Cordkillers 112 – DVD Swingers Club (w/ Ben Howard)

Would you pay $50 to see a brand new movie in your house? And why PlayStation Vue is not what you think it is. With special guest Ben Howard.

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CordKillers: 112 – DVD Swingers Club

Recorded: March 14 2016
Guest: Ben Howard

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • PlayStation Vue service goes nationwide in US
    – PS Vue added outside New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, and Miami without local channels
    – Packages are cheaper $30, $35 and $45
    – New packages offer ABC, FOX and NBC on demand with CBS to be added “at a later date”
    – PS4, PS3, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick, iPad and iPhone Google Chromecast on iOS

Gear Up

  • 4K Roku TV from Best Buy starts at $400
    – Best Buy’s Insignia brand beat TCL to the punch to become the first 4K TV with Roku built-in to hit the shelves. 43, 50 and 55-inch models run $400, $500 and $650 respectively. Online now and in stores in April.

Front Lines

  • Comic-Con will launch a streaming service on May 7th
    – The company Comic-Con International is teaming up with Lionsgate to offer a streaming service of classic SciFi and Fantasy as well as live streams of select panels from conferences like San Diego Comic-Con. The service called Comic-Con HQ soft launches on Free Comic Book Day May 7th for free with a formal launch (and likely a fee) in June. Adam Sessler will host an interview series and Kevin Pereira will executive produce a talk show, also Impossible Science, Her Universe (Geek fashion) and Kings of Con (scripted)
  • Vimeo unveils its next set of Originals, including its first-ever feature film and concert
    – Vimeo announced Thursday its second slate of original programming. Vimeo’s first feature-length film is a documentary called “Wizard Mode” about one of the world’s greatest pinball players. its first concert film features indie “chillwave pioneer” Toro y Moi. CollegeHumor’s Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld (“Jake and Amir”) bring a series called “Lonely and Horny. “Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special,” features Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci. All four premier this year at various times starting in April.
  • YouTube Gaming expands to 4 new countries alongside new pop-out player feature
    – YouTube Gaming announced it’s iOS and Android apps are now available in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia. The app also got some changes, removing the sidebar for a simplified homepage and adding a Live tab. The Android app gets a pop-out player for watching video while using other apps as well as adding in DVR and 60fps playback support.
  • Following YouTube Red, video subscription service Vessel goes ad-free for paying subscribers
    – Vessel is now ad free for all paying subscribers and there’s a new subscription plan where you can choose to pay$19.99 for a year instead of the normal $2.99 a month.
    Vessel also announced plans to offer year-long exclusives on some shows from creators like Linus Media Group, Brittani Louise Taylor and JeromeASF.
  • Another Vote for Sports on the Web: Fox, Sky Invest in Streaming Soccer Startup FuboTV
    – 21st Century Fox and Sky are investing in soccer subscription service FuboTV. 40,000 subscribers pay $10 a month for a mix of matches from La Liga, the MLS and others. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Cordkillers,

Wanted to share my experience when I called Charter to ask about their internet only TV package called Spectrum TV Stream. The first part of the call was a combination of the customer service person not knowing what I was talking about, and then being transferred several times. The person who finally know something about what I was talking about had to look it up. Bottom line is that it is $13/month for a bunch of crappy channels (i.e. HSN), and ‘local’ 3 network channels. Its $19 if you want anything decent. I took a pass.



Hi Tom and Brian,

Any chance of getting Tom’s cord cutting guide in iBook or PDF format for us non-kindle users?
Love the show and I just became a Patreon or as you all like to say, I am now one of you bosses. 🙂





Long time supporter here to chime in about your recent conversation about HBO and how it’s performing.

While I think Tom and Brian have both brought up good points, you may be overlooking one thing.  You may recall when HBO launched a year ago it did so only on the Apple TV when the new season of Game of Thrones started.  It wasn’t until after the season concluded they launched on other devices including the device with the most penetration in the market, that being the Roku.  

This combined with HBO making the recent season available for purchase around the same time they launched their service on these other devices, in my opinion led to the masses choosing to purchase the season as opposed to the service.

I think once the new season of GOT comes and goes we’ll have a much better idea of how HBO is doing as many people, including myself, won’t be trying the service until that new season is aired.  If I like HBO enough I might just stay for more.




Fan TV, after telling it I was interested in this show many moons ago, just notified me that Don’t Trust Andrew Maine is now available on Amazon instant video. I’m watching it now, finally.





Hey Dudes!

This kickstarter is intended to share physical dvds over the internet. It reminds me of some odd mix of Napster and Aereo. 

So, they’re screwed right? 

Or is it saved by the European/French court system?

Rock and Roll!




Cordkillers 111 – Technology Make Things Fast (w/ Andrew Mayne)

Netflix is 50% killing television, Facebook might get NFL games, and Roku won’t take the FCC’s side. With special guest Andrew Mayne.

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CordKillers: Cordkillers 111 – Technology Make Things Fast
Recorded:  March 7 2016
Guest: Andrew Mayne

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • Facebook Wants to Pay for NFL Streaming Rights but Apple Doesn’t
    – NFL selling digital rights (owners meeting March 20)
    – Stream 18 regular season games
    – Peter Kafka ReCode says these are the interested parties
    – Facebook
    – Amazon (looking for streaming sports exec too)
    – Verizon (has mobile rights)
    – Yahoo (submitted preliminary paperwork)

Gear Up

  • Afraid Of Upsetting The Cable Industry, Roku Won’t Support FCC Quest For Increased Set Top Box Competition
    – Roku’s spokeswoman Tricia Misfud to IBD: “We have not been advocating for a rule making in this area at this time. While we are known for selling streaming players, it is only one area of our business. Customers also access our platform through smart TVs and streaming players that operators deploy.”
    – Roku partners w/ TWC and Charter on skinny bundles over Internet, Telstra and Sky license hardware for co-branded streamers
    – Working on a hybrid streaming/cable box (sky etc.)
    – Investment by Viacom, 21st Century Fox, and UK cable operator Sky might be shaping Roku’s thinking as well
    – Essentially Roku thinks it wins either way
    – No FCC rule, first in line for slower cableco adoption (the TiVo route)
    – FCC rule, Roku probably gets a big chunk of the market.

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Great work guys I was just listening to your latest podcast and I have to tell you that I am cancelling my Sling TV service. The concept is great but it is the only application that doesn’t seem to take take full advantage of my 150mbps connection at home. It constantly pauses, stops and otherwise finds ways to make me unhappy of my TCL Roku TV, my windows 2in1, my iPad AND my MacBook Pro. The connection is not the problem. Either the app or the infrastructure is. Too bad. But I can’t continue to pay for something with promise that continues to not work.

Oh, and little to no problems with any other similar app.




Hey Tom and Brian,

Long time listener and fan of the shows. You guys have talked about the X-ray feature on Amazon Prime and needing to pause and such like that.  I wanted to mention I have the Amazon Prime app on a Nintendo Wii U.  I love the Wii U as a streaming device for a variety of reasons, but that’s for another time.  The Wii U, if you recall, has a tablet screen as part of the main controller.  In Amazon Prime, while you’re playing a show on your TV screen, the controller tablet screen lets you do things like show cast members, the synopsis, as well as a live version of Prime’s X-ray.  So as characters come on/off screen and scenes change, I can see who’s playing those people as well as get more info.  I can prop up the controller and sneak a peak at this 2nd Screen or pause and do the same.  I think this feature works similar on the Nintendo 3DS, but I don’t have experience there.  Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in.

Your fan,

P.S. Tom, Citadel 32 is next on my list.




Dear Tom and Brian,

I thoroughly enjoyed your discussion about HBO NOW and wanted to chime in on a few points.

First, I wholeheartedly agree that $15/month is too much to pay for the service when you compare the available content with other services. The best direct comparison IMO is Showtime Anytime. For $12/month (same as Hulu ad-free) I get access to a lot of quality programs (though a rather poor movie catalog). Better yet, I can save $3/month by subscribing through Hulu, Amazon or PS Vue. Likewise, I can subscribe to Starz via Amazon for $9/month and get access to some movies before they’re available on HBO.

The other point I wanted to hit upon is the quality of HBO’s programs. Throughout your discussion, Tom echoed that HBO hasn’t produced a major hit since Game of Thrones. I would propose that HBO has produced some fine programs since then that have celebrated various levels of success, but just not on the same level as GoT (I would include Veep, Girls, The Newsroom, True Detective and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the latter two Tom mentioned). Each of these programs has done well to very well in terms of Golden Globe and Emmy wins and nominations (I’ve included a breakdown below, along with GoT’s stats for comparison), and while awards aren’t exactly the best measure of success (I’m looking at you Arrested Development) they can at least indicate a high-level of quality.

Call me crazy, but I would compare GoT to the iPhone, in that they’re both a once in a lifetime blockbuster product that people are fanatic for around the globe. Apple has since released popular products like the iPad, AppleTV, Apple Watch and new iterations of the Mac lineup, all of which have done so well that they would be a very good businesses all on their own, but are nowhere at the iPhone’s level. I suspect it will be a long time that we’ll see HBO (or most other content providers) release a mega-hit GoT that has captured the world’s imagination like GoT has.

Love the show!
Jesse (a.k.a. hometownrival)
Indianapolis, IN




Tom and Brian, 

I enjoyed your lively discussion regarding HBO on the last episode. I have to agree with Tom about the lack of high-quality content coming from HBO at the moment. The only show I gravitate to HBO for right now is Game of Thrones. 

Take a direct competitor, Showtime, for instance. Showtime introduced Showtime Anytime, which I can add to my Amazon Prime subscription for $8.99 month. I understand that on other platforms, the price is different, but still cheaper than HBO Now.

Showtime has been killing it, in my opinion, with original shows recently:

Masters of Sex
Billions (*new)
Ray Donovan
The Affair
The Tudors
Penny Dreadful
I would much rather pay for Showtime than HBO right now. Game of Thrones is still the best show on TV and one that I will always find a way to watch HBO for – but once it’s done, they better get some more quality content to get viewers coming back. 

AMC and FX are two other networks that are doing a great job with original content, but don’t yet have stand-alone streaming services. If they did and the price was reasonable, I would much rather pay for them than HBO. Hopefully HBO can get back to attracting amazing shows, because people will follow the content. 






It’s Spoilerin’ Time 108

The Expanse authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, Deadpool, 11.22.63 (101), Justified (105). With special guests Ty Franck, Daniel Abraham, and Veronica Belmont.

00:59 – Winter Movie Draft

01:42 – Interview with The Expanse authors Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham (James S. A. Corey) and Veronica Belmont

17:23 – Deadpool

25:06 – 11.22.63 (101)

33:58 – Justified (105)

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Cordkillers 108 – DVRs, Still a Thing

Is 800,000 subscribers good enough for HBO? Dish Hopper settles again. CBS All Access gets Fuller. With special guest Veronica Belmont.

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CordKillers: 108 – DVRs, Still a Thing
Recorded: February 15 2016
Guest: Veronica Belmont

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • HBO Now Is… Just OK, with 800,000 Subscribers
    – Time Warner announced it has signed up 800,000 subscribers for HBO Now.
    An analyst asked on the earnings call why it was only 800k
    – HBO head Richard Plepler said “I wouldn’t say only 800,000 subs. We’re just getting started. … I think we’re going to make a lot of progress.”
    – Total HBO added 2.7 million customers last year, so about 1.9 million without HBO Now. 

Signal Intelligence

  • Bryan Fuller to produce new Star Trek series
    – Bryan Fuller, Wrote for DS9 and VOY
    – Created Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls and Hanibal
    – Showrunner for American Gods miniseries on Starz
    – Now named Showrunner for CBS new Star Trek coming to CBS All Access in 2017
    – Generally well-received news by Trek fans
    – Does this change the complaint about having to pay for another service?

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Star Wars: Episode VIII Begins Filming Mark Hamill’s Face and Adds New Cast Members
    – Lucasfilm announced filming has begin for Star Wars: Episode VIII and released a short video of Mark Hamil and Daisy Ridley on set along with Director Rian Johnson. Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran have also been announced as official cast members. 
  • Dr. Dre Filming Apple’s First Scripted Television Series
    – The Hollywood Reporter says it has learned that Apple’s first scripted television series will star Dr. Dre who will also executive produce. The six half-hour episode series will be called Vital Signs and likely be distributed through Apple Music. Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae are cast and music video director Paul Hunter is running it. Empire’s Robert Munic wrote the episodes.
  • NBC is launching a streaming service for the worst TV imaginable
    – NBC Universal is launching another niche streaming service, this time for reality shows. The service is called Hayu. No launch date has been given but it will be available in the UK for £3.99, €4.99 in Ireland or in Australia for AU$5.99.
  • BitTorrent comes to Apple TV through a live news app
    – OTT News has launched on iOS, tvOS and Android as a test case for live streaming using BitTorrent. Alicé Anil, James Reinl, and Doc Stodden have been using BitTorerent Live’s first mobile app to stream coverage. This is the actual BItTorrent COMPANY’s tech for live streaming without needing a CDN.
  • Hulu’s universal Windows 10 app features live tiles and Cortana
    – And a few other things. Hulu now has an app specifically built for Windows 10, integrating with Cortana voice commands and Windows Live Tiles. Cinemax is now available on Sling TV for an extra $10 a month. And Amazon announced it is reneweing Mozart in the Jungle for a third season.

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front
Oh well after subscribing to Netflix for 4 years, 3 and half before they were officially launched in Australia they have finally lost me as a subscriber after blocking the VPN and blocking my Paypal payments to the VPN provider I use to access their Library in the US, as the Australian one has very few of the shows my Teenagers like to watch. I know i am not alone in this as 8 of the 10 people i know who have Netflix have also done the same, I know this is a very small sample, but i wonder what affect this would have on Netflix”s share price if a similar number of people in Australia and especially China ,who have an estimated 30 million users using VPN’s as Netflix isnt even officially available there yet, cancelled, what are your thoughts, why are Netflix doing the right thing after years of turning a blind eye? or is it a case of the studios finally leaving them no choice.





have often found that there is nothing much to watch at Netflix. So I was curious – am I just being picky? Thought you might be interested in my scribblings on a paper napkin while getting coffee this AM….

Using the data at Flixed there are currently 5658 movies/TV at Netflix – all categories in US. There are none in the max number of rating stars. There are 122 in the next category down; 836 in the next; and 1621 in nex. So there are only 2 % in the top two rating categories.And 15% in the third category. The fourth category alone is 29%. That means 45% in top 4 rating categories.

So 55% of the movies (3644) in US are below the top 4 rating categories. [some rounding effects]

The chances of finding something good to watch are pretty low especially if one has already seen most of the top rated ones or if most of top rated ones are in categories not favored like anime, children’s or comedies.
– Judy 




Hi Guys,

I wanted to let you know that I finally returned my Cablecard from my Tivo and cancelled my Comcast cable, upgraded my internet to 150/10 and saving $50 a month in the process.

To supplement my viewing appetite, I signed up for a trial of Xfinity Stream TV, a fairly new Internet based steaming package using their X1 software and it is available in Boston, Chicago and reportedly launching soon in Seattle. It includes live locals and HBO for $15 a month, available via web browser or their iOS and Android mobile apps, 20 hour cloud DVR, On demand access, and authentication access for the network specific apps including HBOGO. 

It requires that you have Comcast Internet, but for the same price as HBO Now, I’m pretty happy with it, especially living in a market that still doesn’t have Playstation Vue packages. Thought you guys would like to hear about another option out there. 

Josh in NH

P.S. Finally signed up to be a patron




2015 Winter Movie Draft