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. 
    Netflix
    – The Crown – best drama, best actress, best supporting actor
    – Stranger Things best drama, best actress
    – FILM
    – Divines – foreign language nomination

    Amazon
    – 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

    HBO
    – Westworld
    – The Night Of
    -Veep
    – 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.

Sincerely,
Chris

 

 

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.

Sincerely
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!

Rob

 

 

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!

Rob

 

 

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.

 

Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers
 

Cordkillers 146 – D-U-M Dumb!

Apple makes a play to be your default set-top box, Amazon Prime Video expands (sort of), and Hulu tries to get better at recommendations. 

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CordKillers: Ep.  146 – D-U-M Dumb!
Recorded: November 22 2016
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

How to Watch

  • Amazon Prime Video is going global next month to take on Netflix
    – In a video promoting Amazon’s upcoming car show The Grand Tour, host Jermey Clarkson announced the show will be available in more than 200 countries in December. The show is exclusive to Amazon which seems to mean Amazon Prime Video will be expanding outside its four markets soon. The Grand Tour comes to Amazon Prime Video Friday in the UK, Germany and Japan and went live Thursday in the US. 
  • The Grand Tour: The Official Trailer
    – The Grand Tour. Following a rather public spat, former hosts of BBC’s Top Gear Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have essentially re-launched the show on Amazon Prime Video as The Grand Tour. From the little I’ve seen of Top Gear, The Grand Tour is a pretty faithful recreation of the format: commentary, car ranking, and comedy bits breaking up longer segments on unique and high performance vehicles. The show is bold, each episode being filmed in a travelling tent/studio in a different part of the world with incredible production value, but it’s still bouyed by the hosts’ chemisty. And when I say “production value,” I mean it. There are some very expensive, very short moments in the first episode, but their wow-factor might be worth the price. I’ll leave the surprises for you to enjoy, but it’s a gorgeous, charming show.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hello Brian & Tom,
I know back in the day the show was at over 2k but now below 1,800. I’m assuming that the money you have coming in from a lesser number is still enough to keep the lights. However, is there a number below which you guys can’t continue? Hopefully we are well above that number. And I doubled my pledge to a whole 2 bucks an episode to help out.

Thanks,

Norm from Visalia, CA
 

 

Hi Tom and Brian

I’m just wondering what I can expect from Amazon Prime’s video content when Amazon begins full operations in Australia next September? I remember when Netflix started here they had most of their exclusives except for a couple like Star Trek and Breaking Bad that were licensed exclusives. Is the Amazon Prime library full of exclusives that Amazon owns and therefore will in all likely hood appear on day one or are shows like Man in the High Castle and The Tick owned by third parties and could complicate the launch?

– Thanks from Nik.

 

Brian,
While you’re forgetting to cancel your Starz subscription this month, be sure to catch the Starz original, Ash vs Evil Dead.
All of season one is available and most of season two is now in there for your viewing enjoyment. If you love Three Stooges slapstick and way over-the-top blood and guts horror, Ash is the man!
Keep up the fight to rid us of cable
And tune into my podcast, Too Much Scrolling, every Tuesday on the same podcast app you’re using now or on our website toomuchscrolling.com
I’ll see you in the future.
Steve 

 

Hey guys,

Just one of your free listening, faceless masses here. Just thought you guys should know that some thing’s happened to the Can I Stream It website you say you use on your show. Apparently both the app and website no longer give out current information on streaming options. No clue about when and why, only that I (and many reviewers on the Android app store) have noticed the fallout. Any suggestions for a backup option? thanks.

Isaac from Portland

 

I’m not a fan of brian’s coined “convenience trumps fidelity” as I’m an advocate for hdr, low compression, and high quality monitors and speakers … but brian’s right.

I have a question for you guys, and maybe the cordkiller community .. I would like to take my box of DVD’s and Bluerays downstairs and port them over to digital licenses. Is there a service out there that does this?

I think Walmart did it for a while, but charged for it, which I think is ridiculous to have to upgrade my license considering they’re going to get user data and behavioral data out of this deal. Ideally I’d love to convert my physical media to itunes or google play at no charge. Is this possible? 

– Joe

Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers
 

Cordkillers 145 – The Recline of Cable TV (w/ Brian Dunaway)

We’re calling it: cord-cutting is real, but people still watch live TV. PSVue has grown-up cable problems with Viacom. With special guest Brian Dunaway Brief Dr. Strange spoilers 30:44-31:08.

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CordKillers: Ep. 145 – The Recline of Cable TV
Recorded: November 14 2016
Guest: Brian Dunaway

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 486,000 Pay-TV Subscribers Cut the Cord in the Third Quarter
    – Pay TV lost 486,000 customers in Q3 down 1.4% – MoffettNathanson about the same as last year in Q3 (432K).
    – Does not include Sling TV’s 204K
    – BTIG est. 8 biggest providers have 88.2 million (off 926K)
    – MoffettNathanson est. total at 96.8mm w/ smaller providers
    – Telecoms (ATT, VZN FiOS) lost at a rate o 11.7% – mostly losing subs to other providers
    – Average Revenue Per User not dropping, so likely not full of skinny bundles or throw-in packages.

How to Watch

  • PlayStation Vue’s streaming TV service is losing all Viacom channels
    – Sony announced Tuesday that it will drop all Viacom-owned channels from its PlayStation Vue service starting Friday, November 11. That includes channels like Comedy Central, Spike and MTV. Sony also announced the addition of BBC America and NBA TV and the future addition of Vice as well as more CBS and Fox local stations. 
    – “As part of our ongoing evaluation of the PlayStation Vue offering, we have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our customers.”
     

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • The truth about how much live TV we’re watching
    – A TiVo study found that 80% of all broadcast TV viewing takes place live. 18% of viewing is time shifted up to three days and 2% is time-shifted 4-7 days. On cable 91% of viewing happens live. Primtime time broadcast shows are recorded more often with 23% in the 3 day window for broadcast and cable is recorded less often with only 11% in 3-day. Exceptions exist network by network especially among younger audiences. The CW, for instance, is only viewed live 56 percent of the time.
  • FCC Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About AT&T Direct TV Mobile Video Service
    – The FCC’s wireless bureau sent a letter to AT&T outlining concerns about the company’s practice of not counting DirecTV video against customer data caps. AT&T allows any video service to exempt its data from AT&T customer caps for a fee. The FCC said the practice “may obstruct competition and harm consumers.” AT&T says DirecTV pays for the right to exempt customers from caps just like any non-AT&T owned business would. Friday AT&T announced its Stream Saver program will reduce customer’s video streams to standard definition starting in early 2017 to help save data costs. 
  • TiVo’s leaked Mavrik is a cloud-based DVR
    – ZatzNotFunny reported last week on leaked images of a new TiVo model called Mavrik. The device includes the ability to record OTA television to cloud storage for streaming from TiVo apps. Details on storage options cost and release date have not been discovered.  
  • ESPN Continues to Plague Disney as Revenue Misses
    – Disney reported that revenue from its cable networks fell 6.8% last quarter to $3.96 billion. Analysts had expected $4.13 billion. For comparison Disney’s movie business rose 1.57% to $1.81 billion. 
  • Vudu’s upgraded mobile app brings offline rental viewing
    – Vudu updated its Android and iOS apps with the ability to download rented movies for mobile. Vudu also announced support for movie extras and iOS users get 1080p and airplay functions. You can also buy DVDs and Blu-ray from within the apps.

Dispatches from the Front

Today is a dark day, and no I am not referring to the election results.

Vue adds BBC America (yay) and NBA TV (yawn). And announced they are removing 20 some odd Viacom channels including Nick, Comedy Central, and many more. Thanks for refusing to pay an arm and a leg in carriage fees under the guise of protecting me, but you are keeping the difference. Hey, Sony … leave the channels or lower the price!

So now, in Miami, I can give up my DVR and half my locals and go to Sling. Or, wait for DirecTV Now and give up different locals, no word if there’s anything DVR oh and if you like NBC on your TV, too bad suckers!

Or I can wait and see what compromises these dinosaurs force on Hulu, Google, and maybe one day Apple’s service.

Why can’t I have been born a Millennial? Then I wouldn’t care about these legacy networks and the shows I like on them. Instead, I’m the last generation that needs my Must See TV. Another plus millennial me would have had… I wouldn’t have to be 40.

Long email short, one day we will give up linear TV in my house. Every year there’s more on Netflix, Hulu and Prime. Soon I’ll choose to live without network and cable shows or just buy them or watch them a year after the fact for free on Netflix.

Maybe the networks epitaph will read “Oops, we finally annoyed our last customer away.

Scott

 

 

 

I’m in my 11th grade year and we were doing a college tour. I saw one of the students watching a show on their laptop and got to thinking: if I use the same family account I use now when I go to collge is it illegal? My family won’t be giving me the password at that point, and at the time that they gave me the password it was totally legal for them to do so. I thought that the FCC ruling specifically mentions sharing passwords, not using the account.

From,
Amar
 

 

To Brian & Tom,
After listening to you two talking about Sling TV nearly every episode, thought I try it out on the one week trial.
I only have DSL with an average of 5mbs down. But it has worked great so far. On my cell phone, tablets, desktop, and Roku. No hiccups. I have mainly binged on ESPN, CNN, and AMC. I got the Orange bundle. The other channels are in my opinion the usual crap you get in a cable bundle.
It is weird seeing all the commercials! I cut the Cord seven years ago and I am used to the commercial free VOD services.
I believe I will keep SlingTV until the football season is over. I did miss ESPN the past seven years.
FYI from a Cordkillers Fan!

Michael

 

 

 

Comcast putting Netflix on it’s cable box may be a smart move for Netflix, but it’s not good for cord cutters. Do you think it is a coincidence that this happened within months of Comcast enforcing their data caps? This is just a double down on those data caps. Comcast says, “Hey, quit complaining. Just watch Netflix on your set top box, and you’ll have plenty of data.” Don’t forget, their set top box can cost more per month than your Netflix subscription.

 

Sam

 

 

 

  •  

Hi Brian and Tom,

Would you like to check out our new eBook How to Watch TV Without Cable? Also, it’d be awesome if you could consider giving us a testimonial we could post on our site (that is, if you like the book).

Here’s the book’s MOBI version:
http://cordcutting.com/files/How-to-Watch-TV-Without-Cable.mobi

…and here’s a PDF:
http://cordcutting.com/files/How-to-Watch-TV-Without-Cable.pdf

Cheers,
Ville

 

Links

 

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers