You might have noticed we had a big pop-up sign up to call your representatives about Net Neutrality:
We received some feedback that it’s not too relevant for many of the Canadians who visit the site, and so we took it down. CordCuttingWorld still supports Net Neutrality though and we hope you’ll make your voice be heard by calling in:
Even for people in other countries, try to pay some attention to the US internet issues because they may be coming your way next. As avid streamers this is especially important to us: we can’t imagine paying for tiered internet access, having our data sold to the highest bidder, and losing network speed even more than our current lagging infrastructure. Please do your part and make sure your representative knows this is an important issue to you, because the FCC thinks they can slip this by while no one is watching.
We defeated SOPA, we defeated PIPA, and we have to defeat this. Thanks.
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.
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).
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
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:
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!
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:
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.
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”:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Song 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.
The 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.
Kubo 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.
Zootopia (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.
Shaun 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.
Finding 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.
Hugo (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.
Paddington (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.
Coraline (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.
A 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’.
Chicken 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.
Kung 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.
Corpse 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.
Babe (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.
Tarzan (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.
Stardust (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.
Anastasia (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.
The 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.
Dolphin 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.
Happy 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.
Antz (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.
The 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.
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:
You might note that some of these are varying levels of “Paranormal” or “Romance”, but if you’re looking to scratch that Twilight itch, here’s what’s streaming.
Note: The shows/movies are ordered by Metacritic review scores out of 100, shown on the left. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix logos link to stream it – Amazon logos are free to stream with Amazon Prime unless it’s noted with “(Not Available Free)” – then it’s not free on any of the 3.
79 – Being Human (UK) (2008-2013) – (image) 74 avg. (64/63/82/81/71/78/65/87) – Harry Potter (2001-2011) (Not Available Free) 66 – Stardust (2007) 62 – Sky High (2005) 61 – Teen Wolf TV Show (2011-) 60 – Being Human (US) (2011-2014) 60 – The Magicians (2015-) (Season 1 on Netflix, Season 2 for a limited time on SyFy) 59 – Warm Bodies (2013) (Not Available Free) 59 – Bitten (2014-) 52 – Beautiful Creatures (2013) (Not Available Free) 52 – The Originals (2013-) 52 – The Shannara Chronicles (2016-) 51 avg. (56/44/58/45/52) – Twilight (2008-2012) (Only Twilight is on Netflix, the rest cost money on Amazon) 50 – Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) 50 – Witches of East End (2013-2014) 45 – Hemlock Grove (2013-2015) 36 – I Am Number Four (2011) (Only on Hulu with Showtime addon, or with Amazon Channels addon) 33 – The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013) (Not Available Free) 30 – Vampire Academy (2014)
Old school (90’s):
80 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) 75 – Angel (1999-2004) 71 – The Crow (1994) 65 – Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996-2003) 63 (IMDB) – The Craft (1996) 63 – The Lost Boys (1987) (Not Available Free)