Why over-the-air DVR matters, ESPN streaming plans


This week on TechHive: The case for over-the-air DVR

In last week’s column, I wrote about how ATSC 3.0 threatens over-the-air DVR as we know it. By allowing for encryption and DRM on local broadcasts, the new standard could lead to new restrictions on your ability to record free TV from an antenna.

This week, I want to step back and highlight why that matters. While over-the-air DVR only comprises a small fraction of antenna TV viewing, those who’ve set one up enjoy superpowers that simply aren’t possible with today’s streaming services. If you’re blessed with strong antenna reception at home, you should be considering an over-the-air DVR as part of your cord cutting setup.

Read the full column on TechHive →


Weekly rewind

The great ESPN wait: Although Disney has been making noise about a standalone streaming version of ESPN, it’s not happening anytime soon. Sources tell the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand not to expect the service until at least 2025. CNBC has heard the same.

The slow roll will make for more sports streaming frustration in the years ahead, as some live events remain tied to big pay TV bundles, while others become scattered across an array of standalone streaming services. (One such service is ESPN+, whose programming is mostly separate from what you find on ESPN’s cable channel.)

The network is in a tough spot because it charges cable companies $8 to $9 per month per subscriber in carriage fees, whether those subscribers watch ESPN or not. Analysts estimate that ESPN would have to charge its viewers $30 per month for a la carte streaming to avoid losing money (which it inevitably will, because no one’s going to pay that much). If only anyone saw this coming.

Price hike watch: Another week, another set of streaming price hikes, though this time they’re on the niche side:

Meanwhile, Indiewire has a helpful roundup of every streaming service that’s raised prices this year. I don’t think this ends well in a world where cancellation is extremely easy. Simply dropping service for a month or two defrays the cost of most price hikes.

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Save more money

Did you miss Amazon’s Fire TV deals during Prime Day? Best Buy has regurgitated them, so you can get a Fire TV Stick for $18, a Fire TV Stick 4K Max for $25, or Fire TV Cube for $110,. Various smart TVs with Fire TV software built-in are on sale as well.

Other notable savings:



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Until next week,
Jared

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