Cordcutter Chronicles: News and Trends (Week of October 3rd)

October 10, 2016

The Cordcutter Chronicles: Your weekly dose of what’s happening in cord cutting.

New and updated streaming services and devices are hitting the market ahead of the holiday season, continuing to supplement cordcutter’s FREE over air TV in HD obtained with their Mohu HDTV antennas.

  • Chromecast Ultra comes to the marketplace with 4K support and Ethernet connectivity.
  • Comcast getting serious about data capping nationwide.
  • Sling TV adds more channels and MiBox integration.
  • Amazon is launching a new music service for Echo owners with even more in 2017.

Chromecast Ultra 4K Connectivity Plus

If you’ve used a Chromecast device you know they are small, highly portable, well priced and easy to use.  Perfect for cordcutters on the go who want to cast the content on their laptops to big screen HDTVs.

What is the benefit to current Chromecast owners upgrading to a Chromecast Ultra? According to this Tech Times article which compares the Google Chromecast to the Chromecast Ultra:

Some of the new features include 4K streaming, an ethernet port and support for high-dynamic range (HDR) video.

It’s tough to know if the enhancements brought to the Ultra are enough to entice new users and encourage current Chromecast users to upgrade.

For me the option to use a wired connection is worth it, but take a look at the video to see if it’s for you.

Comcast Data Caps Are Here

Stream much lately?  Yeah, me too. But how much data are you actually using? Comcast knows and they’re making their subscribers pay for it.

This past week Comcast announced that November 1st it will begin capping data usage in 18 cities, a trend that has been slowly growing over the past year anyway.

Just take a look at the list of current and future Comcast data caps:

Comcast data caps cordcutters

Courtesy of PCWorld’s article: “Comcast’s 1TB data cap starts rolling out across the U.S.”

In all fairness, Comcast does currently offer a generous 1TB package:

…Customers will be allowed to use 1TB of data per month before being hit with overage charges of $10 for each additional 50GB. Comcast says more than 99 percent of its customers use less than a terabyte of data.

Despite this I’d not be surprised if this ultimately causes some sort of a legal battle between the cable companies and streaming media services in the future, affecting cordcutters and cordnevers who depend upon internet services for so much of their entertainment.

Sling TV Adds New Channels & MiBox

The good news is that Sling TV’s Best of Live TV package is getting new channels as well as the more expensive Orange and Blue packages.

So whether you’re paying the base $20 per month or have opted in for a more costly Sling TV package, the service is rapidly expanding and available on multiple devices.

In addition to the new channels Sling TV has partnered with Google to offer the MiBox.  

Cordcutters Sling TV MiBox

The MiBox is a 4K ready, AndroidTV streaming media box that’s well priced at only $69 to go head to head with the Roku and Amazon devices.

One big drawback to the MiBox is there is NO Amazon app!  For many (me included) that will be a deal breaker.

Currently available at Walmart and on the Sling TV website, it comes bundled with free trial offers and would be a potential cordcutter option for those who don’t have other streaming devices, don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime and want Sling TV integration.

Amazon Expands Music Services

As reported by The Verge, there are two music services being launched by Amazon in the coming weeks.  It appears these services will be in addition to the Amazon Prime Music service currently included with a Prime membership.

Time To Buy An Echo?

If you don’t already own one, it may be time to purchase an Amazon Echo. Owning one might just give you the keys to Amazon’s music kingdom.

The word on the street in September was that Amazon’s new subscription based music service may be 50% off to Echo owners.

Now it looks like there may be a Echo-only Amazon music service for $5 per month, with a larger Amazon subscription music service to come later.

The newest music service from Amazon will allow “…Echo owners to access Amazon’s music library on-demand just like the more expensive offering, but playback will be restricted to the smart assistant” according to The Verge.

Consider Waiting For The Deals

Amazon likes to surprise its customers and it’s possible the Echo music service may be included as a part of Amazon Music Unlimited, the second Amazon music service with an expected launch in early 2017.

Personally, I’d look for Amazon Music Unlimited to be launched during the holidays and bundled with Amazon devices.

Additionally I’d expect that as with nearly all Amazon services there may also be a free trial for Amazon Music Unlimited to get you hooked!

It’s all good news for cordcutters who use their streaming devices to enjoy music too.

The post Cordcutter Chronicles: News and Trends (Week of October 3rd) appeared first on Mohu.




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