Cordcutter Chronicles: News and Trends (Week of Nov. 28th)
Posted December 5, 2016
The Cordcutter Chronicles: Your weekly dose of what’s happening in cord cutting.
DirecTV Now launches with mixed reviews from cordcutters.
Plex Media Player free to all and Kodi add-on available.
Sling TV beta testing Cloud DVR functionality with Roku.
NFL to come to CBS All Access.
HBO Now and Cinemax options with Amazon Channels.
DirecTV Now Available to Cordcutters
When I heard DirecTV Now would be launching on November 30th with a 100 channel deal for only $35, I was chomping at the bit to give it a try.
However when the day came to sign-up for the service, I remembered all the glitches I’d had with Sling TV right after its launch and decided to wait just a little while to see how other users were enjoying their DirecTV Now experience.
This past week new subscribers experienced what I had feared. Users of the new service found their viewing experiences were plagued with errors.
On the upside, DirecTV Now subscribers have a free trial and are under no contract so they can cancel their subscription at any time.
Subscribers who get in on the initial offering will be grandfathered into the 100 channel package for $35 a month, but if they cancel and want to restart service they would pay more to do it.
DirecTV Now is going head to head for subscribers of the Sony PlayStation Vue and Sling TV services, which continue to improve their services’ stability, features and channel offerings.
Time will tell if DirecTV Now has what it takes to fix the bugs, add support for all the potential streaming devices and offer a competitive line-up at the right price for cordcutters to want to sign up.
Plex Media Player Updates With Kodi Add-On
The Plex Media Player is a fantastic way for cordcutters to organize media they already own and stream that media to many different devices.
Prior to this past week Plex media software was not available to the masses, but now it’s free for anyone to download and use.
Unfortunately if you want the full-featured Plex experience however, is still not free.
For cordcutters to gain the ability to sync media with the Plex Cloud and other advanced features, will still need to subscribe to the premium Plex Pass service. Well worth it if you have lots of media you’d like to access and share across multiple platforms, this service can be had for a one-time fee of $4.99 a month, $39.99 a year or a lifetime subscription fee of $149.99 is an option.
Additionally Plex also added a Kodi add-on.
While the Plex add-on for Kodi packs a number of nice Plex features such as server discovery, user switching, and library organization, it’s not the complete Plex experience.
Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free, open source media player that I’ve enjoyed on my PCs and via an Android TV box for several years. It works very well and offers seemingly endless viewing options via media repositories.
As of this past Sunday, subscribers of CBS All Accesscan enjoy NFL games streaming on the service.
With the new deal, CBS All Access subscribers will be able to live stream all NFL on CBS games broadcast in their local markets, including Thursday Night Football, as well as pregame and halftime coverage.
Available for $5.99 a month after a 1 week free trial with limited commercial interruption or $9.99 a month without commercials, CBS All Access offers over 8500 episodes of on-demand programming, original programming and streaming of live TV in select markets.
Additional channels are viewed using the Amazon Video app on various platforms. Subscribed channels quickly launch within the Amazon app on all devices where an app has been installed and the user’s Amazon account info has been entered.
HBO is $14.99 per month and Cinemax costs a little bit less at $9.99 a month.
Both channels have free 30-day trials for new subscribers with the option to remove the digital subscriptions from your Prime account at any time.