In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Pluto TV launches holiday channels, Apple's long-awaited TV service launches, Sony is shutting down PlayStation Vue, NBC Peacock may be free for all users, HBO Max to include classic movies curated by TCM, Netflix plan to test variable play speeds suffers filmmaker backlash, and more!
As reported by The Streamable, the free linear TV service Pluto TV has added four new channels for the holidays. "The new channels include Pluto TV Christmas (Ch. 102), Pluto TV Mistletoe (Ch. 103), Fireplace (Ch. 104) and Holiday Lights (Ch. 105)."
Apple TV+ went live Friday morning, and is available on Roku through the Apple TV channel. "The launch of Apple TV+ is a critical moment for Apple," says CNBC, "as it strives to sell content and services to its 900 million iPhone users, instead of just selling them computer hardware and software."
"PlayStation Vue will shut down on January 30, after four years of existence, CNN reports. "In a blog post, Sony blamed the 'highly competitive pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals,' and said it would rather focus on its core gaming business."
A review by Business Insider concludes that "[s]tarting at $25 a month, Sling TV is one of the most affordable live TV streaming services available today." The BI reviewer "signed up for free trials and tested a few different services... If you're looking for the most affordable way to watch live TV, and you're tech-savvy enough to navigate Sling, its channel selection and streaming quality are absolutely top-notch."
"Comcast's NBCUniversal is considering making an ad-supported version of its Peacock streaming service free for everyone,"CNBC reports. "Previously, Comcast had planned on making Peacock free only to cable subscribers and Comcast broadband customers. The new plan, which is still under consideration, would be to give away the ad-supported Peacock streaming service to anyone who wants it. An ad-free product would also be available but will come with a charge."
/Film reports that "During WarnerMedia’s big presentation of its new streaming service [on October 29th], the company announced that the HBO Max classic movies collection will be curated by TCM, with films like Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, and A Star is Born, Singin’ in the Rain, and 2001: A Space Odyssey among the featured titles. With this collection, this could make HBO Max the major streaming service with the most in-depth collection of classic movies, outside of more niche services like the Criterion Channel."
According to Variety, "AT&T is rolling out three new unlimited wireless plans — and with the new packages, subscribers will no longer have free access to WatchTV, the 35-plus live TV channels the telco launched last year." AT&T has also taken away the choice of seven premium services for the most-expensive package, offering only HBO as part of the package. "It's part of a reshuffling of the deck for AT&T's wireless entertainment options, aimed at reducing costs in the business segment. "
"Netflix said Monday it is introducing a new test feature to allow viewers to either speed up or slow down content on their smartphones, a move that quickly gained criticism online from Judd Apatow and other filmmakers,"according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new feature would allow viewers to slow down a video as much as one-half the normal speed, or increase it up to 1.5 times. "Apatow, who co-created the Netflix series Love, slammed the feature, tweeting, 'No @Netflix no. Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this. Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t **** with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen.'"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.