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Starting Today HBO Will Be FREE On Sling TV All Weekend Long

Starting Today HBO Will Be FREE On Sling TV All Weekend Long

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As part of Sling TV’s second birthday celebration, they are giving an extended FREE preview of HBO to all Sling customers. Beginning today, February 16th through Sunday, February 20th, new and existing Sling TV Orange and Blue customers will receive access to live and on-demand premium content from HBO at no additional cost. Continue reading →

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The Cord Cutter’s “Little Black Book” of Free Trials

The Cord Cutter’s “Little Black Book” of Free Trials

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One of my favorite things about cord cutting is free trials! Not because I’m into getting something for nothing (who doesn’t like a freebie every now and then, though, right?), but because it shows that the cord cutting industry is focused on us, the consumer. They want to make products that people will love and are willing to earn that love by letting you test it out for free. What other industry allows you to try before you buy with no strings attached? There’s no pushy salesman knocking down your door every night until you cave in and buy. Just completely free trial periods waiting for you to sample. They want you to be happy and they hope that will involve using their service, but if you’re not, they don’t want you to leave feeling like you were duped into wasting your money. More than likely one or two of the services you try out will end up being a perfect fit for you and you’ll wind up subscribing to the pay version. So, in the end, its a win win! Continue reading →

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

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

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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.

 

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CES 2017 Roundup: Cord Cutting Edition

CES 2017 Roundup: Cord Cutting Edition

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The Consumer Electronics Show has come to a close. This year we saw a lot of exciting new cord cutting products released and announced for this upcoming year. Here is some of the top cord cutting news to come out of this years CES.

A special thank you to Luke at CordCuttersNews.com and Elias at AFTVNews.com for your excellent breaking news coverage from the show this year. Thanks guys!

Antennas

mohu_airwave

Devices

sling-airtv-player

  • Sling TV releases the AirTV box – A streaming media player that brings together the Sling TV experience with local TV channels from an antenna. (https://www.airtv.net/)
  • Nvidia announces new Nvidia Shield with 4K HDR – The most powerful streaming media player gets 4K Ultra HD support.  (http://www.aftvnews.com/hands-on-with-the-new-2nd-gen-nvidia-shield-tv-and-new-spot-microphone/)

TV’s

Services

Well, there you have it. Another CES has come to a close bringing us a lot to look forward to in the next year as cord cutters. What new device or service are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Consumer Electronics Show 2017 Officially Starts Today

Consumer Electronics Show 2017 Officially Starts Today

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially kicks off today in Las Vegas. This is the largest electronics trade show in the world. It is also the time when manufacturers of consumer electronics announce and demonstrate their new products for the year. This year there will be tons of new cord cutting gadgets announced and shown at CES. I will be tuning into all the major tech and cord cutting news outlets throughout the weekend to be on the lookout for anything and everything cord cutting. Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I will be posting and sharing the latest news as it breaks. I will post a roundup of all the cord cutting news coming out of CES after the show wraps up on Sunday.

Here are a few of the biggest announcements that have already come out over the past two days of pre-show media events:

Are there any new products or services that you hope get announced at this year’s CES?

 

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DirecTV and AT&T launch DirecTV Now: Their live streaming service geared towards Cord Cutters

DirecTV and AT&T launch DirecTV Now: Their live streaming service geared towards Cord Cutters

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This week DirecTV and AT&T officially announced and launched their new Over-The-Top streaming service, DirectTV Now. This is the major satellite company’s solution geared towards the growing Cord Cutter, Cord Shaver, and Cord Never community which will compete directly with Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

DirecTV Now is a no-contract, internet-based app that runs on tablets, smartphones, and media streaming devices connected to your TV. It provides live streams of premium television channels that have traditionally only been offered in high-priced cable and satellite subscriptions. There are no devices to rent and no need for installation appointments. You can signup on their website www.directvnow.com and cancel at anytime.

directv-now-banner

At launch, DirecTV Now offers 4 different channel packages at various price points.

You have the option of signing up for one of these 4 programming packages:

  • Live a Little – $35 / month (60+ channels)
  • Just Right – $50 / month (80+ channels)
  • Go Big – $60 / month (100+ channels)
  • Gotta Have it – $70 / month (120+ channels)

Here is a breakdown of what channels are included in each of the packages:

  • Live a Little ($35/month): A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Audience Network, AXS TV, Baby First, BBC America, BET, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Crime & Investigation, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, E!, ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports 1, Freeform, FX, FXX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic Channel, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, Pursuit Channel, RFD-TV, Spike, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, TLC, TNT, truTV, TV Land, Univision, USA Network, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv, WeatherNation
  • Just Right ($50/month): Includes everything in the Live a Little package (except Hallmark Movies & Mysteries) and adds – Big Ten Network, CNBC World, Comedy TV, Cooking Channel, ESPNews, ESPNU, Fuse, Fusion, GSN, IFC, LMN, MLB Network, NBC Sports Network, Nicktoons, OWN, Science, SEC Network, Travel Channel, UniMás, Weather Channel, WGN America
  • Go Big ($60/month): Includes everything in the Just Right package and adds – American Heroes, BBC World News, Centric, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FM, Fox Sports 2, FX Movie Channel, fyi, Golf Channel, Great American Country, Logo, MTV Classic, Nat Geo Wild, NBA TV, NBC Universo, NHL Network, Oxygen, Revolt, Sprout, SundanceTV, Tennis Channel, TVG
  • Gotta Have It ($70/month): Includes everything in the Go Big package and adds – plus Boomerang, Chiller, Cloo, El Rey Network, Justice Central, eight Starz Encore channels (Action, Black, East, Family, Classic, Suspense, West, Westerns), Univision Deportes Network

directv-now-packages

You can watch DirecTV Now on most devices, with more to come in 2017.

DirecTV Now, at launch, will be supported on:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Android mobile devices and tablets
  • iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
  • Chromecast (Android at launch; iOS in 2017)
  • Google Cast-enabled LeEco ecotvs and VIZIO SmartCast Displays
  • Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari web browsers

DirecTV has confirmed that they plan to add additional support in 2017 for Roku streaming players, Roku TVs, Amazon Fire tablets, and various other Smart TVs.

DirecTV Now includes several appealing features, unfortunately, a DVR is not one of them.

You are able to stream from 2 separate devices at the same time with DirecTV Now. That is less than PlayStation Vue’s 5 simultaneous streams but more than the single stream you get with Sling TV. You can use your DirecTV Now login on several TV Anywhere apps including: ABC, Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, WatchESPN, Freeform, HBO GO and MAX GO. DirecTV Now includes live streams of local ABC, NBC, FOX, and Telemundo channels in select markets only.

Sign up today for DirecTV Now and take advantage of some of these special offers while they last.

Right now you can get the Go Big package (normally $60/month), which includes 100+ channels, for only $35! That’s the same price as the cheapest package they offer. DirecTV Now is also offering the standard 7-day free trial of their new service, so you can try it before you buy it. If you are a Cricket Wireless customer, then you can get an extended 30-day free trial of DirecTV Now by going into a local Cricket store.

If you are interested in a free streaming device (and let’s face it, who isn’t interested in getting free stuff?!), DirecTV Now is currently offering two device promotions. If you prepay for 1 month at signup, then you will receive a Free FireTV Stick. If you prepay for 3 months, then they will give you a Free Apple TV. Not too shabby!

So there you go! Another no-contract live streaming TV service geared towards Cord Cutters. It’s great to see this offering by DirecTV Now, which gives us yet another live premium TV option when dumping the traditional cable and sattelite subscription.

What do you think of the new DirecTV Now service? Does it seem like something you might try out? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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Thanksgiving 2016: TV Viewing Guide for Cord Cutters

Thanksgiving 2016: TV Viewing Guide for Cord Cutters

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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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Cord Cutting with Kids, Can It Be Done?

Cord Cutting with Kids, Can It Be Done?

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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?

 

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Simplify Your Family Room With a Smart Universal Remote

Simplify Your Family Room With a Smart Universal Remote

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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!

 

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