Cordkillers 152 – When the Sun Explodes

Hulu shares some sneak peeks about their live service and the hottest over the air hardware out of CES. With special guest Roberto Villegas.

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CordKillers: Ep. 152 – When the Sun Explodes
Recorded: January 9 2017
Guest: Roberto Villegas

Intro Video

Primary Target

How to Watch

  • Sling TV set to debut the AirTV Player, which combines local channels, Sling’s service & Netflix
    – Dish announced the Air TV set-top box running Android TV that can integrate over the air channels into it’s Sling TV channel guide. It can also run all Android TV apps and comes with Netflix and YouTube pre-installed. The bluetooth remote has voice control and infrared for controlling sound systems. The Air TV is available today for $130 or $100 without the antenna adapter. You can buy the adapter later for $40. 
  • Mohu’s wireless AirWave antenna makes cord-cutting simple
    – Mohu Airwave
    – Antenna that streams OTA TV over WiFi
    – Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS, Android, Web
    – $150 late spring
  • Tablo Droid
    – Connect USB antenna to Android TV (starting with Nvidia Shield)
    – Software can work with Hauppage tuner as well
    – Software is free with free 30-day trail , guide data is $3.99 a month
    – Coming to Google Play Store in Q2
    – Device oming Q2 no price
    – Tablo Live
    – One-tuner, no storage
    – Streams OTA TV to Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast and mobile
    – Q2 for $99
    -Upcoming Tablo Cloud feature for storage in the cloud

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Happy Holidays guys! I recently rediscovered your show, and am enjoying it immensely. Quick question, do you have any recommendations for streaming in an RV? Because I don’t want to use all of my telephone data in on weekend, and I don’t want to watch the same old DVDs. I guess this is more of a internet question, but I figured I would ask the people who knew the most about streaming. If you can offer any help, we would greatly appreciate it.





I hope this gets to you before you record for the week. 

I just tried to download a couple of shows from Netflix for my ride home on the bus and Netflix told me that I could only download this title one more time before “”December 22, 2017″”. 

In preparing for a cross country flight before Christmas, I had downloaded a bunch of stuff and didn’t watch it. So I deleted it to free up space. Now, I’m learning that you can only download something 3 times a year. 





Do you guys have a suggestion of a good app to keep track of all the TV shows and movies you want to watch? Every time you guys mention what you’re watching, I want to add this somewhere, but I don’t have a good hub for this (other than an endless Google spreadsheet, which isn’t that convenient), or tracking it on watchlists across multiple apps. If it happened to allow for music too, and maybe notes about why I’ve added it, that would be amazing. Thanks!

Tim J



To Brian,Tom, and Bryce:
Enjoyed the KILLIES Show very much! You all had very good choices! Cordkillers is one of my best recommendations for Discovering new shows and movies.
I am especially happy that Tom included the CROWN and DOWNTON ABBEY on his list. I am also an Anglophile and enjoy those kinds of shows too. I normally watch zombies and science fiction, but enjoy History too.
Thanks much! Best Wishes in the New Year!

Michael K.



Hey Killers… just LOVED The Killies 2016. It would be cool if you guys did it quarterly. Much fun had by all!!




2016 Winter Movie Draft

The Killies 2016

Getting a new streaming device this holiday season? Here are our favorite shows and movies we discovered in 2016 (and a few we abandoned). With Cordkillers producer Bryce Castillo ( )


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Preacher (AMC, not streaming)

Polygon ( )

Expanse (SyFy, Amazon)

Moana (movie)

Insecure (HBO)

La La Land (movie)

Doctor Strange (movie)

Terrace House (Netflix)

Mr. Robot (USA, Amazon)

Movies With Mikey ( )

The Grinder (Netflix)

The Crown (Netflix)

Red Letter Media ( )

The Path (Hulu)

Zootopia (movie, Netflix)

10 Cloverfield Lane (movie, Epix)

Atlanta (FX)

Black Mirror (Netflix)

Narcos (Netflix)

Last Man on Earth (Fox, Hulu)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Stranger Things (Netflix)

Documentary Now! (IFC, Netflix)

Better Call Saul (Netflix)

Downton Abbey (PBS, Amazon)

Ash vs Evil Dead (Starz)

Empire (Fox, Hulu)

Arrival (Movie)

Brian’s Abandie: The Profit

Tom’s Abandie: Agents of SHIELD

Bryce’s Abandie: Scandal

Cordkillers 150 – Seat Punchers (w/ Nicole Spagnuolo)

Cord killing slows but saves money, best OTA antennas, Amazon Prime goes worldwide. With special guest Nicole Spagnuolo

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CordKillers: Ep. 150 – Seat Punchers
Recorded: December 19 2016
Guest: Nicole Spagnuolo

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Here’s Why Many Cord Cutters Often Pay More for Video
    – PriceWaterhouse Coopers surveyed 1200 US adults and found 51% of those who reduced their cable package ended up paying more money per month on video than before because of streaming packages they added. While 68% of those who cut cable entirely spent less per month on video. Also 84% of current cable subscribers plan to keep their connection next year up from last year when only 77% said so. Pay TV lost around 1.4 million subscribers in the first 9 months of 2016.

How to Watch

  • The cord-cutter’s guide to the best indoor antennas
    – CNET’s Ty Pendlebury put 6 over the air antennas to the test in Manhattan and Long Island. The $10 Channel Master Flatenna fared well enough to make it the pick for best antenna on a budget. The best overall was the Antennas Direct ClearStream Eclipse for $59 or $79 with amplifier. The $40 MoHu ReLeaf got a nod for being the best performance in areas with less than optimal coverage. 
  • Amazon expands its Prime Video service to over 200 countries, but China isn’t included
    – Amazon made its Prime Video service available in more than 200 countries Wednesday. It’s free where Prime membership is available or standalone for $5.99 or €5.99 a month. Amazon Original content comes in English, with French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles and dubbed versions in some markets.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Facebook says it’s in talks to buy its own video shows
    – ReCode reports Facebook is in talks with studios to license TV shows. The talks are being led by Ricky Van Veen, the College Humor co-founder who joined the company earlier this year said “we’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. The deals are said to be around $1 million a year, much less than budgets for shows by Netflix or Amazon.
  • Amazon’s new Fire TV interface is what it should have been from the start
    – Amazon updated the interface for its Fire TV. The menu moves to the top, a larger space for art and horizontal rows for shows or app options, with Recent shows in the top row. It’s available for “second-generation” Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick and will come to older models in the coming months.
  • New streaming service BritBox brings British TV to the U.S.
    – BBC, ITV and AMC are teaming up to bring the US a streaming service called BritBox, promising the largest catalog of British TV shows available. Shows that haven’t ended up on BBC America, PBS or other networks may show up within 24 hours of airing in the UK. That includes Eastenders, Emmerdale and Holby City. It will also have loads of older titles like Brideshead Revisted, Upstairs Downstairs, Keeping Up Appearances and Fawlty Towers. It’s set to debut before the end of March but no price has been announced.
  • NBC Is Teaming Up With Olympic Committees to Launch a TV Channel
    – NBC and the International and US Olympic Committees are planning to launch an Olympic TV channel in the US in the second half of 2017. The channel will stream Olympic sports and related content year round. NBC will also add additional olympic sports coverage to NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Digital.
  • T-Mobile Offers a Year of DIRECTV NOW to AT&T Users Who Switch
    –  Thursday T-Mobile announced that it will give AT&T customers who switch to T-Mobile a $35 bill credit for 12 months to pay for AT&T’s DirecTV Now service. DirecTV Now is also part of T-Mobile’s BingeOn which does not count video from partners agains data caps.
  • Vimeo releases apps for tvOS, Android TV, and Samsung’s Tizen-powered TVs.
    – Vimeo updated its apps for Apple TV, Android and an HTML5 app for Samsung TVs powered by Tizen. The app will begin playing from its curated cinema experience at launch. You’ll also be able to access your customized feed, uploaded videos, as well as any videos you’ve purchased previously.

Dispatches from the Front
Hey Tom & Brian

I have been a cord cutter for 4 years now and have loved it. However this summer I expanded this to the theatre and did not see any movies in the theatre. I waited for the movie to come to iTunes and purchased it. When you look at the cost of a ticket it is about the same cost of purchase. The cool part is if I like the movie I now own it if I don’t then I delete and it is the same loss of a ticket price. Thought you guys might want to add this to the chicken challenge.

P.S. I know this idea could destroy the movie draft but Brian we all know Tom is going to win.




I’ve made a decision: If I don’t end up liking Voltron, I am going to stop using Netflix. They have surprising a lack of family-friendly content, and what content they did have that I watch, they get rid of! I was watching the Disney XD Avengers cartoon, they got rid of that. Then I started watching Columbo and the A Team, and they’re getting rid of that! Are they trying to lose me? Of course, that might not matter to them, because my little brother Adam still watches DinoTrux, but if I don’t like Voltron, which my siblings say I absolutely must watch, than I am done with Netflix. It isn’t worth it to me to try to hunt continually for things to watch on Netflix when there are other things available, like Designated Survivor on the ABC, Falling Skies on Amazon, or Cord Killers on





I’ve been enjoying the new TV app on tvOS, but I have a bit of a conundrum when it comes to the new single sign-on feature.

My internet service includes a very bare bones cable package (so they can count me as a subscriber), from which I have access to HBO and Showtime, and I use that login for HBO GO and Showtime Anytime on tvOS. Additionally, we use my in-laws’ login credentials from a different cable provider to get access to other apps like FX, USA, Disney, etc.

In this scenario, can I use my in-laws’ credentials for single sign-on and still do a manual login for HBO GO and Showtime Anytime? Or, will using single sign-on always favor one set of credentials?

Thanks, and love the show!




I heard you sort of dismissing the new TV app on the Apple TV – can’t recall if it was on DTNS or CK, or both.

But I’d recommend you really try it. It’s incredible, and exactly what has been needed for years. Especially for cord cutters.

One of the biggest problems is keeping on top of what we’re watching in each of the apps. While Netflix is excluded, it has Hulu, CBS, CW, Showtime, HBO, and of course iTunes, as well as many others (but I think they need a cable sub).

And of all those apps, only Hulu has any semblance of a “now playing” (a la TiVo), or watchlist. CW has nothing. CBS has a favorite shows list, but doesn’t let you know when something new is on. HBO Now is surprisingly bad for maintaining a watchlist. SHO at least keeps track of what you last watched, but not what’s new. And even Hulu’s watchlist has a bizarre algorithm for ordering things.

With the new TV App, I basically subscribe to all my shows in all those apps, and iTunes, and when a new episode shows up anywhere, it pops to the front of the list. If I’m binging a show that’s already done, it shows me the next one available (and bumps it to the front after I watch a show). And for shows I know I want to watch at some point later and don’t want to forget about, I just add it to the list.

You can even put movies you want to watch in it. And if you want to check out the series (e.g. to play an older episode), you can just long-click on the show.

This app solves nearly all my problems, and I think these problems are fairly common among cord cutters. We finally have one place to go to maintain all our “to watch” shows across nearly all apps, and to get notified when new episodes pop up wherever they are.

What’s missing? Netflix of course, and that app has a fairly awful watchlist function currently (my “List” row is often impossible to find). And perhaps integration with the PlayStation Vue DVR would be nice.

But harping on the single log-in issues, which do seem pretty bad, but are basically irrelevant for cord cutters.

Just thought you’d appreciate some real world feedback from a very satisfied customer. And a suggestion to try it out to really appreciate it.





Are you going to do another episode of Pretend I’m Dumb about Star Wars for Rogue One? If so, are you going to pretend that you’ve seen the prequels, but not the original trilogy?

That way you will be acting as if you saw this movie in the chronological order of the story instead of the order the movies came out in, which I believe was the original idea for Pretend I’m Dumb about Star Wars.

Bill near Athens, Georgia



2016 Winter Movie Draft

Cordkillers 149 – Planes, Trains & Downloadables (w/ Ek)

Apple brings a TV app and single-sign-on without a lot of useful apps at launch. TiVo’s secret Aereo replacement. 

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CordKillers: Ep. 149 – Planes, Trains & Downloadables
Recorded: December 13 2016
Guest: Eklund

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Apple releases TV app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
    – Apple’s TV app is out for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV Monday as part of iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. The app tracks shows you’re watching and sends you into the right service to watch it. It can send you into the right spot on a partially watched episodes and notify you when a new episode is available across Apple devices. It makes recommendations of what to watch but not based on viewing habits. HBO and Hulu work with the new TV app but Netflix does not. ReCode’s Peter Kafka points out that Netflix does work with the Xfinity X1 box’s similar guide features though. 
  • Apple’s TV single sign-on feature goes live in the US
    – Apple launched its single sign-on feature for US Apple TV users. The feature is meant to eventually let users sign in once to all TV apps from various networks that they have access to. At launch subscribers to DirecTV, Dish and Sling can sign in. A&E, Bravo, NBC, Syfy, USA, ABC and Disney are among the apps that support single sign in though not all apps that support it work with all services that support it. For instance at launch Sling only worked with FXX Now.
  • Comcast subscribers can now log into apps for ESPN and HBO Go on the Sony PlayStation 4.
  • Apple Is in Talks With Hollywood for Early Access to Movies on iTunes
    – Bloomberg’s sources say Apple is negotiating with movie studios for the rights to offer higher-priced rentals of movies still in theaters. Bloomberg says Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are all considering a deal with iTunes some wanting to make movies available as soon as two weeks after theatrical release. Theaters usually get a 90-day exclusive. The studios are considering prices of $25-$50 and could go with a partner other than Apple.

How to Watch

  • TiVo appears to be testing cloud DVR recording
    – Previous leaks pointed to a TiVo box codenamed Mantis that worked with a cloud DVR (FCC filing)
    – ZatzNot Funny posted a picture of a “Cloud Recording Feature No Longer Available” screen from a TiVo Bolt.
    – TiVo website setup page refers to a product called Mavrik. Also filed a trademark with USPTO on Mavrik.
    – There also appears to be an Amazon Android app liosting that describes itself as “OTA Streaming, Diskless Cloud DVR TiVo Device Mantis” 

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • HBO leads the Golden Globes again, as attention for Netflix and Amazon cools
    – Netflix was nominated for five TV golden globes down from three last year and one film nomination. Amazon had five TV nominations and 6 film nominations. Hulu didn’t get any this time around and HBO has 14 nominations. 
    – The Crown – best drama, best actress, best supporting actor
    – Stranger Things best drama, best actress
    – FILM
    – Divines – foreign language nomination

    – Mozart in the Jungle – best comedy, best actor
    – Transparent – best comedy, best actor
    – Goliath – best lead actor
    – FILM
    – Manchester by the Sea – five nominations
    – The Salesman – one foreign language nomination

    – Westworld
    – The Night Of
    – Game of Thrones
    – Insecure
    – Divorce
    – FILM

    – All the Way
    – Confirmation

  • Amazon’s ‘Grand Tour’ Is the Most Illegally Downloaded Show Ever
    – The first three episodes of Amazon’s The Grand Tour have been illegally downloaded a total of 20.7 million times according to analysts at anti-piracy firm Muso. This is believed to make it the most illegally downloaded program ever.
  • National Amusements Pulls CBS, Viacom Merger Proposal
    – National Amusements, the company that owns the majority share of both CBS and Viacom, withdrew its merger proposal for the two companies Monday. CBS and Viacom were separated 10 years ago. 
  • Hulu will now let you create profiles for up to six people
    – Hulu now allows up to six profiles to be created per account, though at launch it only works on the website.The profiles will keep separate viewing history, watchlist and recommendations.There’s also a kids-specific profile that will exclude adult shows
  • Netflix rolls out video previews worldwide, but only on its TV app
    – Netflix will now show video previews when you are browsing through the library on TV and set-top box versions of its app. The previews offer a synopsis of the content and only start if you pause to read a title. 
  • 4K movies come to the Google Play Movies & TV app
    – Google has made more than 125 movies available in 4K to buy or rent from the Google Play store. Thjey work with the Chromecast Ultra, Sony Bravia, Android TV and Xiaomi Mi boxes.

Dispatches from the Front

Sweaty from my daily workout, I sat down in front of my locker cooling off to some CordKillers.  I opened my locker and pulled out my kids’ iPad mini.  Then I launched Netflix and checked to see if all of the episodes of Rescue Bots had finished downloading off of the gym’s WiFi.  At that exact time I heard the voice of Merritt speaking directly into my earholes and asking for my opinion about the new Netflix feature.  Divine providence?

I’m a dairy farmer and former software consultant living in Olympia, WA.  I have no access to cords.  No TV.  No Internet, except LTE. Netflix changed the game when it offered downloadable content because now I can go to any place sharing their Internet with my tablet, download the shows my family wants to watch (legitimately), and then watch them in comfort of my own smelly farm.  Sounds a little like watching what I want, where I want, on what ever damn device I want.




Hi guys,

You guys scared me! When you mentioned the new Netflix offline download feature in this week’s episode, you said that episodes would only be available for 72 hours. I downloaded a bunch of Netflix Originals last week-end in preparation for a week-long european trip and thought it would all be gone.

I checked my IOS device, which has been offline since I downloaded content, and thankfully all episodes are still there and I can watch them. Searching online, I only saw references to a 72-hour limit on Amazon Prime offline viewing, not on Netflix. Was that a mistake, or perhaps only Netflix Originals don’t have a time limit?

You also asked why people would be interested in this feature. I travel regularly, within North America and abroad, and being able to download content and view it on the plane or in hotels with spotty wi-fi is a dream come true. It’s just too bad that all Netflix Marvel series are not available for offline viewing.

Thanks for the great podcast!

– Yannick
Montreal, Canada


 My sister and brother-in-law were excited for car trips. They regularly drive 8 – 10 hours in Texas and 15 hours to go skiing in New Mexico with their kids 12 and 9 and assorted cousins 2 yo – 14 yo. The problem is spotty coverage in the middle of No Where Texas. They aren’t cordkillers yet – because sports. So they don’t have Amazon.

Texas Teacher




I have a 3 hour commute to and from work each day on the train and I’m on a pay-as-you-go mobile plan with Ting. But even if cost weren’t an issue, wireless coverage on the train route is spotty at best and the commuter rail’s public wifi is a joke. So watching movies off-line is really my only cost-effective means of wasting exorbitant amounts of time during the workday. What else would you have me do? WORK? Nonsense.

Love the show!




Dear Employees (Tom, Brian, and Bryce),

I am a frequent user of the download feature on Amazon Prime Video (and now Netflix) and I can say that for me it is HUGE! I take commuter rail to work and having the ability to download stuff to watch makes the hour long train ride downright enjoyable. With a family at home keeping me busy, frankly, its just about the only time I have to watch TV by myself. Streaming via the mobile network doesn’t really work since we hit a few dead zones or poor signal areas, which makes it things frustrating (not to mention the mobile data costs). The alternative would be paying for every episode to be able to download it locally (which I’ll do for a select few shows I can’t get for free, thanks to my monthly cord-cutting savings).

One thing to note: the Starz add-on for Amazon does not offer the download feature. I was excited to watch Ash vs Evil Dead on the train, but quickly saw there was no option to download so I cancelled the trial. I’m guessing the other add-on services for Amazon work the same way.

Love the show! Keep up the great work! Annual performance reviews are coming up and I think you’re due for a raise!




Hi Guys,
Okay, I am sure that DirecTV will get better over time but I tried it for the 7 day trail and quickly backed out.
First I could not get it running on Apple TV. This was the first day. It kept asking for locations and when I clicked okay it would take me right back to the asking for locations. I gave up. Two days latter I tried again and got the location taken care of. I’m 35 miles from Seattle (OTA is great). Now it told me that DirecTV Now was not offered in forgien countries and when I returned I could sign up. The next day I got it running.
It is not really cheaper. Vue is cheaper with just a few less channels. DirecTV Now does what DirecTV always has done and offer a bunch of channels you are not going to watch. I also did not like the vertical channel menu.
I use a Paystation 3 with a remote to watch Vue. The menu is great and horizontal. You can select a show and put it into My Channels and later you can check and it will tell you if there is an new episode. I watch all of Mr. Robot this way.
I am still using SliingTV but my quite it soon. It is easier to watch many of the channels I like but Vue is just a better deal and psreformance.
I’m sure DirecTV NOW will get better over time but it has a long ways to go to equal Vue.



2016 Winter Movie Draft