Cordkillers

Cordkillers 170 – Big Budget or a Bit Crap (w/ Ewen Rankin)

Majority of US adults have smart TVs but is anyone using them? PBS Kids streaming stick wins over Brian and a free movie and TV streaming service. With special guest Ewen Rankin.

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CordKillers: Ep. 170 – Big Budget or a Bit Crap
Recorded: May 15 2017
Guest: Ewen Rankin

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Majority of U.S. adults own a streaming-enabled TV, according to IAB study
    – The Interactive Advertising Bureau and MARU Matchbox released results of an online survey indicating 56% of US adults own a streaming-enabled television
    – 54% of TV watching time is spent on non-linear TV. 20% of that goes to digital.
    – 50% said they would rather watch commercials than pay for ad-free subscriptions. 44% said commercials in digital are less intrusive than on regular TV

How to Watch

  • PBS made the cutest TV streaming stick probably ever
    – PBS Kids is releasing an HDMI Streaming stick shaped like a race car for $50 at Wal-Mart, starting May 24.
    – Includes a remote
    – Features Several games and 100 hours of programming stored locally (available offline)
    – Can connect through WiFi access to PBS Kids streaming channel
  • Tubi TV
    – Tubi TV has raised $20 million for its free ad-supported streaming service
    – Tubi has 200 partners including LionsGate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Starz and others,
    – 50,000 titles
    – Selection is not all available at the same time. Rotated to feel fresh
    – Partners across anime, international films and TV (e.g. Korean, Chinese and British TV),
    – Tubi is available on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox and SmartTV
  • Bell targets cord-cutters with new ‘Alt TV’ service
    – In Ontario and Quebec, Bell is launching Alt TV to Bell internet customers, starting at $15/mo (requires unlimited internet, 25Mbps down plan). Does not include DVR or live broadcast pausing. The service is all app-based and available on mobile devices and AppleTV. Fine print indicates a smaller selection of live/VOD content on wireless connections outside home wifi. http://www.bell.ca/alttv . One of/THE first wide-spread TV-via-app devices in Canada? Pretty cheap, but requires a specific internet plan and has app-based watching on their FibeTV set top service.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Tom! My parents have been thinking about become cord killers recently to save some money. I wanted to check with you to get your advice on what you recommend them to do. The biggest thing is they love watching live sports, so I was thinking of setting them up with a slingt v account, netflix, (they have amazon prime already) and possibly hulu. I don’t know much about hulu, but figured between sling tv, netflix and prime, they would be pretty happy. Also, what device would you recommend as well for them to use? (Roku, chrome cast, apple tv, etc.) Or maybe even just buying a new smart tv. Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me. Love your shows!

– Tyler

 

 

Hey Brian and Tom,

I’m a long-time listener of Cordkillers, from back in the Frame Rate days… and I thought you might be interested in this new cord-cutting website/FAQ/tutorial-thing put together by Plex. It brands Plex as “a cord cutter’s best friend,” and their Introduction even contains the phrase “watch what you want, when you want.”

Thanks,

Marc

 

 

Greetings Bryce, Brian, and Tom,

My wife and I are moving at the beginning of June and we’re going to cancel DirecTV to become cordcutters. I really dislike talking on the phone, especially with pushy customer service representatives. I know that the reps are going to try to convince me that I don’t have to cancel just because I’m moving, or I can sign up for DirecTV Now which I do not want. Do you or anyone in the audience have suggestions for ripping the DirecTV Band-Aid off as quickly and as painlessly as possible?

Thanks!
anotherJmartin

 

 

 

Howdy,

I was obsessed with the box office as long as I can remember. So when you guys started the Movie Draft, I started a draft with some family and friends, and so I made a little chart to forecast and track the possible outcomes.

For each movie, you can enter a low gross (if it under performs), an expected gross, or an high gross (if it over performs). The spreadsheet will then give you a range that each player’s total should be within.

As movies premier and soar or bomb, you can update the values each week. Once they end their theatric run, the values become set across the Low, Expected, and High grosses.

I filled in the spreadsheet for the DiamondClub Movie Draft and entered in my own expected grosses. Of course, the numbers for movies that haven’t come out yet or finished earning movie are just my opinion, so feel free to make a copy and put in your own values!

In the last column, labeled “custom”, you can mix and match low, expected, and high grosses, so you can answer questions like “if everything goes as expected but Pirates under performs, what will the total be?”

Hope someone besides me finds this fun or useful!

bit.ly/moviedraftforecaster

Andy

 

 

 

Brian,
Perfect answer on the show! Sorry for mixing up your comments. I too have read tons of expanded universe (but none of the new books!). I grew up watching the OT and saw Ep1 my senior year in high school. In fact, a friend and I performed a lightsaber duel to “Duel of the Fates” during our senior band concert. I was in full Darth Maul costume and makeup. Nerdiest moment of my life.

So, yes, no matter how bad the movies are, we will always love the story and universe. And the Legends will never be forgotten.

But, I should have clarified I was talking specifically about the movies. In a longer version of the email, I made a comparison to my relationship with horror movies. Im not a horror movie fan. Therefore, if I don’t like a horror movie that got positive reviews from viewers and critics, I don’t blame the movie. I blame the fact that I’m not a fan of horror movies.

So, I was just curious if you think that might be (or might one day be) similar to your relationship with non-OT Star Wars movies. Just something to think about, that’s all.

(Not expecting y’all to revisit this on the show, just wanted to clarify!)

Andy

 

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

It’s Spoilerin’ Time 168 (w/ Nicole Lee)

American Gods (101), The Expanse (213) Better Call Saul (303), Fargo (302), The Leftovers (303), Justified (603), Summer Movie Draft, and Triage. With special guest Nicole Lee.

01:15 – Summer Movie Draft
05:19 – Triage
09:09 – American Gods (101)
20:32 – The Expanse (213)
24:44 – Better Call Saul (303)
32:46 – Fargo (302)
37:40 – The Leftovers (303)
43:27 – Justified (603)

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Cordkillers 168 – King of the Hypocrites (w/ Nicole Lee)

Twitter goes 24/7 video, DC might launch a streaming service with digital comics, and Nicole Lee shares her first two weeks as a cord-cutter. With special guest Nicole Lee.

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CordKillers: Ep. 168 – King of the Hypocrites
Recorded: May 1 2017
Guest: Nicole Lee

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Twitter plans to broadcast live video 24 hours a day
    – Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto told BuzzFeed News that Twitter plans to stream video 24 hours a day 7 days a week covering news, sports and entertainment. Noto didn’t give a date saying it will take some time to ramp up the “many, many things.”
  • Twitter will stream 24-hour news from Bloomberg starting this fall
    – Twitter and Bloomberg will partner on the effort. Twitter will not just retransmit Bloomberg’s existing live video stream but originate programs for Twitter and mix in live video from Twitter users. It would be broader in focus than Bloomberg’s financial-oriented news
  • Twitter announces more live video feeds
    – Why Tom thinks this is significant: The Internet has had the promise to deliver infinite channels a la carte. The only reason it hasn’t been able to compete with cable was the difficulty of competing with the budgets of top providers who kept content on cable. Netflix broke the model on original scripted programming providing an a la cart channel. Twitter is trying to do that with mainstream news/sports. This could force compeititors to consider going a la carte themselves.

How to Watch

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Comcast Beats Q1 Earnings Expectations Helped By Strong Film Sales
    – Comcast announced its earnings and there are a few tidbits of interest to cord-cutters. NBCU’s cable networks raised revenue from increased license fees even as cable distribution fell. In other words fewer cable subscribers but more money per subscriber. Universal films raised revenue too on the strength of Fifty Shades Darker, Get Out, Split, and Sing. And even Comcast cable bucked the industry trend by adding 42,000 video subscribers.
  • ESPN Is Laying Off 100 On-Air Personalities and Staffers
    – Meanwhile ESPN continues to cut costs, announcing layoffs that the best guesses peg at around 100 staff. That includes on-air and online talent. ESPN cut 300 jobs in 2015. ESPN’s subscriber totals have dipped by more than 10 million over the past few years.
  • Netflix has just found a backdoor into China
    – At the APOS industry conference in Bali, Netflix announced a content licensing agreement with iQiyi, a video service subsidiary of Chinese search company Baidu. The Hollywood Reporter says it will include day-and-date releases of Netflix originals, though no show titles were specified. Netflix said in a statement that “expectations of our deal are modest in scope.”
  • Hulu scores deal with NBCU for its live TV service, will now carry all four major broadcast networks
    – Hulu’s live TV service is expectedto launch this month and it just announced it has reached a deal with NBCUniversal NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN, Sprout and other channels to the service. Hulu previously announced deals with CBS, Fox and Disney-ABC. Hulu says it will have more than 50 channels available.
  • Sling tries to lure customers with an AirTV bundle
    – Sling is offering new subscribers a discount on its AirTV Player which combines the sling service with over the air channels along with other apps like Netflix. If you sign up for three months of $20 a month service you’ll get the box for $50. It retails for $130.
  • The YouTube Kids app is now available on even more screens!
    – YouTube announced its Kids app is now available on LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs in the 26 countries where the app is currently launched. This is in addition to versions available in the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Dispatches from the Front
Hi Brian,Bryce,Tom and Jackie if she’s in the chat room.

I did catch this last Tuesday on episode 167 “The UnSub Purge” . You both kind of called my bluff to cancel cable by May 1st .I’ve been a 3rd time cable subscriber with Charter Spectrum since last October….I simply haven’t found the time to watch anything on the Cable DVR. … There will come a time where I will have to call it and just loose whatever there is on it when I finally cancel service. I’m holding myself accountable to June 1.

… for the last 3 weeks, I haven’t even fired up the cable DVR to watch anything on it…..

David

Patreon supporter since episode 1 in December 2013.

 

 

 

We are going to buy Starz to watch American Gods, any thing else we should make a point of seeing? Thanks and love the show.

Pat

 

 

 

Hello Brian and Tom,

Last week Brian mentioned that he wanted to know if someone who hadn’t read the comics version of Locke & Key would find the audio version as riveting as someone who read the comics first. Upon hearing this I checked my Audible library to find I had Locke & Key, apparently it was a free read a year and a half ago, so I gave it a listen and here is my spoiler free review:

I enjoyed the full cast audio play when there wasn’t a lot of action going on. Once there was any action the director relied on sound effects or screaming/crying characters to tell the story and that was just confusing. Narration to tell that part of the story would have been a great help. I found the story interesting and compelling enough finish the 13+ hour book in three days. I felt scared and sad and frustrated along with the main characters but I was googling how to get the 6 books inexpensively after 4 hours because I felt I was missing something with just audio. I found some images from the comics online and that helped fill-in some visuals. I read some reviews, on Audible and Goodreads, which said to either read the comics first or use the audio version to read-along with the comics. I agree with those reviews. I’m going to go to the local comics shops this weekend to look for the books or comics, failing that I’ll buy the set on ComiXology. I do think this story could make a great TV series if done by the right people with a big enough budget to give the story the treatment it needs.

Now to figure out if you can get Hulu originals in the UK.

Thanks,
Jennifer

 

 

 

Ok Brian, you were right… This is Reuben in hot, no chilly, no hot Durham, NC. As you predicted from my last note touting the “workaround” I thought I had with Spectrum internet, I failed; mostly. I was not able to cancel the cable and phone and retain the internet only for 29.99/month as the salesperson said I would, however, after grumbling at the cancellations department for a few minutes, I was able to get a discount from the regular price of $69.99/mo for 100 Mbps to $54.99/mo which is a better dollar per Mb price than the $42/mo for 50Mbps service I had previously. So, lesson learned on the lying sales people, but I think I can be at least satisfied with the new deal. Thanks for the great show!

 

 

 

I have an urgent need to fill if I am going to accept the #UnsubPurge challenge. You have often commented that there is so much good stuff to watch these days, and I agree. What I need is a good place to go and see all the things that are available on any streaming service. I haven’t made it a habit to follow many sources for such things, but if there is a single place I can go to look at what new or existing offerings are available, I’d be very happy to eliminate all bills and simply subscribe to the service(s) needed to watch what we are watching at any given moment.
Ideal requirements: covers the major services available through the Roku box, is up to date on what is available at any given moment, concentrates on series or full seasons, as we are generally interested in long-form story telling more than episodic stories, gives a brief description so I know what the series is about, and covers different age ranges, so that I can find good stuff for my kids as well.
Until we have the world where my tv, or some appliance knows what I want to watch, I am hoping for such a comprehensive information source. I could go look for this myself, but what’s the point of being a boss if you can’t delegate?
All kidding aside, I am a huge fan of both of you, as well as the variety of interesting guests you bring on. Your performance review will indicate this.

Chris

 

 

The Writers Guild voted to authorize a strike if they can’t come to terms by May 1st. (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-Writers-Guild-Strike/2017/04/24/id/786157/) Cord Cutters News wrote about his awhile back, saying that this will be a win for on demand streaming services because the cable and broadcast channels would be forced to play reruns once the current seasons wrap up, and Netflix and Amazon will very likely have better reruns. (http://cordcuttersnews.com/new-writers-strike-big-win-netflix-amazon-cord-cutting/) I could be wrong, but couldn’t cable and broadcast shows just do literally totally unscripted reality shows while they’re waiting for the Writers Guild to get their act together?

From,
Amar

 

 

 

Hey guys,
I was wondering if either of you suffer from what I’d like to call Binge Amnesia. Let me explain.

As a cord cutter I tend to watch most of my shows when they become available on various streaming platforms, usually dropping an entire season at once. I will binge the season within a few weeks and then I’ll have to wait almost an entire year for the next season to be released. By the time I watch the new season I have completely forgotten the details of the prior season.

Case in point, I had binged the prior seasons of The Leftovers last year. Last night I started watching the latest season and I felt lost for a while. Luckily I was able to pick up on the current story by the end of the episode. I still haven’t watched season 2 of Man in the High Castle or Better Call Saul because I want to be able to enjoy them at their fullest but I don’t have time to rewatch the prior seasons.

Always forgetful,
Scott

 

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Cordkillers 166 – Fire is Hot! (w/ C. Robert Cargill)

Netflix misses targets for subscribers and kills it with Sandler fans. Roku TVs ask nicely to spy on you for your own good. With special guest C. Robert Cargill.

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CordKillers: Ep. 166 – Fire is Hot!
Recorded: April 17 2017
Guest: C. Robert Cargill

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Roku TVs now know what you’re watching, will suggest related shows
    – Roku rolled out updates to its Television software (May 2011 models and newer). Viewing suggestions calle d”more Ways to Watch” can pop up on the screen based on what you’re currently viewing. Handy if you want to start from the beginning of a show or find a version without commercials. It can also suggest related shows. If you opt-in to the service Roku uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) to recognize what’s coming in over the air or from cable.
    – Other updates
    – Favorite list for over the air channels
    – Thumbnail images for live TV ff and rewind
    – Closed caption support on “replay” feature
    – faster resume from standby
    – Custom input names
    – Both TV and Set-top box
    – Expanded search to 300 streaming channels

How to Watch

  • Netflix misses its growth targets but expects to hit 102M subscribers next quarter
    – Netflix added 1.42 million domestic subscribers and 3.53 million international subscribers missing its own and Wall Street’s expectations of 1.5 million and 3.7 million. It beat expectations of 37 cents a share with 40 cents a share and met expectations of $2.64 billion in revenue. Netflix expects 600,000 domestic subscribers and 2.6 million international subscribers in the second quarter. In its letter to shareholders Netflix argues its members fund its films so they should be the first to see them but that its “open to supporting “ theater chains like AMC and Regal in showing Netflix films like Will Smith’s Bright. Also its members have cumulatively spent 500 million hours watching Adam Sandler movies.
  • Netflix is willing to put its films in theaters — but not before online release
  • Hulu’s Live TV service to cost $39.99 per month with ads, sources say
    – Sources say Hulu’s streaming TV service will be $39.99 a month (CEO Mike Hopkins previously said it would be “under $40”)
    – Would included live TV broadcasts, on demand library and Hulu library
    – Supposedly Cloud DVR would not support fast forward.
    – Premium tier might have DVR WITh fast forward and no limit on simultaneous streams for an extra $20 a month or less
    – Presumably you could also pay extra to get Hulu library commercial-free
    – Planned for a Spring launch
    -Hulu on demand $8
    – Hulu on demand commercial free $12
    – Hulu Live and on demand $40
    – Hulu live and on demand commerical free $44?
    – Hulu live, on demand, unlimited DVR $60
    – Hulu, live, on demand, unlimited DVR, commerical free $64?

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • NBC Reaches Deal With TV Affiliates for Opting in to Internet Video Distribution Agreements
    – NBC announced an agreement with its affiliate station board that would allow affiliates who are not owned by NBC to opt-in to any Internet TV agreements that NBC negotiates on behalf of its owned and operated stations. This would make it easier for local stations to get on to Internet TV services like PS Vue and Sling without having to negotiate their own deals. NBC owns 11 stations and has more than 200 affiliates.
  • Sling TV’s $5 Cloud DVR arrives on Android and Roku
    – Sling TV’s Cloud DVR feature is available for users on Android and Roku to buy for $5 a month. Subscribers get 50 hours of video storage for channels that allow it.
  • CBS’s streaming service CBS All Access gains movies
    – Cord Cutter News spotted that CBS had begun to add movies to the CBS All Access app. CBS says it has about 18 movies right now, including some of the original Star Trek films, Up in The Air, and Funny Face, all licensed from Paramount. CBS plans to keep adding movies to the service.
  • Boomerang now offers unlimited classic cartoons for $5 a month
    – Boomerang’s streaming service is now available for $5 a month offering more than 5,000 cartoons. The selection includes Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry, and more. You can pay for a year at a time at $40 which ends up being $3.33 a month. Boomerang is available to US customers on desktop, Android, and iOS — support for streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast are upcoming.

Dispatches from the Front

 In episode 165 of spoiler time Brian had a hard time accepting that the OJ documentary should be considered a miniseries and not a movie. His defense was if it was a TV series it should be broken up into half hour or 1 hour shows. But then Brian turns around and fully accept that BBC’s Sherlock is totally a TV show Even though they are long format. I don’t understand this inconsistency. Awesome show I’ve listened to you guys ever since you guys were on twit keep up the awesome work I only listen to you guys and not twit anymore

– Tom

 

 

 

Just finished listening to episode 165 where you were talking about the thumbs-up thumbs-down star rating system. I’m an Uber driver and every time I finish a ride Uber forces me to rate the customer. what do you think about a version similar to this for streaming services?

– Tim

 

 

 Is it possible to listen to either of your shows on either Google Home or Amazon Echo. If it is possible please tell me how. This is my main way of listening to podcasts now but the selection of podcasts on each service is very limited.

Thxs

– Mark

 

 

 

Hey Guys,

Reuben here from meteorologically schizophrenic North Carolina.

I have just had an interesting call with Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable. At the moment, I have 50Mbps internet from Earthlink, which is owned by Time Warner, now Spectrum. I was shopping at a a local mall and saw a booth advertising an offer for Spectrum 100Mbps internet for $44.95/month. I called to see if I could get the offer and was told that was a promotional price for new users and the regular rate was around $65/month (cue eye roll). As I was speaking to the sales rep, she was giving me the standard line about their triple play package which has 100Mbps internet, home phone, and cable TV for 29.99/mo each. When I told her I only wanted internet, she told me that within 30 days of signing up, I could call and “make changes” to the account if I wanted and the promotional rate would still apply! I asked if that really meant that I could call and cancel the cable tv and phone and keep the promotional rate of $29.99/mo for the 100Mbps internet for 12 months to which she replied, “Yes”. Fingers crossed that they follow through as I will be cancelling ASAP after I pick up my self-install kit at the local Spectrum store.

I am positively gobsmacked. I hope this helps anyone out there who’s looking for cheaper internet with Spectrum!

Thanks,

– Reuben
 

 

 

I recently purchased the new 2017 LG 55″ C7 OLED via B&H Photo Video. So happy they honored the Pre Order price as I got it for $2500 instead of the $3500 it is currently going for. As to 4K content Im having to use Netflix on the TV vs my Apple TV. Hope Apple releases a 4K AppleTV soon.

Question: With the latest season of Better Call Saul out where can I get it in 4K? Netflix has old seasons. I’ll pay, I bought the last two on ITunes. I cannot find 4K digital version. Amazon offers some 4K streaming, but BCS s3 only is in HD? AMC’s site doesn’t say if the stram is 4K.

Thanks for any response, and thanks Tom for answering my question on a past Sword & Laser podcast.

– Adam

 

Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers