Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amazon Prime Adds Some HBO Content


Amazon Prime has added a number of HBO shows to their streaming service.  This is a BIG WIN for Amazon.  According to the official press release, the agreement covers The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Eastbound & Down, Oz, Band of Brothers and Deadwood, as well as early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood.  Amazon Prime is starting to look like a deal at $99 a year.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chromecast adds MLB support

Sports fans and cord cutters are rejoicing today as Chromecast has added support for MLB TV.  A subscription to MLB TV is required and you can only watch out of market games, but if you're living away from your favorite baseball team, this may be the right solution for you.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Google Produces a How To Video for Chromecast

I've found that using the Chromecast is very simple.  My whole family uses it and nobody has asked for help.  However I'm sure there are people (like my mom) that would like addition instruction.  For that group, Google has produced this video.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Kevin Spacey Makes A Case for Giving TV Viewers What They Want

I highly recommend this video of Kevin Spacey giving a speech at the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival.  In his speech, Mr Spacey said, "Clearly the success of the Netflix model releasing House of Cards all at once proved one thing... The audience wants the control." Congressman Underwood, I couldn't agree with you more!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Top 5 Free Online Video Sites Not Named YouTube

While YouTube and Netflix dominate online video streaming, there is a lot of great content to be found on the web that doesn't come from these two sources. Here's my Top 5 list of Free Video Sites (not named YouTube):

1. PBS
PBS has a variety of great shows available for free online. These shows are all high quality intelligent TV that you've come to expect from PBS. Below is a forthcoming documentary that will be available on PBS.



Watch Brooklyn Castle - Trailer on PBS. See more from POV.

2. Crackle
Crackle is an ad supported movie and TV site.  They have a fairly good selection of movie and TV shows and best of all... it's free!  Currently they're showing one of my all time favorites, The Karate Kid!

3. Major League Baseball - MLB
If you're a sports fan like me, it's hard to cut the cable cord.  MLB helps to take the sting out of not viewing most of the games by providing video highlights of EVERY game.  Also, they live stream one game every day.

4. Yahoo Screen
Yahoo offers a nice variety of online content including original shows, full episodes of TV shows, News, Living, Comedy, etc.  Below is an example of Yahoo's! original entertainment show OMG!



5. IGN
For the gamer, the #1 review site on the web is IGN.  They do detailed video reviews of video games, movies, TV, and comics.  If video games are your thing, I highly recommend you visit IGN before purchasing your next game on any system.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Netflix Introduces Profiles

As you can tell by the number of Netflix related posts on this blog... I'm a HUGE Netflix fan. My biggest gripe is that multiple users on one account, like my family of 5, does not get the individualized attention needed to get good movie and TV show recommendations. That's all about to change now that Netflix has introduced Profiles. Take a peek at the video below:


Monday, July 29, 2013

The State of Cord Cutting - Summer 2013

As you can see from the frequency of my posts, this blog has been somewhat dead of late. I could give many reasons as to why I've slacked off, but basically I found myself saying the same thing... cable companies charge too much and the best way to avoid paying high cable rates is to purchase an antenna and a subscription to Netflix. This solution has worked well for my family and I, however there are those that still need some convincing.  To that end, I would like to update you on the state of cord cutting and to fill you in on trends and technologies that may play a part in your TV entertainment choices. So without further ado, I present to you the Cheaper TV state of cord cutting... Summer 2013.

Netflix - King of Alternative Programming
Netflix Stock Graph

Netflix continues to be a force in non cable TV entertainment.  According to Statistic Brain , Netflix has almost 30 million subscribers and 1/3 of all internet traffic during prime time hours is used for Netflix viewing.  So far in 2013, they have added two new "Netflix Originals" shows "Hemlock Grove" and "Black is the New Orange" and resurrected "Arrested Development".  Three Netflix Original shows have been nominated for Emmy's in 2013.  At $8 a month, Netflix remains the best bargain in TV entertainment.

Google Becomes a Big Player in TV Entertainment

Google has three properties / technologies that are big (or soon to be big) players in TV entertainment...

1. YouTube
YouTube is the #1 destination for online video.  The tagline is "Broadcast Yourself", however it's much more than a destination to host your home movies.  Most major TV and radio stations, movie studios, and sports programmers have regularly updated YouTube channels.  Google has invested heavily in making high quality content available on Netflix including improving tools and support for popular channels and personalities. According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network and it has more than 1 billion unique users each month. (source)

2. Chromecast
After a couple of failed attempts (GoogleTV and Google Nexus Q), Google seems to have finally figured out a way to easily display online content on your television screen with Chromecast.  Chromecast costs $35, plugs directly into your TV, and allows you to easily stream movies from Netflix, Google Play, or from any website that can be viewed on a Chrome browser. You can control your Chromcast device from your desktop computer (Windows, Mac,  or Chrome OS), or your Tablet or Phone (Android or iOS).  I have my Chromecast on order and plan to do a review once I've received it and put it through the paces.

3. Google Play
Google Play is the equivalent of Apple's iTunes.  It's Google's shop for Movies, TV, Music, Books, Apps, Magazines, etc.  It has grown in popularity as Android market share has grown in the phone and tablet markets.

Together, these 3 properties / technologies have and will continue to impact free and paid TV viewing.

Broadcast TV - OTA and OTI

I'm still very happy with the quality and quantity of digital programming I have available via my rooftop antenna. I receive about 50 channels, but of those 50, I watch about 10.  My only complaint is that the picture sometimes pixelates when the Over The Air (OTA) signal isn't strong.  I recently learned about a company that is trying to address this problem by offering broadcast TV over the internet (OTI). Aereo rebroadcasts the digital OTA signal over the internet for a subscription fee of $8 a month.  While I get a fairly strong OTA signal, there are those for whom broadcast TV is not an option.  For those people, this service can be very valuable and help to free them from the grip of the cable companies.

Conclusion

I believe the state of the cord-cutting union is strong.  If you are looking for Cheaper TV alternatives to cable you have more and more entertainment choices.  I intend to keep this blog moving forward, and  hope you choose to follow me as I continue to track ways to improve your Cheaper TV experience.