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Cutting the Cord Just Make Cents

Let’s face it … change is hard sometimes. We all get comfortable in our everyday routines and life seems easier if we just go with the flow – you know, status quo! “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” right? But what if that “old way” is costing us more money? If you’re still paying for cable TV each month, you’ve seen rapid and frequent rate increases for cable service over the last few years. Between 2009 and 2019, rates for cable TV have increased by over 53%!

Why Are Cable Prices Rising?

The reason that cable prices continue to increase is that video providers (networks, media companies, etc.) continue to increase the fees that they charge service providers to offer their programming. One key factor is that networks have their own rising expenses, like paying sports leagues for the right to air their programming. This affects you, the consumer, as the price you pay for TV services must be adjusted to align with these rising costs. The bad news is, cable prices will continue to rise no matter what provider you have. The good news is, YOU HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HOW YOU WATCH TV.

Stream the TV Programming You Want

How many times have you caught yourself scrolling through the hundreds of channels offered by your cable company and there are only a handful of channels you find interesting? Networks and TV stations charge your cable company a fee whether you watch them or not. This means you are paying for a lot of channels that you don’t want.

When the choice is yours, you save money over cable prices because you customize the viewing options for your family and your budget. Want to watch live TV? Want more sports options? What about content for kids? There is a streaming service for you. Having the ability to customize and control your programming means that you only pay for what you want and you free yourself from the rising cost of cable.

Ready to Make the Switch to Streaming?

There are three easy steps:

  1. Choose a fast, reliable Internet service. A fiber-based network – like Point Broadband with speeds up to 1 Gig – makes it easy to stream video to your Smart TV or streaming device.
  2. Use a Smart TV or streaming device. Smart TVs are ready to stream out of the box OR you can purchase a streaming device for an older television. Streaming services also give you the convenience of streaming through your computer, tablet or smart phone so you can watch TV programming anywhere!
  3. Choose your streaming providers. Most stations and channels are streaming now, from HBO and NFL Network to the Food Network. Some of these platforms are free, and others have a monthly subscription fee. However, even the fee-based providers are typically cheaper than most cable subscriptions.

With perpetually rising cable bills and more streaming options than ever before, cutting the cord has never been easier. Enhance your entertainment and your budget. The experts at Point Broadband can provide  Internet service, speed, and consistency that your new cordless life needs.

You can find more information on cutting the cord and streaming your TV programming at https://point-broadband.com/streaming/

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Whole Home WiFi: The Advantages of Parental Controls and Guest Access

Access to the Internet has changed every aspect of our lives. It is literally always at our fingertips. It has changed how we communicate, conduct business and entertain ourselves. And while the Internet provides more convenience and options to connect more than ever before, it also poses challenges for parents. Children have never known a time where they couldn’t be instantly online. This can create safety concerns about what they may see, hear or read, as well as who they may encounter. Parents also face the responsibility of limited screen time, which can be a major challenge. Fortunately, there are measures in place with Point Broadband’s SmartHome platform to help you overcome some of these parenting challenges.

What Can Point SmartHome Parental Controls Do?

Beyond providing you with consistent Internet everywhere in your home, Point SmartHome powered by Plume has a variety of parental control options that address everything from safety to access. You can control every device connected to your home’s WiFi. With AI Security, online content can be filtered and restricted based on the settings you customize. Each member of your family can have a profile with unique settings. By default, each profile will be set to “no limits.” However, parameters can be adjusted based on the amount of time and access you’d like each profile to have. For younger children, only G-rated content can be accessed. For older children, like teenagers, a PG-13 filter can be applied. And adult content can be restricted from any profile or device. You can also create a custom approved/block list that can be configured for any location, device or person.

Limiting time and data is another useful feature that is available. You can isolate and limit or restrict each individual device. This can be done in terms of a daily time allotment or freezing access during or after certain hours. This takes the much of the guesswork out of when and what your children are doing online.

What is AI Security?

As cyber threats continue to evolve, AI security provided by Point SmartHome keeps you protected. By filtering out potentially suspicious content and sources, your network remains secure. Real-time threats like phishing, malware, viruses, ransomware and more are mitigated before they can become an issue. AI security also makes it possible to filter content and sites for each device and person in your home, limiting the amount of exposure you have on and for each one. With advanced IoT protection, all your connected devices are also secure. This includes baby monitors, thermostats and any other connected device. Lastly, Anomaly Detection allows SmartHome to learn about the usage habits and trends for each device, allowing it to recognize when something is out of the ordinary and possibly posing a threat.

With Point SmartHome powered by Plume, you can take back control of your home’s WiFi with enhanced, consistent performance, and state-of-the-art security and oversight.

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Wireless Broadband Service for Your Home: Understanding How Speed is Shared

Everybody loves pizza, right? There’s nothing worse than wanting a slice and realizing all the slices are gone and you’re left with only crumbs. Did you know your home’s WiFi is like that? Just like that delicious pizza, there are only so many slices to go around. Once those slices are gone, you get buffering, latency, slow downloads and poor online performance.

If you think of your in-home WiFi network like a pizza, each slice provides the data a device needs to execute a certain function. Of course, the more speed your network has, the more pizza there is to go around. The size of the slice each device takes is based on activity. If you’re just scrolling through Facebook or checking email on your phone, it may only take a pepperoni off of the top. But if you are streaming a movie in 4K from Netflix, it could take half of your pizza or more. If your multiple devices are doing multiple things at the same time, your pizza will be gone quick! If your movie is buffering or an attachment won’t download quickly, it means that something else is taking most of the pizza!

Are you having trouble with WiFi performance at your home? Sounds like you need to upgrade your network – or order a bigger pizza if you will. If you have the largest pizza on the menu and there’s still not enough to go around, here are a few tips to enhance your network’s performance.

  • Directly hardwire your devices: By using an ethernet cable to connect your computers, TVs, gaming systems and more, you will get the best speeds your network can provide.
  • Location, location, location: Be sure to position your router in a spot that will provide the best coverage for your home. The farther your devices are from this area, the weaker the signal becomes, resulting in reduced speed. It should be at least a few feet off the ground, and in a central location.
  • Test your speed: Do you know what kind of “pizza” you’re serving up at your house? Test your network’s speed to find out. Your internet provider may have a way to test your download and upload speeds. You can also Google “test my internet speed” and perform a quick test. An additional note about speed tests – if you find you’re getting lower speeds than expected, do a test on a hardwired device. If the speed looks good when directly connected, consider a Whole Home Wifi System like Point Broadband’s SmartHome powered by Plume, which will provide consistent Internet speeds throughout your home.

Being online and having access to WiFi is less of a luxury and more a necessity. It’s how we work, play, communicate and more, so it’s important that you have fast and reliable connectivity. The experts at Point Broadband have the products and services to ensure you have the pizza you want, when you want it!

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Smart Home Technology: How Does Point SmartHome Work?

Homes today are more connected than ever. With rapid developments in security and comfort technology, along with the growing number of communication and entertainment devices we have, strong, reliable and secure WiFi has never been more important. The market for smart home products is expected to exceed $40 billion next year. With more connectable devices than ever, it can be easy to overload your current bandwidth with these new demands. While you can opt for a bigger plan or add a WiFi extender in an attempt to improve speed and reliability, the real solution can be found in a whole home WIFI system.

What is a whole home WIFI system?

A whole home WiFi system is an enhanced Internet delivery platform. It replaces the WiFi that comes through your router and modem with a fast, reliable, consistent signal that is relayed through strategically placed pods. These pods allow the Internet to be moved throughout your home, where it is needed most. With advanced AI security and real-time optimization, you never have to worry about a lagging signal or drop in performance.

Plume Pods

Point SmartHome powered by Plume uses Plume Pods. While the advanced security features and performance optimization stem from the cloud, the pods provide reliable, fast, consistent WiFi in every corner of your home.

How does Point SmartHome work?

Point SmartHome, works through the cloud to adapt to real-life activity, in real-time. This ability to adjust and modify your WiFi ensures that every room and every device in your home receives a reliable, fast connection, not only today but into the future as well. Your new, faster, reliable WiFi will be delivered from the cloud to a SuperPod that connects to your Point Broadband Fiber Internet. From there, the signal is sent through a network of smaller PowerPods. Your Point Broadband Technician will test signal strength throughout your home and place these Powerpods in rooms where you frequently use WiFi. Two PowerPods, in addition to your SuperPod, is typically sufficient for a 3-4 bedroom home; however, additional pods can be added at any time.

As your home continues to evolve with WiFi enabled doorbells, locks, thermostats and streaming devices, your WiFi solution will need to evolve as well. Point Broadband Fiber Internet along with Point SmartHome powered by Plume will give your home the power it needs to operate efficiently now and into the future.

To learn more, go to point-broadband.com/smarthome.

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5 Streaming Services Every New Cord Cutter Should Be Using

 

UPDATED 06/10/19

Not sure where to begin when it comes to streaming your TV services? Here are five streaming services that you should consider. And, don’t forget one of the most attractive features of streaming services … you can watch shows anytime, anywhere, wherever you have a good, reliable internet connection.

Sling TV

Sling TV offers smaller bundles of affordable and popular cable channels at a much-reduced price. And, for those cord cutters that want to catch the big game, this service will fit the bill most of the time. These bundles cost anywhere from $15 to $25, and offer channels such as ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Disney, and many more. SlingTV, like DirecTV Now, is a live TV stream. Cloud DVR functionality is supported on all devices except the Xfinity X1 platform. All customers can add Cloud DVR “First Look” for just $5/mo with any Sling TV subscription to access 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage to record their favorite shows, movies games and more. Cloud DVR functionality not available on all channels. Click here to learn more about DVR options.

Get 40% off now through our special link.

Hulu

Starting at just $5.99 per month, Hulu has grown to a very receptive audience of cord cutters who enjoy network TV on-demand, without the hefty DVR and cable package fees. You can even bump up your subscription to the $11.99 package to cut commercials. Interested in Hulu, commercial free with Showtime? That’s just over $20/month. Many of the shows are available the day after they air on these popular networks: ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW.

Hulu also offers original content. While it’s not where HBO and Netflix are with the popularity of their original series, it is definitely in the ballpark and slowly offering more critically-acclaimed content for their subscribers.

Ready to start a Hulu subscription? Click here to get started.

Netflix

Netflix has been around the longest with a vast library of TV shows, movies, documentaries, children’s movies and programs, and original series. Starting as low as $8.99 a month with one standard definition stream and $12.99 for two concurrent HD streams, this service is a favorite among cord cutters. There’s something for everyone here! 

Want to get started? Click here to make sure your device is Netflix compatible: Netflix Compatible Devices.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Many folks already enjoy Amazon Prime 2-day shipping option, which also includes access to their Amazon Prime Instant Video library and service. Amazon Instant Video provides its members access to original hit series, some HBO content, plus many TV and movie options. If options are not available as part of the Instant Video membership, members can easily rent or buy the option to add them to their library and watch instantly. 

You can purchase Amazon Prime Instant Video for $119/year as part of their annual fee (which also includes the two-day shipping!), or $12.99 monthly Amazon Prime account (also includes two-day shipping!), or $8.99/month for just streaming video service.

Ready to get started (and do a little shopping)? Click here to check out these Amazon Prime packages. And to make sure your device is Amazon Instant Video compatible, click here: Amazon Instant Video Compatible Devices.

DirecTV Now

It’s not what you think. DirecTV Now is different from its predecessor, the satellite service, DirecTV. Do you want satellite or dish content without the hassle of a dish installation or an aggravating outage due to weather? Well, thankfully DirecTV Now is available to meet that need. Right now, you can get the PLUS plan for $50/month. This plan includes 40+ channels like HBO, Cartoon Network, Disney, ESPN, Fox Sports, FX, Hallmark, Nickelodeon, TNT, USA, all major cable news channels and local channels.

The MAX plan has 50+ channels that includes Cinemax, and more sports channels, including the SEC Network, and will cost you $70/month

DirecTV Now is available via a streaming app and subscription to service. Sign up here.

YouTube TV

YouTubeTV is a commercial service that streams more than 70 live TV networks via the Internet. A subsidiary of Google and parent company of YouTube, YouTube TV’s line up includes major U.S. networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, FX, AMC, CNN, TBS, Discovery and ESPN.

You can try it for free here. It’s currently $49.99/month for a subscription.

Have a 4K TV already or thinking about getting one?

4K TVs are becoming more popular, and if you have one – or are considering purchasing one – here is a great article to help you get the most of your investment.

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We hope you enjoy the brand new world of Cord-Cutting, and we are so glad that Point Broadband can help you cut the cord with our fast, reliable internet.

Registered and/or applied-for marks mentioned herein are the intellectual property of their respective owners.

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5 Roku Player & Roku TV Pro Tips for Cord Cutting

Roku is the number one streaming media player in the United States and is owned by over 70% of our readers according to a recent survey. New Rokus like Roku TVs are also becoming a runaway success. However, many owners are likely not taking full advantage of everything their Roku has to offer.

By: Luke Bouma

Article originally published in Cord Cutter News on Feb. 18, 2019. The original article can be found here.

A few weeks ago, we did a post on five pro tips for Roku TV owners. Today, we want to cover some tips for Roku player owners.

So, today, I want to show you my top five Roku tips to help you get the most from your Roku player.

#1 Rename Your Roku Players

The ability to cast video and photos from your phone is great. The ability to send YouTube videos from your computer or phone to your TV is even better. But if you are like me and own multiple Rokus sometimes it can be confusing to remember which serial number is in the living room and which is in the bedroom.

There is good news. If you head over to the My Account page on Roku’s website, you can rename your Roku boxes. That way you can easily figure out which Roku is in your living room and which one is in your bedroom without having to find a serial number.

#2 Replay Captions

Ever miss what was said on the TV? Is the sound low so you don’t wake someone up or is it just hard to understand? Roku lets you enable captions for instant replay. Just hit the Replay button and for the few seconds of the replay, your Roku will enable closed captions. (Settings > Captions > Instant Replay.)

#3 Roku Apps

Roku has a powerful and helpful app for Android, iOS, and Fire OS devices. This app will let you cast photos and videos from your phone or tablet to your TV. And you can use your mobile device as a remote for your Roku if you ever lose your remote.

#4 Cast Netflix or YouTube

Searching Netflix or YouTube on your TV is not nearly as fast or as easy as on your computer or phone. Now Roku will let you search for what show or video you want on your phone and cast it to your TV. All you need to do is hit the Cast button on the Netflix or YouTube app and select your Roku player. (Note: Both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network for this to work.)

#5 Mute Captions

We have all been there before. The game or show is on and the phone rings. So, you hit mute but still want to know what is being said. Now with Roku player,s you can enable mute captions so any time your TV is muted the captions will automatically turn on.

Do you have a tip for Roku owners? Post it in the comments and let everyone know about it.

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