Cordkillers 165 – Asgardians of the Galaxy

Why YouTube TV is the best and worst of the new streaming TV options. Amazon gets Thursday Night Football, and why Twitter might not care. Plus, NBC may bring out its own CBS All Access-like service.

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CordKillers: Ep. 165 – Asgardians of the Galaxy
Recorded: April 10 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • YouTube’s live TV streaming service goes live in five US cities for $35 per month
    – YouTube TV launched in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. The service packages in more than 40 channels including all major broadcast networks including the CW plus SyFy, Disney, ESPN, a YouTube Red channel and more, though availability varies by market. You can also add on Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus for $11 and $15 respectively.The app has three tabs. Live, Home for recommendations, and Library for things you’ve bookmakred or recorded to your unlimited DVR. The first month is free and then costs $35 a month afterwards with a free Chromecast to boot. You can watch at or get the app on iOS and Android.
  • YouTube TV Will Force You to Watch Ads on Many DVR’d Shows
    – Big caveat: YouTube will force users to watch the “on demand” version of shows when available, not the DVR version. Ads cannot be skipped in on-demand versions.

How to Watch

  • Amazon outbids Twitter for rights to livestream Thursday Night Football games
    – Amazon purchased the rights to livestream 10 Thursday night football games for the forthcoming NFL season. The rights cost Amazon $50 million. Last year, Twitter paid $10 million for largely the same deal. Amazon will stream the games exclusively for Prime subscribers. The livestream will be the same content as broadcast over the air by CBS and NBC, including ads. Amazon will have a small groups of ads slots to sell for the stream as well.
  • Twitter targets tie-ups with pay-TV broadcasters in live video push
    – Twitter wants deals with pay-TV companies that let subscribers watch live channels on Twitter with authentication.
    – Basically link your subcription to a channel to a Twitter account.
    – Twitter COO Anthony Noto told the Telegraph “Bringing the video forward [onto Twitter itself] allows us to give the consumer on one screen the things they’re talking about and [a] timeline of the best tweets on Twitter at that moment in time. We would love to have the Premier League… we would love to have live games and we’ll continue to try to find creative ways to get there.”

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Comcast Is Planning a Netflix Rival Using NBC Shows
    – Bloomberg says its sources say Comcast plans to launch a streaming service for NBC Universal TV shows within the next 12-18 months. Details like whether live channels would be offered and for how much have not been decided. The service would focus on NBC but could also included shows from other networks like Bravo, USA and SyFy.
  • Netflix reaches 75% of US streaming service viewers, but YouTube is catching up
    – Comscore’s latest numbers show 53% of WiFi households in the US use a streaming video service. Netflix is still the leader in 75% of those households but YouTube is catching up at 53%, Amazon’s at 33% and Hulu is at 17%. On average people watch streaming content 19 days a month for 2.2 hours per day. Sling leads that measurement with its users watching 47 hours a month. Netflix came in second at 28 hours.
  • Showtime makes its entire library available for offline viewing on mobile devices
    – Showtime now lets subscribers download any of its programs for offline viewing on iOS, Android and Amazon Fire tablets. Users can choose between 540p and 720p versions.
  • Sling TV adds Showtime, expands its add-on lineup
    – Sling TV added the ability to subscribe to Showtime for $10 a month. It already offered HBO, Cinemax and Starz, so it’s the first to offer all four big movie channels. Sling also added the $5 “Heartland Extra” package with PixL (movies), Family Net (classic TV), Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, RFD-TV (a rural lifestyle channel that focuses on agriculture, equine and more), and World Fishing Network. Sling also added Estrella TV, Vme Kids, and El Financiero to its best of spanish TV package.
  • MGM spends $1 billion to take full control of the Epix channel
    – MGM bought out Lionsgate and Paramount’s shares of movie service Epix for just more than $1 billion. All three studios will continue to supply movies to Epix. Lionsgate just purchased Starz and Paramount’s owner, Viacom has been moving away from streaming services.
  • Netflix adds a screensaver to its TV apps to promote its original content
    – Netflix has added a screen saver to its TV apps that promote Netflix originals, and Netflix rolled out its thumbs up and down system and percentage match ratings to replace the star ratings.

Dispatches from the Front

I was listening to show 163 and you guys were discussing Netflix’s new rating system going from 1-5 stars to just thumbs up or down. Like you, Tom, when I was having to manage my disk queue on their website I was very diligent about rating all of the movies I got from them along with any I saw in the theater. Since we stopped getting disks a few years ago, I’ve not been to the Netflx website once, nor have I rated a single show. Too lazy I guess.

But after further reflection, I submit that Netflix doesn’t need us to interact with their website or app one little iota to figure out if we like a show or not. They know exactly what we watch, how long we watch it, the exact spot where we stop watching and/or rewind it, and if we continue a series after one or two episodes or if I binge watch all 5 seasons of a show in a weekend. In my opinion, that gives them 1000X more data about my feelings on a show than does 1-5 stars along with very specific details that they can pass back to producers. Thoughts???
Love the show! =-)




Your boss Rick from outside Orlando here. just today Netflix switched (at least on streaming titles) to thumbs up-thumbs down from the old 5 star system. I really hate this for two reasons. Mainly, the old system turned the star yellow which reminded me years later if I saw that title. And secondly, it is far too general a rating vs a 5 star system. I hope they don’t do it to blu ray titles but I’m not confident they won’t soon

– Rick



Just to add-on to the Vudu Disc-to-Digital conversation:

In January, my wife and I used the service to convert about 60 standard def DVDs into high def digital copies. Watching standard def DVDs was almost painful and this has given us access to a bunch of our older movie collection in a format that’s enjoyable to watch and easy to access for $2.50/movie. (We took advantage of that 50% off 10+ movies discount mentioned in Episode 164).

Then, we used to sell our physical copies and get some of the money back. While the payout per movie is low (between 25 cents and a dollar, on average), it’s more than we were getting by having them buried in the back of a closet!
Happy Cordcutter for 3-years
Love the show,




Hi Tom and Brian,

Until last year I was a not so proud employee of one of those cable monoliths you skewer so well. When I was involuntarily retired (laid off) after 36 years I decided to stick it to the man by cord cutting. I signed up for Netflix and Amazon. I bought and installed a rooftop antenna, Tablo DVR, Roku streamer, new AV system, Plex server and a Logitech Harmony remote to control it all. I hardwired my network to maximize throughput. Tested and tweaked until everything was working great. On the day my severance ended I called the monolith to cut back to internet only or disconnect entirely. Take your box back you stinkin monolith! They informed me that since they show me as a retired former employee I can continue a robust cable/internet package at the same discount rate (about $40/month) I had while employed. I said thank you and hung up as quick as I could. I guess I’m just a cordcutting fanboy now, I’m so ashamed!

The alt-cordcutter




We’ve been following the skinny-and-not-so-skinny bundles for a while and might get Sling Blue pretty soon, but I’ve found it strange that in some cases the big three news channels aren’t included in the packages. For instance, Sling Blue has only CNN in its basic package and you have to get News Extra to get MSNBC. Fox News isn’t included either, for some reason, despite a bunch of other Fox channels being included. TheBlaze is featured in News Extra….Why is this the case? I have not noted such glaring exclusions when it comes to other kinds of cable channels when other channels the parent company owns are included.




Hiyo, it’s your boss Roy here. I’ve just signed up for my free month of YouTube TV and right off the bat I see problems. Problem #1 is that the app needs to be installed on a phone or tablet and not my Roku stick. These handhelds are my second and third screens. I realize that Chromecast has been a success so clearly people are okay using their handhelds as TV remotes but committing one to be my TV remote isn’t going to fly in my house. Problem #2 is that my Nexus 7 from 2013 is too old to install the app. Now my phone clearly needs to be my remote and that’s a double problem. Problem #3 is that they don’t have entire back catalogs – I’m specifically looking at CBS. I haven’t seen any of the current season of Big Bang Theory because I’ve postponed buying the season. YouTube TV has only some episodes from the current season. No Bueno. There are pros, too, like live TV in my pocket. It’s really fast and easy to jump into live content. The DVR looks pretty intuitive, although I haven’t yet watched any recorded content to comment. Hopefully in a future update they’ll bring my content from Google Play Movies and TV into the app, sort of like how I can access it on the standard YouTube app. Keep up the good work guys. You all are rad.

– Roy


2017 Summer Movie Draft