Streaming TV companies are not your friends anymore.
Not that they ever really were, of course, but as streaming services push for profitability, they’re finding new ways to squeeze customers for more cash. From Netflix’s password-sharing crackdown and Disney’s relentless price hikes to HBO Max’s stripped-down catalog, it’s getting harder to watch what you want without blowing through your TV budget.
It’s time, then, to embrace a scrappier approach to cord-cutting. As streaming becomes the default way to watch TV, the objective is no longer to end the tyranny of cable—per this column’s original mission statement—but to push back against the streaming services themselves. That means learning to game a system that’s increasingly stacked against you, and treating streaming savings as a kind of sport. Call it Cord-cutting 2.0.
Read the full column on TechHive →
YouTube TV’s redesign: It took longer than expected, but YouTube TV is now rolling out the new design it started teasing nearly a year ago.
The Library section is getting the biggest overhaul, with a “Catch up on your favorites” section and a row of filters for things like movies and recent recordings. The Live guide, meanwhile, now shows a description and images for the currently-highlighted program at the top, and you can also to set mobile reminders for upcoming shows you want to watch live.
I’d still like to see more improvements, such as genre filtering options for the live guide and the ability to create one-off recordings for TV episodes, but I can’t nitpick too much about what’s already a pretty slick interface. The Live guide improvements should be available now, while the updated Library is coming soon.
Tablo’s DVR delay: Nuvyyo is now issuing refunds for anyone who pre-ordered its ATSC 3.0 DVR, which the company announced in early 2022 and delayed indefinitely a few months later. While Nuvyyo says it still intends to launch the DVR, it has no timeline for doing so. CEO Grant Hall blamed “certifications and other technical issues” for the delay.
As I wrote last week, ATSC 3.0 (also known as NextGen TV) is still in its infancy even after years of hype. Most TVs don’t support the new standard, cheap converter boxes are nonexistent, and much-touted features such as 4K HDR largely haven’t materialized in actual broadcasts. Meanwhile, existing ATSC 1.0 broadcasts will continue to be available for many years to come, which means existing Tablo DVR owners have nothing to worry about.
Nexstar’s local news limitation: Last year, I wrote about how you can stream local newscasts in many markets without a big pay TV bundle. Now, mega-broadcaster Nexstar is trying to add a bit more friction to the process. As NextTV reports, stations will have to wait until two hours after broadcasting to post newscasts on their websites in most markets, seemingly to placate cable and satellite providers.
Meanwhile, many other broadcasters continue to stream local news without delay, either on their websites or through apps such as Vuit, NewsOn, Tubi, Stirr, LocalNow, and Amazon’s News by Fire TV app. Hopefully it stays that way.
- YouTube gets closer to launching some free streaming channels.
- Amazon’s crack marketing team renames Epix to “MGM+.”
- Got an Apple TV box, but not an iPhone or iPad? Read this.
- Cox takes away free Peacock from cable TV customers.
- A record number of scripted TV shows debuted in 2022 …
- … But not on cable. TNT cancels “Snowpiercer” its last original scripted show.
Save more money
Once again we have a new code for a free month of Paramount+ and Showtime, both for new and returning subscribers. Sign up for a monthly plan—including the ad-free tier—on Paramount’s website, then use the code WOLFPACK on the final checkout page. The previous code, SERIEA, also continues to work as of this writing, and you can still add Showtime at no extra charge. See here for detailed instructions.
I’ve also updated the big list of streaming deals over at the Cord Cutter Weekly website.
Thanks for reading!
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Until next week,