In this week's collection of recent cord-cutting news items from around the web: Why you should buy a separate media streaming device, Sling launches on Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, Netflix reigns supreme in by-mail disc rental, PS Vue's demise leaves a live TV hole on PlayStation, Roku rolls out update to solve issues with Pokémon, Streaming Consolidation Will Come, Roku TVs ready to roll out in Europe, and more!
Saying that "Samsung and Vizio announced that the Netflix app won't work on older smart TV models because they won't support a newer standard of digital rights management (DRM) software that Netflix is using... Then, Vizio TV owners discovered the hard way that Disney's new Disney Plus streaming service doesn't work on their TVs, and that it likely won't work until sometime in 2020,"Business Insider makes a case for why you should buy standalone streaming devices, like a Roku, instead of relying on a smart TV. "These two events have surfaced one key weakness in smart TVs — while the picture might still be good, the built-in computers that make these TVs 'smart' will become old and outdated, just like a regular computer or smartphone."
Sling has announced that Sling TV is available on more devices in the Google Nest family. You can watch Sling on Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays, and you can control Sling with your voice or use your voice to cast Sling to a Chromecast-connected device through a smart speaker or mobile device.
"Disc rental has been a unrelenting cash cow for Netflix,"says Media Play News. "The unit reported a $44 million profit on revenue of $71.8 million in the most-recent fiscal period. That revenue represented 98.9% of all by-mail disc rental revenue in Q3 in the United States, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group." Media Play News says that the number of subscribers is "dwindling," down nearly 18% from last year, but that still leaves 2.3 million people who still get DVDs by mail.
FierceVideo notes that "When PlayStation Vue goes dark on Jan. 30, 2020, it will leave PlayStation owners without an option for streaming live television on their game consoles." No other live TV streaming services, such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, and fuboTV, have an app for the PlayStation 3 and 4. "The lack of a streaming TV app on PlayStation could potentially impact a lot of consumers. PS Vue reportedly had about 500,000 subscribers before it decided to shut down. Though PS Vue was available on lots of different devices and platforms, it's reasonable to believe that many of those subscribers were using their PlayStation game consoles to access the service."
If your Roku device or Roku TV is repeatedly crashing while playing Pokémon Sword or Shield on a Nintendo Switch, Roku has a fix, according to Digital Trends. "Just after the launch of Pokémon Sword and Shield [on November 15], Roku users began running into an odd issue with the game that caused their device or television to completely turn off during normal gameplay. The issue appears to be tied to the Nintendo Switch's wireless communication features, but Roku has already rolled out an update that should solve any abrupt power problems." Download the update by going to Home > Settings > System > System update > Check now on your Roku.
"One week after the launch of Disney Plus, Wall Street analysts are scouring tea leaves for signs of how the Mouse House’s streaming service is faring — and whether it's taken a bite out of Netflix," reports Variety. The result? "Disney Plus’ launch in the first week had 'little to no impact' on Netflix usage trends, which is 'reassuring for Netflix relative to the competitive concerns priced into its stock, in our view,' Credit Suisse analysts said in a Nov. 18 report."
"Liberty Media chairman John Malone believes that consolidation, which has swept through the traditional cable distribution business largely at his own hand, will come to streaming video as well, and that could be good news for traditional pay TV companies," according to Multichannel News. "'In the short run you’re going to see hyper-competition as content owners try to get into the scripted streaming global market space,' Malone said during a Q&A session at the Liberty Investor Day. 'I think a lot of investment is going to go in to trying to capture leadership market share in that space. Eventually they’ll be consolidation in that space because it probably won’t support as many competitors as currently think it represents a good opportunity.'"
"The first Roku TV model smart TVs are getting ready to roll out in the U.K. in the first step for the company’s planned European expansion,"FierceVideo reports. "Manufacturer Hisense will release its first Roku TV models for the U.K. market on Black Friday (November 29) at Argos. Hisense Roku TV models will be available in 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, and will support 4K HDR. Hisense Roku TVs will have access to the Roku Channel Store also include Freeview Play, which includes live TV and on demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5."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.