Cord cutting Overview Updated August 25, 2017

Cord cutting

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12 'Cord cutting' stories

December 2013 - August 2017

Cord cutting, in general, refers to the cancelling of subscription paid television services in favor of alternative methods for obtaining content. Cord cutting can refer to getting rid of cable television or satellite television in favor of non-traditional alternatives.

Popular TV providers like Comcast (Xfinity), Time Warner, Charter, Cox, AT&T (DirecTV & U-verse), all fit the mold of the traditional TV subscription service. A cord cutter would then cancel one of the aforementioned providers and use one or more alternative hardware methods like HDHomeRun boxes for free live over the air TVApple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku, and others. Of course, streaming services like YouTube, Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, HBO NOW, and Amazon Video, have played a huge role in the movement as well.

Cord cutters are not necessarily out solely to save money. Many people who choose to cut the cord are of the younger demographic, are usually technically progressive, dislike the huge hulking set top boxes and terrible remotes provided by traditional service providers, are fed up with poor customer service, etc.

That said, cutting the cord can save consumers a significant amount of money each year, although internet-based paid subscription services like Hulu and Netflix will start to add up when accounting for multiple subscription fees each month. There’s also the issue of having to deal with data bandwidth caps set in place by internet service providers.

In response to cord cutting, traditional TV providers are beginning to look for alternative methods to reach subscribers, although reaction has been notably slow. Some content providers, like ESPN, are aggressively exploring new ways to reach cord cutters as well.

The rise of mobile devices like the iPhone has greatly contributed to the idea of cord cutting. In today’s landscape, much content is consumed via iPhones, iPads, and similar devices, instead of traditional television setups in living rooms.

Cord cutting Stories August 25, 2017

YouTube TV just became available in my area last week, which allowed me to take it for a test drive for the first time. What I found was a service that, although definitely not perfect, has plenty of potential. In this week’s edition of Friday 5, I showcase some of the app’s best features.

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Cord cutting Stories January 19, 2017


Channels, an app that we’ve covered several times in the past, allows users to stream live local television to an Apple TV or iOS device via a handy guide interface. The app works in harmony with an HD HomeRun box to receive over-the-air terrestrial television or cable TV depending on the box you purchase.

After the successful launch of the iOS version of the app and Channels 2.0 for the Apple TV, developer Fancy Bits’ next project involves integrating a subscription-based DVR service directly into the Channels app for Apple TV.

The DVR service, which will require a subscription, is currently in beta. By tapping into a NAS solution like the Synology DS916+, users can record live television, and schedule recordings directly from the Channels tvOS interface. Have a look at our video walkthrough as we take the service for a test drive. expand full story

Cord cutting Stories December 8, 2016

Hulu introduces profiles to create personalized experiences for multiple users on a single account

Hulu has announced today the official roll out of profiles to their 12 million subscribers. Profiles will allow multiple viewers to share a single Hulu account, while creating personalized experiences for each. The move to personalized profiles comes after their decision to move away from free TV episode offerings and focus on a subscription centric model.

Cord cutting Stories October 24, 2016


We’ve covered the Channels app for Apple TV and iOS several times this year, and have come to the conclusion that it’s a great companion app for cord-cutters. But to take advantage of the greatness that is Channels, you’ll need a special hardware device from the folks over at SiliconDust. Enter the company’s newly redesigned HDHomeRun Extend.

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Cord cutting Stories October 11, 2016


After the successful debut of the iOS version of its app, Fancy Bits has released a major update to its Channels app for Apple TV. This update, version 2.0, brings Channels for Apple TV more in line with the iOS version. It means that you now get both channel grid and channel guide support within the app, bringing it more in line with traditional set top boxes provided by cable companies.

Channels is an app that allows you to use an HDHomeRun device to stream local over-the-air (OTA) programing, or cable programming (using an HDHomeRun Prime) to your Apple TV or iOS device. This makes Channels the perfect app for cord-cutters, or for people who don’t want to deal with the cable company’s horrific set top box interface.

With the release of version 2.0, Channels will essentially turn your Apple TV into a device that’s capable of replacing the traditional cable box in some circumstances.

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Cord cutting Stories July 27, 2016


If you’re a cord cutter who owns a 4th-generation Apple TV, then it’s highly likely that you’re already intimately familiar with Channels. Fancy Bits’ well-received app lets Apple TV 4 owners, who own an HDHomeRun device and an antenna, watch, pause, and rewind live TV.

Although a tvOS version launched earlier this year, Channels has been conspicuously missing from the iOS App Store. Today, that all changes, as an iOS version of the app has been released on the App Store for $14.99. expand full story

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