Media · TV

Cord Cutting Experimenting With Free or Not So Free

I’ve had a Roku for years. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility it offers. I have friends who have Amazon Fire and enjoy that, too. The neat thing about cord cutting and smart TVs is that you don’t need either to indulge in streaming platforms.

Xumo Play

Xumo is one of those channels I’ve had on my list for a while, drop in to view every once in a while and then tend to overlook, okay forget about, until I see it in my line up and dive back in again. That is until recently when I noticed the name change on my screen and decided to check it out.

It turns out that XumoPlay is a great collection of a wide variety of material in a new (to me) format that captured my attention far more than in the past. When Craftsy TV showed up I couldn’t stop watching. If you like watching shows dedicated to a variety of crafting this could be right up your street.

Check out their network list HERE.

As much as I enjoy PlutoTV, I’m finding this different collection of similar shows captivating.

The MeTV Conundrum

A few months back I was thrilled to announce I’d found a way to watch MeTV on my Roku. Sadly, that didn’t last long. The channel creator had collected a great variety of free to view channels and put them together on a Roku channel that found itself removed within 60 days. I don’t know what happened, I can guess, but I will let all that be and walk on.

At this point, MeTV has not developed a streaming platform.

The Elephant In The Room

While not totally unexpected, costs across the board for streaming services seem to be on the rise. There has been, and continues to be, consolidation of different services and platforms (I’m thinking Paramount+ & Showtime). For those of us who walked away from cable years ago, these cost updates are not nearly as costly as cable but could prove to be a budget issue if not reviewed.

I continue to stress that, if possible, an over-the-air antenna allows a lot of free TV. There are numerous places to get information on how to find and install one.

I also stress that you may not ‘need’ to have all the streaming platforms. In fact, if you look carefully, you may only need one or two. The thing is you need to pay attention to what you watch, when you watch, and what you can shift.

For example, if you love Star Trek but don’t want a yearly subscription to Paramount+, you have the option of subscribing for a period to binge your favorites and move on. The thing is that Paramount+, like other streaming services, is beginning program accordingly. The 3 big Trek series are no longer being scheduled in strip, instead they are being spread out through the year, so your short term binge might not be quite so short.

Disney+ has tons of great programming, but don’t be surprised if you start seeing things exit. Same with HBO Max, and I have no clue what their thought process is over there, but it is worth keeping in mind they have been at the front of the clear out and clean out of their program library.

I think the days of drop in for a month or two and leave are gone.

That doesn’t mean you can’t do that, it just might mean you miss out on things.

I’ve been a long time subscriber to Acorn TV because I love their mix of Canadian, Australian and British programming. With the loss of Miss Fisher, however, the only mainstay I had was Murdoch Mysteries. In past years when the current season was already under way in Canada, Acorn TV had put the show on in January. For whatever reason, this didn’t happen this year. In fact, when I reached out to Acorn TV a few weeks ago, they had no schedule date. Considering what I was not watching, and not definite date for the return of Murdoch Mysteries, I cancelled my subscription.

Fast forward to mid-February and Murdoch Mysteries has a Season 16 release date on Acorn TV of late March. <sigh> At this point, I have no plans to subscribe, but time will tell.

I understand contract negotiations, etc., but personally, it comes off as a bit of a ‘eh’ to the viewer. I had the option of adding a cable subscription so I could watch on another network (???!!!!) but that is not anything I’m interested in.

One thing I’ve noticed is a variety of programming showing up on a variety of platforms, some free, some not. Lots of classic TV, for example, pops up in a wide variety of channels like Pluto TV and Xumo. It pays to look around and see what is available. You might be shocked. I have been. 🙂

Happy Viewing!

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