Use your gaming console to cut the cord

Guest Post: An Easy Way to Cut the Cord You May be Overlooking



Dennis Restauro owns and writes for Grounded Reason, a website focused on assisting people with technology choices that save them money and better their everyday lives.

 

The TV and Movie content available online is increasing every day.  Cable and satellite TV are quickly becoming this generation’s VCR, as they are no longer needed to enjoy hit films and TV shows.

 

However, as the number of cable TV alternatives grows, so do the options for streaming this content to your TV. This can have a paralyzing effect when deciding which device to buy. This indecision leaves many trapped in their current cable and satellite TV viewing routine and hesitant to cut the cord.

 

What if I told you that well more than half of U.S. households own a device that can stream online content straight to the television?  Furthermore, what if I told you it supports major streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant video.

 

That device is your video game console. Nielsen reported in its 2013 “U.S. Games: A 360 View” that by the start of 2013 57% of U.S. households owned a 7th generation gaming console. That number only accounts for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii. That percentage is likely higher since the release of 8th generation consoles like Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Wii U.

 

Even if you aren’t ready to ditch your cable subscription, you can still set up your game console for streaming to test those cord cutting waters. This guide will assist in setting up those consoles for an online TV experience.

 

 

Sign up For Streaming Services

 

Sign up with the streaming service you want to use.  Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation all support Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. They each offer free trial options. Try all three and keep the ones you enjoy most.  The links to sign up are below.

 

Amazon Prime

 

Netflix

 

Hulu Plus

 

 

Xbox TV Streaming Setup

 

If not previously completed, set up Xbox on your home network. This will connect the Xbox to the internet so the apps can stream content. You will also require an Xbox Live account.  Streaming doesn’t require a Gold membership. The standard free membership will suffice. The network setup instructions are linked below:

 

Network and Xbox Live setup on Xbox 360

 

Network and Xbox Live setup on Xbox One

 

Power on your Xbox 360 or Xbox One and sign in to Xbox live. Sign in typically happens automatically if you have used Xbox Live prior to now. For those who need assistance with this part, the network setup links address account issues as well.

 

Install Streaming Apps

Xbox 360

  • Navigate to “video”, then to “My Video Apps”.
  • There you will see if Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant video is already installed.
  • Streaming apps that aren’t listed can be installed by navigating to the “apps” menu, then selecting “Browse Apps”.
  • There you can find the Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant video applications, select them and install the services you signed up for.
  • After downloading, if the app doesn’t start automatically, navigate to “video” , then to “My Video Apps”. From there, start your newly installed applications.

 

Xbox One

  • Press the Xbox logo on the controller to open the Start Screen.
  • Press the “My Games and Apps” menu to see if Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant video is already installed.
  • If Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Instant Video are missing they can be installed by selecting “Apps” from the “Start Screen”
  • After downloading, if the app doesn’t start automatically, return to “My Games and Apps” to start the app

 

Log in when the app starts. Use the login information for your Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix accounts. The Xbox is now ready to steam TV and movies to your television.

 

 

PlayStation Streaming Setup

 

If not previously completed, set up PlayStation on your home network. This will connect the PlayStation to the internet, so the apps can stream content. You will also require the PlayStation network account, which is included with the purchase of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

 

Connect PlayStation 3 to the Internet

 

Connect PlayStation 4 to the Internet

 

Install Streaming Apps

PlayStation 3

  • Sign into your PlayStation Network Account
  • Navigate to “PlayStation Network” and select “What’s New.”
  • Choose the Streaming Application you want to install. If the specific app is not in “What’s New” check the “PlayStation Store” section.
  • Follow the onscreen prompts and sign in with the appropriate streaming service account (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.)
  • Once installed, streaming apps can be accessed from the “Video” section.

 

PlayStation 4

  • From the Home screen, select “TV & Video” and press down on the d-pad of the controller.
  • Choose streaming app from the list and press the “X” button.
  • Select “Download” and press the “X” button. The download button will be replaced with a progress bar, and you will receive a notification that Netflix is being downloaded.
  • Press the PS Button once to return to the TV & Video screen.
  • When the app finishes downloading, it will automatically install and notify you when ready.
  • Log in with the appropriate app service login (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.)

 

 

Wii Streaming Setup

If not previously completed, set up the Wii on your home network. The instructions are linked below for both Wii and Wii U.

 

Connect Nintendo Wii to the Internet

 

Connect Nintendo Wii U to the Internet

 

Install Streaming Apps

Wii

  • From the Wii Menu, select the “Wii Shop Channel” icon.
  • When loaded, select “Start Shopping.”
  • Select “Wii Channels,” and choose the streaming app you would like to install.
  • Select “Free – 0 Points” or “Redownload.”
  • Select either “Wii System Memory” or “SD Card, depending on where you would like to save the download.
  • Next, select “OK,” then “Yes” to begin downloading the app.
  • A screen will appear with Mario running across the screen and three blocks. Mario will hit the blocks as the download progresses. This may take a few minutes.
  • When the “Download successful” screen appears, select “OK” to return to the Wii Shop Menu.
  • Press the HOME Button on your Wii Remote and select “Wii Menu,” then “Yes” to return to the Wii Menu.
  • Launch the app from the Wii Menu and log in with the respective streaming service account.

 

Wii U

Amazon Instant Video is already available on the Wii U Menu.  Simply launch the app and follow the on screen instructions. The Wii U has fantastic interactive support tools online to install Hulu and Netflix. They are linked below.

 

Set Up Netflix on Wii U

 

Set Up Hulu Plus on Wii U

 

 

Cutting the Cord Has Never Been Easier

With gaming consoles being so prevalent in today American households, the means to cut the cable cord could be sitting right in front of you.  Add a TV antenna for local broadcast stations and enjoy a modern TV experience without paying for an overpriced cable TV subscription.



Sling Television

Sling TV Gives Cord Cutters Flexibility, Big Step in Right Direction



Ever since it was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, the cord cutting community can’t stop talking about Sling TV. If you’ve been out of the loop, Sling TV is a new over-the-top subscription service that will include a bundle of 12 live televisions channels, including ESPN; which is a network that has remained painfully out of reach for many sports loving cord cutters.

 

Many have hailed this as the cord cutter’s dream that will revolutionize the entertainment industry; but is it really that amazing? Will Sling TV really change the way entertainment is viewed? Could Sling TV really be the cable TV alternative that we’ve been waiting for? Today, we’re going to take a look at Sling TV and find out!

 

Sling TV Highlights

First, let’s take a look at what Sling TV is actually offering and for how much.

 

For $20 a month, you get something called “The Best of Live TV” package; and it includes the following channels: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, and CNN.

 

For an extra $5 a month, you can add extra channels packages which are as followed:

 

Kids Extra: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, and Duck TV.

 

News & Info Extra: HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV.

 

Sports Extra: SEC Network, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Univision Deportes, Universal Sports, and beIN Sports.

 

As far as an over-the-top subscription service goes, this is a pretty impressive collection of networks; especially for sports fans. ESPN and its affiliate networks have long eluded cord cutters; forcing many to buy into a costly cable or satellite subscription during their favorite sport’s season.

 

The collection of sports networks alone could justify the $20-$25 price tag for many; and when you throw in the number of kid-friendly networks, it’s hard for families to say no to that. However, noticeably absent from the available channels are the broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, Telemundo, etc…).

 

 

Opportunities to Fill Gaps in Sling TV

While broadcast television may seem like a minor oversight, in reality it’s a lot bigger than you think. With some exception, the most popular shows on television (Big Bang Theory, How to Get Away With Murder, NCIS, etc…) are all on network TV.

 

Ignoring that for a moment, there’s also a lot of sporting events that air on the broadcast networks; i.e. most NFL games, college football, the World Series, etc… Leaving off OTA television greatly reduces your sports viewing capability.

 

Broadcast networks would seem like a natural fit for something like Sling TV; especially when you consider the fact that anyone with an Over-the-Air antenna, like the Mohu Leaf, would be able to pick up the channel for free.

 

Although services like Aereo have been shut down by the courts, Sling TV is run by DISH Network; a satellite television provider. Aereo was shut down because they did not pay broadcast networks licensing fees to rebroadcast their signal and DISH most already has such rights; it leaves one wondering why broadcast television was left out.

 

Sling TV is pretty amazing, but it’s no cable TV alternative; it’s currently just one piece if the cord cutting puzzle. Until a service comes along that offers all your favorite cable AND broadcast television in one service or device, an HDTV antenna, like the Mohu Leaf, is still a must have in your cord cutting arsenal.

 

 

How Sling TV Can Impact the TV Industry

Now while Sling TV is not a true cable TV alternative, it does stand to change the way we watch television. Sling TV is the first service to offer a quasi-à la carte television package.

 

The $20 base fee and $5 add-on model is brilliant and it’s a step the right direction for television providers.

 

For the modern television viewer, less is more and freedom is the name of the game. If Sling TV is successful, more competitors will adopt this model; and the resulting competition will help not only diversify the market, but also give better choice to the consumer.

 

Combine that with individual networks like HBO offering their own individual subscription service and you have the makings of a paradigm shift in entertainment.

 

Services like Sling TV and HBO GO aren’t necessarily the revolution in entertainment that cord cutters are looking for; rather they are the catalyst for that revolution. Sling TV won’t kill cable, but it definitely makes me excited to see what television will look like in the next 10 years; and all things considered that’s pretty great.

 

 

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.



Reasons Why You Need an HDTV Antenna with Sling TV

5 Reasons Why You Need an HDTV Antenna Even With Sling TV



Ever since the announcement of Sling TV, the internet has been abuzz with comments and predictions about the future of entertainment. In a broader sense, Sling is a step in the direction towards a market where television networks offer subscription packages or bundle packages, where you get a 10 or 12 channels instead of 100s.

 

With the ability to stream live TV, many people are starting to wonder why they would ever need something like an HDTV antenna when they can just simply stream online with Sling TV. An understandable sentiment; but without support for Over-the-Air network television (ABC, NBC, etc…), Sling TV still falls short of being a cable TV alternative.

 

Now you may think that with services like Netflix and Hulu that stream network television on demand you still won’t need an HDTV antenna; but that’s not true. Being able to stream something online does not mean that it is necessarily superior. To help you better see what I mean, here are five reasons why an HDTV antenna is still a good purchase.

 

1. You get a more reliable picture

It’s hard to argue that services like Sling TV and Netflix have an impressive content selection; however, less can be said of how that content will look. When you stream something online, you’re still at the mercy of your ISP and whatever download speed they deem appropriate.

 

What that means for you as a consumer is that you’re going to run into buffering screens and a lot of pixelized images.

 

There’s no buffering with OTA. With an HDTV antenna, you have no loading screens or fuzzy picture; just crystal clear 1080i HD picture. I may be able to stream television online, but I’d prefer my entertainment to have consistently high quality.

 

2. It’s Cheaper

At $20 a month, Sling TV is a relatively cheap subscription bundle, but purchasing an HDTV antenna is still a more cost effective option. You may pay up to $70 for a high-quality indoor TV antenna, but that’s a one-time cost. One year of Sling TV will cost $240, which is more than four times the price of a high-end antenna. However, bundling the two is still significantly less than a traditional pay TV subscription, so no matter what, you still save.

 

3. An HDTV antenna has long lasting value

Building off of that last point, an HDTV antenna provides long lasting value. Like an investment, you put in a one-time payment and it continues to pay ad infinitum in the form of free broadcast television.

 

OTA television enabled by an HDTV antenna will provide years of entertainment for one small price. The only time you will need a new antenna is if it breaks; and if you purchase a Mohu antenna, that probably won’t happen.

 

4. You can stay current on your favorite shows

It’s true that you can watch most of your favorite television shows on Netflix and Hulu, but you’re always a step behind. With Netflix, you’re always one season behind of whatever show you’re watching, and with Hulu you still have to wait several days before you can watch a new episode.

 

With OTA television, there is no waiting. You watch a show when it airs, and if you have a DVR, you can watch it again whenever you like.

 

Streaming certainly has the benefit of convenience, but there are some television events that are best enjoyed live (see: Oscars, Grammys, Super Bowl, SNL 40th Anniversary Special, etc.).

 

5. Sports, Sports, Sports

Probably one of the biggest opportunities for complementing Sling TV is when it comes to over-the-air sports broadcasts. No network television means limited NFL, limited choice of college football games, no World Series, no Super Bowl, blackouts for locally broadcast college basketball games, etc.

 

Sling TV is great because it finally opened ESPN to cord cutters, but it cannot replace the games that air on network television.

 

I understand why someone may think Sling TV is the final solution to cord cutting, but in reality it’s not. It’s a good option, one that may change entertainment as we know it, but it still can’t replace the need for a TV antenna.

 

 

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.



Leaf Metro Indoor 25-mile HDTV Antenna

Mohu Spotlight: Leaf Metro OTA Antenna



Living in the city affords you the opportunity to appreciate all kinds of entertainment, including free over air broadcast TV in HD with the Mohu Leaf Metro Indoor HDTV Antenna.

 

For only $24.99 you can acquire all the free broadcast television channels within a 25 mile radius of your area, in both HD and standard definition.

 

The Leaf Metro was designed with urban cord cutters in mind. Deceptively small, the Leaf Metro has a unique design that fits perfectly into small spaces like apartments and dorm rooms, where it can be easily placed in a window or high on a wall and to pick up free over-the-air TV.

 

That means that if you live in the Bronx, NY you can get up to 68 channels for free over air using the Leaf Metro. Including major networks: FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS and others, in high definition.

Leaf Metro City View

 

Product Overview

 

A muliti-directional device, the Leaf Metro Mohu antenna is capable of pulling in all your favorite broadcast TV shows from any direction, up to 25 miles away when broadcast in UHF, and up to 10 miles away when broadcast in VHF.

 

The design of the Mohu Leaf Metro is similar to the larger Leaf 30 and Leaf 50 antennas, but still distinctively its own. Utilizing paper-thin U.S. Military technology, this high tech Mohu antenna is still simple to setup and use.

 

Mohu Leaf Metro

 

The Leaf Metro can be placed with the black or white side facing outward. You can even paint your antenna to match your walls!  Both sides of the antenna pick up channels equally well.

 

This antenna comes with 10 feet of included coaxial cable (in white) which can be swapped out for a longer or shorter cable if your needs require it. Simply attach one end of the cable to the antenna, and the other end to the ‘Ant In’ connection on the back of your digital ready TV or a digital converter box (used by older TVs to obtain digital TV signals), and scan for channels in your area.

 

Made in the USA, all Mohu antennas work well with any streaming media device such as a an Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or Roku 3 to give cord cutters a fantastic way to save money and get all the entertainment they want via over air TV and the internet.

 

Leaf Metro black

 

 

User Considerations

 

Weather

All over air antennas are subject to fluctuations in weather.  Rain, wind, and snow can affect your reception no matter what antenna you choose.

 

While this can be a frustrating thing to deal with, especially in severe weather, it’s a rare occurrence and something that can often be overcome by simply moving the antenna and re-scanning for channels.

 

Terrain

In an ideal over air antenna scenario, you would live in a flat area with broadcast towers in sight of your location. Since most of us don’t live in that ideal situation, terrain can be a factor with respect to channel reception.

 

It’s possible to overcome some issues with terrain by using a Mohu Jolt Digital Antenna Amplifier. Adding the Jolt amplifier to your coaxial cable can assist the Leaf Metro in fine tuning its signal reception and clearing up pixelation.

 

Placement

A key factor in over air channel reception is antenna placement at your location.

 

Placing your Leaf Metro as high as possible is best. In a window, on a shelf, or behind the TV will all work, but you may have to try multiple placements with subsequent channel scans to find just the right placement to obtain all the broadcast channels in your area.

 

Powerful.

Petite. 

Practical.  

 

That’s the Mohu Leaf Metro.

 

 

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.



How to cut the cord with Sling TV and Mohu antennas

How to Cut the Cord with Sling TV and Mohu



There has been much ado about the announcement of Sling TV, which is a subscription-based streaming service that will allow you to watch live television for $20 a month.

 

People have hailed it as the answer to the prayers of cord cutters; and with the inclusion of some big name channels, like ESPN added to its lineup; it’s hard not to see why.

 

While Sling TV is amazing, it still falls short of being a true cable TV alternative, a.k.a. one device or service that is capable of delivering all your favorite shows for a fraction of the cost of cable television. However, you can cut the cord with Sling TV and Mohu and combine the powers of both to create a virtually complete cord cutting experience.

 

 

Sign up for Sling TV OTT Streaming Service

 

First thing’s first, if ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, and now the announcement of AMC plus a variety of other historically cable-only channels are your thing, you can head to Sling.com to sign up for your account.

 

Sign up for Sling TV

 

For a more detailed account of what all this new service provides, check out our overview of Sling TV.

 

The skinny, though, is that for $20 per month (plus taxes depending on your state), you can have a Netflix/Hulu Plus type streaming experience but with life TV (and some on-demand). What’s made the biggest splash for would-be cord cutters is that the service includes ESPN and ESPN2 in its basic package with the option to add even more sports channels for an extra $5/month if you’re a true die-hard sports fan. And like with other streaming services, you’ll need an Internet subscription to utilize Sling TV (you do have some options as far as throttling the stream speed to manage your bandwidth usage).

 

Sling has also made a splash by announcing the addition of AMC to its basic package. That means fans of The Walking Dead, Mad Men, the new Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, etc. now have a viable option outside of pay TV or iTunes/Amazon season pass purchases per show.

 

As far as devices you can watch Sling TV on, it’s currently available on Mac, PC, iOS, select Android devices, and Roku devices. One drawback that’s worth mentioning, though, is that you are limited to a single stream at a time. So if you have kids who want to watch Disney and you want to watch CNN, you’ll have to compromise.

 

 

Add Local News and Broadcast TV with an HDTV Antenna

Mohu Indoor and Outdoor HDTV Antennas

 

A big reason Sling TV makes an incomplete cable TV alternative is its lack of Over-the-Air (OTA) support. For those of you that don’t know, OTA is the method in which broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CW) transmit their signal for free in HD. All you have to do to watch OTA television is purchase a digital antenna and plug it into your TV. It’s that simple.

 

“Ok,” you may be thinking, “so Sling doesn’t have OTA, who cares?” In the age of Netflix, where we don’t pay attention to what station our favorite shows comes on, it is easy to forget that the vast majority of America’s favorite programming is on the major broadcast networks.

 

Just think about it…

 

The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, NCIS, Arrow, Parks and Recreation, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Blacklist, Bones, Once Upon a Time; according to Google, those are some of the most talked about shows on the internet… and they’re all on network television. That’s a lot of content to miss out on.

 

Now, I’m not saying that Sling TV isn’t impressive; because it is. In truth, Sling TV is definitely a step in the right direction; and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more television networks offering stand-alone subscriptions or bundle packages like Sling. But the fact remains – without OTA TV, your cord cutting experience is incomplete.

 

Probably the most trusted name in OTA antennas is Mohu. Built off of military design, Mohu antennas are able to deliver crystal clear HD picture in even the dreariest of circumstances. Their flagship antenna, the paper-thin Mohu Leaf, only costs $40, has a 30-mile omnidirectional range, and is only slightly larger than an iPad.

 

 

Momentum has been building, and 2015 is the year for cord cutting. Cutting the cord is still simpler, easier, and far more inexpensive than cable. You’ve got television, film, and now even sports available without having to submit to the tyrannical hold of the cable companies. Stop waiting; take the leap, cut the cord, and kill the cable bill today!

 

 

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.



Community Reviews of the Mohu Leaf

Why the Mohu Leaf is Awesome According to Cord Cutters



Most technophiles (especially those following a Mohu blog) know about the Leaf series of HDTV antennas. Need a refresher?

 

  • The Mohu Leaf 30 is the best performing, and most popular paper-thin antenna on the market. It’s what started the paper-thin antenna revolution!
  • Stepping up next, Leaf 50 (or Leaf Ultimate), which of course includes an awesome digital HDTV amplifier with RF filtering.
  • And most recently, the Leaf Metro antenna stormed onto the scene, providing a huge range in our smallest size yet ideal in an urban environment.

 

So you know the starting lineup, but how the heck do they actually perform? Of course we’re the resident cheerleaders — but what about the general public? Let’s see:

 

 

Here’s a video review of the Leaf 30:

 

 

This review highlights another great thing about our antennas, which is that they’re built to work in Canada and available to ship to Canada from our online store as well as some Canadian online retailers like Amazon.ca.

 

 

Here’s a video review of the Leaf 50:

“They’re sleek and easy to conceal, and work great!” – Serena Appiah

 

Want to get a bit more in-depth about the tech? Here’s another review, this time diving a bit deeper into the pool.

 

 

Here’s a nice video of the Leaf’s unboxing and even a small setup guide (which, to be fair, is all that’s needed anyway)!

 

 

Another review, this time from Maryland — great reception with 36 channels received for free!

 

The Science behind the Leaf

 

Okay, so you’re in the deep end. Time to face the final boss and really understand the science behind the Leaf:

 

 

…well, we don’t want to state the obvious, but it appears there’s a common trend here with Mohu Leaf video reviews. Perhaps we should also reference Amazon, where the Leaf family has accumulated more than 9,000 reviews (the average rating is 4 out of 5 stars).

 

Plainly put, the Mohu Leaf HDTV antenna family started it all, and we feel it continues to be the reigning, defending champion of value and quality in the antenna space. On top of the quality product, we feel we have the best support team to help get the most from your investment. Do you agree? Tell us your thoughts on Facebook.



Mohu Indoor and Outdoor HDTV Antennas

Cut The Cord With Mohu HDTV Antennas



Mohu makes it easy to cut the cord and enjoy free over air TV broadcasts in high definition. Using the latest in military-grade, digital technology, Mohu indoor and outdoor HDTV antennas are easy to set up and use. Mohu cord cutters save big bucks each month by eliminating expensive cable and satellite TV service and enjoying free HDTV over-the-air using HDTV antennas.

 

 

A sister company of Greenwave Scientific, Mohu prides itself on offering the latest in cord cutter technology that is also simple to use. The company provides excellent customer service by phone or email, and they have an active Forum that is a great place to ask questions and share information.

 

Made in the USA, Mohu HDTV antennas work extremely well to pull in both UHF and also VHF over air channels, and provide users with the ability to view high definition TV for free. The antennas are affordable, with prices to fit every budget.

 

For those who don’t know, cord cutting can be done with an indoor or outdoor digital HDTV antenna. Reception will depend upon where you live; what the terrain is like, and how far you are from the TV broadcast towers in your area. Reception of over-the-air TV can also be affected by building materials, especially metal, as well as the placement of the antenna at your location.

 

Using a Mohu Leaf 50 antenna literally changed my life. So much so, that I wrote a user-friendly ‘how-to’ book to educate and empower people to cut the cord and enjoy free network television in HD. Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV was written to share my passion for cord cutting and give others the heads up on this easy to use technology.

 

Here’s a brief rundown of Mohu HDTV antenna equipment that can help you to cut the cord too.

 

 

Mohu FLAT Indoor HDTV Antennas

 

Leaf Metro

The smallest of the Mohu HDTV indoor flat antennas, the Leaf Metro is still mighty powerful! The Leaf Metro has a unique shape and a 25 mile range, making it a very good choice for city dwellers with lots of broadcast towers close by.
Leaf Metro Black

 

Leaf 30

The Mohu Leaf 30 is a flat HDTV antenna that looks like a sheet of paper, so it’s hard to wrap your head around how it can work so well to snag high definition channels from the air.  Easy to place in a window, hidden under a shelf or on a wall, it’s a good choice if you live in town with towers within a 30 mile radius of your location.

Mohu Leaf 30

 

 

Leaf 50

The Leaf 50 indoor HDTV antenna is a great choice for suburban and rural cordcutters. It’s an amplified antenna and the one I use at my rural location (in addition to the Leaf 50 in another room of the house…) to pick up all the major over air broadcast channels: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CW and FOX, in HD which are being broadcast up to 50 miles away.

 

 

Mohu CURVED Indoor HDTV Antennas

 

Curve 30

The Curve 30 is a piece of functional art. It’s a multidirectional indoor antenna with a range of up to 30 miles just like the Leaf 30. If an antenna in the window or pinned to the wall isn’t your style, the Curve offers form and function that looks great on a TV stand or bookshelf.

Mohu Curve

 

Curve 50

The Curve 50 is an amplified indoor HDTV antenna that I use every day to acquire broadcast TV signals in HD up to 50 miles away. Like the Curve 30, it can sit on a shelf, be placed behind the TV or suspended from the ceiling; which is what I’ve done. It too can be flat or curved; when using the included stand.

 

 

Mohu Outdoor HDTV Antenna and Accessories

 

Sky 60

The Sky 60 is a Mohu outdoor HDTV antenna that can be mounted in an attic or placed on a rooftop. It has a range of up to 60 miles and provides users with multidirectional reception of both UHF and VHF signals; as with the other Mohu antennas.
Sky 60

 

If you want to amplify a passive antenna: Leaf Metro, Leaf 30 or Curve 30, to decrease pixelation and bolster unstable channels, the Mohu Jolt is what you need. This is the same amplifier that’s on the Leaf 50 and Curve 50 antennas.

 

The Jolt 4-Way Digital TV Antenna Amplifier can take input from a Sky 60 and distribute the over air signal to up to 4 televisions. A great piece of equipment to have if you have a multi-TV household and want to cut the cord.

 

 

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.



Sling Television

Sling TV Overview: What we know about it so far



Of all the things to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show this year, Sling TV was arguably one of the most significant. For those of you out of the loop, Sling TV is a subsidiary of DISH Network that, when launched, will offer live and on-demand streaming television for $20 a month (US only).

 

Some are calling the service a cord cutters dream, and others are calling it a reasonable response to growing consumer demand. Sling TV is currently invite only and not available to the wider public. While we don’t have a complete picture of everything about Sling TV, there are some details available; and today we’re going over what we know.

 

 

What is Sling TV

For $20 a month, you get something called the “Best of Live TV” package; which includes the following channels: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family, CNN, El Rey Network, Galavisión, Maker, and coming-soon AMC.

 

ESPN and ESPN2 will perhaps offer the biggest draw to Sling TV users since it has been nearly impossible to watch the sports network without having to pay for a cable subscription. Likewise, basketball fans will no doubt rejoice at the sight of TNT and TBS being added to the subscription package.

 

Everything else is really just icing on the cake as most of the programs on the other networks are available through other streaming options.

 

 

 

Sling TV Add-On Packages for More Channels

In addition to the “Best of Live TV” package, there are also two optional add-on packages you can get for an extra $5 a month each. Those packages are the Kids Extra and the New & Info Extra.

 

  • Kids Extra includes Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV and Duck TV
  • New & Info includes HLN, Cooking Channel, DIY and Bloomberg TV
  • Sports Extra is coming soon and expected to include additional content from ESPN and others

 

 

Sling TV Compatible Devices at Launch

Initially compatible devices include:

 

  • Android tablets and phones
  • iOS devices – iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Roku players and Roku TVs

 

There’s also talk of additional devices coming later: Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Xbox One, Google Nexus Player, Chromecast, select 2015 Sony & Sharp Android TV models, Samsung & LG Smart TVs.

 

 

Sling TV Setup and Picture Quality

Although Sling TV is not yet on the market, some journalists were allowed an early invite to review Sling TV. Benny Evangelista of the San Francisco Gate remarks that:

Setting up the service was simple — just download the app, register an account and shows begin streaming in high-definition.

 

A simple set up is good to hear; but unfortunately Raymond Wong over at Mashable reports that the HD streaming is inconsistent.

“Stream quality at the Mashable office was excellent, but then again we have 80 Mbps downloads and 104 Mbps uploads here” said Wong. “A more realistic representation is at my own apartment where I… regularly get somewhere closer to 20 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up… I had the quality set to Best at the office and at home, but it only ever averaged around 1.3 Mbps, meaning a lot of videos looked like standard-definition, with plenty of muddled, blocky pixelation in details.”

 

Current Limitations of Sling TV

One of the key features that is conspicuously absent from Sling TV is the ability to pick up Over-the-Air channels, i.e. local broadcast networks. That means no ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, PBS or Telemundo. With no OTA support, you’re still missing out on most of the television shows you love. Interestingly though, Sling TV recently announced that it struck a deal with Spanish-language broadcast network Univision (available OTA in some markets). The deal will include access to Univision, UniMás, Univision Deportes, Galavisión, El Rey Network, Bandamax, De Película, De Película Clásico, Telehit, Tlnovelas and FOROtv. It’s unclear if it will be included with the standard subscription package or if it will be an add-on (our bets are on the latter).

 

Perhaps the biggest limitation on Sling TV is the fact that you can only use your Sling account on one device at a time. That means if you want to watch the Discovery channel but your spouse wants to watch ESPN, someone is going to be out of luck.

 

In a market where competitors like Netflix offer the ability to stream on multiple screens simultaneously for incremental price increases (and sometimes even enable, if not encourage, account sharing), it’s unfortunate that Sling TV does not yet offer something comparable.

 

 

From the looks of things, it seems like Sling TV gets the job done, but it isn’t entirely seamless nor does it appear to be a true cable TV replacement as some may have anticipated (although Sling TV claims it has no intention of replacing the traditional pay TV model…). While it affords greater access to sporting events and live television, its lack of OTA support, unreliable picture quality, and its one device limit leaves a bit to be desired. We’ll watch and see how it progresses.

 

 

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.