Author Archives: Sarah

Mohu Antennas Love May Madness



May is a great month for watching OTA TV with a Mohu antenna (and be sure to check out our new Leaf Metro). May is “sweeps” month where the broadcast networks show the season finales of their “regular” season shows. But viewers won’t be stuck with a summer full of re-runs because the networks are also introducing new content in May.

crossbones-s1-keyart-xl1NBC is banking on some serious star power. John Malkovich stars as the pirate Blackbeard in Crossbones–The new legend of Blackbeard (Friday, May 30, 10/9c). Set in the Bahamas in 1715, Blackbeard tries to steal a chronometer from an English ship which has the potential to change seafaring and commerce. But the English aren’t giving in so easily and it’s up to the viewer to determine who the villain is–Blackbeard or the English. John Malkovich is outstanding as the villain in this YouTube trailer.

NBC_Rosemarys_Baby_miniseries_posterIn addition,  Zoe Saldana stars in NBC’s two part miniseries Rosemary’s Baby (May 11). In a new twist on Ira Levin’s 1967 thriller, Zoe Saldana and her husband Guy (Patrick J. Adams) leave New York City for a new life in Paris. At first, their arrival in Paris seems surrounded by good fortune. But when Rosemary becomes pregnant, she starts to believe that things are not what they seem and their new neighbors may have dark motives for her baby. Agnieszka Holland (Europa Europa, The Wire, Treme) directs this two-part psychological thriller. Click here to see the trailer on YouTube.

These shows and other great content are available free, over the air with a Mohu Leaf, Curve or Sky antenna. Broadcasters are producing great content for every night of the week and there’s no need to spend $70-$100 a month for cable. Join the growing numbers of cord-cutters and ditch your cable!



Cutting the Cord–One Month Later



Mohu has a guest blogger today. Last month, Michelle–a friend of Sarah’s–wrote her experience about cutting the cord. She’s back with an update.

cutting-the-cord-cord-cutting-mI was a little nervous when we started our cord-cutting experience and there have been a few glitches with the cable company, but overall I’m really happy with our experience. I found out, very painfully, that the cable service didn’t terminate the day I called to cancel, though they did cut the signal immediately. The date of termination happened when I returned my boxes and remotes to their over-crowded office. I waited for over an hour to return them and saved the receipt and they STILL sent me a bill for $90+ that includes some sort of late fee. I haven’t paid the bill and called them to inform them that I am no longer a customer so we’ll see what happens.
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OTA Show Update, Part 2



Mohu’s antennas–from the tiny Metro to the rooftop Sky–bring cord-cutters great over the air television for free. Here are updates on two new action-packed mid-season dramas.

nbc-crisisCrisis (NBC, Sunday, 10:00 ET ) looks promising. Clearly, something big is happening when a busload of children, including the president’s son, are taken hostage while on a high school field trip. Washington DC is a rich backdrop to fame, money and power. And who doesn’t like bashing rich parents?  The LA Times review, written after two episodes and several plot twists, says, “In the first two episodes, the plot turns and turns again, and the motivation for what is clearly a very elaborate crime becomes murky to the point of nonsensical. Fortunately, the motivating force (and the show’s tag line) — How far would you go to protect your children? — is easily understood.”

Some of the high schoolers are typecast–the vulnerable alpha girl, the scholarship kid. And there are some unexplained plot elements–how did the FBI know about the kidnapping when the bus was in a part of West Virginia with no cell phone reception? Suspend your disbelief but pay attention to the plot twists and turns. With Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County, Jobs) NBC has added some star power to this mid-season drama.
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Mohu Goes Metro



leaf metroWelcome to the Mohu Leaf Metro!  The Leaf Metro is the smallest size possible for delivering high quality TV reception. Borrowing from the same advanced U.S. Military technology built into the Leaf family of antennas, the Leaf Metro reaches out in a 25-mile radius to capture the most popular TV shows, news and sports, on both network and local television in full 1080 HD, enabling consumers to watch their favorite broadcast TV without a cable subscription.

“We believe in designing high-quality products tailored to the needs of those who are using them. The Leaf Metro is an ideal option for our urban customers, many of whom are young, on a budget, and have limited space,” said Mark Buff, president and co-founder of Mohu. “We’re bringing them a product that’s even smaller, snazzier and more affordable than our top-rated and especially popular Leaf 30 and Leaf 50 HDTV antennas, while delivering the excellent performance that is Mohu’s standard.”
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Comcast, Cable, and Customer Service



comcast2Comcast executives appeared before Congress earlier this week as part of the process to get their merger with Time Warner Cable approved. What does this all have to do with a start-up antenna company in Raleigh, NC? According to the Washington Post, Comcast’s Executive Vice President David Cohen admitted to the Senate that, ”It bothers us we have so much trouble delivering high quality of service to customers on a regular basis.” The larger issue is that Comcast doesn’t seem to want to improve, and if it gets enough market power, it won’t have to.

One answer is that for cable TV, consumers have more choices than they think they do. The cord-cutting Leafmovement may be small, but it is growing steadily, and growing faster than expected. Cord-cutters meet their content needs via a mixture of  free and paid streaming content, often paired with an antenna to bring in OTA broadcasts. The recent success of Mohu’s Channels on Kickstarter and the incredible engagement we had from the cord-cutting community shows that cord-cutting is real and here to stay. We at Mohu want to hear from customers because without the passion and engagement the cord cutters bring to our company, we wouldn’t be able to provide new and cutting edge products.
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OTA Shows Update Part 1



Let’s take a look at how two new OTA shows are performing: Cosmos, and Surviving Jack. They are available OTA for free with a Mohu antenna. In a future blog post we’ll take a look at how  Crisis and The 100 are doing.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.55.34 AMCosmos (Fox, Sunday at 9 ET) was meant to be “event programming.” At this point, Fox will let the show run for its scheduled 13 episodes and then take it off the air in June. For many mainstream reviewers, Cosmos is a hit. It’s visually stunning–using special effects to explore both the outer reaches of the universe and tiny strands of DNA. After a few episodes the narrator, Neil deGrasse Tyson, seems to have hit his stride in his story telling and his goal of making science available and accessible to all viewers. Many of his detractors believe that the show undermines their religious beliefs regarding creation, evolution and God.
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Fun and Free Web Content



Fans of The Big Bang Theory might be wondering what they are going to do once the show goes on summer break. Thursday nights will seem empty without Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Raj and the rest of the gang. But viewers can catch old episodes on CBS’s website while they wait for the next season.

But instead of watching actors play physicists (and rocket scientists, and neurobiologists) on TV, why not learn a little about it yourself? (Disclaimer: Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler is a neurobiologist in real life). No more plowing through weighty physics textbooks, learning calculus on your own. The engineers who are working on Mohu’s Channels (still available on Kickstarter until tomorrow), have, in their spare time, found a few YouTube channels that will delight your inner mathematician and physicist.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.47.18 PMNumberphile is a YouTube channel that has all sorts of fun facts about…numbers. There is a section devoted to Pi, including calculating Pi using hundreds of real pies. Another section is devoted to prime numbers. Targeted to non-mathematicians, Numberphile entertains as the enthusiasm of the real mathematicians featured in each segment spills over to the viewer.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 12.48.46 PMMinute Physics’s videos are longer than a minute, but always a feature a fast talking narrator using a marker, white board and cartoons to illustrate the concepts he’s explaining. Topics range from time travel, the big bang (the real one, not the show), and why the solar system is flat.

These channels have playlists or are easy to surf. And when Channels is introduced, put these in your channel guide and enjoy on your TV in HD. And don’t worry, the 8th season of The Big Bang Theory will be here before you know it.

 

 



Channels' Open Ecosystem



Mohu Channels has a truly “open ecosystem” because it is running on Google’s Android operating system. In simplest terms, that means that an app channel guideavailable on Google Play can become a channel on Channels. Amazon’s newly introduced Fire TV will have a much more limited selection of apps because it runs on a modified version of Android.

Two items obvious missing from Fire are HBOGo and Vudu. Most cord-cutters do not have access to HBOGo because they’ve canceled their cable subscriptions, but they may have friends with usernames and passwords to HBOGo, especially if they need to keep up with Game of Thrones. And unlike Netflix or Hulu+ which require monthly subscriptions, Vudu has great content and it runs on a “pay as you go” model, allowing movie rentals and purchases, and individual purchases of TV episodes.

The other advantage to Channels’ open ecosystem is that you can customize your channel lineup via the Google Play store. Pandora or Spotify are commonly used music apps. And then there are the less obvious ones, like Zillow if you are house hunting, or travel apps to help you plan your next vacation.

Because Channels also contains a web browser, it becomes open to everything on the web–that’s an open ecosystem! So you can watch broadcast websites, Vimeo, your Facebook feed, or a school’s snow day announcement on your TV.

Channels OTAAnd finally, there’s the OTA part of Channels. The Leaf antenna that is part of the Channels experience is small but mighty. It brings viewers all the great OTA content that is available for free from your local TV broadcasters.

OTA-OTT-WEB. That is an open (and as free as you want it to be) ecosystem.

Channels is available on Kickstarter until Thursday, April 10.