TV

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Free, Roku, Streaming, 0 comments
The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Internet Service

The Cord Cutter’s Guide to Internet Service

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

Let’s talk internet for a bit today. From my experience, one of the most overwhelming parts for Cord Cutters when making their transition to a cableless household is getting internet-only service setup. Most of that is due to uncertainty, but in reality, it’s not all that difficult once you have all the steps and resources laid out for you. So keep reading on as I break this process down for you.

These are the 4 main things to consider when looking for Internet-only service:

  1. Go with cable internet whenever possible
  2. Look for speeds around 25 Mbps
  3. Don’t sign a contract!
  4. Purchase your own equipment instead of renting

Cable over DSL

Cable internet is delivered to your home over the black coax cable that you typically plug into the back of your TV, where DSL internet is delivered over your existing phone line. Whenever available, I suggest choosing a cable internet provider over a DSL internet provider. Reason being, cable internet is generally faster and a better value. There are a lot of different cable internet providers across the United States (Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter), but usually, there is only one or two that will service your residence. To figure out which ones are in your area and to see their current offers, I like searching allconnect.com.

Speed…Vroom Vroom!

Internet providers have packages that span across a large range of speeds, measured in Megabits per second (Mbps). They start out basic (“granny just wants to do emails”) and go all the way up to enterprise speeds (“I want to run a Google server in my basement”). To be a cord cutter and stream movies, shows and live TV you don’t need anything too crazy. It all really boils down to how many different things you think you will want to stream at a given time. If you only have one TV or live alone then you can get by with something towards the basic end of the spectrum. If you have a family of 6 and everyone likes to watch something different at the same time, then you should consider something a little faster in order to get the best experience. In general, I suggest going with something around 25 Mbps. This will work well for most people, giving you a reliable connection that is fast enough to handle 2 or 3 devices streaming at the same time while staying at a reasonable monthly payment.

Contracts = yuck

Traditionally, cable companies have used contracts to strap you into long term agreements, that you can’t get out of, then they slowly increase your monthly payment over that term until your paying an absurd amount for a service you just paid a fraction for a few months prior. When you are getting quotes from your local internet companies always ask for “No contract offers”. Tell them you aren’t interested in signing any contracts and just want a reliable internet connection at a fair price. Speaking of price, I have always found that it is best to do your homework ahead of time before you start getting quotes. The best way to check out the current deals is to search on slickdeals.net for the internet companies name plus “internet promotions” (ex. “Comcast internet promotions”). Click through to the end of each post to see the most recent discussions on internet offers people are receiving.

Provide your own equipment

One of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly internet bill and gain lots of negotiating power with these big internet companies is to buy your own equipment instead of renting theirs. Historically, whenever you signed up for cable service your provider included x number of “boxes” that go throughout your house. Some of these boxes provided the internet and WiFi connection to all of your devices. Along with those boxes came rental fees that jacked up your monthly bill and really added up over time. By purchasing your own modem and wireless router you can save a ton of money. This minimizes the amount of work the cable company needs to do in order to turn on your service since you have the ability to setup the equipment yourself. A lot of times this just involves the cable company “flipping a switch” and BAM! you’ve got internet flowing to your house. This eases the work on their end since they don’t have to send out a technician and also reduces your ties to that particular company since you don’t possess any of their equipment. You can walk away next month, with very little effort, and use your equipment with another provider if they don’t want to offer you a fair price. The setup really is easy, you can even find instructions like these on the cable company’s website: Comcast/Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter. As far as purchasing this equipment for yourself, here is what I recommend:

Cable Modem – this box converts the cable signal coming into your house to Ethernet internet

Go with the ARRIS SURFboard SB6141. This modem has the latest technology, so your investment will provide a blazing fast connection for years to come. Also, this guy works with all the major cable companies like Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner.

Wireless Router – this box converts the internet to WiFi

The TP-LINK Archer C7 is widely considered the best WiFi router for most people. It can broadcast super fast WiFi throughout your typical multi-story home without any problems. This is my top choice for sure. However, if you only need to cover a small area, like a one bedroom apartment, then you could opt to go with something a little more basic like the TP-LINK N450 and save a little money.

       

I hope this information helps guide you in your search for Internet only service. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to leave a note in the comments below.

 

Share on: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail
Posted by Dan in Guides, Internet, Streaming, 0 comments