Cordkillers 92 – Netflix and Chips

Netflix blames chip cards for subscriber decline, China’s Xiaomi revolutionizes set-top box, why fantasy sports gambling could fund the cord-cutting sports future. 

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CordKillers:  92 – Netflix and Chips
Recorded: October 19, 2015
Guest: Eklund

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

  • Xiaomi will let you replace the brains in its new smart TV
    – Xiaomi 60-inch 4K MITV 3 – RMB 4,999 (roughly $786).
    – Mi TV Bar with speakers
    – 2GB RAM, 8GB flash storage
    – Runs Xiaomi’s Android variant MIUI TV
    – Can buy MiTV bar separately and use with any TV (RMB 999 ($157))
    – China only

Front Lines

  • YouTube Will Make You Pay to See Some of Its New Videos
    – ReCode has sources who say YouTube will announce some original programming at an event Wednesday at YouTubeSpace LA where Tom’s wife works. The sources say say the content will be available as part of a subscription program that also removes ads. this is DIFFERENT than YouTube Gaming’s ‘sponsorships’ that they just launched which lets you support gamers for $3.99 a month and get access to exclusive chat perks but does NOT remove ads. 
  • Forbes lists the top-earning YouTube stars for 2014 to 2015
    – But where does that YouTube money go? Sure some is used to pay the salary of Tom’s wife. But Forbes ranks the YouTube stars that earned the most money for the year ending June. 1. Pewdiepie earned $12 million.Gamer KSI made $4.5 million. Smosh and the Fine Brothers made $8.5 million each. Musician Lyndsey Sterling took in $6 million and Fashion vlogger Michelle Phan earned $3 million. The amounts are for all income not just YouTube revenue.
  • NBCU Debuts “SeeSo,” A New Subscription Streaming Service For Comedy Fans
    – NBC Universal announced a video service called SeeSo last week in the US. For $3.99 a month you can watch Old US and British comedies, episodes of NBC’s late night shows, current episodes of NBC comedies and more than 20 original series. One of the originals is HarmonQuest combining live action and animation. 10-15% of the content will be available for free. It launches in beta in December and in full in January. You can sign up to be notified at
  • BBC begins blocking VPN access to iPlayer
    – Let the game of whack-a-mole begin. The BBC told TorrentFreak it is beginning to actively block IP addresses from known VPN services in order to combat out of country viewing by non subjects of the realme. While the BBC says it is not blocking VPNs of school and corporate users, it will block the legitimate home user who happens to use the wrong VPN for security. 
  • Your next Comcast bill may be priced per gigabyte
    – Comcast has begun enforcing its long unenforced 300 GB cap that still exists in a few of its markets mostly in the central and southern states of the US. People who hit the cap will be offered the choice to pay $10 a month to get 50 additional GB or $30 for unlimited data use. For reference a 75Mbps plan in Florida costs $80 a month with a 300 GB cap. A Triple play bundle including TV and phone costs $99 a month. 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Trailer to Debut on ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’
    – By the time you hear this you likely will have already seen the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer that aired during Monday Night Football on ESPN. Tickets are schedule to go on sale as soon as the trailer airs.

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Tom and Brian.

Here’s a little insight into the Australian pay TV industry I got from my Uncle who is a major advertising executive. Foxtel, which is the only major nationwide traditional Pay TV operator left solvent that has cable and satellite infrastructure has after 20 years of operation a marketshare of around 30% of households in the country. Netflix on the other hand has managed to sign up 9% of all households since it’s launch earlier this year. Stan, Presto and Quickflix the three local Netflix clones are struggling however with less than 3% of households combined.

Since Foxtel took the drastic measure last year of dropping it’s minimum subscription fee per month to $25 in order to fight off the at the time un-launched $12 a month Netflix I’ll be interested to see if they can hold onto their marketshare longer than the much more expensive US cable and satellite companies.



Netflix reaches 1.89 million Australians. Foxtel loses share (but not size) as Netflix expands pay and subscription TV market



Just a quick note. The newest version of Playon and Playlater deserve some air time from you gentlemen. The UI has been completely changed and turned into a DVR style interface. The system has a set it and forget it record style that will record new episodes when available and notification when available for new shows. Only just start messing with it but extremely promising.

– William



Tom and Brian,
This week, my wife Eileen and I moved in to our new home. While setting up our entertainment center, she was confused as to why I was upset at all the cords I had to connect and hide throughout the living room. She asked, “aren’t you a cord killer. Why do you need all these cords?” I explained ‘cord cutting’ was about not using cable anymore and she responded, “well the show should be called ‘Cable Cutters’ or ‘Coax Killers’ then! CORD Killers is misleading!”

It was an awesome conversation!

Your boss in beautiful Norfolk, VA,
– Jeromy


All this talk about Hulu and VR is interesting. Don’t get me wrong…my enjoyment with Hulu is back since the no-commercials plan, but how can they figure out VR when they can’t even send 5.1 surround audio. Come on Hulu. Netflix does it, Amazon does its, Itunes store has it, Vudu has it. Everyone has 5.1 or better surround sound encoded with their streaming content, except Hulu. Still Stereo. Like an old black and white movie. Guess it’s too technically complicated?




Hey Brian & Tom,

Since cutting the cord four years ago I’ve kept my old Directv dish laying around just knowing I’d come up with a new use for it. Yesterday was the day. I stripped everything off of it, bolted it to the old front brake rotors I just took off my car and slapped an old grate from a rusted out gas grill on it. I painted everything with high-temp grill paint and now I have a new deck fire pit for the price of free. I’ll likely get much more enjoyment out of the dish this way than I ever did when it was hooked up to directv.

(P.S. – I’ll put it on some stone pavers before using it to avoid the deck going up in flames. Also, the cover is from the old fire pit which I bent to match the oval shape of the dish.)


2015 Winter Movie Draft