Cordkillers 157 – Their Crimes Are The Literal Crimes They’ve Committed

Apple gets serious about Apple TV, HBO Now gets a lot of subscribers, and Guardians of the Galaxy will be the perfect movie.

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CordKillers: Ep. 157 – Their Crimes Are The Literal Crimes They’ve Committed
February 13 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Apple Hires Amazon’s Fire TV Head to Run Apple TV Business
    – Apple hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, former head of Amazon’s Fire TV division, as vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing. Twerdahl previously worked at Netflix and Roku. Pete Distad will move from that role into focusing on Apple’s negotiations with media companies. Distad left Hulu in 2013 to join Apple.

How to Watch

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Vizio settles for $2.2 million in FTC suit over snooping on consumers’ viewing habits
    – Vizio agreed to settle a lawsuit with the US Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey for $2.2 million. Starting in 2014, Vizio began tracking what shows were watched alongside IP addresses, MAC addresses, and nearby wi-fi networks, then a third party matched that data with sex, age, income level and more and sold for advertising use. Vizio agreed to delete all collected data, stop tracking, and get express permission before collecting and sharing any new information.
  • MTV’s Mina Lefevre Exits to Join Facebook as Head of Originals Development
    – Facebook has hired Mina Lefevre to be head of development of video content for Facebook. The former executive vice preisdent of development and head of scripted programming at MTV, Lefevre over saw shows like Teen Wolf and the Shannara Chronicles. Facebook recently indicated it wishes to develop original short-form programming. She joins co-founder of College Humor Ricky VanVeen who is now Facebook’s head of global creative strategy.
  • Viacom Puts Its Might Behind Six Brands to Turn Itself Around
    – Viacom says it will prioritize BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr along with its Paramount movie studio now. Other brands will be reorganized to support those six. For instance, Spike will be renamed, the Paramount Network. And Nickelodeon and Paramount will co-brand 4 films. This is the first major move by new Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish who took over as permanent CEO in December.
  • E.U. Agrees to Cross-Border Access to Streaming Services
    – The European Union agreed Tuesday on rules allowing subscribers of online services to access those services while traveling outside their home country within the EU. The rules apply to video streaming services, online TV services, music streaming services and online video game marketplaces.
  • Netflix Plans New Toys, Merchandise Based on Hit TV Shows
    – Netflix has posted a job listing seeking someone to oversee licensing shows for books, comics and toys and creating partnerships with retailers. Bloomberg also said Netflix is also starting to ask for a cut of merchandise made for shows released by Netflix but produced by outside studios. Netflix experimented with Stranger Things merchandise being sold in Hot Topic stores.
  • Nielsen steps closer to cross-platform measurement
    – The Media Rating Council has given accreditation to Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings tool which is part of its Total Audience Measurement initiative. The tool allows digital viewership to be combined with traditional TV ratings.

Dispatches from the Front

I have TWC now called Spectrum in NYC & I tried to stop my cable but because I have internet & tv bundled the price would go up if I stop cable. Crazy!




One of your many bosses emailing here to ask if you’ve seen or heard of this streaming tv guide site for the top 3 streaming TV services out there. The site is and it gives you what is currently on in your traditional grid format we grew up on.

It has Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV NOW and all of their respective package options. So simply choose your package from the drop down you subscribe to and you’ll see what’s on right now! Find the logo of the channel or channels you’re interested in in the grid and quickly scan what’s on. You can even click on each program and get more information if needed. The reason I found this is simply due to the fact I didn’t have my TV on and didn’t want to turn it on, load the Sling app and wait for everything to populate just to see what was on, I just wanted to know if it was worth turning on. I know, pretty lazy, but now that I know this site is out there, it’ll be quicker and more convenient in the future.

I’ve only used Sling TV myself and still am currently subscribed to it, but I found this quite useful to quickly glance through all the channels I have available. I can’t speak to the other two services as I haven’t used them, but it can take a few minutes just to “surf” through all the channels in the Sling app as it takes a couple seconds to load the channel information and art for the current show on each channel.

Anyway, just my two cents and hopefully it helps a fellow cordkiller out there. Been listening since the FrameRate days and haven’t missed an episode. Keep up the good work!!



On the last show Brian talked about syfy streaming issues with the expanse restarting and other crazy stuff. I ran into this awhile back. when running an ad blocker it will let you get to the first commercial break but then freaks out and restarts. Just in case no one has mentioned it already, just disable ad blocker (mine was ublock origin) and it will play fine.

– Mike



Hi Tom, thought you would be interested in how they cast the actress for Bobbie Draper. They were worried about finding an actress who was a 6 ft Polynesian that was physically muscular. Just as a side note, being 6’5″ and 270 she is pretty much my perfect match.




Weighing in on the idea that $4 is too expensive for Seeso…

I have to agree that this IS too expensive as compared to what you get from Hulu or Netflix. If you’re trying to put content out there, those are the price comparisons that people are going to make. Hulu @ $8 includes nearly all current NBC, ABC, FOX, and secondary channel content plus some back catalogs, some originals, and a growing catalog of good movies. Netflix at $8 or $10 for HD gives you a huge back catalog of shows, a huge library of originals, and a good collection of movies.

So how can you justify $4/month for one genre of content from NBC? Or $6 for just CBS? Comparatively, their offerings are too limited to warrant that price.

Plus this model does not scale. Filmstruck wants its $7-$11, Crunchyroll wants $7. Are all the content licensees going to try to extract their $4 – 12 from you for their content? Forget it. If that’s the new world, I’m not buying. I’ll stick with Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, and I’ll supplement that with ad hoc purchases and rentals.





You were talking about which services were considered “too expensive,” and the survey said that CBS All Access was too expensive, but Hulu was not.

From my perspective, with Hulu, I get access to multiple networks (NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, etc.); but with CBS, I only get CBS. It does not seem worth it to me for the two or three shows that I want (especially when I want commcial-free), when I can use the other service to access many, many shows.

– John



2016 Winter Movie Draft


Cordkillers 154 – In Bed! (w/ Jeff Cannata)

Why Netflix is killing it, Esquire network blazes a trail, why more people are using antennas.

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CordKillers: Ep. 154 – In Bed! 
Recorded: January 24 2017
Guest: Jeff Cannata

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Netflix added a record 7 million new subscribers last quarter
    – Netflix announced it earned $0.15 per share in Q4 with sales of $2.48 billion. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $0.14 and revenue of $2.47 billion. Notably the company saw very strong growth in subscribers across all markets. In the US, 2 million new subscibers were added in Q4, with 5 million added internationally. This well exceeded analyst expectations of 1.38 million and 3.78 million, respectively. The company has focused on adding international content that can travel across regions to continue this growth, like the original Brazilian series 3%, as well as Japanese anime and Turkish dramas
  • Netflix predicts HBO will let you binge new shows online before they air on TV
  • Netflix’s global domination plans find a US fanbase
  • Netflix is so big that it doesn’t need net neutrality rules anymore
  • A buyer’s primer on who’s NOT subscribing to Netflix
  • Netflix is killing it
    – Reed Hastings in shareholder letter cited an unconfirmed report about the BBC ““The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favoring internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC.”
    – Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos “We’re seeing as we’re adding more and more global shows that it’s rising all boats across the world,”
    -“Weakening of US net neutrality laws, should that occur, is unlikely to materially affect our domestic margins or service quality because we are now popular enough with consumers to keep our relationships with ISPs stable.”
    -“On a public policy basis, however, strong net neutrality is important to support innovation and smaller firms.”  
    – A UBS study of US non-subscribers to Netflix
    – 2/3 older than 55
    – 3/5 have HH income below US median, also small HH of 1 or 2 perople
    – Slower on technology adoption
    – The report notes that adding Netflix as part of a cable bundle is more likely to convert this group into subscribers

How to Watch

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom/Brian – I just wanted to share the results of an experiment I was conducting to see if I could start using Amazon Prime video more than I was because I mostly forgot it was there.

Well TLDR; No. Their UX on both Roku and the Web is still terrible. When I stop watching the UHD version of the Grand Tour on the Roku and try to continue on the laptop it doesn’t continue from where I left on the Roku. Because Amazon tracks the UHD and the HD versions separately. Seriously!!! Also I rented 3 movies during their 99 cent rental offer and couldn’t find them on any screen. I had to search for them movies and then it showed that I had rented them. Also the UX is terrible to figure out which are paid and which are free on Prime.

When I discussed this with a few colleagues and friends, I found I wasn’t the only one struggling. So I guess amazon which is so brilliant in shopping UX needs a lot of work on the streaming part. I love a lot of the work they are doing but definitely need to ramp up the UX. For now I am back to itunes and Google Play for renting. But I assume Apple will run into this when they plan on launching their streaming service.





Hey guys,

I love the show and I am a Patreon contributor. I have a question. What apps would you recommend that show where to stream a movie or tv show?

Thanks again for the show. I cut cable October 2015 and I haven’t missed it. My wife was the reason I didn’t do it sooner but she was tried of Comcast issues and agreed to try. We agreed to cut cable for a month without actually dropping the cable. We disconnected the TVs and hooked up an OTA antenna. After two weeks my wife said she didn’t miss cable and we dropped Comcast.

We use Netflix, Acorn TV and Tablo with the antenna. We use a combination of Apple TVs and Roku on 4 TVs. I like Apple better and my wife prefers Roku. I use SideReel to track my shows at Tom’s recommendation. We have used Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and Dirrectv Now. Of the three, I like PS Vue the best but I will try Hulu’s new service we it comes out.



Hello wonderful employees!

I meant to write in some time ago about this subject, but just never got around to it.

The reason that Amazon didn’t release Grand Tour all at once is because they’re still filming!
This screen grab is from E! following the production team of GT around the Hollywood Hills, Wednesday, January 18, as they film elements for what’s possibly the season finale on February 3rd. According to WikiPedia, “it was announced that the final studio filming location will be Dubai in December 2016.[25].”

So there’s your answer, they’re still not done! However, they’re going straight into filming series two, so maybe that would be release Netflix-style.

Love the show, gents. Keep up the great work!




Thanks for recommending Movies With Mikey I love his review style, and his review of The Force Awakens changed my mind about the movie. When I saw it all I could see was all the fan service BS like “oh look it’s Death Star 3.0 this time it’s bigger”. Mikey revealed done of the underlying plot that I totally missed.
Love the show
Your boss


Hey guys,

Heard your positive sounding coverage of the Anime Strike launch on Amazon. Always cool to see the anime streaming services get a little Cordkiller love. Wanted to drop you a line and hip you to some details about that service you may not be aware of. You’re right, anime fans tend to be a pretty passionate bunch, but we’ll get back to that later.

99% of the offerings on Anime Strike is content that’s readily available through other channels. There’s really nothing particularly special about most of the content it offers other than their “curation.” No doubt some of it was previously available on Amazon Prime.

But there is *one* thing that is special.

There is a programming block on Fuji TV called Noitamina (animation spelled backwards). Every broadcast season, it airs one weekly half-hour episode show. The content on that block is aimed at an older audience, and an audience that might not be your standard issue “anime fan.” Think drama, not Dragonball. And the content that airs on Noitamina, while not infallible, is generally considered to be a cut above by a lot of anime fans. Many folks will check out any show that airs on that block, even if it doesn’t appear to be their cup of tea. “Noitamina show” is a phrase that people recognize.

And Amazon signed a deal with Fuji TV to be the exclusive streaming distributer of simulcast content that airs on that block a few seasons back.

So essentially, Anime Strike is merely Amazon holding a single show, of well-regarded content, hostage for five dollars a month, every season. On TOP of an Amazon Prime membership. Compare that to the seven dollars a month for a Crunchroll membership – where you can watch literally *everything else* that is simulcasting (plus a large library of things you *can’t* see other places).

There is no value add to Anime Strike. It’s a very old-media, consumer-hostile, balkanization maneuver.

Y’all are correct – anime fans are a pretty passionate bunch. Moreover, they’re pretty savvy about streaming services too. And the naked cynicism of what Amazon is doing with that service is readily apparent. I assure you, Anime Strike enjoys absolutely no good will in western anime fandom. People are going to continue paying Crunchyroll (a company that enjoys a *great deal* of consumer good will) their seven dollars a month, and torrent the single Noitaminia show. That’s what’s going to happen.

That isn’t intended to be justifications for piracy, just pointing out the reality and economics of the situation.

Cheers guys,



2016 Winter Movie Draft

Cordkillers 153 – T-Mo Singing the Credo

Netflix streaming turns 10, Apple may make original TV shows, Amazon launches an anime channel. Light Sherlock and Battlestar Galactica spoilers 30:03-30:35. With special guest Justin Robert Young.

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CordKillers: Ep. 153 – T-Mo Singing the Credo
Recorded: January 16 2017
Guest: Justin Robert Young

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 10 years ago Netflix to offer online movie viewing
    – Quick shoutout that it was 10 years ago today that Netflix launched it’s “Watch Now” service. Netflix subscribers got one hour of watch time per $1 they spent on the service for DVDs and could choose from “more than 1,000” titles. (Windows IE Only)
  • Apple said to be seriously pursuing Netflix-style scripted TV and movies
    – The Wall Street Journal reports Apple is talking with veteran TV and movie producers about commissioning high quality scripted series and feature films. The Journals sources say the project would start with a handful of carefully selected shows and movies. No deals have been made and questions remain about how the shows would be distributed. Apple has some original content already with Carpool Karaoke, documentaries and an upcoming series based on the life of Dr. Dre.
  • Jimmy Iovine Addresses Apple Music Expansion Reports
    – Apple’s Jimmy Iovine told the Television Critics Association “we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video.”
    “If South Park walks into my office, I am not going to say you’re not musicians, you know?We’re going to do whatever hits popular culture smack on the nose. We’re going to try.”
    Iovine was promoting the HBO documentary The Defiant Ones about him and Dr. Dre partnering to launch Beats. 

How to Watch

  • A Studio Ghibli-Produced TV Show Is Coming to Amazon Prime Later This Month
    – Studio Ghibli’s 2014 series Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter comes to Amazon Prime video January 27th. It’s based on a book by Astrid Lindgren and directed by Goro Miyazak. It’s the story of a thief’s young daughter who befriends a rival’s son, linking the two opposing ideologies.
  • Amazon launches the first of its own subscription VOD channels, Anime Strike
    – Amazon has launched its own Anime channel called Anime Strike featuring collections of classic movies and TV shows along with currently airing Japanese TV. Amazon Prime Members can add the service to their existing subscription for $4.99 a month. Amazon sells add-ons from other services like Starz, Showtime and Cinemax.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • PBS KIDS debuts a new channel and live TV service, available via web and mobile
    – PBS launched a new 24/7 PBS KIds channel available on 107 over the air stations but also for free on the PBSKids streaming app and at Later this year PBS will integrated games that extend what’s happening in the live stream. And starting April 21st the channel will have “PBS KIDS Family Night.” From 7 to 9 PM on Friday evenings.
  • DirecTV Now appears to be a complete mess
    – DirecTV Now seems to have constant problems still, a month and a half after launch. The Verge notes more than 200 active forum threads complaining about DirecTV Now as well as almost daily apologies from the DirecTV Now twitter account for various bugs, outages, login and billing problems.
  • Star Wars will not digitally recreate Carrie Fisher for future movies
    – Lucasfilm issued a statement Friday that it, “has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.” Carrie Fisher had shot all her scenes for Episode VIII. For Episode IX, Hollywood Reporter said one of Lucasfilm’s options was using CG to create new scenes and BBC said Lucasfilm was in discussions with Fisher’s estate about the use of her likeness. 
  • Game of Thrones: Could Season 8 Consist of More Than 6 Episodes?
    – HBO programming president Casey Bloys told TVLine are still deciding how many episodes season 8 of Game of Thrones will have. Originally we were supposed to get 7 this year and 6 next but it looks like there’s a possibility of more than 6 in season 8.  
  • Apple TV app changes pave the way for better gaming
    – Apple has increased the maximum size of apps that can be submitted to the Apple TV App Store from 200 MB to 4 GB. That could mean new Apple TVs coming with larger drives than the 32 and 64GB models currently offered. It could also mean a focus on games since those apps are much larger than streaming video related apps. 
  • ESPN brings Apple’s handy single sign-on tool to its iOS apps
    – The WatchESPN and ESPN apps now supports Apple’s single sign-on feature for Apple TV. The main ESPN app also adds picture in picture so you can watch a game while tapping around reading news. 
  • Also Shield TV users, Amazon Video is available in the latest software update!

Dispatches from the Front
Hi Guys, on the last Cordkillers, Jason asked about streaming in an RV. This link is invaluable for info on just that subject. Please pass it along, thanks ~ Steve Lamb TV & Movie Entertainment on the Road: Streaming, Downloading & Alternatives – RV Mobile Internet Resource Center




Hey guys, one of your bosses, Rick from outside Orlando here. read on Zatz not funny this week slingplayer is discontinued. As a long time user this upset me greatly as I use mine every time I travel to connect to my Tivo Roamio at home, and also have one in my parents house across the country to watch my favorite sports teams, not to mention slinging to my PC in home for background TV when I’m surfing the net. Can you guys tell me if there are any viable alternatives as I have not found one?




Hey Tom and Brian,
On episode 152 you guys were discussing streaming services with Cloud DVR options. Long term, do you really think cloud DVRs will be the best way to do things or is just a holdover from the cable and satellite tv days?

I’ve had DVRs from DirecTV and TWC in the past, but since becoming a Cord Killer, I’ve enjoyed the freedom of on demand and not having to mess with a DVR.

Isn’t On Demand a better solution? I don’t have to worry about remembering to record a show or hope the game doesn’t go long and bump the schedule back 5 minutes, or run out of space on a DVR.

Also, how dumb is a storage restriction on a cloud DVR. We all know they probably aren’t actually recording shows to individual DVRs for each subscriber, its just a database entry of what shows you are recording. This will be like cell phone minutes or texting plans, where we get billed like crazy for small uses at first but then eventually get unlimited once demand is high enough.

Keep up the great work,



I’ve been running my own DVR (MythTV) for around 10 years now and while I use to love it, both my wife and I have been slowly using it less and less ever since we subscribed to Netflix in 2012. It was to the point that when I had a motherboard go bad, I had to figure out if it was worth the time/cost to replace it. In the end I decided to but since I stopped even watching GMA in the morning like I use to, then unless it is for a special live event, I just don’t use it anymore.

Even shows that I have several seasons worth on my DVR, Simpsons, Bobs Burgers, Family Guy, etc., I realized most of those shows are now on Netflix so I determined the last episode I saw and started watching that episode on Netflix. I’ve now seen more Bob’s Burgers over the past month then I have over the past few years just due to moving it to the interface I’m always on (Netflix). Simpsons I had to leave due to them not being on Netflix yet, but I’m sure I could find them via one of my friends on Plex if I cared to look.

The point it, even consumers like me who loved OTA so much to build our own machines to watch, just don’t care anymore…but I will probably continue to keep it around for live programming or others events that are nice to be able to pause, or time-shift just enough to skip commercials but still enjoy majority of the event live.

As a side-note, if I actually cared about local news, Roku’s NewsON app lets me watch local news. I even saw some of GMA this morning when our weather turned bad and my antenna wasn’t picking up the best signal. But that’s the first time I’ve turned GMA on in months.

Thanks for the great work guys!

Greg (Kansas City)




This last week I found a great, but limited use for my over the air antennae. I live in the Portland, Oregon metro area and we recently had a very bad snowstorm. The local early morning traffic report OTA was amazing quality. Using the local news streaming sites was a horrible experience, max 720p streaming and even then it struggled (I have 300mbs fiber).

Before this I was with you, but after rediscovering the OTA part of my TV I am amazed at the visual quality (better than my 4k roku ultra using 4k uhd hdr samsung) and the diversity of channels is great….

THE COMMERCIALS KILL IT THOUGH!!!! lol our household can’t stand commercials and my 6 year old has no concept of them… “where’d my show go?, this isn’t my show!”
Netflix, Amazon and commercial free Hulu are how our household views it all. We tried SlingTV and PlaystationVue and didn’t even finish the free trials because of the commercials.

Keep up the great work!!

Brandon from Oregon



Hi, Tom, Brian and <insert the name of your guest so I sound clairvoyant>

Comcast is getting sneaky trying to get people to subscribe to cable TV. The other day I was helping my uncle setup a new wireless router he bought. We called Comcast and at the end the tech said “For only $5 more a month you can get 8 times the speed increase on your internet”. We figured he had some old outdated plan and thought that sounded like a good deal. After 10 minutes of the tech setting that up he comes back and says “Oh by the way that includes cable TV as well”, which he was not subscribe to before. We put the brakes on that quick and there was no way to get the speed boost without getting cable TV. Sorry Comcast stop trying to sell me cable TV, its never going to happen.

See ya


Hey Tom & Brian,

My sister has a question regarding piracy. She’s working on a project that started out as trying to get enough YouTube clips from Captain America: The Winter Soldier to make a short movie, but it quickly turned into a quest to see how many clips she could find. We’re editing the clips together, but she keeps asking me if doing this is illegal. Ordinarily I would say “Of course, we’re cropping out Facebook links and editing out the curse words. It’s not the full experience.”, but she has 2 hours worth of clips out of a movie that’s 2 and a half hours long! What should I tell her?




2016 Winter Movie Draft