2017 is going to be an exciting year for cord cutters
2016 was a great year for cord cutters. PlayStation Vue went national, Netflix went worldwide, DirecTV jumped on the cord-cutting movement, and hundreds of other services and announcements made their appearance in 2016.
2017 looks to be even more exciting for cord cutters. With a long list of new streaming services and several possible new devices coming out, we want to bring you in on some of the things we know or expect to happen in 2017.
What we know
ESPN Standalone Streaming Service
ESPN will launch a standalone streaming service, but it may not be everything you want. The new streaming service will be separate from the current ESPN channels and we are uncertain which sports the service will offer.
“Bringing a multi-sport service directly to fans is an exciting opportunity that capitalizes on BAMTech’s premier digital distribution platform and continues ESPN’s heritage of embracing technology to create new ways to connect fans with sports,” says John Skipper, ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks. “As WatchESPN continues to grow and add value to the multichannel video subscription, this new service will be an outstanding complement.”
We expect the ESPN Standalone Streaming Service to be released at some point in 2017.
Sling TV DVR
Starting in 2017, Sling TV will be rolling out a Cloud DVR for their subscribers. Currently, the DVR is only available to a select few, but it should soon go public.
Cloud DVR will be available across all Roku devices to beta customers who subscribe to the single-stream service, Sling Orange, and/or the multistream service, Sling Blue.
You’ll be able to record movies, episodes, or full series with the ability to pause, rewind, or fast-forward recorded content. DVR functionality is not available on all channels. What’s more, users may record multiple programs simultaneously with no recording conflicts.
DVR content is integrated directly into Sling TV’s “My TV” screen for immediate access to recordings. And Sling TV automatically manages DVR space to make room for new recordings by deleting the oldest “watched” recording when capacity is full. They offer up to 100 hours of cloud DVR storage at no extra charge.
Sling TV will continue to evolve the cloud DVR throughout the beta period based on customer feedback and usage behavior so expect more features to come. DVR features planned for future development include the ability to upgrade storage space and protect recordings.
Hulu has confirmed it will launch a new live TV streaming service in 2017. It already has deals with many providers but is currently unwilling to give many details about the new streaming service. What we do know is that it will be separate from the current Hulu service.
YouTube Live, FuboTV, and Vidgo
Not only is Hulu launching a live TV streaming service, but so are YouTube, FuboTV and Vidgo. Details are still thin on all of these services, but they are expected to debut in 2017.
New Nvidia Shield
The Nvidia Shield has been widely recognized as the best Android TV device on the market. Although it is not inexpensive, it is a powerful streaming player.
We know that Nvidia is releasing a new Nvidia Shield in 2017. Details are still few, but it looks slimmer than past models and has redesigned gaming controllers.
What we expect
New Apple TV
It seems as though Apple is working on a “new every two years” schedule for the Apple TV, which would mean we’ll see a new one in late 2017. For now, nothing is certain and we are likely almost a year away from seeing its roll-out. So, I wouldn’t wait for the new Apple TV to appear anytime soon.
New Roku TVs
In 2016, Roku gave us a whole new lineup of 4K Roku TVs, and even new Roku streaming players. However, at CES last year, TCL announced that they have an HDR Roku TV prototype in the works — but it never made it to market. We did get a Roku HDR player in the Roku Ultra but no Roku TV with HDR.
It is likely that in 2017 we will get new Roku TVs and possibly an HDR version of the Roku TV.
New Fire TV Box
Amazon has also been running on a “new every two years” plan for its Fire TV devices. No details have been leaked or announced, but we do expect a new Fire TV in late 2017. We did get a new Fire TV Stick in 2016, so a new box seems likely in 2017.
Nothing official has been announced, but the slow march of local TV channels coming to services such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now will continue. It is possible that, by the end of 2017, a majority of local stations will be streamed on one server or another.
Also, over 130 new over-the-air TV stations launched around the United States in 2016. In 2017, we expect even more over-the-air TV stations to launch and bring cord cutters more great free content.
NFL Sunday Ticket
It was recently leaked that DirecTV surveyed some of its subscribers asking if they would subscribe to a streaming version of the NFL Sunday Ticket. Details are thin but it looks as though AT&T is considering offering a streaming service that would stream every Sunday NFL game to your streaming player.
2017 — It’s never been a better time to cut the cord
It’s likely we only know a small fraction of what is on the way to make cord cutting even better than today. However, if even half of our expectations are fulfilled, 2017 will be a fantastic year for cord cutters. If you haven’t yet, this is the year to cut the cord to cable TV and say goodbye to long-term contracts for good.