It was a busy week in the cord cutting world and our weekend wrap up includes coverage on the start of the 2020 NFL season and new hardware options for Sling TV users. We also discussed rumors about Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox gaming consoles — rumors that the company later confirmed. Elsewhere, VIZIO added the Apple TV app to its Smartcast TV line and EarthLink has a bone to pick with Charter.
How to Watch Every NFL Team Week 1
In case you haven’t heard, this week marks the start of the 2020 NFL regular season. And we focused on the new season in a video earlier this week, which you can check out here. But beyond that, we also featured extensive coverage on our site.
You can check out our Week 1 guide, where we break down upcoming games and how to watch them without cable, and we also discuss Thursday night games, including Amazon’s deal to live stream most Thursday games via their Prime Video service.
Read more about our 2020 NFL Week 1 coverage here.
Read more about watching Thursday Night Football without cable here.
PBS Launches Free Live Streams of Select Stations on Roku, Apple TV, iOS & Android
Good news for all the PBS fans out there. This week saw the announcement that viewers in several areas around the country have the ability to live stream their local PBS stations for free.
At the moment, it looks like around 85 stations are now available, but more should be added to the list in the future. That live stream feature is available on browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. And you can also tune in via the PBS Video Channel on Roku devices, Apple TV, and iOS and Android devices.
Read more about free local PBS live streams here.
Charter Falsely Claimed EarthLink Was ‘Out of Business’ – EarthLink Files Complaint with Supreme Court
In ISP news, we have a rather peculiar story about EarthLink. If you thought the dialup internet pioneer disappeared, well they haven’t — and they’re not happy that Charter has been allegedly telling customers they’ve gone out of business.
In fact, EarthLink filed a complaint this week with the Supreme Court of the State of New York, claiming that Charter engaged in a “campaign of deception.”
EarthLink says Charter is trying to convince customers to switch to Charter ahead of the end of a contractual relationship between the two companies. The company says Charter has been telling EarthLink customers that the ISP is out of business and that Charter has taken it over, among other claims.
Read more about EarthLink’s complaint against Charter here.
Sling TV Launches AirTV Anywhere DVR
Sling TV announced the newest member of its AirTV line of devices. It’s called the AirTV Anywhere and it’s designed to serve as a WiFi hub with a built-in DVR, or digital video recorder. According to Sling, the AirTV Anywhere boasts a 1TB hard drive that should get you around 150 hours of local HD content, and you can also access Sling’s cloud-based DVR content as well. It also has four over-the-air tuners and integration with Sling’s live TV streaming service.
Read more about Sling TV’s new AirTV Anywhere DVR here.
Microsoft Announces Launch Date, Pricing, Subscription Plans for Next-Gen Xbox Consoles
Microsoft released a whole bunch of details on its upcoming next-gen consoles this week. Some of that info apparently came out a little earlier than the company expected, when rumors of the lower-cost Xbox Series S’s price point started leaking out over Labor Day, and then the Xbox Twitter account responded late Monday night to confirm that the lower-end Series S would indeed retail for $299.
Later in the week, the high-end Series X got some attention as well, as Microsoft announced a $499 price tag for the more powerful console.
For those curious about either console: The $499 Series X is meant as a top-tier, 4K gaming machine with powerful hardware inside. The $299 Series S is designed to offer the same games, but without an emphasis on 4K resolutions. If fact, the specs suggest Microsoft is targeting 1440p resolution and then upscaling to display on 4K TVs. And those lower demands don’t require the same amount of cooling and airflow as the Series X, so the S console is also considerably smaller — around 60% smaller — according to Microsoft.
One other interesting bit of news this week, was the announcement of a two-year financing plan if you want either console. Instead of paying $299 or $499 upfront, the All Access plans start at $24.99 per month for 24 months. That gets you a Series S and a monthly subscription to the Xbox Game Pass service that offers access to tons of games. If you want the Series X, the monthly price jumps to $34.99.
Read more about Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox launch details here.
The Apple TV App is Now Available on VIZIO SmartCast TVs
In streaming app news, VIZIO announced that its SmartCast TVs now support the Apple TV app. And to celebrate, the company is offering up three months of Apple TV+. The offer is good for all VIZIO Smartcasts from 2016 onward and the deal expires on October 16th.
Read more about the Apple TV app coming to VIZIO TVs here.
‘Mulan’ Boosts Disney+ Downloads, But Not as Much as ‘Hamilton’
We’re now a week removed from the big Mulan premiere on Disney+ and various analysts and industry veterans are still considering different ways to evaluate whether the release was a success or not. To recap, the live-action version of Mulan was supposed to release in movie theaters, but of course COVID-19 forced theater owners to close up for months. And now, in September, Disney decided to experiment a bit and see how many folks would be willing to pay $30 to stream the movie on its Disney+ streaming service.
Well, Apptopia looked at the number of app downloads as a way to gauge overall interest in the movie and compared it to previous big releases, like Hamilton. Of course, Hamilton didn’t carry a premium price when it launched on the service, and app downloads don’t directly mean those folks for sure streamed Mulan, but the metric could be a solid indicator of general interest. In any case, it’ll be intriguing to see what, if any, official numbers Disney offers about its Premier Access experiment and whether or not it’ll attempt something similar in the future.
Read more about Mulan’s first-week performance here.
Catch Classic Horror Films This Weekend with STIRR’s ‘Slasher Saturday’
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STIRR is celebrating Halloween a little early this year, with a marathon it’s calling Slasher Saturday. The scares start at 5AM Eastern on Saturday, September 12th, with Killer Klowns from Outer Space. And you can catch more cult classics and horror staples throughout the day. You can click the link below for a full schedule for the movie marathon and you can catch all the scares over on STIRR.
Read more about STIRR’s Slasher Saturday movie marathon here.
TiVo Stream 4K Adds Locast in Available Markets
In TiVo news, the company announced that Stream 4K users now have access to Locast content in markets that Locast currently serves. TiVo says that with the addition of these channels, Stream 4K users now have access to 140-plus free channels.
For those unfamiliar with it, Locast offers up free access to local channels in various markets. So you get live local news, weather, and sports, among other interests. As for which areas are included, major metro areas like Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York are available and you can check out the full list in the link below.
Read more about TiVO’s Locast channels here.
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