Cordkillers 212 – This Week In Whoops

Infinity War final trailer, news on Netflix, and a Channel Master review. All this and more on Cordkillers!

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CordKillers: Ep. 212 – This Week In Whoops
Recorded: March 19 2018
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Exclusive: Amazon’s internal numbers on Prime Video, revealed
    – Reuters reports Amazon company documents indicate more than 5 million people worldwide joined Amazon Prime by early 2017 in order to watch TV shows. The internal documents indicate Amazon’s US audience for TV is about 26 million about half of Netflix’s Q1 2017 US subscriber number. The Man in the High Castle had 8 million US viewers by early 2017 and attracted 1.15 million new Prime subscribers worldwide. Amazon estimated that show’s cost meant each new subscriber it acquired cost $63.

How to Watch

  • Tom got the Channelmaster Stream+ and set it up
    – Channel Master Stream+ $149
    – Requires an SD card for DVR functions, uses the Android Live TV app for live TV and DVR.
    – DVR is free but a little clunky to use. Not immediately intuitive but will get the job done.
    – Google Play store means it has a wide variety of apps, but no Netflix yet.
    – Super easy setup and decent streaming

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • Now MoviePass’ CEO says the app never tracked customers
    – MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe is walking back comments he made last week that “we watch how you drive home” In an interview with Variety, Lowe said “I said something completely inaccurate as far as what we are doing…We only locate customers when they use the app.” Lowe also posted an apoology to MoviePass customers on the company’s website, along with an updated privacy FAQ.
  • Netflix won’t reward kids with ‘patches’ for watching TV
    – Remember when we told you Netflix was testing using virtual patches to reward kids for watching kids stuff on Netflix? Netflix now says, “We’ve concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids.”
  • Movies Anywhere includes your FandangoNOW flicks
    – FandangoNow, the store that used to be called M-Go has joined Movies Anywhere. It becomes the second service after Vudu that was in Ultraviolet to join the Movies Anywhere service. Paramount and Lionsgate are the two big studios that have not yet joined.
  • Disney creates streaming video unit for digital future
    – Disney created a new division for streaming video which will be headed by Kevin Mayer, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. The division will oversee ESPN+ and the family-oriented streaming service coming from Disney in 2019. Media networks and the movie studios will remain separate units.
  • NBC News plans online streaming service to attract younger viewers
    – NBC News plans to launch a streaming service this year in order to reach younger viewers. The company has not decided if it will be subscription-based. CBS News and ABC News have free streaming news apps and Fox News announced a paid streaming service is coming.
  • Ava DuVernay will direct DC’s film adaptation of ‘New Gods’
    – Ava DuVernay (Selma, Wrrinkle in Time) will direct the film adaptation of DC’s New Gods series. The series follows an eternal war between twin planets: the New Genesis, ruled by the Highfather, and Apokolips, ruled by Darkseid.

Dispatches from the Front
Hey Tom, Brian, & Bryce!

Love the show but have never written in before, but, as one of your bosses, I figured I would show you something I found interesting. I am an on-again-off-again cord-cutter, but for the last year and a half, we have been making use of DirecTV Satellite service (previously, we had a Tivo Romio OTA and Sling TV). We ended up switching to DirecTV because we we already had Uverse Internet as the fastest option in our area and AT&T was our wireless provider as well. Switching to DirecTV allowed us to have free HBO “for life” and unlimited data on our phones “for life” with very little increase in overall price.

We have been happy, even though we often forget to DVR stuff and watch it on our Roku authenticated through whatever network app we need with our DirecTV credentials. I say all this because we only recently got a second TV and needed service there. I called and basically said, “I need another receiver for a new TV and don’t want to pay more.”

DirecTV rep was like, “Yeah. You have an old receiver. Take our new Genie 2 and Genie 2 Mini for free. Is your TV 4K?”

“Uhh… yeah…”

“Okay great. 4K is included.”

A tech came out the very next day installed both new receivers for $0. No monthly increase in cost. No fees of any kind. But add another 2 years onto the contract (I am okay with that).

But here is the kicker! Less than a week later I get THIS email (screen shot) offering to downgrade my package for me and save me $12/mo. After looking at it, it looks likes the differential is actually just ESPN channels. Since we only care about college football, and that’s not on for the next 5 months, I said, “OKAY” and now I am paying even LESS!

It seems like they are REALLY desperate to keep customers happy… and I am surprised to say, it is totally working for me.

Thanks again for the show!



Hey Killers,

I’ve been comparing the TV quality of our upstairs 40″ (or so) Insignia Roku TV and our 55″ Sharp Stupid Smart TV, which we have hooked up to a Roku Express +. Turns out, the Roku TV’s quality is really good, and sometimes I can’t tell the difference between Sling TV and OTA if it’s streaming at the highest quality. It’s a different story for the 55″, however. I blame the Express +, because I’ve noticed that even with apps like Amazon Prime Video, when compared with our PS3, which is also connected to the 55″, the PS3 seems to have the better quality.

Love your show! Keep up the good work.




Hi Tom & Brian,

On last week’s show, while discussing the perennially dropping cable subscribers, Tom asked about what Spectrum might be doing in regards to streaming. I’m a Spectrum internet-only customer, and I just got the attached mailer in my mailbox for a $22/month streaming service! The service appears to allow users to pick 10 channels they want from a list of around 50, which interestingly enough includes most of the sports networks.

This looks really compelling on the surface, but the fine print is worrying. It mentions credits on your monthly bill, as well as “taxes, fees, and surcharges.” And knowing Spectrum, I doubt this will be as easy to change or cancel online as something like Sling TV.

What do you think? A bold new entry to streaming, or another boring me-too service?


P.S. if you’ve got questions and want me to call Spectrum on a fact finding mission, send them my way!




Hi Tom and Brian!

Love the show, been listening since the Framerate days. I was giving some thought to the many iterations of Amazon’s video service, and realized that no one has done a proper write-up of its many brand changes. So I wrote an article: The Forgotten History of Amazon Video, posted on Medium and my personal site, Thought you might enjoy it.

– Mike



Tom said Fox was targeting reducing their ad load BY two miinutes an hour by 2020 but the story he was quoting says that Fox will reduce their ad load TO two minutes an hour by 2020. Thanks for catching that Steve!

From the Motherboard and WSJ articles we linked to in last week’s show notes:
“The two minutes per hour is a real target for Fox, and also our challenge for the industry,” Fox executive Ed Davis told the Wall Street Journal. “Creating a sustainable model for ad-supported storytelling will require us all to move.”

– Steven