Cordkillers 84 – Adequate TV

The FCC hands cable companies a weapon, Comcast wants to unseat YouTube, why you shouldn’t buy that Android box.

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CordKillers: 84 – Adequate TV
Recorded: August 17, 2015
Guest: Hammond Chamberlain

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • The FCC could soon give more power to cable companies. Here’s how. 
  • Upgrading media rules
    – The FCC is considering two rule changes governing how cable and broadcast networks can behave when negotiating retransmission fees in the US
    – 1. Lift a ban on rebroadcasting blacked out shows from another city’s TV station.
    “In this item, the Commission takes its thumb off the scales and leaves the scope of such exclusivity to be decided by the parties.”
    – 2. Undertake a “robust examination” of what it means to negotiate in good faith. This could make broadcasters less likely to risk blackouts.
    “The goal of the proposed rulemaking is to ensure that these negotiations are conducted fairly and in a way that protects consumers.”
    In layman’s terms:
    – 1. Let cable companies have another option when fighting a blackout if they can convince a neighboring market’s station to let them have their content instead of the more local station. So in Austin if CBS in Austin is blacking out it’s channel a cable company coul try to convince a Houtson or San Antonio station to let it have that programming instead.”
    – 2. Basically the FCC currently has a hands off approach to interfering with negotiations unless something extreme happens, which has benefited the broadcasters who have the content. Hard to say what they mean here for sure but they definitely are trying to scare broadcasters into being more favorable in negoations with cable companies

Signal Intelligence

  • Comcast to partner with buzzfeed
    – Business Inisder has a source that is telling it more about Comcast’s new video platform we’ve heard rumored
    – Called “Watchable” but that name could change
    – Allegedly partnering with Vox (which it owns a stake in), Buzzfeed (which it is purchasing a stake in) AwesomenessTV, Refinery29, and The Onion, news sites like Mic and Vice, as well as legacy brands like NBC Sports —Full list still being determined.
    – Deals are non-exclusive
    – Positioned as a rival to Verizon’s forthcoming service
    – Come first to X1 cable boxes then to iOS and Android
    – Wants to be digital video advertising leader
    – While Comcast still has the predominance of video viewing in the home it wants to become the tastemaker for digital video

Gear Up

  • Let’s clear up this whole Android TV box mess
  • You see a lot of this crap
    – We constantly get emails from people asking “Have you seen this XXX box that prmisies loads of free video for the price of a cheap piece of hardware?”
    – Many companies are throwing open source Android on a cheap processor with HDMI and preinstalling something like Kodi on it and maybe a few other apps and promising “access to free TV and movies.”
    – Most use older ARM processors (Often Cortex A9) and GPUs that are affordable but still handle 1080p
    – Generally include 1GB or 2 of RAM and 8 GB of storage., mostly just for buffering and apps
    – They try to differentiate themselves with different remotes and cables. Remotes often don’t work well
    – You’re just as well off buying an Ouya, Nexus Player or even FireTV and rooting them. Or you can connect your phone with a cable.
    – Really you should just buy a Roku or Apple TV. 

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom, Brian, and Bryce,

I am preparing to leave the parents house finally!! I will not be getting cable so i was wondering which over-the-air antennas y’all think is the best and which OTA DVR that does not have a monthly fee is the best?

Thanks so much for the show!

Lauren from Dallas

– Wineguard Flatwave supposedly has better range than the Mohu Leaf, Channelmaster





Hi Brian,

Just listened to this week’s Spoilering Time and was hoping for some clarification.

I always assumed that the red star ratings on Netflix were part of their “magical” algorithms and represent what they think you would rate something.

So in the case of “Hot girls wanted,” Netflix thinks that Brian will give it a 2 star rating after watching it. This of course being based on your viewing habits and what you have rated in the past that might be similar.
Therefore, critical reviews have no effect.

My confusion came when you stated the rating there was based on other Netflix users. Is this the actual case? Have I been giving Netflix too much credit with their ability to make recommendations based on my tastes? Am I gonna have change my discovery habits? Does Tom know? Is this really diet Dr. Pepper? Please help.

Your boss,





I had a thought about a consequence of cord killing that maybe you haven’t talked about. Made y’all a little video:

If .mov doesn’t work for you let me know,




Tom & Brian,
Do you think this is the last time US presidential election campaigns that will operate in a traditional way? In 2020, with the assumption of massive cord cutting, campaign ads can’t run like they do now given limited ad space on hulu, netflix or How do you think that it will change if at all?





I will never be able to convince my wife to cut the cord if I can’t reassure her that it actually works. I only have a couple digital movies, but two out of the last three times I tried to watch one I was unsuccessful because of DRM authentication.
One was on a wifi tablet while on a car trip, and Disney Movies Anywhere decided it needed to authenticate. No movie for you!!
Today, I wanted to listen to the Lego Movie while driving, but Flixter decided that it didn’t agree with my phone about what time of day it is. No movie for you!
These were both locally downloaded copies of movies I “own”.

Thanks for the show.



2015 Winter Movie Draft