Cordkillers 73 – I Like No Ads

HBO Now is really popular but too expensive, AT&T wants to let people pay for your data, and what made Mad Max so good.

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CordKillers: Ep. 73 – I Like No Ads
Recorded: June 1, 2015
Guest: Roberto Villegas

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • AT&T wants to choose which online video services count against data caps 
    Cogent, Dish, Free Press, New America’s Open Technology Institute, and Public Knowledge asked the FCC to prevent exemptions to data caps.
    – ATT asked FCC to clarify it is allowed to provide data cap exemptions to companies for a fee
    – Open Internet Guidelines (not yet in force) do not prevent such exemptions
    – FCC instead opted to observe and “determine whether data caps are being used to harm competitors and consumers”
    – ATT has not struck any such deals for at home broadband. There is a deal to integrate Hulu into ATT U-verse.
    – ATT’s own streaming video service counts against data caps.
    – AT&T Sponsored Data exists.
    – Wireless advertising that doesn’t count against data cap
    – AT&T’s caps are 150GB per month for DSL subscribers, 250GB per month for U-verse, 500GB or 1TB for GigaPower, with overage fees of $10 per additional 50GB.

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Apple Subscription TV Service Won’t Be Announced Next Week
    – Apple will not announce a new TV service at WWDC next week. But les Moonves says CBS is still in negotiations and the only holdup is money. That is all!
  • Nvidia launches its Shield set-top box for Android TV — with optional 500GB hard drive
    – Nvidia launched its Shield set-top box with a Tegra X1 processor that bundles Android TV in with the ability play games from the GRID, Nvidia’s cloud service for $200 at 16GB or $300 at 500 GB. Oh and it has voice control and 4K support too. 
  • Netflix Tests Teasers For Original Programming, But Has No Plans To Run Third-Party Ads
    – So you may have noticed trailers before or after your Netflix shows. Netflix spokesperson Cliff Edwards told TechCrunch “We’ve had originals teasers at the end of shows for a while. Some members of seeing tests at the beginning of shows. As you know, we test many things over the year, many of which are never universally deployed.” OK. CLIFF. But does that mean Netflix is going to put ads in someday HUH? To which Cliff responds: “Our policy around ads is unchanged. We have no plans to support third-party ad units.” OK Cliff. You win this round.
  • Lenovo unveils a $49 Chromecast competitor
    – Lenovo has a Chromecast-like device except it’s shaped like a hockey puck, not a dongle and costs $49. It works with any Miracast or DLNA device. Arrives this August.
  • Rogers, Shaw face Netflix head-on by making Shomi available to everyone
    – Canadian fans were very excited to tell us that Shomi, the Netflix-like service owned by the Rogers and Shaw cable companies in Canada, is now available to everyone, not just Rogers, Shaw and Bell customers. This starts sometime between June and September and the price stays C$8.99.
  • TiVo profit, revenue beat estimates on subscriber growth
    – TiVo had better than expected quarterly revenue and profit rose by 8 cents a share. Net revenue rose 7.2% Subscriptions rose 27% to 5.8 million in the 3 months ending April 30. So those of you who say we never report good news for TiVo. There you go. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

I can personally attest that you absolutely can continue with the chicken challenge threat seemingly indefinitely, at least with Comcast. I have both bluffed as well as legitimately threatened to cancel service and have always been given a good enough deal to keep me on board. I have had free HBO for almost 4 years, occasionally call up and get free Showtime, and constantly keep my package rates around $100 for their fastest internet plus basic cable. I do the math every 6-12 months and it is still not financially worth cancelling cable, at least as long as they keep bribing me. Granted it is a pain to sit through the torture of Comcast customer service, but I have accepted that until we have more competition in the market.

Regarding re-opening movie rental stores and the inability to rent movies that may are only available for purchase on Amazon, Vudu, etc, I have an exciting new service for you: Netflix. If you want to watch new movies before streaming is available they are very often available through the Netflix DVD service (yes I am one of those few who still have this service). This applies even more to older movies which may be difficult to find streaming – Netflix’s DVD rental service has pretty much any older movie or TV show you can possibly think of available.




Dear killers of cords,

Last week’s program contained a message from a listener/viewer who sang the praises of the Acorn channel. Please permit me to share a different view of Acorn.

My dear, sweet, gray-haired, cord-slashing mother was the recipient of a Roku box from yours truly for Christmas in 2009. She almost immediately switched to streaming-based content and hasn’t looked back.

As a fan of PBS and British programming, she also became one of Acorn’s early subscribers. At the end of last year, though, she concluded that most of the Acorn content she wanted was also available to her through Netflix and Amazon Prime — so she canceled the account.” Suffice to say Joseph then details how the charges kept coming depite her efforts to cancel. So his point is be vigilant about charges when you cancel a service.




What it do Killers,
I’m definitely interested in an expanded Spolierin’ Time show with picks, recommendations, maybe even Spolierin Time specific guests (love to see some Film Sack or Auto Pilot crossover bits). I’d also appreciate more technical and how to stuff. 



One thing you might consider is separating the funding for Spoilering Time from the regular Cordkillers. I do not mind getting billed for both, but some people may not want to pay for Spoilering Time. You should give your Patreons the option to fund one or the other or both. I do know if Patreon can handle that kind of separation or if a separate Patreon page would have to be set up for Spoilering Time. It might be a gauge to measure support for spoiling.




On keeping with shows, like them or not. Personally I think you are doing it right. Be clear why you are loving a show, or clear on why you are dumping it. Watching you make that decision, discussing it, and creating conversations with the community about it, is where the value is. Don’t throw good time after bad.




Hi guys,

I’m listening to you talk right now. Here are a few thoughts from a Patreon supporter:

I like what you’re doing with the timer, but I think shouting “extension” is dumb. Just extend it. As Brian pointed out, sports TV does this. When they do, they *actually* just blow the countdown clock all the time. Watch an episode of Pardon the Interruption sometime with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN as an example. It’s great.

Thanks for a great show.



2015 Winter Movie Draft

  1. Amtrekker: $427,551,427
  2. GFQ: $416,963,546
  3. Frogpants: $334,997,492
  4. Night Attack: $105,742,219
  5. DTNS: $54,588,173
  6. Cordkillers: $37,084,164

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