Cordkillers 159 – Tiers for Fears (w/ Allison Sheridan)

Why no one watches TV, Sling TV gets cheap, and how Allison got her TiVo MoJo back.

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CordKillers: Ep. 159 – Tiers for Fears
Recorded: February 27 2017
Guest: Allison Sheridan

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Millenial men cutting the cord in droves
    – Videology, a company that sells addressable advertising found 1/3 of millenial males expect to pay for cable in the coming year
    – More than 1/2 said they already had cut the cord.
    – Recent studies of all age groups projected 12% cord cutting (GfK) and 6 % (emarketer)
    -But here’s the kicker. When asked how they watch TV shows
    – 27% said on TV as they air
    – >27% said laptop or desktop
    – 26% Boxes like Roku
    – 20.5% mobile devic es (tablet/smartphone)
    – 13% DVR
    – But
    – 21% said they do not watch TV. At all. (Sports excluded)
  • Where people watch Hulu
    – Less surprising is Hulu’s study of where people watch Hulu.
    – 500 heavy users of Hulu surveyed
    – What’s the craziest place you watch Hulu?
    – 1. the bathroom
    – 2. meeting
    – 3. At a red light
    – 4. weddings
    – 5. funerals
  • YouTube says people watch a billion hours of video every day
  • Netflix CEO shows friendly face to telcos at top mobile fair
    – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave the keynote at Mobile World Congress, a gathering of mobile device makers. He mentioned unlimited data plans and efforts by Netflix to optimize video.

How to Watch

  • New Sling TV Channel bundles
    – Sling TV just added an option for $10 to add the Kids, Comedy, News and Lifestyle bundles, which are $5 each so normally a $20 add-on price for all four.
    – Sling trying to compare to DTV Now
    Sling starts at $20 for 30 networks and now has a plan for 80 channels at $35.
    – DTV Now plans start at $35 for 70 networks.
  • Sling TV Is Really Helping Dish Network Add Subscribers
    – Dish had better-than-expected profit AND added 28,000 subscribers when Dish and Sling TV numbers were combined in Q4.
    – Last year Dish lost 12,000 subscribers
    – Analysts had expected Dish to lose 87,000 subscribers
    – Analysts think most of the growth came from Sling TV because the revenue missed estimates.
  • Allison: Just replaced 3 (aged) TiVos & a Frontier cable box with a TiVo Bolt+ and 3 TiVo Minis. Saved $55/month on my bill
    – Don’t have Ethernet in the house, discovere that having FiOS meant I had MoCA!
    – Amazing how much faster the new boxes are (who knew?0
    – Only downside is I have a 3 router setup to isolate iOT devices, and the TiVos (being on MoCA) are on the top level above my “real” routers
    – For example, can’t use the TiVo app on iOS to control them because they aren’t on WiFi at all
    – Investment was $990 but the lifetime TiVo had died, so I’d have bought the Bolt+ either way ($500 of the $950)
    – Worst case break even is 17 months (or 8 months if you don’t count the Bolt+
    – Full story with coax diagram and math:

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom and Brian,

Just had some thoughts on the Caavo. I think the idea of Apple buying the company and applying it’s tech to the AppleTV is interesting, but to me the better fit would be Logitech. Imagine a Harmony remote that would control everything with voice and do it seamlessly. The advertising writes itself, “The new Harmony One, the remote you’ll never lose.” I’m sure someone else has thought of this but it seems like a good fit.

Keep up the good work guys on the podcast, loving it.


Thomas from Missouri



Hi Tom and Brian,

I’ve amassed a large collection of DVDs and Blu-rays over the years and about two years ago decided all of my discs were collecting dust, as I was far more likely to watch a title I already owned on Netflix simply because it was accessible.

I decided to ‘roll my own’ solution and digitize my extensive 800+ movie collection using MakeMKV and Handbrake- and now have them on a Synology NAS.

Problem Solved- after many hours of encoding, I have access to all the titles I spent so much to acquire, streaming locally to my FireTV running Kodi.

Now- I’m hoping you or the CordKillers audience may be able to help. With new movies coming 3-4 week early to streaming prior to the DVD release, is there any service you know of that I can pay to order the disc but gain early steaming rights to the title?

I understand the studios are looking to encourage streaming titles, but this leaves me with limited access to the movie I have just paid $20 to ‘buy’ streaming rights to.

I’ve been enjoying your show since the Frame Rate days and also enjoy your joint and independent ventures, and wanted to thank you for the independent content you both create on a daily basis.

Keep up the great work!



Hey guys. I just finished up listening to Cordkillers 158 (On… DEMAND!). Loved the discussion about the Caavo and the consolidation of all the devices and services. As I was enjoying Brian’s rant about wanting to be ignorant and being able to ask for a can of dog food and dog food appearing, it occurred to me that perhaps the Google Home device (w/help from Google Assistant) is actually moving (albeit slowly) in the direction of what I think he is asking for. Even though the Home device is still relatively new, it already supports me saying “Hey Google. Play Stranger Things on the family room TV” and it will find Stranger Things on Netflix and cast it to the chromecast named Family Room TV. On the contrast if I say “Hey Google. Play DTNS on family room TV.” It goes out and finds the latest episode of DTNS on YouTube and starts casting it to the Family Room TV. In neither scenario did I have to specify the service where to play the content from, it just played it. It also does a pretty good job supporting natural language speaking, allowing different derivatives of the same sentence so, “Ok Google, Cast DTNS to the family room tv” would have the same effect. Me watching another fine episode of DTNS on the TV in the family room.

Of course where this currently falls short however is that it’s only working for a VERY small number of services that I know of, those being Netflix and YouTube. But I’m hopeful the list of services will increase quickly. This would make sense, as the Google Home App on my phone already has “universal search” capabilities that support searching across a much wider list of services, including but not limited to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies, HBO GO, Watch ESPN, Vudu, and I’m sure many others (Note: I believe the service’s app has to be installed on the device which is probably how they are searching the data of those services). Of course who knows if Amazon Video would ever be supported. I also find it confusing and rather annoying that I can cast music from Google Play Music to my chromecast’s via Google Home by talking to it, but I can’t play a movie from Google Play Movies & TV this way. I’m sure over the next year or two a lot these issues will get worked out, at least I hope they do.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my experience with the Google Home device with you guys in case you weren’t aware.




How do you pick where to buy shows? I want to cut the cord and I want to just buy shows i want to watch (this looks like it would be cheaper). But I’m having a lot of problems picking where to spend my money. My wife and I have iphones, but I don’t want to use iTunes because I don’t want to lose access to my shows if i get a new phone. Amazon, Google and Vudu look like good alternatives, but again I would hate to get locked down. Currently I use a TiVo and an Nvidia Shield TV to watch all my shows. I really wish these providers would all participate in UltraViolet or act like Disney and let me buy it once and watch on everything.

– Andrew


2016 Winter Movie Draft