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Cord cutting, in general, refers to the cancelling of subscription paid television services in favor of alternative methods for obtaining content. Cord cutting can refer to getting rid of cable television or satellite television in favor of non-traditional alternatives.

Popular TV providers like Comcast (Xfinity), Time Warner, Charter, Cox, AT&T (DirecTV & U-verse), all fit the mold of the traditional TV subscription service. A cord cutter would then cancel one of the aforementioned providers and use one or more alternative hardware methods like HDHomeRun boxes for free live over the air TVApple TV, Xbox, PS4, Roku, and others. Of course, streaming services like YouTube, Sling TV, Hulu, Netflix, HBO NOW, and Amazon Video, have played a huge role in the movement as well.

Cord cutters are not necessarily out solely to save money. Many people who choose to cut the cord are of the younger demographic, are usually technically progressive, dislike the huge hulking set top boxes and terrible remotes provided by traditional service providers, are fed up with poor customer service, etc.

That said, cutting the cord can save consumers a significant amount of money each year, although internet-based paid subscription services like Hulu and Netflix will start to add up when accounting for multiple subscription fees each month. There’s also the issue of having to deal with data bandwidth caps set in place by internet service providers.

In response to cord cutting, traditional TV providers are beginning to look for alternative methods to reach subscribers, although reaction has been notably slow. Some content providers, like ESPN, are aggressively exploring new ways to reach cord cutters as well.

The rise of mobile devices like the iPhone has greatly contributed to the idea of cord cutting. In today’s landscape, much content is consumed via iPhones, iPads, and similar devices, instead of traditional television setups in living rooms.

Hands-on: Channels DVR public beta for the Apple TV [Video]


Channels, an app that we’ve covered several times in the past, allows users to stream live local television to an Apple TV or iOS device via a handy guide interface. The app works in harmony with an HD HomeRun box to receive over-the-air terrestrial television or cable TV depending on the box you purchase.

After the successful launch of the iOS version of the app and Channels 2.0 for the Apple TV, developer Fancy Bits’ next project involves integrating a subscription-based DVR service directly into the Channels app for Apple TV.

The DVR service, which will require a subscription, is currently in beta. By tapping into a NAS solution like the Synology DS916+, users can record live television, and schedule recordings directly from the Channels tvOS interface. Have a look at our video walkthrough as we take the service for a test drive. Expand

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Hulu introduces profiles to create personalized experiences for multiple users on a single account

Hulu Profiles

Hulu has announced today the official roll out of profiles to their 12 million subscribers. Profiles will allow multiple viewers to share a single Hulu account, while creating personalized experiences for each. The move to personalized profiles comes after their decision to move away from free TV episode offerings and focus on a subscription centric model.


Quick Look: the newly redesigned HDHomeRun Extend is a great tool for cord-cutters [Video]


We’ve covered the Channels app for Apple TV and iOS several times this year, and have come to the conclusion that it’s a great companion app for cord-cutters. But to take advantage of the greatness that is Channels, you’ll need a special hardware device from the folks over at SiliconDust. Enter the company’s newly redesigned HDHomeRun Extend.


Channels 2.0: the best Apple TV app for cord-cutters gets even better with channel programming guides


After the successful debut of the iOS version of its app, Fancy Bits has released a major update to its Channels app for Apple TV. This update, version 2.0, brings Channels for Apple TV more in line with the iOS version. It means that you now get both channel grid and channel guide support within the app, bringing it more in line with traditional set top boxes provided by cable companies.

Channels is an app that allows you to use an HDHomeRun device to stream local over-the-air (OTA) programing, or cable programming (using an HDHomeRun Prime) to your Apple TV or iOS device. This makes Channels the perfect app for cord-cutters, or for people who don’t want to deal with the cable company’s horrific set top box interface.

With the release of version 2.0, Channels will essentially turn your Apple TV into a device that’s capable of replacing the traditional cable box in some circumstances.


Hands-on: Channels for iOS – a beautiful live local TV solution for cord cutters [Video]


If you’re a cord cutter who owns a 4th-generation Apple TV, then it’s highly likely that you’re already intimately familiar with Channels. Fancy Bits’ well-received app lets Apple TV 4 owners, who own an HDHomeRun device and an antenna, watch, pause, and rewind live TV.

Although a tvOS version launched earlier this year, Channels has been conspicuously missing from the iOS App Store. Today, that all changes, as an iOS version of the app has been released on the App Store for $14.99. Expand

How-To: Stream the 58th Annual Grammy Awards on your Mac, Apple TV, or iOS device for free

58th Annual Grammy (Featured Image)

The 58th Annual Grammys are broadcasting tonight and thanks to CBS All Access, nearly anyone can watch it for free without a cable subscription or TV set. The show starts at 8PM ET, with a pre-telecast red carpet show at 7PM ET. Viewers can catch the show on CBS’s site, or by using the iOS or Apple TV app. Here’s how to do it for free:


9to5Toys Last Call: Retina MacBook Pro $1,080, 13″ MacBook Air $800, Bluetooth audio adapter $8, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates:

view-master-vr-headset (1)

Mattel’s retro-rebooted $30 VR View-Master is now available for iOS and Android


13″ Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz/8GB/128GB (MF839LL/A): $1,080 shipped (Reg. $1,299)

13″ MacBook Air 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (MJVE2LL/A): $800 shipped (Reg. $999)


Add Bluetooth/mic to any Aux speaker or headphones for $8 Prime shipped


Giveaway: Trinity Delta aluminum earbuds feature a unique design and top-notch sound ($135 value), 20% discount


Review: Rock Band 4 makes an old favorite come alive with refreshed gameplay, new songs & updated hardware

More new gear from today:


Add a TiVO Roamio OTA HD DVR w/ Lifetime service to your Cord Cutter setup for a one-time $300 fee

More deals still alive:the-executive-ios (1)

The Executive for iOS goes free for the first time as IGN’s Game of the Month ($5 value)

New products & more:


The Sondors eBike is loaded with features and surprisingly affordable


HBO NOW standalone streaming service debuts on Apple TV, iPhone & iPad with 1-month free trial

Apple TV HBO Now

HBO’s new standalone streaming service called HBO NOW has officially launched on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. HBO NOW allows subscribers to watch the premium network’s movies and TV shows online. The service is similar to Netflix as it’s delivered over a high-speed Internet connection rather than cable or satellite and doesn’t require long-term committments through contracts. Here’s how to get HBO NOW works: Expand

CBS follows HBO in targeting cord-cutters with $5.99/month VOD service via app & web


Just one day after HBO announced that it would be offering a web-only subscription at some point next year, CBS has played leap-frog by announcing the immediate availability of a $5.99/month web & app subscription offering on-demand access to almost all content.

CBS All Access will offer subscribers thousands of episodes from the current season, previous seasons and classic shows on demand, as well as the ability to stream local CBS Television stations live in 14 of the largest U.S. markets at launch.

CBS All Access is available beginning today at and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android.

Cable companies have long shied away from offering access to popular, current programming without demanding that you sign-up to cable access first. But broadcasters now seem to be recognizing that it isn’t just cord-cutting that threatens their existing models, it’s also ‘cord nevers’ – young people who simply aren’t signing up for cable subscriptions in the first place, preferring to get their TV fix online …  Expand

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9to5Toys Last Call: Grado headphones giveaway, LifeProof nüüd iPad mini case $25, TiVo Roamio OTA, more

Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

Last Call Updates: 

Grado GS1000i

Small States: Inside the world of Grado headphones, giveaway worth $495 dollars


LifeProof iPad mini waterproof nüüd case $25 (orig. $120), more


TiVo targets cord cutters with new Roamio OTA DVR

Smart buys: our favorite back to school tech essentials


WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive $85 shipped (orig. $130)

Other new deals:

More tech deals still alive:

Apple Deals:


New products/ongoing promos:

Google/Microsoft/misc tech:

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9to5Toys Boxing Day: Mohu HDTV antenna $25, ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD/OtterBox BOGO, Belkin Thunderbolt dock $199, more

Happy Boxing Day! Be sure to follow 9to5Toys to keep up with the best gear and deals on the web: Twitter, RSS Feed, Facebook, Google+ and subscribe to the new Safari push notifications feature.

Today’s can’t miss deals:

mohua-leaf-hdtv-deal1Up to 60% off Tech Gear: Mohu HDTV antenna $25, Toshiba 1TB portable HD $48, much more

zagg-invisibleshield-deal-1Gadget Accessories:

belkin-thunderbolt-express-dockBelkin Thunderbolt Express Dock $199 shipped (Reg. $299)

Other great deals from today: