What to watch instead of Super Bowl XLIX

What to Watch Instead of Super Bowl XLIX: OTA TV Schedule



What to watch instead of Super Bowl XLIXFor many Americans, the Super Bowl is an exciting day of athleticism and high-dollar entertainment. For many others, however, Super Bowl Sunday is the day when the country collectively goes crazy and football fever takes over the television.

 

If you’re in the second camp, you might be at a loss for what to do. A lot of fuss is made about the Super Bowl, but what about everyone else? Odds are you won’t hear about programming blocks trying to compete with the Super Bowl, but in truth you have a lot of programming options available to you.

 

Believe it or not, you don’t need an expensive and bloated cable subscription to enjoy a football-free Super Bowl Sunday. You’ll be just fine with an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna! (Which, if you do want to peek in periodically, here’s why an antenna is the best way to watch Super Bowl XLIX.)

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the term OTA antenna, it’s just an antenna that picks up the digital signal transmitted by broadcast networks (i.e. ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX). As far as broadcast networks go, NBC will be occupied with the Super Bowl; but you still have three other major broadcast television stations to choose from.

 

To help you make a more informed programming decision, let’s check out our options for what to watch instead of Super Bowl XLIX on each network this Sunday, February 1st.

 

 

What’s on ABC

6:30-7 PM EST: World News Tonight – Life moves pretty fast; so take a half-hour to sit and digest the current events of the day.

 

7-9 PM EST: America’s Funniest Home Videos – Before there was YouTube and Tosh.0, there was America’s Funniest Home Videos. If you just want to laugh and relax with the family, there’s nothing better than a little AFV.

 

9PM-11PM EST: Shark Tank – Tap into your inner entrepreneur with Shark Tank. Watch as entrepreneurs and inventors put it all on the line to secure the much-needed seed-money to turn their startup into the next Fortune 500 company.

 

 

What’s on CBS

7PM-8PM EST: 60 Minutes – Delve deeper into the headlines of the day with 60 Minutes. If a half-hour of news is not enough, then 60 Minutes is what you are looking for to supplement your dose of ABC World News Tonight.

 

8PM-9PM EST: NCIS – Join Gibbs and his colorful crew as they get to the bottom of whatever mystery is cooking for them this week.

 

9PM-10PM EST: CSI – Keep the mystery going with the granddaddy of all forensic crime dramas, CSI. Find out why it’s still one of the most popular shows on television after 14 years on the air.

 

10PM-11PM EST: Criminal Minds – Join the FBI’s most elite team of profilers as they try to stay one step ahead of the country’s worst serial killers and psychopaths.

 

 

What’s on FOX

7PM-7:30PM EST: Bob’s Burgers – Who says cartoons are for kids? Join Bob and his weird family as they try to squeak by and keep the their struggling burger shop open.

 

7:30PM-8:30PM EST: The Simpsons – It’s one of the most popular and longest running television shows in American history. Sit back, relax, and laugh with America’s favorite animated dysfunctional family.

 

8:30PM-9PM: Brooklyn Nine-Nine – One of the surprise hits of the 2013/14 television season, Brooklyn Nine Nine stars Andy Samberg as a goofball detective with a penchant for justice.

 

9PM-9:30PM: Family Guy – It’s loud, raucous, obscene, and hilarious. Not for the easily offended, Family Guy will either have you rolling on the floor laughing or writing a letter of complaint to the network.

 

9:30PM-10PM: Bob’s Burgers – If you missed the first airing of Bob’s Burgers, now’s your second chance to catch this hilarious show!

 

 

You have plenty of options when it comes to watching television during the Super Bowl. Even if network television just isn’t doing it for you, you can always just turn on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Instant Video and have a marathon of your favorite show.

 

Just because you don’t like cable or football doesn’t mean you have to be bored on Super Bowl Sunday; all you have to do is know where to look.

 

 

Dave Kennedy is a long time cord cutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Since then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.



Best Streaming Media Boxes for Cord Cutters

Best Streaming Media Boxes for Cord Cutters



You’ve cut the cord, researched which of the well-established streaming services and/or new streaming services best suit your content needs, and are now ready to add a streaming media box to the mix,  but you’re not sure which one is right for you.

 

This is a brief rundown on the Best Streaming Media Boxes for cord cutters: Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

 

Each device costs less than $100 and is easy to setup and use.  They all attach to a HDTV or monitor with a HDMI connection, and each box is small enough to still be portable and thus can be used at various locations as long as the user can connect to an internet provider.

 

So what are the differences, and how do you know which one will work best for you? Read on!

 

 

Roku 3

Roku 3

Left: Roku 3 home screen | Right: Roku 3 box & remote

The Roku 3 is the latest streaming media box from a company that’s been around since 2008.  I use a Roku 3 every day right along side my Mohu Leaf 50 HDTV antenna and I love it for the large number of apps available and its easy to use navigation.

 

The Roku 3 is ideal for cord cutters who want to enjoy Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus, who also have a personal collection of music, photos and movies they want to enjoy via their streaming media box.

 

 

Roku 3 users have the option to add over 1,800 apps (some are free and some require a subscription),  use the remote to privately listen with the included earbuds, and connect an external media storage device via USB or by a micro SD card.

 

A Roku app is available that allows your smartphone or tablet to used as a Roku 3 remote. You can also beam music, photos and videos from the Roku app to the TV to share with friends and family.

 

The Roku 3′s remote has Motion Control,  which allows users to enjoy Roku games that are also on the device.

 

Sling TV is due out later this month and should be available on the Roku 3 streaming media box, giving users even more reason to enjoy this streaming media box. In the meantime, check out this hands-on sneak peek of Sling TV courtesy of our friends at Cord Cutters News.

 

 

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV

Left: Amazon Fire TV home screen | Right: Amazon Fire TV box & remote

“Amazonians” will love Amazon Fire TV streaming media box!

 

It’s fast, has the big three streaming media services for cord cutters and is designed to seamlessly integrate with Amazon Prime member video and music services.

 

The Amazon Fire TV has the first-ever voice activated remote which works very well.  The device itself is very speedy, and users will have very little lag time between choosing a program and having it launch on the screen.

 

The Amazon Fire TV is the perfect streaming media box for cordcutter families who like the idea of an all-in-one streaming media box that has both significant game play and parental controls.

 

 

Amazon Prime users will get the most bang for their buck with the Amazon Fire TV. When you purchase your device it’s already pre-registered to your Amazon account, allowing you to seamlessly start enjoying Amazon Prime content within minutes of setting up the device.

 

An optional game controller is available for the Fire TV, and with a free Amazon app you can mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to a connected HDTV.

 

Sling TV is also expected to be available as an app on the Fire TV.

 

 

Apple TV

Apple TV

Left: Apple TV home screen | Right: Apple TV box & remote

The Apple TV  is a must-have for anyone with Apple devices who uses iTunes as a media hub. If you have an iPad, iPhone, Macbook, or all of them, this is the box for you!

 

 

As with all Apple products there has been great care taken to give this streaming media box a clean, sleek look that also performs. However, it doesn’t have an Amazon app, which is a big consideration for some users.

 

The Apple TV uses a very small remote control, that’s easy to lose, but you can get a free Apple TV Remote app to put on your iPad or iPhone, and use a Bluetooth keyboard or trackpad for some operations.

 

To use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch as a remote and for sharing your iTunes account on the home network, you just follow a few simple steps to make the connection between devices.

 

Having your Windows PC with iTunes or Mac computer in sync with your Apple TV is great. Particularly if you have lots of music, movies, TV series or other media associated with your iTunes account that you want to enjoy on a HDTV.

 

AirPlay, which is similar to mirroring or beaming on the other boxes, is a feature that will allow Apple TV users to see Amazon Instant Video content.  If you have an AirPlay connected device such as an iPad with the Amazon app installed, you can log into your Amazon account and start the video you want to see on your iPad, then connect to the Apple TV via AirPlay.  Since Apple TV lacks the Amazon app, this is a work-around to this problem.

 

Sling TV is expected to be available for iOS and Mac operating systems, but no word directly as to whether or not Apple TV will have this app when it launches. However, in a recent reddit AMA, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch shared that AirPlay mirroring will work with Apple TV (similar to the workaround above for Amazon Instant Video).

 

Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.



HBO GO, Sling TV, CBS All Access

New Trends in Streaming Media Services



With a tidal wave of consumers moving away from traditional paid television programming in favor of cord cutting and major streaming media services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus gaining in popularity, television companies have had to take a fresh look at how they do business.

 

The result has been a positive change in the marketplace.  Major content providers are now beginning to offer affordable a la carte streaming media services that may be good enough to become game changers for everyone.

 

 

Sling TV

Sling TV has not yet launched, but since the 2015 CES event, it’s all anyone can talk about because it has the one thing that prevents many potential cord cutters from making the break: ESPN and ESPN2. It has other great channels too including: Food Network, Travel Channel, ABC Family, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, Disney Channel, and HGTV, which should make it appealing to millennials, many of whom are used to scouring the internet for this type of content.

 

Video-On-Demand service will also be an option included with Sling TV that will be accessible through the Sling TV apps found on various streaming media devices.

 

Sling TV will not have a DVR function, however users will be able to look back 3 days to see programs they’ve missed.  The service will cost users $20 per month, with no contract. Additional add-on packages for kids programming, news, and sports have been announced as well (and will likely run about $5/each per month).

 

The upside: Sling TV gives those on the fence about cord cutting a viable option for grabbing the sports programming they would miss by doing so, at a reasonable price.

 

The downside: Sling TV does cost $20 per month with additional charges possible, and will only provide you with the ability to stream its content to one screen at a time.

 

If you want to be notified of the Sling TV launch, go to their website and input your email to learn how to sign-up for the service.

 

 

 

HBO Go

HBO Go is currently available only to those who subscribe to HBO channel with their cable or satellite service, but the company has announced that it has plans to become available to everyone in Spring 2015.

 

The HBO Go app provides users with access to HBO movies, series, documentaries, late night adult, sports and comedy programming. The app is on multiple platforms including PCs, gaming systems, Fire TV and Roku streaming media devices and more.

 

It’s unknown at this time how much HBO Go service will cost per month when it goes ala carte. Currently it is free to those with a premium channel subscription to HBO through their cable or satellite provider.

 

HBO Go will be attractive to those who are considering cutting the cord with an HDTV digital antenna, but just can’t bear to lose out on their current HBO programming.

 

The Upside: HBO has incredible series offerings like Silicon Valley (my favorite…), Veep, The Newsroom, and True Detective, where previously unavailable in their current seasons without a HBO subscription as part of a cable or satellite package.

 

The Downside: The cost for the HBO Go stand alone service has not been announced, and some of the offerings can be obtained by other streaming media services you already subscribe to like Amazon Prime.

 

 

 

CBS All Access

CBS All Access is a good deal if you live in select markets where it’s available to stream live TV. Even if you don’t live in a place where live TV streams are available, you can view new TV episodes from CBS programs the next day with the service via the CBS app.

 

In addition to live TV offerings, CBS All Access has over 6,500 episodes from Primetime, Daytime, Late Night, and TV Classics (ad-free) are available On-Demand. Current shows like The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory are available right along side old favorites like The Brady Bunch and Melrose Place.

 

Two simultaneous streams can be used with one CBS All Access account at the same time, in two different locations. You can add a CBS app to various devices including Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Kindle devices, Windows 8, and Blackberry.  CBS All Access can also be watched on a PC or Mac by going to the CBS website.

 

The Upside: CBS All Access benefits include it’s low cost and free trial, with a lot of past and present content available for streaming.  If it takes off, it’s likely to expand its live TV market coverage nationwide.

 

The Downside: Current limited availability of live TV markets makes this streaming media subscription service a less appealing option for some, as episodes of many CBS programs are available by other means.

 

 

Sign up for a 1 Week Free Trial of CBS All Access to see if it’s for you.  Beyond the trial period the service is $5.99 a month plus applicable tax.

 

Check out CBS All Access FAQs to learn even more of the specifics about this streaming media service.

 

Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.



Watch Super Bowl XLIX Over-the-Air

3 Reasons Why an HDTV Antenna is the Best Way to Watch Super Bowl XLIX



For the last five years, the Super Bowl has been the most watched sporting event in US history. Last year, when the Seattle Seahawks blew out the Denver Broncos 43-8, over 111 million people tuned in.

 

Whether it’s for the commercials or the athletic spectacle, there’s no denying that the Super Bowl is a cherished American tradition.

 

This year’s Super Bowl will pit the defending champions, the Seattle Seahawks, and against the New England Patriots. Although the Seahawks will have the home field advantage, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is no stranger to winning Super Bowls having coached the Patriots to three Super Bowl victories in his career.

 

Win, Lose, or Draw; it’s going to be one game for the ages.

 

Watch Super Bowl XLIX for free in HD with a Mohu antenna

 

If you’re thinking about ditching cable or you’re new to cord cutting, you may wonder what the best way to catch Super Bowl XLIX is. While cable gave you too few options, sometimes cord cutting can give you too many options.

 

Between streaming apps, antennas, and subscription services, it can be hard to know what the best choice is; but don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

 

Hands down the best way to watch Super Bowl XLIX is through the use of an Over-the-Air (OTA) antenna. In 2009, all broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW) switched from analog to digital broadcasting. This new signal required a new antenna, and hence the digital OTA antenna was born.

 

OTA antennas are relatively cheap, costing around $30-$50. Personally, I would recommend the Mohu Leaf. It costs $40, it’s omni-directional, and it’s only slightly larger than an iPad, yet paper-thin. To quote CNET, “the Leaf works like magic”

 

Now, Super Bowl XLIX will air on NBC at 6:30 PM EST on February 1st with the pre-game festivities beginning at noon ET. As previously mentioned, NBC is a broadcast network, which means you can pick up the Super Bowl for FREE using an OTA antenna.

 

While there are many ways to watch Super Bowl XLIX, none are quite as good as using an OTA antenna. Here are 3 reasons why OTA is the best way to watch Super Bowl XLIX:

 

 

1) OTA is simpler than streaming

 

Although you can stream Super Bowl XLIX online at NBC.com  easy enough, odds are you won’t be alone; and no one wants to crowd around a laptop for four hours. Even if your computer can hook up to the TV, it’s still more steps than you want to take.

 

With an OTA antenna, all you have to do is plug it in and turn on the TV. That’s it.

 

 

2) OTA offers better picture quality

 

While many internet providers boast fast download speeds, most never deliver fully on that promise; and for many, HD streaming is a forgotten promise akin to flying cars or meals that come in pill form. And compared to cable and satellite (which is the worst offender), the digital over-the-air picture is by far the least compressed video feed. That means with an OTA antenna you can pick up true 1080i HD picture for free. No lag, no throttling, no grainy picture.

 

 

3) OTA offers more entertainment once Super Bowl XLIX is over

 

As much as we would love football season to continue in perpetuity, it has to end sometime. You could stream Super Bowl XLIX, see it in a bar, or go over to a friend’s house; but then what?

 

After the game, you’re still missing your local channels and the latest in network television.  An OTA antenna is not free, but it’s an incredibly low-cost investment in an ongoing future of free TV. As the years roll on, you’ll be happy you got one.

 

Catching the Super Bowl this year is surprisingly easy. You don’t need any proxy or VPN or $200 for some fancy subscription service. All you need is an antenna, a TV, and a comfortable place to sit.

 

In a time where nothing is ever black and white, and something always comes with a catch, it’s nice to know that some simple traditions seldom change.

 

Dave Kennedy is a long time cord cutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Since then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.



Cable Companies Rated by Customer Satisfaction Survey

Just How Bad is the “Best” Cable Company?



You’re tensed up. “Am I ahead of the curve or just skating by?” Nervousness sets in.

 

“You’ve done a good job this year,” you tell yourself. “But is that enough?”

 

Imagine your last performance review. Even with rock star-level accomplishments, it’s not uncommon for the uncertainty bug to latch on and inject seeds of doubt. You’re probably nervous because you care about your job/career, right?

 

Well, we can’t say the same for cable companies. Despite year after year of subpar customer satisfaction ratings, customer service complaints and constant criticism from seemingly every angle, cable companies just don’t appear to get it. And, from our viewpoint, we have to wonder if they really care about what the public thinks.

 

We’ve heard their promises. “We do need to transform our customer experience, and I think we have a lot of work to do,” Comcast CEO Neil Smit told Consumerist, in what the publication coined a potential understatement of the century. “It will take time, but we’ll get it done.”

 

Right. We totally believe you!

 

So, without further ado, we’d like to share this year’s award for “Best-Rated Cable Company,” which is sort like winning “Best-Smelling Fertilizer.” The findings are based on the Consumer Satisfaction Index, which as its name suggests, ranks companies based upon levels of approval.

 

AT&T U-verse Ekes Out Top Pay TV Satisfaction Honors

 

Congratulations to AT&T U-verse! You’ve outlasted the likes of Comcast and all their marketing blunders, and Time Warner Cable, which along with Comcast, took the bottom two spots on the survey.

 

AT&T scored an approval rating of 69%, which if attached to a collegiate grading scale, would allow them to just squeeze by whilst wearing a dunce cap.

 

Of note, AT&T is limited in terms of availability – it only has 6 million or so subscribers. AT&T also admitted the service is “uneconomic.” No, really. We can’t make this stuff up.

 

So effectively the company voted “best in class” admits their service doesn’t even make financial sense. Wow. This keeps getting better and better.

 

(For context, Amazon topped the index at 88%.)

 

Future of Pay TV Providers

So all this begs the question — what’s being done to rectify these low marks? These major cable companies do not seem to understand that throwing money at the situation is not going to solve anything.

 

Time-Warner brass has promised to invest billions into the network and operations sectors. Faster speeds, they say. Better service, they claim. The public continues to see diddly squat — actually no, that’s not true. They’re seeing increased bills.

 

To add even more insult to injury, NPD Group suggests the average U.S. pay TV subscription will surge to $200 as soon as 2020. That’s $2,400 every year. What? How many pies to the face will it take before the public decides to walk out of the restaurant?

 

The only service that appears to be making strides to shift the momentum is Dish, which as we previously reported will try their hand at streaming media ala Netflix. It’s called Sling TV and it may be worth investigating. That aside, where are the other glimmers of hope?

 

Is it not in Comcast and TWC’s best interest to throw a curve ball at the business model that’s sinking faster than Drew Carey’s comedy career? They’ve got the capital to do it, but none of the motivation.

 

We salute those who continue fighting the system. We’ll be right there beside you, armed with the facts (and a slew of awesome HDTV antennas).



2015 NFL Division Championships

4 Ways to Watch the 2015 NFL Division Championship Games Without Cable



NFL Playoffs - 2015 NFL Division ChampionshipWhat a wonderful week to be a football fan! You had four heart-pounding playoff games on Saturday and Sunday, followed by the NCAAF Championship on Monday, and this coming Sunday are the NFL Division Championship games.

 

There are only three more weeks until Super Bowl XLIX; and if you love football as much as I do, there’s not enough instant replays or Buffalo wings in the world to contain the excitement.

 

Now it’s no secret that Americans are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their cable providers, but as a sports fan you might feel trapped with cable because you’re afraid of missing the big game; especially with Super Bowl XLIX right around the corner.

 

I’m here to tell you there are better options than giving in to big cable; and today I’m going to show you four ways to watch the NFL Division Championship games without cable.

 

Before we get too bogged down in the details, let’s take a look at the games we’re going to be watching and see what time and channel they come on.

 

NFC Championship Game

 

AFC Championship Game

 

Now that we know the time of the games and what channel they come on, let’s take a look at our options!

 

NFL Mobile

If you are a Verizon customer, NFL Mobile might be the simplest solution for you. For $5 a month, you can get access to every in-market NFL game. For the playoffs, NFL Mobile will be broadcasting the AFC and NFC championships as well as Super Bowl XLIX.

 

The only downside to NFL Mobile is that it actively prevents you from streaming the app to your TV. While that feature is disappointing, NFL Mobile is a relatively inexpensive solution to watching the championship in a pinch.

 

Stream Online

At the beginning of the year, the NFL announced that all playoff games would be available to stream online. What that means for you is that you can simply go to the FOX Sports or CBS Sports websites and stream the championship games. What’s more, if you have a laptop that can hook up to your TV or a streaming box that can browse the internet (like Mohu Channels) you can watch the game on your television!

 

No wires, no hook up, nothing but you and your football. If you don’t yet have all the devices necessary to cut the cord, but you can’t wait to ditch cable, streaming online is your best option.

 

Over-the-Air (OTA)

By far the easiest method of watching the NFL Divisional Championship games is through the use of an OTA antenna. For those of you that don’t know, OTA stands for Over-the-Air; and OTA is the method in which broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW) transmit their signal. It’s called Over-the-Air because it’s freely broadcasted and anyone can pick up the signal with a modern antenna. That’s right, the rabbit ears haven’t left; they’ve just gotten a lot more hi-tech.

 

As you may have noticed, the Divisional Championship games will be on CBS and FOX; two channels which you can pick up with an OTA antenna. Instead of browsing the web or paying for streaming packages, all you have to do is plug in your antenna, sit back, and enjoy the game. Did I mention it is in stunning HD? You will be hard pressed to find that type of video quality via streaming…

 

Probably the best OTA antenna available on the market is Mohu’s Leaf line of antennas. The Leaf is slim, omni-directional, and the smallest model only costs $25. Since Mohu’s design team originally designed military antennas, you can expect the signal hold up in even the most adverse of circumstances.

 

As far as I’m concerned, if it’s good enough for the world’s most powerful military, it’s good enough for me.

 

The Pub

In the bygone days before the internet, there used to be a time when people would gather in bars to watch their sporting events; and believe it or not, you can still watch the big game this way. If you don’t want to be alone, don’t have the internet or an antenna, or just feel like getting out of the house; the pub is the place for you.

 

Without knowing the particulars of your hometown, I can speak with confidence when I say at least one bar will have the game on. Call around to your favorite places and see if the game will be on. Have a drink, some wings, and enjoy the game. It’s that easy.

 

As you can see, watching the NFL Division Championship games is an incredibly simple affair. Whether you’re watching from home, streaming with your phone, or out with friends; there is no shortage of solutions to your football blues. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and kill the cable bill; you’ve got nothing to lose!

 

Dave Kennedy is a long time cordcutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Since then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.



Sling Television

Sling TV CEO Reveals More Details for Cordcutters in reddit Q&A



Have you seen the headlines? If you didn’t follow CES, you may have missed a big takeaway: the cable industry has lost its power to control of how we watch TV.

 

It feels good to be on the winning team. Cordcutters, we’ve got a wealth of new information regarding Sling TV, straight from CEO Roger Lynch. Well, we didn’t speak to him ourselves, but instead we’re recapping his best and most informative responses from a recent reddit AMA, where Lynch fielded questions from the community regarding the new service. First, a little background.

 

Sling TVWhat is Sling TV?

Sling, which was publicly unveiled at CES 2015, is a no-contract over-the-top TV streaming service coming your way soon.

 

It’s Dish Network’s answer to cordcutters — that is, they’re trying to appeal to those who refuse to pay for bundled TV packages that are bloated with waste. Dish has tried previously to consider this group as “millennials,” but we believe this is quite relevant to anyone who desires flexibility and control over what and how they watch TV.

 

Sling will offer distribution of shows for $20 a month similar to how Hulu, Netflix and Amazon currently operate.

 

Out of the gate, it will offer access to 12 networks: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN. Other channels will be added soon, Dish has said.

 

The bulk of community interest, understandably, is with ESPN. If it’s one thing cordcutters can admit, it’s that watching sports isn’t exactly the easiest task without a subscription to individual sports packages through cable or satellite, although we’ve shown you how you can cut the cord and keep your sports.

 

We also know from Engadget that Sling will initially be available on iOS, Android, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Nexus Player, Xbox One, Rokus and LG and Samsung smart TVs, as well as on the web on Mac and PC.

 

Armed with an HDTV antenna and the potential for more great content at lower prices, cordcutting just got a lot more interesting.

 

Here are some of Lynch’s top responses from the Sling TV reddit Q&A:

 

Regarding number of users who can use Sling simultaneously:

You can have Sling TV on as many devices as you want, however at launch, Sling TV will be a single-stream service.

 

Regarding what channels are included in add-on packages already announced:

Here are the channels included in the add-on packs, but there will be more coming soon, and you’ll always have content to watch with our Video-on-Demand and 3-day Replay options.

Kids Extra” add-on: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV

News & Info Extra” add-on: HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY, Bloomberg TV

 

Regarding the sports add-on package, specifically:

We’re not ready to announce specific channels for the “Sports Extra” add-on pack, but you can expect to see more great channels from ESPN, as well as other popular sports networks.

 

What about a lower-cost option for people who don’t care about ESPN?

We don’t currently have plans for an alternate base subscription without ESPN, but we give you the option to customize your Sling TV experience with add-on packages.

 

Regarding concerns of competitors and corporations:

We expect competition and that is good for consumers and the marketplace. We do have concerns about net-neutrality and the effect the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger could have on the broadband market.

 

Regarding picture and sound quality: 

Sling TV will broadcast in both 720p and 1080p and it will include surround sound.

 

Does it support Dolby 5.1? 

We support DD 5.1 and it will be available on most channels and most VOD content.

 

Regarding the business model itself:

We don’t want to re-create the cable model, which is why we are being very selective with the channels we are offering. We want to keep the price low while giving consumers the ability to customize their package with our genre add-ons.

 

Regarding offering “pay content” for channels you can receive for free OTA:

 

(Hey! That’s us!)

We’re always working to add channels but one of our core tenants is not forcing subscribers to pay for channels that are already getting for free.

 

Regarding when it will be available:

Soon… very soon. We plan to start sending out invites to people who have registered on sling.com later this month.

 

Regarding international availability:

The service will only be available in the United States.

 

So what’s your take on the news? Is this a bunch of fluff or a cordcutter’s dream? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.



Streaming Media Services - Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video

The Big 3 Streaming Services for Cordcutters: Amazon, Hulu, Netflix



If you’re looking to save money and still get lots of movies and television programs to watch in 2015, cut the cord and supplement your over-the-air free HDTV with paid streaming media services from Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon.  

 

These time-tested video streaming services offer thousands of entertainment options, for very little additional cost to cord cutters each month. Whether you choose one service, or all of them like I do, you can’t go wrong signing up to enjoy the visual smorgasbord each one has to offer. Especially as they continue to compete with cable and premium TV channels with award-winning original series.

 

 

Amazon

 

Amazon Prime Instant Video service is part of the Amazon Prime program. Prime members have access to unlimited instant streaming of Prime content. TV series and movies with a Prime logo are free to stream for Prime members. Recently the Prime offerings have included all the episodes of The Sopranos and other HBO dramas.

 

Check out this Amazon Original offering…

 

 

…as well as Transparent, which took home two Golden Globes this year for Best Actor in a TV series (comedy) and Best TV Series (comedy).

 

Only shows marked as ‘Prime’ are included in the Prime Instant Video library. All others have fees attached to buying or renting them, but the offerings are clearly marked and since there’s so much Prime content to watch, I find I rarely even glance at the non-Prime content.

 

Once an Amazon Prime member, you’ve got a year’s worth of great stuff to watch!

 

For only $99 a year (works out to $8.25 per month, but you pay for the full year upfront) you get all the Amazon Prime member services including Free Prime shipping on many items, access to the Prime Kindle Lending Library and Prime Instant Video paid streaming service.

 

Those who have never had a Prime account before can get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime, which includes their Instant Video service.

 

Amazon Prime members can view streaming content via their PC or Mac by going to the Amazon site and logging into their account. Members can also download free apps for iOS and Android devices to view Amazon Instant Video content on their tablets and smartphones.

 

Amazon Instant Video apps are found on streaming media devices like Apple TV, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku 3 and select smart TVs, but in reviewing products I have found a few streaming devices that don’t have this app, so check into it before you buy your device.

 

 

Hulu Plus

 

 

Hulu Plus is a great way for cord cutters to see TV programs they may be missing when they cut the cord with cable or satellite TV.  There are brief commercial interruptions with the paid subscription to Hulu Plus. You can get a FREE 1 Week Trial and if you decide to keep the service, it costs only $7.99 a month.

 

Cancel Hulu Plus paid streaming service at any time if you don’t like it.

 

Networks like Bravo, Comedy Central, FX, The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel are ones I miss not having cable TV, but I can find shows from those networks on Hulu Plus paid streaming service. Top Chef Masters, Deadliest Catch, and more!

 

I also use Hulu Plus kind of like a DVR.  The service stores episodes of shows like Saturday Night Livewhich while I could get the show over-the-air using my Mohu Curve 50 HDTV antenna, I missed because I went to bed before it aired. With Hulu Plus I can easily watch my show the next day on my PC or Mac, or by using the Hulu Plus app on my smartphone, tablet,  or streaming media device.

 

 

Netflix

 

Netflix content is expanding every day, by leaps and bounds! In addition to adding quality movies, interesting documentaries, and television programming from multiple networks, it’s offering critically acclaimed Netflix original series like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards (which were both nominated at this year’s Golden Globes and with House of Cards taking home an award for the second year in a row).

 

You can get Netflix for FREE for 1 MONTH and if before the end of that 30 days you decide you want to cancel it, you can easily do it online. If you keep the streaming-only service, you pay only $7.99 a month, with the ability to stream Netflix programming to two screens simultaneously. Other plans are available, including those that allow you to have both streaming service and DVDs or Blu-ray discs out without fear of late fees.

 

The Netflix Help Center is a great resource for troubleshooting and makes contacting Netflix Customer Service easy to do by online chat or phone.

 

Below is a video I made that shows Netflix pricing, how Netflix helps you find customized entertainment including kids programming, and the types of devices that support Netflix apps.

 

 

Andrea Polk hails from Oregon and is a wife, mother, writer, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer, and more. She’s also the author of the Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV as well as the avid deal-seeker behind SavvySleuth.com, where she scours the web for the best online deals.