The Amazon FireTV Interface gets an Update

FireTV Interface UpdateAmazon Fire TV Update Rolls Out to 2nd Gen Fire TV Stick

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes -“Amazon announced today that the updated Fire TV experience will begin rolling out to Fire TV Stick 2nd Gen today.

The company first announced the interface update in December, with only the 3rd Gen Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite devices receiving the update initially. The all-new Fire TV experience then became available on the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube (1st and 2nd Gen), and Fire TV (3rd Gen Pendant Design) in March.

Changes with the update include an all-new home screen with more personalization. The main menu allows for quick navigation to favorite streaming apps and previews of what’s playing.

An improved search feature allows users to search by genre, free content, and shows and movies already in the user’s content library.

The update also includes the option to make profiles for each member of the family, with up to six profiles available per account. That means everyone can get personalized recommendations and their own watchlist.

Your Fire TV devices should automatically check for the update and install the update when not in use. You can check for the update by going to your device’s settings, selecting My Fire TV, selecting About, and finally Check for Updates.”

NextGen TV Comes to Charlotte!

ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) is Now Live in Charlotte

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes – “ATSC 3.0 has launched in Charlotte, NC, with five stations now broadcasting with the NextGen TV transmissions standard. The stations in Charlotte include WAXN-TV, WSOC-TV (ABC), WJZY-TV (FOX), WBTV-TV (CBS), and WCNC-TV (NBC).

‘Watching in NextGen TV immerses the viewer in stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images, and deeper contrast, making them feel like they’re part of the action,’ said Paul Curran, executive vice president of television at Cox Media Group. ‘NextGen TV adds a whole new dimension to TV viewing with Voice + audio from Dolby, available only on NextGen TV. Viewers will feel the power of movie theater-quality sound, allowing them to hear every voice clearly and offering uniform volume across different channels.'”

New Amazon FireTV Remote with Service Buttons

FireTV Remote with Service ButtonsMy second FireTV died, like the first one, so I won’t be getting one. But, it looks like they are copying Roku’s use of providing “services” their own buttons, for a “kick-back,” I’m sure!

Amazon Releases New Fire TV Remote with Branded Buttons

Cord Cutters News – By: Jess Barnes – “Amazon just redesigned its Fire TV remote and the new model comes with branded buttons to take users directly to their streaming services. The new remote includes buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu.

Other than the dedicated streaming service buttons, the other major change is a blue Alexa button at the top of the remote. This button replaces the back microphone button for using voice commands. Another slight difference is the Fire TV logo at the bottom of the remote.

The remote was unveiled Wednesday and will start shipping on Wednesday, April 14. You can preorder the remote now on Amazon for $29.99.

The new model will be compatible with the following devices:

  • Fire TV Stick Lite
  • Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen and later)
  • Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Fire TV Cube (1st Gen and later)
  • Fire TV (3rd Gen, Pendant Design)

It will not be compatible with 1st and 2nd gen Fire TV, 1st gen Fire TV Stick, or Fire TV Edition smart TVs.”

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” Doing Well!

The Falcon and the Winter SoldierI really enjoyed this new Disney+ show! Lot’s of action, a good story, and apparently a lot of other folks thought so too!

‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Sets Record as Disney+’s Most-Watched Series Premiere

Cord Cutters News – By: Tmera Hepburn – “‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ arrived on Disney+ last weekend and has cemented its rank as the streamer’s most-watched series premiere ever. The MCU series dropped its first episode on March 19 with more viewers tuning in that weekend than for the premieres of WandaVision or The Mandalorian.

While Disney+ hasn’t released specific numbers, Samba TV reports measuring 1.7 million households tuning in over the premier weekend for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That beats out the 1.6 million US households that watched WandaVision on its opening weekend, according to Samba TV.

In other superhero-related news, Jack Snyder’s Justice League also premiered last weekend on HBO Max to an audience of 1.8M US households who watched at least 5 minutes of the full-length movie.

In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, who came together in the final moments of ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience. Directed by Kari Skogland with Malcolm Spellman serving as head writer, ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,’ stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier. The six-episode series also stars Wyatt Russell as John Walker, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Daniel Brühl as Zemo.

You can watch the first episode on Disney+ with new episodes premiering every Friday.”

New Tablo Quad for HDMI Direct Connection to Your TV

Tablo Quad HDMITablo Blog – March 17, 2021 – “Introducing Our Newest TV-Connected OTA DVR, Tablo QUAD HDMI

Late last year, we launched our first TV-connected Over-the-Air DVR, Tablo DUAL HDMI.

And one of the first things folks asked was, “When will you be launching a Tablo OTA DVR with four tuners and an HDMI connection?”

That time is now!

Designed for cord cutters with larger families and/or Over-the-Air TV channel lineups, the Tablo QUAD HDMI shares the same form factor as its dual-tuner sibling.

But with four onboard ATSC 1.0 tuners, this OTA DVR gives you the flexibility to watch or record up to four programs at once.

With its own remote and a direct HDMI connection to your primary television, the Tablo QUAD HDMI is ideal for those who prefer a more traditional DVR setup.

Same Great Tablo Interface, New Form Factor

The new Tablo QUAD HDMI is the perfect way to supplement popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime that cord cutters already enjoy on their Smart TVs with free live and recorded local TV channels.

We’ve built powerful quad-tuner quad-core DVR hardware that connects directly to any modern television via HDMI and merged it with the intuitive DVR interface that existing Tablo OTA DVR owners know and love.

Just plug and play! The on-screen setup wizard will have you browsing all the great HDTV content from broadcast stations like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and more in no time.

Using the QUAD HDMI DVR’s dedicated remote, cord cutters can enjoy great Tablo DVR features including a traditional live TV grid guide, one-touch series recording, automatic commercial skip, and much more without the need for a separate streaming device or Smart TV.

What’s Different About TV-Connected DVRs Like Tablo QUAD HDMI

As a TV-connected Tablo OTA DVR, there are some fundamental differences between Tablo QUAD HDMI and our network-connected OTA DVRs.

  • Raw MPEG2 Video
    First, Tablo QUAD HDMI records and displays Over-the-Air TV in raw MPEG2 video format at the resolution and bitrate in which it is broadcast, including 1080i @30fps and 720p @60fps, where available.
    This means you can squeeze about 130 hours of HDTV recordings on to a 1TB drive with our HDMI-connected devices, versus up to 700 with a network-connected Tablo, which transcodes the video into HLS format and optimizes the video for streaming and storage. With that in mind, you may wish to choose a larger hard drive to connect to your Tablo QUAD HDMI.
    And unlike its network-connected cousin, the Tablo QUAD HDMI does NOT offer an onboard compartment for SATA drives.
  • Included Remote
    Since the Tablo QUAD HDMI’s interface is running on the DVR itself, it comes with its own dedicated IR (infrared) remote. This Tablo remote can automatically switch to the Tablo device’s HDMI input and even control the power and volume on supported TVs via CEC.
  • Less Reliant on Internet for Basic Viewing
    Tablo QUAD HDMI is an ideal OTA DVR for cord cutters who travel in RVs or live in rural areas where internet access is spotty.

    While Tablo QUAD HDMI does require internet access for setup, this OTA DVR enables you to continue enjoying live and recorded programming on your primary television without internet access for up to two weeks.

In-Home Streaming to Secondary Televisions

Just because TV-connected Tablo OTA DVRs are tethered to your main television via HDMI, doesn’t mean you’re limited to watching content on a single TV.

With an active TV Guide Data Service subscription, Tablo QUAD HDMI OTA DVRs can stream live and recorded antenna TV on up to four secondary televisions in your home.

Once your DVR is set up, simply download free Tablo apps on streaming set-top-boxes and Smart TVs running the following operating systems and connect to your Tablo QUAD HDMI OTA DVR:

  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV

For a list of supported devices and additional details, visit the TV-connected Tablo OTA DVRs page.

NOTE – Streaming content from Tablo QUAD HDMI to other devices within the home requires a VERY strong WiFi network.

If you experience buffering, you may need to connect your Tablo and/or your streaming device to your router via Ethernet.

Pricing & Availability

Tablo QUAD HDMI OTA DVRs are available now exclusively at at an MSRP of $199.99 USD or $259.99 CAD.

Software Updates and Support

All generations of Tablo OTA DVRs receive free regular firmware and app updates, as well as basic DVR functionality, including:

  • 24 hours of TV Guide Data (traditional grid guide)
  • Manual recording (one-time or recurring)
  • Playback controls including pause, rewind, and fast-forward
  • Support for 5.1 Surround Sound passthrough

Optional Tablo TV Guide Data Service

All Tablo OTA DVRs include a 30-day free trial of the Tablo TV Guide Data Service, which gives cord cutters total control over DVR scheduling and viewing. Along with episode and series synopses, cover art, and metadata for programs airing over the next two weeks, a Tablo TV Guide Data Service subscription provides powerful, and yet easy-to-use advanced DVR features like:

  • One-touch series recording (ALL or ALL NEW)
  • Advanced recording options (adjustable start/stop times, keep X recordings, record by channel)
  • Automatic extended time on live TV show recordings
  • Automatic avoidance of duplicate recordings
  • In-home streaming to secondary televisions
  • And much more

Optional Tablo Automatic Commercial Skip Service

All Tablo OTA DVRs include a 30-day free trial of the optional Tablo Premium Service subscription which enables the Automatic Commercial Skip feature. Automatic Commercial Skip makes it even easier to enjoy most recordings from Tablo OTA DVRs without any commercial interruptions by eliminating the need to manually fast-forward over ads.

Unlike other offerings which rely on intensive computing power or humans to identify commercial breaks, Tablo uses a cloud-based hybrid of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms and machine learning to deliver more accurate results.”

Locast Now Supports the Portland DMA

Locast CoverageLocast tweeted today: “Welcome to Locast, Portland. Enjoy free local TV streaming through or on the app.” Now, if they would just go ahead and add Greensboro / Winston-Salem /High Point, NC! By the way, the company now says it has 2.5 million registered users!

Locast is a public service to Americans, providing local broadcast signals over the Internet in select cities. All you have to do is sign up online, provide your name and email address, and certify that you live in, and are logging on from, one of the select US cities (“Designated Market Area”). Then, you can select among local broadcasters and stream your favorite local station. is a “digital translator,” meaning that operates just like a traditional broadcast translator service, except instead of using an over-the-air signal to boost a broadcaster’s reach, we stream the signal over the Internet to consumers located within select US cities.

Ever since the dawn of TV broadcasting in the mid-20th Century, non-profit organizations have provided “translator” TV stations as a public service. Where a primary broadcaster cannot reach a receiver with a strong enough signal, the translator amplifies that signal with another transmitter, allowing consumers who otherwise could not get the over-the-air signal to receive important programming, including local news, weather and of course, sports. provides the same public service, except instead of an over-the-air signal transmitter, we provide the local broadcast signal via online streaming.

You need a broadband Internet connection for optimal performance. Using a laptop, smartphone, or computer connected to the Internet, point your browser to to sign up. You then can choose which local broadcast station to watch from your Internet-enabled device.

Setting Up Locast2Plex As a Windows Service!

Setting up Locast2Plex as a Windows Service

These instructions use a different utility to set up the Service. Unlike the “HowToGeek” article, it uses one called “NSSM” available at this link: NSSM – the Non-Sucking Service Manager rather than SrvStart. Microsoft also has instructions to deal with services here: Create a user-defined service

The advantage to NSSM is that it does provide a way to more gracefully handle failure of the application running as a service. Here is a link to that program. And, here’s more detailed instructions on it’s use here:

Because I am not in a supported DMA, I could not (yet) test this with Locast2plex, as I would need access to having Locast use specific local ports (6077 and 1900) which must “connect” to my PC’s IP address. Hopefully if Locast ever supports the Greensboro / Winston-Salem / High Point DMA, I will be able to set this up.

DrBill.TV #488 – Video – The Locast2Plex Cord Cutter Edition!

Dr. Bill introduces us to Locast, and Locast2Plex, a method for using a Python program to set up the Plex system and DVR with the over-the-Internet Locast OTA TV channel service. (Mar 05, 2021)

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

BitChute Referral


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