Cordkillers 87 – Show Us What You Got

Hulu goes commercial free-ish, Voice search comes to Apple TV, why Netflix won’t let you watch offline. 

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CordKillers: Show Us What You Got
Recorded: September 14, 2015
Guests: Kristi KatesMulango Akpo-Esambe 

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Hulu Starts a Commercial-Free Option to Rival Netflix and Amazon
    Hulu launched a commercial free tier for $12 a month
    – Exceptions are shows that Hulu hasn’t got the license to show commercial free
    – Those shows will have a commercial before and after each episode.
    – Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon A Time, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grimm, New Girl, and How To Get Away With Murder.
    – Shows only available because you authenticated through a cable service will still have commercials

Signal Intelligence

  • Netflix Exec: No Offline Downloads Because Too Much Choice Is Bad
  • Rakuten’s Beats Netflix To Offline Downloads, Starting First With Mobile Devices
    Amazon and Wuaki now offer the ability to download certain shows fro offline viewing.
    – Netflix Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt told Gizmodo that offering offline video options is too much choice
    – “One of the things I’ve learned is that every time you offer a choice, you paralyze some people who can’t decide if that’s what they want to do or not. Now, that sounds really stupid and self-serving, but it is in fact true.”
    – He said tests have shown adding an addition step in the decision-making process can stop people from watching anything at all
    – Netflix would rather make the existing service work in more places like planes, trains and hotels

Gear Up

  • Apple Unveils A More Powerful Apple TV, Shipping In October
  • It’s hard to build Apple TV apps and that’s good for users
  • Plex will bring its media streaming to Apple TV
    – 4th gen Apple TV (Eddy Cue senior vice president of Internet Software and Services)
    – “The future of TV is apps”
    – “Over 60% of pay TV streaming video is consumed on an Apple device.”
    – Remote – touchpad, airplay button, voice control “siri” button,
    – Searches across multiple apps: iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime
    – Plays screen savers that are daypart appropriate
    – movies/tv shows/app store/photos/music
    – FF, rewind, with thumb on touchpad “what did she say?” skip back
    – Can use phone or tablet as a controller
    – Can ask Siri for weather and sports scores
    – Runs TVOS
    – App store including games and shopping and even Zillow?
    – 64-bit A8 chip, Bluetooth 4, 802.11ac MIMO, IR
    – 32GB for $149, $199 for 64GB, late October
    – SDK Available for devs today, no webkit, so no browser

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

With Hulu going commercial free (Hey Tom, take $4 of my dollars I send you and get a month commercial free and then go back to the commercial version and then tell me if you don’t really notice the commercials on Hulu 😉
Also Sling TV giving me access to Rugby (and my dad is waiting for Apple TV to have sling on it so he can start watching Tennis. He worked in TV for years and only does OTA for his tv viewing)
I am so close to being totally Cord Free but I have horrible reception here in West Hollywood so I still have a TiVo with local cable channel service. We use the Tivo for recording live events like award shows. Is there a service out there that allows me to record / view these shows for later or live viewing? Or is it just a matter of time to wait for it to happen. (AKA Apple TV live streaming coming early 2016/2017/2018….)
Thanks in advance and keep up the good work.

Blair in West HollyWeird



I’m ready to kill my cord. I love my Fios, but I’m done giving that much money to Verizon every month.

I love with 2 teenagers who are mostly cord-free anyway, but I do have 3 TVs I need to drive OTA signals to. I know about the Channelmaster for OTA DVR action but I really need the potential to run all 3 TVs simultaneously live for local sportball. Is there a solution for this that only involves 1 antenna shared somehow? I’m in a remote suburb and need to get my antenna in the attic or on the roof and don’t want to have to do it x3.

Rob Damascus, MD




Hey Tom and Brian,

Today marked week one of NCAA Football. Over the last few years conferences have created their own networks; SEC network, Big 10 network, ect. These can usually be found in cable sports packages. While a lot of the networks are aligned with ESPN, they require their own authentication. SLING to the rescue. I added the sports package to my Sling subscription today and was off to the gridiron. The authentication on the ESPN website is pretty flawless. To activate the app on my Amazon Fire TV stick I had to enter a code on another connected device.

I have noticed some streaming issues, I have Optimum 100MBPS (down) internet, but the picture goes form 480 up to HD and back regularly. The audio also drops out sometimes while the video continues in the ESPN app. On the sling app, I would get total black screens with no audio then everything would come back.

While it is not as nice as cable was to watch sports, it was so much easier to add the sports pack and will be easier to remove it. I am just starting my post cord cutting experience. Moving 1/3rd of the way across the country was a great motivator. I am still getting all my devices unpacked and hooked up, but it feels nice to be saving effectively $80/month and getting more content I am interested in.

Your boss,





Amazon has acquired video technology company Elemental – Full disclosure, I was employee #12 at elemental six years ago. …

Companies like these three are very much infrastructure companies – they’re features are the guts of the video workflow….

Think about one of Amazon’s other big recent purchases – twitch. Twitch is the eyeballs, Elemental is the efficiency of delivery on that service (and improved quality i imagine). Between just Amazon Instant Video and Twitch, there should be a pretty big value in having elemental onboard.

Here’s one last piece and then i’ll shut up. Elemental has a lot of big broadcast customers – the Olympics, BBC, ESPN, Disney, and even google and Microsoft. Imagine how interesting license rights negations get when your talking to the platform that delivers the content AND the company encoding your content.

Andy Beach




2015 Winter Movie Draft

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