Cordkillers 144 – Star Inflation

Criterion Collection goes solo, Sony’s PS Vue hits the PC and Twitter takes on more live.

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CordKillers: Ep. 144 – Star Inflation
Recorded: November 7 2016
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • After Delay, Turner Launches Netflix-Style FilmStruck Service With Classic, Indie and Foreign Movies
    – The Criterion Collection, pulled its classic movies out of Hulu as of November 11, in order to team up with Turner Classic Movies on a service called FilmStruck. ThFilmStruck launched Tuesday in the US for $6.99 amonth without the Criterion movies or $10.99 a month or $99 a year with the Criterion Collection. FilmStruck will pull its movies form indie studios like Janus and Zeitgeist along with major studios. 70 curated programming themes will be refreshed regularly along with bonus commentaries, outtakes, interviews and introductions. Its available on Web Apple TV, Fire TV, Android and iOS.

How to Watch

  • Sony’s PlayStation TV service comes to Mac and PC browsers
    – Sony’s PlayStation Vue is now available in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 10+ browsers at The new browser version has a mini player that can shrink down in the corner while you browse. 
  • Roku TV sets can now pause live TV
    – Roku updated its Smart TVs with the ability to pause live television for up to 90 minutes and listen to audio privately on a phone running the Roku app. The televisions must have an antenna and at least 16GB of USB storage attached for the pausing to work. Roku OS 7.5 started rolling out to TV sets Tuesday and should reach all of them by the holidays.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • DirecTV Now Leak Reveals Channels, Promotions, Challenges of AT&T’s TV Service
    – Variety reports DirecTV will give away Apple TVs and Fire TV Sticks to customers who sign up for 3 months of its streaming TV service. The details come from customer su pport documents inadvertently posted online. The documents also list channels from CBS, Fox, Univision and Sony Pictures. DirecTV had not announced deals with those providers. A few other tidbits: 72-hour catchup for some but not all channels. And NBC local channels will only be available on PC and mobile, not set-top box or Smart TV.
  • Nielsen Stands by Report of Big Cable Subscriber Losses at Viacom, Time Warner, Disney
    – After an “extensive” review, Nielsen stands by its estimate that 82 of 119 networks lost subscribers in the last month and ESPN dropped 621,000. Ten networks lost more than ESPN including 1.1 million for CMT Nielsen attributes the losses to cord-cutting not cord shaving. Several networks maintain the losses do not match their internal figures. 
  • YouTube is now streaming HDR video
    – Google enabled support for HDR video on YouTube Monday. Creators like MysteryGuitarMan, Jacob and Katie Schwarz and Abandon Visuals all worked with YouTube to have HDR content ready and now anyone can upload HDR video. Google Chromecast Ultra supports HDR playback.
  • Netflix might get offline playback after all (but maybe not in the US)
    – Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told CNBC the company is considering offline playback for developing markets. Sarandos said, “I think as we get into more and more (of the) undeveloped world and developing countries that we want to find alternatives for people to use Netflix easily.”
  • Hulu signs deals with Disney, Fox for new streaming TV service
    – Hulu announced Tuesday it has signed deals with Fox and Disney to add programming to its streaming TV service expected to launch in early 2017. Hulu specifically called out entertainment, news and sports from Fox and ABC and ESPN from Disney. Time Warner owns 10% of Hulu and has confirmed its networks like TBS and Cartoon Network will be on the service. 
  • Netflix Launching on Comcast X1 Next Week, Could Yield Up to 5 Million New Netflix Subs
    – Netflix arrives on Comcast’s X1 cable boxes this week. Viewers can sign up fro Netflix through the box and add the subscription fee to their cable bill. Analysts expect Netflix could add 4-5 million new subscribers through the boxes. 
  • Sling TV goes after parents with launch of new on-demand Kids channel
    – SlingTV has added an on demand kids channel called Sling Kids. For $5 a month you get access to NickToons, TeenNick, Nick Jr., Boomerang, Cartoon Network, ducktv and Baby TV on the Blue package or if you have the orange package, add Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. The programming is divided into 2-4, 5-7- and 8-11 age groups. Sling also added news channels Cheddar and TheBlaze. 

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys. Thought I would tell you a heartwarming story. On Wednesday, I wavered back and forth about setting my Silicon Dust Homerun HD to record game 7 of the World Series. Meh, but I’m a Reds fan. When my shift at work was over, the game was in extra innings with a rain delay. Now I was chomping at the bit to get home!

I get home and my wife is watching a show on Plex in our living room on the TV with the good OTA. Well I’m not going to boot her off the TV so I mulled it over. Eureka! I went into our office and opened Windows Media Center, went to live TV, and got to see this historic moment in sports history!!!

I am a proud cord cutter and thankful to you guys for providing many ways to watch our content!

Adam in Oklahoma





Tom and Brian,

The Apple TV single authentications will be awesome. I am a cordkiller and find myself reauthenticating almost weekly with many of the apps – and there are at least 15-20 of them. Mind you, not all of the are this way. In fact, well established networks like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon ask for re-authentication rarely, if at all. But networks like Comedy Channel, AMC, NBC Sports and many others seem to require authentication several times per month. It’s maddening as I have to get out my computer and tediously go through the authentication over and over. If Apple is successful at this, it will be amazing, even if Netflix isn’t included.

Thanks for your show. I am your boss.




I’d like to watch election coverage, but my over the air reception is spotty. I’m a cordcutter with Roku, Xbox, and the Amazon Fire. Any suggestions for how to watch on TV? I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon, and HBO, but nothing with a live component. I’m puzzling over Twitter video, and whether that’s a PC only thing.



If you want to watch the US election as a cordcutter and you haven’t already you have all the options. Twitter will have coverage, Facebook will have coverage, many networks are taking down their paywalls for coverage. However, if it’s not yet past Tuesday night and you’re looking for another option instead – – Romany Malco is the host of Russel Simmon’s 2016 All Def Digital “Roast of America,” Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern on Fusion. 



Hey guys,

I am going to sound like a real noob here, but I have a question which I SHOULD know the answer to – but it seems to be just beyond my grasp. 

I want to pay for the highest quality streaming version of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. I own the Blu-ray disk, but never watch it because it is a pain in the arse to load it up. 

I see I can buy an HD version of the concert on iTunes, but my gut tells me that HD is NOT as good as Blu-ray. Or is it? I have a 4K tv now and want everything to look as good as possible…and I won’t be trapped into buying physical media ever again. 




I am a long time fan of both of your work, although I have to say I tend to side with Tom on most things not having to do with lockpicking and social engineering 🙂

I wanted to write you because I am almost 100% certain that Tom is quite familiar with the pinnacle of Douglas Adam’s work that is Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and I must ask if he is watching the new BBC America series of the same name starring Elijah Wood.

I am a huge fan of Douglas Adams – I watched the original BBC Hitchhiker series as a kid on PBS with my mother, who also used to read the whole 4 (at the time) book “trilogy” to my brother and I as bedtime stories. So when I heartily recommend the new Dirk Gently’s Series, you can be sure that I am not messing around.
You may know that there was a series of Dirk Gently’s back in 2010 from BBC four, and I didn’t get past the pilot.

This new series is phenomenal. Max Landis captures the tone of Adams’ writing quite well, and he managed to avoid the pitfalls of the previous series by not trying to retell the Dirk stories from before (although he references them as “that one thing with the couch and also some stuff involving Thor”). Instead, Landis seems to be telling an entirely new story which may be loosely based on the unfinished 3rd Dirk Gently’s novel, in which a very rich man pays Dirk to investigate the man’s own murder which hasn’t happened yet.
My only complaint so far is that Dirk is far more of a buffoon than he seemed to me in the books and that he doesn’t have either his rotund stature nor his signature long coat and ridiculous hat (although he does wear a ridiculous coat).
It is only 2 episodes in and I am hooked. I hope you have a chance to watch it and talk about it on the show. If not, I will simply be forced to continue watching and sending my opinions to you regardless.

Thanks for all you do,


Have you guys ever considered, given the wealth of quality TV and your limited time, outsourcing one or two shows to some of us listeners as an add on segment to Spoilering Time?

Davey from WV but currently living in DC




Hi guys, I was wondering your opinion on piracy? I have Kodi with TVaddons installed on 3 fire TV sticks for movies and TV shows. I pay £80 a year for Amazon prime £9.99 for Netflix a month and £85 a month for Sky TV and Internet. 

If I pirate a movie and love it, I can’t find away of giving some money back to the people that made it. I wish there was a service where I could view something and if I loved it pay after. 

I live in the Uk. Thanks for the great episodes I have only listened to 3 so far.



Hey guys,

I share Brian’s frustration with HBO Now. I’ve been a cord-cutter since 2008. I live in Everett, WA. Comcast is a big deal here as the Xfinity Arena is the home for our local hockey team. I routinely get over 100 Mbps download speeds at home. I recently got HBO Now and usually watch using the app on my Xbox One. When I first got it, it was terrible. It would constantly freeze video while the audio kept going then it sped up the video to get back on track. I noticed something though. It only seemed to do it on older content. It would happen constantly on older movies such as Casper, but would be magically fine when I’d watch something new like Westworld. Maybe it was just a coincidence but I have to wonder if HBO was prioritizing some content above others. It got so bad that I considered getting rid of the service after my free trial was up. There has since been an update to the Xbox One app however and it has fixed almost all the issues I was having. I just binged all six seasons of Game of Thrones in about two weeks and had almost no issues. Hopefully the service continues to get better over time.



2016 Winter Movie Draft