In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: The cloudy future of satellite TV, 4K Roku TVs that deliver on picture quality, FuboTV to stream some NCAA tournament games live in 4K, Hulu tips for streaming TV fans, Roku skill for Alexa now available, Redbox more than doubles cities With 4K Ultra-HD rental availability, majority of streaming-only customers primarily motivated by price, and more!
A commentary on MediaPost asks, is a dying business? The answer seems to be yes, so then "[t]he question is how and when will that play out. 'The [satellite TV] business is almost certainly dying, but could throw off another $5 billion to $10 billion in cash profits before doing so.' says Max Greve, a business analyst writing about Dish. How long? At best, he thinks profitability might continue for another 12 years." The commentary concludes that "Satellite TV isn't going away anytime soon. But the signs are there... Media analysts are expecting in the near future that DirecTV and/or Dish might also look to cutback on capital improvements when it comes to new satellite technologies in space."
"Roku smart TVs provide tons of content and convenience, but few are worth the money," says Consumer Reports. "We're big fans of Roku's streaming platform and media players, which top our streaming player ratings... However, none of the top-performing brands in our TV ratings have adopted the platform." CR does identify Roku TVs worth considering, though: The TCL 65R615, TCL 55R617, Hitachi 65R80, TCL 55S517, and Sharp LC-50LBU591U.
FuboTV has its roots in sports, but has been expanding its channel lineup to attract a wider audience. Digital Trends reports, however, that "the company is making it clear it has not forgotten the sports fans who flocked to its live TV service in the early years: This year marks the first time the provider will be carrying the entire NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, starting March 7 with the early rounds and quarterfinals, to the championship game on April 8. It's also offering up something that can be hard to find on any TV service: 4K broadcasts of specific games." Find more information on fuboTV here.
"If you're a cord cutter or want to be, but can't abandon network TV, you need Hulu," says PC Mag. To make your Hulu experience better, PC Mag offers some tips that include creating a profile for each member of your household, set up Kids Mode with parental controls, add your favorite shows to 'My Stuff,' and use the Hulu app as a remote.
Roku has released released the new Roku skill for Alexa, making Alexa compatible with Roku's existing voice search and control features. According to a Roku Blog post, "Roku users with any Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Sonos One, or Bose Smart Speakers can now ask Alexa to find movies and TV shows, pause, fast forward, launch channels, and more on all voice-enabled Roku streaming devices (running Roku OS 8.1 or above) in the U.S."
"Cord cutting continued at a steady rate in 2018, as cable and satellite TV providers in the United States lost more than 3 million video subscribers," according to Leichtman Research Group, as reported by Ars Technica. "Satellite TV services were hit especially hard. AT&T-owned DirecTV lost 1.24 million subscribers and finished 2018 with 19.2 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Dish lost 1.13 million subscribers and ended 2018 with 9.9 million. The combined DirecTV and Dish losses of 2.36 million customers in 2018 was up from the companies' combined loss of 1.55 million in 2017."
Although recent reports that Samsung is exiting the U.S. Blu-ray player market and has abandoned plans to introduce a new high-end 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray model may have you thinking the disc market is dead, Redbox thinks otherwise. According to a recent press release from Redbox, "the company has more than doubled the number of cities offering 4K Ultra-HD movie rentals – bringing them to a total of 15 markets... 'Our customers have spoken – they love the quality of 4K content,' said Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox. 'We're happy to make 4K rentals available to even more movie fans, giving them more format choices than ever before so they can make the most of their Movie Night.'"
"Why do people turn to purely streamed sources for their video entertainment?" asks StreamingMedia. "For 56.9%, the answer is price." That's information comes from "BroadbandNow 2019 U.S. Internet, TV & Phone Shopping Study" from ratings company BroadbandNow. "Streaming TV customers are more motivated by total cost of service than customers of traditional TV products," says John Busby, managing director of BroadbandNow. "In addition, because streaming TV isn't tethered to a specific address, streaming TV purchasers were much less likely to list 'moving addresses' as the primary reason for purchase. A notable finding was that only 8% of streaming TV purchasers listed as their primary reason 'they did not already have the service.' This says to us that most customers in the market already have a streaming TV service."RokuGuide.com may receive a referral fee for any purchases or subscriptions made through links on this page. See our full FTC Disclosure Statement for more information.