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Cord Cutters Should Have an Antenna

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Cord Cutters Should Have an Antenna



wralweather1Cord cutters who rely solely on streaming content should strongly consider adding an HDTV antenna to their homes. The recent outbreak of severe weather across the Midwest and Southeast United States led to flooding, tornadoes and the deaths of more than 30 people. Fortunately, improved radar systems and early warnings allow people enough time to find shelter. The early warnings are often broadcast over local networks’ news channels and without a TV antenna such as a Leaf or Curve, viewers may not get the warnings about nearby storms.

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Storm clouds near Mohu

Fortunately, the severe weather mostly bypassed Raleigh (the home of Mohu) but for two days our local stations broadcast the locations of heavy rain, hail, thunderstorms, flooding and  tornadoes. We were definitely aware of what was going on, and had a tornado or flood come, we would have had time to prepare. Two nights ago, while watching OTA TV, the screen had a ticker running along the bottom updating viewers of where the storms were and their severity. Other stations broadcast the weather alerts directly from the National Weather Service.

The bottom line is streaming content is a great way to cut the cord. But Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Prime and the rest cannot replace broadcast TV especially in times of emergencies and bad weather. It’s also possible to get warnings on a smart phone, but they are often not as detailed as a real-time weather forecast.

On a happier note, an antenna is great to watch TV content in real time, especially broadcasts like the Super Bowl, the Oscars, and season finales (coming soon in May) and not have to wait to stream it from the network’s website or another streaming provider.







Industry Updates–Streaming Content Gets Big



Lots of changes took place in the TV/streaming content industry in the past few weeks. Let’s pause and look at what has happened.

Supreme CourtABC vs. Aereo–the Supreme Court heard this case on April 22 and the public can expect a ruling in June. Mohu covered it in an earlier blog. Two issues are at the core of the case. The first is does Aereo’s “re-transmission” of OTA content constitute a public or private showing? If it is a public showing, does Aereo owe retransmission fees to the broadcasters? The second issue is murkier and relates to storing items in the cloud. The Supreme Court Justices are more concerned with items in the cloud and the impact their ruling will have on other cloud-based content–anything from iTunes to DropBox.

Netflix is Moving to Cable–Netflix has long lived on computers and streaming devices and, along with an HDTV antenna, is cord-cutting staple. However, according to the Washington Post, Netflix signed a deal with three small cable companies (RCN, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications) and will become a cable channel on their TiVo DVR boxes. Viewers will need a separate Netflix subscription to watch Netflix content. However, this is the first time Netflix has explicitly put its content on a cable box.

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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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I Cut the Cord and Lived to Tell About It



Modern-FamilytigtlecardToday’s blog is guest written by Michelle, a friend of Sarah’s (Mohu’s usual blogger). Michelle recently cut the cord and is going to tell her story.

We’ve had cable for at least the past ten years. While cleaning out some file cabinets I found some old cable bills. The same service we have today used to cost about $25-$30 less. To put it mildly, I was surprised. I’m currently getting a promotional deal which is $67.75 a month with taxes. Once the deal ends next month, the price for what we have will jump to over $80/month. For television. Ouch.

We definitely watch TV in my house. I’m a big fan of Modern Family because I feel like that’s my life right now and my husband is a big fan of Law and Order: SVU. My kids are pretty limited in their TV viewing and often stream something (approved by me) from Netflix onto a computer or tablet. But $80 a month is $960 a year and I’m pretty sure I could find something else to do with that money.

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TV Industry–What's New



Cosmos_1Several changes are causing disruption in the TV world for over-the air (OTA), cable, and streaming content. Below, we’ll discuss some of the changes.

On Sunday night Fox premiered, Cosmos—A Space Time Odyssey hosted by noted astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson. It picks up where Carl Sagan’s original Cosmos left off in 1980. The Motley Fool calls the production and airing of Cosmos “event programming” and sees it as a reaction to the ever-shifting landscape of television.

Fox is starting out with Cosmos but has other event programming in the works. As The Motley Fool says about Cosmos, “The success of this type of programming isn’t fully reliant on the usual development cycle. It’s not even necessarily built for the long run. It’s built as a way to test the waters and see how viewers respond. Should it work, executives can start crafting round two, but until proven it’s very much a short-term proposition.” Fox is also using Cosmos to bring new viewers to its network, which is better known for Family Guy and Glee. 

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