Cyber Monday for Cord Cutters

In what appears to be blatant marketing (as opposed to real news), CNN posted  a piece on November 25th entitled: Amazon unveils Cyber Monday deals.  Of 9 items listed in that article, one does fall into the cord cutter world:

 I have both a Roku and a Chromecast, so I’ve never needed another way to stream. If you’ve had experience with Amazon Fire let me hear about it in the comments.


What is surprising is that the ultra-cheap original Google Chromecast seems to be gone now, and the Chromecast highlighted above is 2nd generation for around 70 bucks.  On the other hand, Amazon is now offering what looks like cheap knock-offs like this one called AnyCast.  It’s cheap but has a rating of  2 stars out of 60 – pretty terrible on Amazon.

mike mccune via flickr

mike mccune via flickr








What are other good ideas for Cord Cutters ?

If you know anyone that still doesn’t have a Netflix account, start there.

For serious wannabe cord cutters ready to swear off Cable, an antenna is still probably # 2.

For sports fans that want to reduce their cable bill, Sling TV might be a good deal.

Competing with Sling these days we also have PlayStation Vue.

If you know anyone looking for a cheap laptop, I can personally vouch for this Acer Chromebook 720, the one I’ve been using for 2 years now on this blog. I think of it as cutting the cord on Microsoft.

I’ll update here or add more deals in subsequent posts as they come along.

Update: Nov 26:1:08pm- 
Some ideas from friend Len:

Tivo for those getting an antenna: Refurbished $199.

Good old HULU.

Update Nov 29:
It appears Chromecast is no longer available on Amazon but plenty available directly from Mountain View.


Happy Holidays.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Cyber Monday for Cord Cutters

  1. Len Mullen says:

    Crazy talk, Greg 😉 First, I don’t get the Chromecast. I got one at launch — I think it was $10 after the Netflix credit or something. I don’t understand why someone would want to stream to a Chromecast from a PC or phone when Rokus and FTVs let you stream directly. Mine mostly sits in a drawer next to my desk. Even my oldest whose phone may actually have bonded to his hand returned the Chromecast for a FTV stick.

    As for the Roku, I have had quite a few of them. The last one I bought was a Roku 2 XS. I thought it was the slickest thing since sliced bread until the Roku 3 came out. Since then, every update breaks the R2XS for a year. Of course the R3 suffered the same fate when the R4 arrived — which was an unmitigated disaster with its overheating and noisy fan.

    The Fire TV outperforms the Roku at every price point. It has been ROCK SOLID for me. Besides being a great streamer, the FTV is a very decent game console which can use XBOX controllers. You can also install Kodi — if that is your thing.

    Ultimately, though, the best streamer is the one which plays the content you want to watch, so choosing should be preceded by a careful of each’s app library. Two areas where I think Roku tops the rest is 1) adult entertainment — lots of private channels for that, and 2) the Simple TV DVR app (there is no functional FTV version).

    Same thing applies to alternatives to a premium provider. Anyone seriously considering cutting or trimming their cord ought to carefully consider what they watch and how they watch it. When I left Comcast in 2010, I did not think we needed a DVR. We never recorded anything and never watched what we didn’t record. I learned that we use a DVR all day long. It was our program guide. We rewound when we dozed off or were distracted. We paused when the phone rang.

    We had Netflix when we had Comcast. We kept it until this spring. For me, Netflix has replaced much of its library with uninteresting original content. Prime is doing the same thing (dropped Prime in September).

    If you want to save money, put up an antenna. The content is free, the hardware is inexpensive, and you do not need expensive high speed internet. People who rely on smart phones for communications/surfing are paying A LOT to stream. Netflix is $10/month, but then you pay $50-$70 for internet.

    I think Vue and Sling TV are interesting and work better than expected, but they are not cable and they are not inexpensive. Also, CABLE isn’t cable! I trialed Vue a month ago. At 6:00 am, AMC, Discovery, DIY, E!, Food Network, Esquire Network, truTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, National Geographic, FX, FXX, WEtv, POP, Travel Channel, TVLand, Spike, and NBC Sports Network are all running infomercials. NESN is off the air. 20% of the ‘dial’ has no programming! My local channels are limited to WBZ (CBS) — so no Fox Football or Sunday Night Football or Thursday Night Football. No local ABC, Fox, NBC, or PBS. No Bounce, Buzzer, Comet, Decades, Escape, GetTV, GRIT, Heroes & Icons, ION, Laff, MeTV, The Works, or ThisTV.

    Those who have high speed internet and are interested in streaming ought to check out Crackle and Vudu. Both have large libraries of great movies for FREE!

    I’m not a fan, but I think Hulu merits a mention in this article.

    On Microsoft, I am in total agreement. There’s a company with a death wish. Known for botched launches, MS has set a new standard with Windows 10. My desk will always be adorned with a Windows machine, but not much else.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Greg says:

      What a great mini review/reply Len – Thanks!

      I think the thing is – I’m not an early adopter. I still have my original Roku and 1st gen Chromecast. If they work I don’t fuss with them. I rely on the lab guys like you!

      I’m thinking that we are headed closer to the day when the only thing that matters is how much you pay for WIFI.

      What is your total Internet bill these days? I think you’re with some CLEC (not Comcast) if I remember?

      • Len Mullen says:

        I was only an early adopter when I was looking for better answers. I’m done now — completely satisfied. I haven’t bought a streamer for a couple years. Like you, I am content with what I have. No fuss.

        I pay $45/month for high speed internet. I signed up for Fairpoint in 2010 and that rate is for life (not sure whose). Again, it just works. I use an OOMA hum for my landline (no taxes or fees). Most of my streaming is letting people use my antenna via a bunch of Simple TV DVRs.

        I started with five DTVPals, but four have passed on to the great beyond. Now we use TiVos and DVR+s. Both also stream.

  2. Len Mullen says:

    Also, TiVo White Sale: refurbished 500g Roamio/OTA w/standard warranty and Lifetime $199.99. Best deal ever for those who have or are considering an antenna.

  3. Alison Akard says:

    Looking for LAST MINUTE help!!!!! Cyber Monday almost over (I’m sick as a dog and have missed all of Black Friday, weekend, & Cyber Monday deals 🙁 ). I am in the stone ages in a few ways (have never had a DVR, have NO clue about streaming services, & all my TVs are so old they need a digital converter box). I have already dropped cable due to finances – unable to work and disability insurance from former employer wasn’t enough to cover bills and just ran out so am going to have to apply for disability and pray I don’t go bankrupt in the meantime. Anyway, I bought an antenna from Amazon awhile ago (not realizing my TV was not new enough to not need a converter box) so just need to figure out about a box. I mainly just want to watch Network TV (CBS, ABC, NBC, maybe occas FOX) but would really love to be able to record them too – didn’t realize they had digital converter boxes that you could plug an external hard drive into until I went looking for one online and I am overwhelmed by the brands, options, reviews, decisions, etc. Thanks in advance for any advice.

  4. Alison says:

    I can’t really afford to upgrade my TV. I have a decent computer (again, after just figuring out how to replace the hard drive in my laptop that died). It is Toshiba Satellite C55 with Windows 8.1, 8 RAM, & had a 500 GB hard drive but I replaced it with new Toshiba 250 GB that I got for $26 from Amazon b/c computer was already 2 years old and I have a 1 & 2 TB external hard drives I bought a couple of years ago before times got tough. I have Hulu Plus and have had it for a while – was hoping to start recording shows & drop that.

    Is TiVo refurbished deal for $199 something I should pull the trigger on? That is massively more than I need to spend but if it is a really good deal should just go for it and ask for money for it for Christmas or something. If yes, should I get extended warranty since it is refurbished & has lifetime subscription included?

    Sorry, sick and freaking out b/c of money and feeling under the gun b/c of missing out on all the “deals” for the year. Thanks for your help.

Leave a Reply