Big Changes for Cable Cutters in 2014
Will this change the way you stream TV?
2014 has hardly begun and big changes have already been announced that may affect how we stream TV in the future. Streaming news and important information, updated throughout the year.
Netflix Warn ISP Providers
Netflix sent a strong message to ISPs. Don't mess with us or we will mobilize our 44 million subscribers. They went on the say if ISP providers do what is fair and right there would be no need for added regulation on the internet. If they try to slow down the internet for people who stream movies, they better get ready for a fight.
This was in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals striking down Net Neutrality earlier in January. Read more
HBO and Showtime Losing Customers to Netflix
More and more Showtime and HBO subscribers are dropping these premium cable and satellite channels in favor of Netflix. It's really no wonder, when you compare all that you get with Netflix for only $8.00 a month. Streamers have been waiting a while now for HBO, Showtime and other premium channels to offer their content to streamers for a stand alone monthly fee. This latest news could be enough to make them reconsider their exclusive agreement with big cable and satellite dish companies. Click here for the Top 100 new releases and popular movies and shows playing on Netflix Instant.
Aereo Vs Networks Supreme Court to Hear Case
Aereo, a small streaming TV startup offers the same channels that are available for free over the airwaves to their customers over the internet for a small $8 monthly fee. The way it works is if you live in an area where they provide their service, (mostly a few larger cities for now) once you sign up, they place a small antenna on their roof. They then take this digital signal and stream it to your computer over the internet. Each subscriber get's their own antenna. ABC one of the networks who's signal they are selling is suing Aereo. They want to paid royalties for each one of Aereo's subscribers. A federal judge already ruled in Aereo's favor. ABC appealed it and the Supreme court has decided to hear this case. Some TV Networks have already publicly stated that if Aereo wins this case, they will then encrypt their signal and this could mean the end of free TV over the airwaves. Update 6/24/14 - With the Supreme Court's recent ruling stating that Aereo must pay copyright fees for retransmission of signals, the company will be forced to raise fees or simply shutdown their service. Stay tuned, we will have to see how this all plays out.
ABC Limiting Next Day Access to Their Streaming Content.
Only subscribers to partnering Cable TV providers will have instant access to stream shows from ABC the next day. Everyone else will need to wait a week to access these shows for free.
Only these providers currently have agreements in place to give their customers access: AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS.
Even Hulu Plus Customer will need to wait a week to watch their favorite shows on ABC instead of the next day.
If you live close enough, a small HD antenna like the Mohu Leaf will still get these shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and PBS the same day for free. No cable sub required.
USTVNow Roku channel offers these channels Free for 30 days and provides monthly subs for much less than cable. Click here to learn more...
Netflix Announces Changes to Their Streaming Plans
Recently Netflix announced changes to their streaming TV packages. Their current plan costs $7.99 a month and allows users to stream to two devices at the same time. They have now begun offering a cheaper plan for $6.99 which lacks HD support and will only stream to one device at a time.
Netflix is also testing a pay per service plan which may be rolled out to combat account sharing. It will reportedly start at $6.99 for one viewer screen to $11.99 for 4 viewer screens on one account.
Netflix Original Shows Will Be 4K Compatible
At CES Netflix announced all their original shows will be streamed in UHD 4K which is the latest format for HD televisions and will be heavily promoted in 2014. Ultra HD has 4X the resolution than normal HD for breathtaking clarity.
Prices are expected to drop on 4K televisions this year. Lean more about UHD 4K.
Sony Will Offer Web Based TV Service in US
Sony and Viacom reached an agreement and is also talking with FOX, CBS and NBS to stream video content over the internet. They want to give customers of their paid service the ability to watch a program on one device like a PlayStation 4, pause it and resume it on another network attached device like a Roku or Apple TV. Another streaming media service provider with Sony's money and clout will add even more competition to the Cable and Satellite industry.
Roku to Power Smart TVs
In recent news Roku announced they will partner with a Chinese television manufacture HiSense to add their streaming platform inside a line of televisions that will range from a few hundred to almost a thousand dollars. They feel this is the future of streaming and consumers would rather have a single remote and integrated device rather than separate add-on boxes.
Hopefully Roku will not abandon the standalone streaming market altogether. Many customers that only want brand specific televisions, would be forced to go to a completely different media streamer. One example is the excellent G-Box Midnight.
NetGear May Replace Cable Boxes with Tiny Dongle
If Netgear has their way, we we may soon see the bulky cable box replaced by a Chromecast sized dongle. This would be a welcomed relief to those that still need or want to keep cable and are tired of the ugly cable box taking up space in their living rooms.
Cable and Satellite Companies Raise Rates Once Again
File this under the "What else is new" section. DirecTV to raise prices 3.7% Dish recently hit their subscribers with a $3 to $5 increase. Comcast last year made their customers pay 5.7% more. Cable cutters, you can all now breath a collective sigh of relief. Still have Cable or Satellite? It may be a really good time to look at lower cost alternatives. Or, try cutting your monthly bill with these money saving tips.
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