A New Tool for Cordcutters: The Library

We all know the feeling after ditching cable: there’s something you want to watch, so you google around to see which of the myriad of apps and streaming sites it’s on; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon? Maybe a one-off site like Syfy or Comedy Central? What do you do if it’s not on any of them, or one you aren’t subscribed to?

Check your local library.

I don’t know why it took us so long to realize that in addition to reserving books and audiobooks for free, they have a whole selection of DVDs and Bluerays just waiting to be checked out. At ours, they even transfer it from another library and keep it on hold for $0.25.

library dvds
We’ve started getting into it. Here’s $1.50 worth of library holds – compare that to Red Box…

Many of them also have apps like OverDrive and/or online catalogues where you can check what they have, place a hold, and even download an audiobook on the go. While you’re there check out one of the recent books that have been adapted into shows and read the original before streaming it (everyone loves hearing about how much better the book was).

2 library dvds
The selection is pretty good too.

It’s a file transfer

A DVD is 4.7 gigs, 9.4 for a double-sided disc, so if you take 20 minutes to go pick it up from the library, you’ve just effectively transferred 9,400 megabytes in 1,200 seconds, or 7.8 Mbps, per DVD. Pick up 6 and you’ve just transferred at 47 Mbps without using any of your data cap (not to mention if you pick up some groceries on the way) – a “sneakernet” that’s faster than many people’s net.

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
–Andrew Tanenbaum, 1981

All you need is a library card. Your local taxes are probably paying for it already, so you might as well use it. There’s a reason library use is on the rise among millennials – maybe it’s time to get in on the trend.

[No Spoilers] Tonight is the night to use free HBO trial

Everyone is talking Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, but if you haven’t started yet, tonight is the perfect night to get your free trial started and binge:

Game of Thrones - Season 7
Game of Thrones – Season 7 free with 7 day free trial

Not only can you get caught up, but you can do it before most of the spoilers start dominating Twitter and Facebook. Just click the banner above (it includes our partner link, but it’s a free trial so it doesn’t cost anything), and avoid anywhere where there might be spoilers online until you finish – especially social media. Happy binging!

Futurama – 7 Season Summary

Update: 7/25/2017 Unfortunately as of July, 2017 only seasons 7-10 of Futurama are on Netflix now. This often happens when shows are badly out of order, and that’s why we sometimes suggest not reporting order issues to Netflix, because rather than fix it, sometimes they make it disappear. It’s not on Hulu, so the only way to watch Seasons 1-6 are to buy it on Amazon – Season 1 here. We’ll update you if it becomes available elsewhere.

It starts with episodes bleeding over into the next season, making you think you watched a season finale when you haven’t; then by Season 3 everything is out of order. Seasons 6 and 7 pull it back together, though the series finale isn’t available yet.

If you’re looking for 7-B, the last Futurama season, it may be coming around February, 2014 since 7-A was added in February, 2013. Or you can stream it on Amazon Instant Video with our fancy affiliate link to let them know we sent you: [Link]

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
Seasons 7 – 10 on Netflix

Futurama Seasons 1-7 stats:
67 Episodes In Order
47 Episodes Out of Order
12 Missing Episodes (in Season 5) (updated 11/8/2013)

Slightly better than Mythbusters!

Bonus! Here’s all the episodes visualized by IMDB rating:

Verizon (and other ISPs) Admit They are Throttling Netflix Connection Speeds

As, #Cordcutters there’s a bit of a Catch-22 in that we free ourselves of expensive and corrupt Cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast, but we replace it with online viewing run by companies like… Time Warner’s “Spectrum” and Comcast’s “Xfinity”. Now even the non-cable ISP giants are getting in on the corruption action:

Verizon admits to throttling Netflix in apparent violation of net neutrality [US] from netflix

It’s no wonder, since Trump’s pick to head the FCC, Ajit Pai, the person whose job it is to oversee Net Neutrality violations is a former Verizon lawyer and wants to do away with Net Neutrality altogether. Interestingly, the main argument for scrapping Neutrality is that it’s a “non issue”; that ISPs won’t throttle data from sites like Netflix that compete with their own services. Well Mr. Pai, what do you have to say about your former employers at Verizon now?

What’s a streamer to do?

There’s not much you can to do stop your ISP from throttling data. First, make sure you try to make your voice be heard about Net Neutrality by writing your representatives. Second, if you want to keep the net free, make sure you remember that it’s an important issue and research your candidates’ positions before you vote. Third, we have been using a VPN for over a year now and are very happy with it – if all your traffic goes through a VPN server, then your ISP doesn’t know where the packets are coming from, including Netflix traffic. There have definitely been times where Netflix has been slow for us, we turn on the VPN, and it speeds right up. Hiding your traffic from your ISP and anyone else who might be snooping on you is only going to become more important over time.

If you are interested, check out our 15% off coupon for StrongVPN. You don’t have to use the one we suggest, but it has been working for us nicely and you should find one that works for you before Pai makes Netflix unusable.

Above: an establishment overseer whispers sweet nothings to his yes-man

Update 7/22: Here’s some more video evidence. Definitely watch it to see how to turn some throttling off on your phone!

After watching, we found the option in AT&T wireless to turn off their on-by-default data throttling “stream saver”:

Game of Thrones Season 7 Begins Now!

I hesitated to post what time #GameOfThrones #GoTs7 would be online because there was some confusion about if its launch at “9pm EST” would be at the same time, 6pm Pacific, or if they would wait until 9 Pacific. Well it was 6pm PST and you can watch the first episode now!Game of Thrones Season 7 on HBO Go

If you don’t have HBO or a friend’s login for HBO Go (our Fire TV with the HBO Go app is pictured above), you can sign up for a free trial and get to binge-watching before it expires – though you’ll have to wait for all the episodes to be out.

 Season 7 of Game of Thrones with HBO Free Trial

The only other options are to order HBO through your TV provider, or to find a friend with a subscription and verify their account with a code on your TV. As cordcutters, we strongly recommend switching over to online viewing how/where you want. Even if you have cable, try watching GoT online with the trial and see how you like it; maybe you can start to make the switch to cable free to save a bunch of money!

We’ve had too many GoT spoilers ourselves in the past, so we’re going to keep our site spoiler-free for the foreseeable future. Please don’t post any references to characters being alive or dead, or anything happening here or on social media, at least for a few weeks. Be careful checking your feed if you haven’t seen it.

If you’d like a primer on who is vying for the throne (with potential spoilers from previous seasons), check this post out, and may your favorite king/queen win!

July 12th is Day of Action for Net Neutrality

As a Cordcutter, you probably know about Net Neutrality – the government regulation that forces ISPs to treat all internet traffic the same without making certain sites slower, or charging for “internet fast lanes”. The current administration in the US has put Ajit V. Pai in charge of the FCC, and he has vowed to get rid of Net Neutrality for his lobbyists at AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

We defeated SOPA, we defeated PIPA, and now we have to defeat the FCC reclassification that would allow internet fast lanes once again. Here’s TotalBiscuit for more: 

So go to https://www.battleforthenet.com and write your representatives. They often say no one is reaching out to them and that it must not be an important issue, but it is! Cordcuttingworld stands with internet freedom, please do your part and take a minute to write your representatives.

Thanks.

Free Indoor Antenna with 4K TCL Roku TV Purchase for Cut the Cord Day

There’s a pretty good deal on a 4K Roku Smart-TV with a free indoor antenna during the week of the 4th of July. They’re offering a free Winegard FlatWave Micro Indoor Antenna when you buy an S-Series 4K TCL Roku TV on Amazon from July 1-9. Use the code CUTTHECORD on Amazon with both of them in your cart and the Antenna becomes free:

  1. Choose an S-Series 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV

    Click the link to the left and select from 43″, 49″, 55″ (#1 in New Releases), or 65″ and add it to your  Amazon cart.

    Note: Partner links to the left used with permission and let them know we sent you. Thanks.

  2. Add the FlatWave Micro Indoor Antenna to your cart

    Make sure the “Flatwave Micro” option is selected – don’t worry about the price for now, it will be free after you apply the code.

    To see antenna coverage in your area check out: http://www.winegard.com/select/window.php

     

  3. Click “Proceed to Checkout” and apply the Promo Code to make the antenna free: CUTTHECORD

    Note: Promo Code only available from July 1st – July 9th, 2017.


We were actually looking at Smart-TVs on Amazon, and it looks like we have very good antenna coverage in our area, so a free antenna might just be enough to buy it. And happy Independance Day to all our American readers.

If you do have or get a 4K TV, a little trick we learned recently is to search Netflix for “4K” and it lists all the 4K shows/movies available to you (they recently removed the “4K” category on the main page).

Thanks to TCL and WineGard for letting us know about this deal and celebrating cordcutting!

22 Best Animation and Family Movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix

There are a surprising number of good Animation and Family movies available right now on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Since a lot of people have both (Prime for shipping, Netflix for watching), here are the best movies currently available ordered by their average review score from RT, Metacritic, IMDB, and Letterboxd. The Amazon/Netflix icon and the poster images link to stream each movie.

  1. AmazonSong of the Sea (2014) PG – 88
    Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.

    Song of the Sea boasts narrative depth commensurate with its visual beauty, adding up to an animated saga overflowing with family-friendly riches.

  2. The Iron Giant PosterThe Iron Giant (1999) PG – 86
    A boy makes friend with a robot from outer space, but the army are not happy with a robot in the city.

    The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.

  3. Kubo and the Two Strings posterKubo and the Two Strings (2016) PG – 86
    A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

    Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing — and bravely melancholy — story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.

  4. Zootopia posterZootopia (2016) PG – 86
    In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a fugitive con artist fox and a rookie bunny cop must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

    The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that’s as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation — all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.

  5. AmazonShaun the Sheep Movie posterShaun the Sheep Movie (2015) PG – 82
    When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

    Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman’s family-friendly crown.

  6. finding dory posterFinding Dory (2016) PG – 81
    The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.

    Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor’s classic story.

  7. hugo posterHugo (2011) PG – 81
    Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

    Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids’ movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema.

  8. paddington posterPaddington (2014) PG – 80
    A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.

    Paddington brings a beloved children’s character into the 21st century without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star.

  9. coraline posterCoraline (2009) PG – 79
    An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

    With its vivid stop-motion animation combined with Neil Gaiman’s imaginative story, Coraline is a film that’s both visually stunning and wondrously entertaining.

  10. Amazontown called panic posterA Town Called Panic (2009) Not Rated – 78
    Animated plastic toys like Cowboy, Indian and Horse have problems, too. Cowboy and Indian’s plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they destroy his house.

    Imagine a world not unlike Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations mixed with a dash of Robot Chicken, The Mighty Boosh and finish with the wonder of the mind of a child at its most innocent imaginative play and you are close to the beauty that is ‘A Town Called Panic’.

  11. chicken run posterChicken Run (2000) G – 77
    When a bird “flies” into a chicken farm, the fellow chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

    Chicken Run has all the charm of Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit, and something for everybody. The voice acting is fabulous, the slapstick is brilliant, and the action sequences are spectacular.

  12. kung fu panda posterKung Fu Panda (2008) PG – 77
    In the Valley of Peace, Po the Panda finds himself chosen as the Dragon Warrior despite the fact that he is obese and a complete novice at martial arts.

    Kung Fu Panda has a familiar message, but the pleasing mix of humor, swift martial arts action, and colorful animation makes for winning Summer entertainment.

  13. corpse bride posterCorpse Bride (2005) PG – 77
    When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.

    As can be expected from a Tim Burton movie, Corpse Bride is whimsically macabre, visually imaginative, and emotionally bittersweet.

  14. babe posterBabe (1995) G – 76
    Babe, a pig raised by sheepdogs, learns to herd sheep with a little help from Farmer Hoggett.

    The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget, Babe offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages.

  15. tarzan posterTarzan (1999) G – 76
    A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.

    Disney’s Tarzan takes the well-known story to a new level with spirited animation, a brisk pace, and some thrilling action set-pieces.

  16. Amazonstardust posterStardust (2007) PG-13 – 75
    In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.

    A faithful interpretation that captures the spirit of whimsy, action, and off-kilter humor of Neil Gaiman, Stardust juggles multiple genres and tones to create a fantastical experience.

  17. anastasia posterAnastasia (1997) G – 72
    The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.

    Beautiful animation, an affable take on Russian history, and strong voice performances make Anastasia a winning first film from Fox animation studios.

  18. prince of egypt posterThe Prince of Egypt (1998) PG – 72
    An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and, later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

    The Prince of Egypt’s stunning visuals and first-rate voice cast more than compensate for the fact that it’s better crafted than it is emotionally involving.

  19. dolphin tale posterDolphin Tale (2011) PG – 71
    A story centered on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin whose tail was lost in a crab trap.

    Wisely dialing down the schmaltz, Dolphin Tale is earnest, sweet, and well-told, a rare family film that both kids and parents can enjoy.

  20. happy feet posterHappy Feet (2006) PG – 69
    Into the world of the Emperor Penguins, who find their soul mates through song, a penguin is born who cannot sing. But he can tap dance something fierce!

    Visually dazzling, with a thoughtful storyline and catchy musical numbers, Happy Feet marks a successful animated debut from the makers of Babe.

  21. antz posterAntz (1998) PG – 68
    A rather neurotic ant tries to break from his totalitarian society while trying to win the affection of the princess he loves.

    Featuring a stellar voice cast, technically dazzling animation, and loads of good humor, Antz should delight both children and adults.

  22. Amazonspiderwick chronicles posterThe Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) PG – 66
    Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.

    The Spiderwick Chronicles is an entertaining children’s adventure, with heart and imagination to spare.

White House Correspondents Dinner – Where to Watch

It’s going to be a Correspondents Dinner of a different sort this year, as Trump isn’t going, and everyone involved has vowed not to pull any punches.

Don’t let the statement that the president is busy at a rally fool you: he said he’s not going long before the rally was planned. The truth is, he’s not very good at being roasted – watch him sit stone-faced and incredibly cringey at Obama’s Correspondents Dinner in 2011:

Where to watch it?

The 2017 Correspondents Dinner will be live-streamed on CSPAN’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVRQ9Dlh6X8

It’s also on WaPo’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost/videos/10155050625992293

The Not White House Correspondents Dinner #NotTheWHCD will be live-streamed on Samantha Bee’s Twitterhttps://twitter.com/i/live/850430976572260352

They’re all starting right now! (Saturday, 4/29/2017)

Eureka Seasons 1-3 Removed from Netflix and Hulu, are Free with Prime

Update 4/27/2017: We’ve been getting more people looking for Eureka on Netflix, so we checked and unfortunately it’s not on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. It’s no longer free with any of the 3. The only options to watch it are to buy it on Amazon Video, buy a DVD , or wait for SyFy to upload a new season. In other words there’s no where good to stream it!

Update 5/19/2015: Dennis writes in the comments that Eureka is no longer free on Amazon Prime. Sorry for the confusion from this outdated information!

We have Amazon Prime and they charged me for watching season 1 ep. 1-4. I thought we did not need to pay but my wife said they charged us for the episodes. You will not get for free Eureka season 1-5 on Amazon Prime.

We previously posted that Seasons 1-4 were in order on Netflix, and that Season 5 had arrived. Well now Netflix has removed seasons 1-3 as of this morning, October 1st. Strangely, when you search for “Eureka” on Hulu, they’ve removed all traces of the show, even with Hulu Plus:

It’s very odd, and we can only assume that either Eureka was only licensed to both companies for a limited time, or they’re planning an exclusive somewhere else later. Or maybe someone paid more for the exclusive right to stream the show…

There is good news!

All episodes of Eureka are up for free on Amazon Instant Video if you have Amazon Prime. (see update above!) Simply go to Amazon to watch them free with Prime, $1.99 each without it, or $2.99 for HD.

Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5

We appreciate you taking our links in to show them that we sent you – even though the episodes are free and they won’t change the price on anything. Thanks!

Thanks to Anonymous and Anonymous for reporting it in the comments. Keep reporting anything you see missing or out of order in our anonymous-enabled comments, and we’ll often either figure out what happened or find somewhere to watch it.