Netflix password sharing update
Plus: Changes at DirecTV
This week on TechHive: Where’s the Netflix password sharing crackdown?
Three months of 2023 have come and gone, and Netflix’s new rules around password sharing have yet to materialize in the United States.
That’s despite the Netflix’s announcement of a broader crackdown starting in Q1. While the company has rolled out so-called “paid sharing” plans in a handful of new countries this quarter, a spokesperson said Netflix has nothing new to share for users in the United States, its largest market.
The leisurely pace is understandable. In countries where Netflix has already cracked down, it’s frustrated legitimate customers with new hassles and poorly communicated policies. Although Netflix is likely to expand its enforcement at some point, it has plenty of reasons not to rush.
YouTube TV review: Also on TechHive this week, I’ve got a new review of YouTube TV, updated for 2023. While it’s not the value it once was, YouTube TV is still a compelling replacement for more expensive cable and satellite TV packages, offering a broad selection of pay TV channels for $73 per month.
I just wish Google would fix some long-standing gripes with YouTube TV’s DVR, such as its lack of a “mark as watched” function on TV devices and an unclear distinction between recordings (where you can skip ads) and on-demand video (where you can’t). Read the full review for more details, and remember that big bundles like this aren’t the only way to cut the cord.
DirecTV’s TV box refresh: DirecTV has announced a new set-top box along with a somewhat-confusing change to its price structure. Here’s what you need to know:
DirecTV is now available via satellite or streaming, starting at $65 per month before fees and surcharges. Satellite service requires a two-year contract, but streaming does not.
Both plans include the new “Gemini” streaming box and have a $15 per month “Advanced Receiver Service” surcharge. (Existing satellite customers can keep using their Genie boxes for $10 per month.)
DirecTV Stream remains available starting at $75 per month with no set-top box included. Channel packages are similar to DirecTV proper, so you’ll save $5 per month by bringing your own streaming device.
As for the box itself, it looks identical to the “Osprey” streaming box that’s been available to DirecTV Stream customers, though DirecTV has stopped selling the latter on its website. Both run on Google’s Android TV platform for access to popular streaming apps such as Netflix. DirecTV has also reportedly been testing a streaming dongle called the “Gemini Air” for DirecTV Stream customers, but hasn’t made any official announcements yet.
I actually liked DirecTV’s old hardware—and its remote control in particular—as a way to flatten the learning curve for new cord cutters, but loathe the idea of equipment rental fees. Hopefully the rumored Gemini Air will allow for a similar experience with just an up-front payment.
Disney+’s ad-supported plan has arrived on Roku, four months after launching on other platforms. It costs $8 per month, versus $11 per month for the ad-free version.
This is especially notable for Hulu + Live TV subscribers who signed up before December 8, as the service comes bundled with Disney+, and you can save $5 per month by downgrading to its ad-supported tier. Now, you can do so without losing access to Disney+ on Roku players.
Get smarter about streaming TV with Cord Cutter Weekly.
Disney+ with ads finally works on Roku.
Charter has no plans for data caps with Spectrum internet.
MLB to Diamond Sports: Pay up or hand us your rights.
FuboTV gets its local CBS feeds back.
DirecTV’s aforementioned streaming boxes now support Apple TV+.
T-Mobile’s free MLB TV promos will happen every year through 2028.
Nature and science streamer CuriosityStream doubles its prices.
Save more money
Friendly reminder that I maintain a big list of streaming deals over at the Cord Cutter Weekly website. It covers ways to save on streaming services—including the latest Paramount+ codes—and on devices such as Roku, along with savings you can get through your wireless carrier. I update it every Friday before sending the newsletter, and I never earn a sales commission from any of it. Check it out!
A few highlights this week:
You can still get three months of Paramount+ for $7.50 with promo code APRILFOOLS2023. New subscribers only.
DirecTV Stream is $10 off for three months. New subscribers only.
Best Buy still sells Apple TV 4K (2021) for $105, or open-box models for even less.
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