Cordkillers 170 – Big Budget or a Bit Crap (w/ Ewen Rankin)

Majority of US adults have smart TVs but is anyone using them? PBS Kids streaming stick wins over Brian and a free movie and TV streaming service. With special guest Ewen Rankin.

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CordKillers: Ep. 170 – Big Budget or a Bit Crap
Recorded: May 15 2017
Guest: Ewen Rankin

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Majority of U.S. adults own a streaming-enabled TV, according to IAB study
    – The Interactive Advertising Bureau and MARU Matchbox released results of an online survey indicating 56% of US adults own a streaming-enabled television
    – 54% of TV watching time is spent on non-linear TV. 20% of that goes to digital.
    – 50% said they would rather watch commercials than pay for ad-free subscriptions. 44% said commercials in digital are less intrusive than on regular TV

How to Watch

  • PBS made the cutest TV streaming stick probably ever
    – PBS Kids is releasing an HDMI Streaming stick shaped like a race car for $50 at Wal-Mart, starting May 24.
    – Includes a remote
    – Features Several games and 100 hours of programming stored locally (available offline)
    – Can connect through WiFi access to PBS Kids streaming channel
  • Tubi TV
    – Tubi TV has raised $20 million for its free ad-supported streaming service
    – Tubi has 200 partners including LionsGate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Starz and others,
    – 50,000 titles
    – Selection is not all available at the same time. Rotated to feel fresh
    – Partners across anime, international films and TV (e.g. Korean, Chinese and British TV),
    – Tubi is available on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Xbox and SmartTV
  • Bell targets cord-cutters with new ‘Alt TV’ service
    – In Ontario and Quebec, Bell is launching Alt TV to Bell internet customers, starting at $15/mo (requires unlimited internet, 25Mbps down plan). Does not include DVR or live broadcast pausing. The service is all app-based and available on mobile devices and AppleTV. Fine print indicates a smaller selection of live/VOD content on wireless connections outside home wifi. . One of/THE first wide-spread TV-via-app devices in Canada? Pretty cheap, but requires a specific internet plan and has app-based watching on their FibeTV set top service.

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Tom! My parents have been thinking about become cord killers recently to save some money. I wanted to check with you to get your advice on what you recommend them to do. The biggest thing is they love watching live sports, so I was thinking of setting them up with a slingt v account, netflix, (they have amazon prime already) and possibly hulu. I don’t know much about hulu, but figured between sling tv, netflix and prime, they would be pretty happy. Also, what device would you recommend as well for them to use? (Roku, chrome cast, apple tv, etc.) Or maybe even just buying a new smart tv. Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me. Love your shows!

– Tyler



Hey Brian and Tom,

I’m a long-time listener of Cordkillers, from back in the Frame Rate days… and I thought you might be interested in this new cord-cutting website/FAQ/tutorial-thing put together by Plex. It brands Plex as “a cord cutter’s best friend,” and their Introduction even contains the phrase “watch what you want, when you want.”





Greetings Bryce, Brian, and Tom,

My wife and I are moving at the beginning of June and we’re going to cancel DirecTV to become cordcutters. I really dislike talking on the phone, especially with pushy customer service representatives. I know that the reps are going to try to convince me that I don’t have to cancel just because I’m moving, or I can sign up for DirecTV Now which I do not want. Do you or anyone in the audience have suggestions for ripping the DirecTV Band-Aid off as quickly and as painlessly as possible?






I was obsessed with the box office as long as I can remember. So when you guys started the Movie Draft, I started a draft with some family and friends, and so I made a little chart to forecast and track the possible outcomes.

For each movie, you can enter a low gross (if it under performs), an expected gross, or an high gross (if it over performs). The spreadsheet will then give you a range that each player’s total should be within.

As movies premier and soar or bomb, you can update the values each week. Once they end their theatric run, the values become set across the Low, Expected, and High grosses.

I filled in the spreadsheet for the DiamondClub Movie Draft and entered in my own expected grosses. Of course, the numbers for movies that haven’t come out yet or finished earning movie are just my opinion, so feel free to make a copy and put in your own values!

In the last column, labeled “custom”, you can mix and match low, expected, and high grosses, so you can answer questions like “if everything goes as expected but Pirates under performs, what will the total be?”

Hope someone besides me finds this fun or useful!





Perfect answer on the show! Sorry for mixing up your comments. I too have read tons of expanded universe (but none of the new books!). I grew up watching the OT and saw Ep1 my senior year in high school. In fact, a friend and I performed a lightsaber duel to “Duel of the Fates” during our senior band concert. I was in full Darth Maul costume and makeup. Nerdiest moment of my life.

So, yes, no matter how bad the movies are, we will always love the story and universe. And the Legends will never be forgotten.

But, I should have clarified I was talking specifically about the movies. In a longer version of the email, I made a comparison to my relationship with horror movies. Im not a horror movie fan. Therefore, if I don’t like a horror movie that got positive reviews from viewers and critics, I don’t blame the movie. I blame the fact that I’m not a fan of horror movies.

So, I was just curious if you think that might be (or might one day be) similar to your relationship with non-OT Star Wars movies. Just something to think about, that’s all.

(Not expecting y’all to revisit this on the show, just wanted to clarify!)




2017 Summer Movie Draft