How to Watch National Geographic Channel Without Cable TV

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The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild has become one of the most popular channel requests we get from our readers. With its growing lineup of programing and specials. The good news is National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild are easy channels to watch without the need for a cable TV subscription. Every […]

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The Truth About 3.0 OTA TV: We Break Down the Rumors

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This week the FCC approved the new 3.0 OTA TV standard. This was quickly followed by a host of negative stories about 3.0 OTA TV and many questions. We want to break down some of the most common rumors around 3.0 OTA TV. First, let’s talk about negative news. The truth is negative stories are […]

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Sling TV is Giving Away FREE HBO & Cinemax This Weekend

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Been thinking about giving HBO a try? Today may be your lucky day because all Sling TV subscribers have free access to HBO and all of the HBO On-Demand content! This deal is running through Monday, November 20th 2017. You’ll have access to the weekend’s hottest shows, including the newest episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. […]

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DIRECTV NOW Tops 900,000 Subscribers

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DIRECTV NOW’s growth is skyrocketing according to a recent report. Recently it was reported that at the start of October 2017 DIRECTV NOW had 800,000 subscribers. This week DIRECTV NOW’s Chief Financial Officer John Stephens announced DIRECTV NOW just topped 900,000 subscribers. “We had great results on DIRECTV NOW right now. We’re up to 800,000. […]

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Report: The NFL is Working On a Streaming Version of NFL Sunday Ticket

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Yesterday it was reported that the NFL and Verizon are close to striking a major new streaming deal. With the new deal, Verizon will be able to sell access to all NFL games on all devices, including streaming players, smart TVs, and not just phones, according to sources who talked with Bloomberg. Verizon will lose […]

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Don’t Forget: We Are Giving Away 10 WatchAir Antennas & DVRs

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Don’t miss out on our great giveaway! There is still time to enter to win a FREE WatchAir antenna with build in DVR to 10 lucky subscribers person. From their Amazon listing: A smart antenna, WatchAir, powered by patented Hang & Watch Technology. This innovation will provide consumers with more complete alternatives by wirelessly streaming live HDTV directly […]

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Update: Clarifying The DIRECTV NOW FREE 4K Apple TV Deal

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Today DIRECTV NOW announced that you can get a FREE 4K Apple TV 32GB if you prepay for 4 months of DIRECTV NOW. There has been some confusion today as on one of the DIRECTV NOW help pages they state you need to pay for 5 months of DIRECTV NOW to get the free 4K Apple […]

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ESPN Launches a SportsCenter Show on Snapchat

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Yesterday ESPN announced that they are launching a short-form version of its SportsCenter show on Snapchat. The show will air at 5 AM and 5 PM on weekdays and at 5 AM on weekends, and it will offer highlights of some of the biggest sports events around the world. “SportsCenter on Snapchat provides a creative new […]

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Hulu Adds More ABC Affiliates – Now Offers ABC Live in Over 50% of The US

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Today Hulu announced that they have added new ABC affiliates. This brings the total number of live ABC affiliates to 45. With these new markets, Hulu’s live TV service now offers ABC in over 50% of the United States and has over 300 live locals. Here are the ABC affiliates added today: KGUN Tucson (Sierra […]

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Tablo Launches a New ‘Preview’ Tablo App on Fire TV & Android TV

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This week Tablo DVRs launched a new preview app for Fire TV and Android TV. This app allows Tablo DVR owners to test out new features before it goes live to everyone. So whats new in the preview app? New Look The new Preview App has a newly updated look to make it easier to […]

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Alexa can now directly start Netflix content on the Amazon Fire TV

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Amazon added the ability for Alexa to start playing content on the Fire TV over a year ago, but it has been limited to movies and shows from Amazon Video. Last month, they announced that the feature would soon be extended to other services. That capability is starting to roll out because you can now ask Alexa to directly play content from Netflix on the Fire TV.

If you ask Alexa, either through the Fire TV voice remote or through an external Alexa device like the Amazon Echo Dot, to play a movie that is available only on Netflix, previously, you would see a search result for that movie appear on the Fire TV. Now, the movie begins playing in the Netflix app without you needing to press any buttons.

It does not seem like the capability for Alexa to directly play content from third-party apps on the Fire TV is finished, because there are many instances when you expect it to directly play content but it ends up still only showing a search result for the content. The feature is very hit or miss, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction. It’s still worth using because you’re often only a single button press away from the content you wanted to play when it doesn’t work to play the content directly.

I have only been able to get Alexa to directly start playing movies from Netflix and not TV shows. Even with movies, it doesn’t always work. Movies such as London Has Fallen, Chappie, Hot Fuzz, and Doctor Strange work perfectly and immediately begin playing in Netflix when asking Alexa, regardless of what is on the Fire TV at the moment. Asking to play The Pursuit of Happyness, which is a movie available on both Prime Video and Netflix, brings up a search result instead of playing from either service.

The new capability definitely still needs some work. Asking to play Finding Dory, which is available on Netflix, only brings up the option to purchase the movie from Amazon Video. That’s because there are two separate listings for the movie in Amazon’s universal search catalog. The listing on Amazon Video includes “(Plus Bonus Content)” in the movie title, while the listing on Netflix includes “(Theatrical Version)” in the title. Alexa always tries to play the “(Plus Bonus Content)” version when asked. Ideally, Alexa and the Fire TV should favor results from services that you’re already subscribed to when asking to directly play content.

Once it’s fully rolled out and content providers have updated their apps to support this new capability, Alexa will be able to directly play content on the Fire TV from many more services. A few that are expected to also adopt the feature include Hulu, Showtime, PlayStation Vue, CBS, NBC, Bravo, CNBC, and NBC News. Since it’s already partially working with Netflix, directly playing content from third-party apps will likely become more and more available over time, instead of all at once.


Another minor software update is rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV 3

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Less than a week after the previous update, another new software update is currently rolling out to the Amazon Fire TV 3. This update carries the same software version, but bumps the build number up by one digit from NS6210/401 to NS6210/402.

Since the Fire TV 3 is the first device to run Fire OS 6 and Amazon chose not to have a developer preview of the new operating system prior to releasing the Fire TV 3, it’s to be expected that numerous issues will be found and addressed during these first few weeks of the device’s availability. That’s likely why we’re seeing numerous minor updates come out within a few days of each other, when Amazon normally releases Fire TV updates about once a month.

Once again, there’s no way to know what changes this latest update makes. The only updated on Amazon’s Fire TV Device Software Updates page is a change of the build number from 0000033657220 to 0000033657476. Notably, the build number displayed by the Fire TV 3 still does not match or resemble the published build number at all.

If you notice any changes at all with this latest software update, please mention them down below in the comments.


New code-based login system will help bring Amazon’s Alexa to even more devices

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Amazon has introduced a new simpler way for third-party Alexa device manufacturers to allow users to link those devices with their Amazon accounts. The new system, called Code-Based Linking, allows customers to register Alexa devices by simply entering a unique code on a secondary device, such as a mobile phone. This will allow Alexa to more easily be integrated into devices that don’t have keyboards or other user input methods.

The new login system for third-party Alexa devices works a lot like the system used by streaming television apps. The Alexa device will provide the user with a unique code that simply needs to be entered at Once you login to your Amazon account on that page and enter the provided code, the Alexa device will be linked to your account and start working.

The new code-based system means that device manufacturers wanting to integrate Alexa don’t need to create a method for users to login to Amazon, either on the device itself or through a supporting app, like has traditionally been necessary up until now. Since Alexa is appearing in more and more devices with limited user input methods, such as headphones, lamps, and watches, a code-based login system will make setting up those devices easier.


Amazon reportedly cancels plans to offer a cable TV service

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Sling TV popularized the “skinny bundle” of cable networks when it launched in 2015 and numerous services, such as PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, Hulu TV, and YouTube TV, have followed suit. Amazon has long been rumored to jump on the bandwagon with their own bundled TV service, but now it sounds like they’ve scrapped those plans, according to a report from Reuters.

Amazon is said to have initially wanted to offer “a limited bundle of key broadcast and cable networks for a set fee” but decided not to move forward because the profit margin on such a service would be too low. Their efforts to unbundle networks in order to offer them a la carte as Amazon Channels resulted in too much resistance.

Many companies, most notably Apple, have hit similar resistance and have given up when trying to change the decades-old business models used by cable networks. The issue seems to always be an unwillingness to unbundle unpopular channels from popular ones.

This resistance is likely why the current landscape of streaming services aimed at cord cutters so closely resembles traditional cable. Despite having more over-the-top streaming options than ever, nearly all of them still require customers to pay for channels they don’t want in order to get the channels they care about.


App Deal: R-Type I and II games down from $1.99 to $0.99

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The games R-TYPE and R-TYPE II have both just gone on sale for $0.99 each. This is the first time either of these games has ever been less than their regular price of $1.99. These are classic side-scrolling space shooter games from the 80s that have been brought to the Fire TV. The games are compatible with all Fire TV models except the 1st generation Fire TV Stick. R-TYPE can be played with a remote control, but the sequel requires a game controller.


Kodi addon developers quit after coordinated legal threats from Hollywood Studios

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Popular piracy-linked Kodi repositories and addons Colossus, Covenant, Ares Wizard, URLResolver, and MetaHandler have been taken down or abandoned by their developers as a result of what appears to be a coordinated effort by an anti-piracy alliance composed of major United States film studios. Developers jsergio123, The_Alpha, and possibly others have called it quits after The_Alpha reportedly received a hand-delivered letter to their UK home threatening legal actions.

The letter, addressed by “companies of the six-major United States film studios represented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), namely Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLLP and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Netflix, Inc. and Amazon Studios LLC (represented by MPA via the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)), Sky UK Limited, and The Football Association Premier League Limited,” identifies the developers as being involved in the upkeep of the aforementioned third-party Kodi repositories and addons.

By going after developers of underlying tools like URLResolver and MetaHandler, it suggests that the MPA-led anti-piracy alliance has a strong understanding of how the Kodi piracy addon epidemic works. Instead of just going after main addons like Covenant, which provide the front-end for illegal streaming, or main repositories like Colossus, which serve up the addons, they’re going after back-end components that the main addons rely on to function.

This isn’t the first crackdown directed at Kodi-related piracy and it likely won’t be the last.


Get $50 off any Echo device for starting a one-year Audible membership

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Audible just started a new promotion where you will receive $50 off any Echo when you start a one-year membership. The one-year membership gives you 12 credits that can be used to purchase any audiobooks and costs $149.99. The nice thing about Audible is that once you’ve purchased an audiobook with your available credits, you own it and can listen to it forever, even if you don’t renew your membership. After signing up, the $50 credit will automatically be applied towards your next purchase of an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, or Echo Plus. This promotion ends November 23rd, but if you sign up before then, you’ll have 3 months to use the credit, so you’ll be able to combine it with the Black Friday sale prices that are coming up. That means you’ll pay $29.99 for an Echo, $69.99 for an Echo Plus, or $129.99 for an Echo Show. This promotion is available to everyone and is NOT limited to new members only like many similar promotions.


Sports Illustrated TV to launch tomorrow exclusively on Amazon Channels

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A new streaming service from Sports Illustrated called SI TV will be launching on November 16th exclusively on Amazon Channels. The service will cost $4.99 per month after a 7-day free trial and will focus on sports storytelling through movies, documentaries, and talk shows, instead of broadcasting live games and highlight/recap shows like most sports networks.

SI TV will launch with 130 hours of licensed movies and documentaries. Available movies will include:

Available documentaries will include:

In addition to licensed movies and documentaries, SI TV will also have original content. Debuting sometime next year are two original sports documentaries from sports filmmakers Mike Tollin of Mandalay Sports Media and Jonathan Hock of ESPN’s 30 for 30. The channel will also include a new SI Swimsuit series on the first-ever open casting call model search for the 2018 SI Swimsuit issue, as well as SI Swimsuit shows dating back to 1994. Other original shows on the new streaming service will include:

  • The Vault: Series revisits some of the biggest stories that have appeared in Sports Illustrated in its 63-year history with new on-camera interviews.
  • SI: Under the Cover: Profiles of subjects from current issues of the mag, such as an interview with NFL star Julio Jones.
  • The Crossover: A basketball lifestyle talk show about the players, games, culture, fashion, and memes, hosted by writers Matt Dollinger and Rohan Nadkarni.
  • Planet Futbol: Hosted by the soccer writer Grant Wahl, the series delves into the sport around the globe with guests from Europe and the Americas.
  • The Line (working title): Show about sports betting and daily fantasy sports.


Amazon Echos, Alexa, and Prime Music launch in Canda

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About a week after adding Japan as the fifth country to receive Alexa and Echo devices, Amazon has now launched their voice assistant and smart speakers in Canada. In addition to Alexa and Echo devices, Amazon is also simultaneously launching Prime Music for all Canadian Prime members.

Unlike all other times when Alexa has become available in a new country, Canadian customers do not need to request an invitation to purchase the new hardware. Instead, three Echo devices are simply available for anyone to pre-order at introductory discounted prices.

The Amazon Echo is currently $99.99 CDN (~$78 USD), but will be $129.99 CDN (~$102 USD) after the introductory discount ends. The Amazon Echo Dot is $49.99 CDN (~$39 USD) and will eventually increase to $69.99 CDN (~$55 USD), and the Amazon Echo Plus is $169.99 CDN (~$133 USD) and will later increase to $199.99 CDN (~$156 USD). All devices will ship on December 5th.

Telus, a Canadian mobile carrier, is matching Amazon’s prices on Amazon Echo and Echo Plus pre-orders, but is also including a full year of Prime membership with your purchase.

Amazon says that Alexa in Canada will speak English with a Canadian accent and French is not available. They also say that 10,000 Alexa skills will be available for Canadian customers before the year ends, including skills from the Bank of Montreal, Air Canada, the Weather Network, TD Bank, and CBC.

Prime Music is also launching today in Canada. All existing and future Canadian Prime members now get access to over 1 million songs for free.


Amazon Prime Members will receive discounts on turkeys at Whole Foods

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When Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market earlier this year, they immediately lowered prices on several common items to attract customers. Now they’re doing it again for common Thanksgiving groceries but are also giving Prime members a sneak peek at the kind of extra discounts they can expect in the future when Prime becomes the official rewards program of Whole Foods Market.

All shoppers at Whole Foods will be able to purchase select turkeys at reduced prices of $2.49/lb for no antibiotic turkeys and $3.49/lb for organic turkeys. If you’re a Prime member, those prices drop to $1.99/lb and $2.99/lb respectively by printing the coupon on this page. Since the coupon is a standard barcode and not unique to each user, there’s likely nothing stopping non-Prime members, other than their ethics, from using the coupon as well.

Other items being discounted for all shoppers are:

  • Responsibly Farmed Uncooked Shrimp, 26/30 ct
  • Bagged Organic Russet Potatoes, 5-lb bag
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Organic Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Foods Market™ Organic Leafy Greens, 14-16 oz
  • Organic Valley Organic Eggs
  • Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • Organic Valley Organic Milk, Gallon
  • Organic Valley Organic Milk, Half Gallon
  • Sigi’s Icelandic-Style Skyr
  • 365 Everyday Value® Canned Pumpkin
  • Lundberg Packaged Rice, 16 oz & 32 oz
  • Pacific Broths, 32 fl oz
  • California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 33.8 fl oz

The discounts are good through November 26, 2017.