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.



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  5. DTNS: $54,588,173
  6. Cordkillers: $37,084,164

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Cordkillers 71 – Decidedly Less Juicy

Is Hulu or CBS the future of cord-cutting apps? Has TiVo cracked the perfect bundle?

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CordKillers: Ep. 71 – Decidedly Less Juicy
Recorded: May 18, 2015
Guest: None

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

  • Plex comes to TiVo
    – Oh TiVo. You keep being so close to a really great cordcutting device.
    – TiVo Roamio getting Plex app 6/8
    – Opera-based version of smart TV apps. 720p only
    – Won’t integrate with universal search
  • TiVo wants to become the legal version of Aereo
    – Multichannel says TiVo plans to use Aereo trademark and customer lists in a legal version of the service
    – TiVo CEO Tom Rogers wants to offer low-cost bundles of channels and streaming services
    – “The answer is pretty clear — it’s kind of the Aereo model, done legally and better.”
    – Event planned in San Jose for July to unveil new Aereo. 

    – Essentially Rogers says that Cable should bundle TiVos with OTA and broadband services in with their Internet.

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

PLEASE, for the love of everything that is good in the heart of a Mother of Dragons… quit with emails and conversations about spoilers.

The Geeky Brit
Ian, Ontario, Canada.




Regards WMC demise.

I too am disappointed with Windows 10 not continuing WMC. You mention apps like plex and Kodi. Yes, I use plex myself… but what I will miss most from WMC is the OTA DVR functionality. As of now, I have yet to find ANY other DVR software as easy to setup and use as Media Center.

Since there isn’t really any hope for this, or worth arguing ALL my points, I have a question?

What is the best software available to use PC with OTA tuners to record broadcasts? Preferably something that can handle multiple tuners and has a reliable guide to schedule series… oh and it has to actually RECOGNIZE the TV tuner without extensive manual setup… that was the key of WMC and what angers me most about Microsoft’s decision.

Thanks for the show.

David C. St. Louis, MO

Go Cards!!

Kodi has OTA DVR functionality



Cordkillers. Love the show. I was one of the lucky ones to get on the deal for the Lifetime TiVo OTA for $299. Got it last week, and I am loving it. I haven’t had a DVR since I went OTA and been using Hulu as my cloud DVR per say. Now w/ TiVo OnePass, I see myself canceling Hulu (once I catch up on some shows). I can keep up w/ the motto and record what I want so I can watch what I want, when I want (and now CBS!). Cutting another monthly bill is awesome.





Hello Everyone,

I have to say I love the prospect of Apple TV. I really loved the speculation where the first month for every app is free and then using that information to tailor a package to you.

The fact of the matter is though I don’t like Apple and mostly likely wouldn’t get an Apple TV. What I really love if the potential for the Roku TV’s. You guys have made comments before about a TV not keeping up with the Software which is a downside to Smart TV’s. If I was going to trust anyone to buck the curve on that it would be Roku. I have had my Roku 1 longer then I’ve had 3 of my TV’s so when it comes to Software keeping up with Hardware Roku I trust. The bonus of that is if after 5 year the hardware isn’t keeping up with the tech, it’s $30 for a stick and $69 for a Roku 2 right now, that is not bad in my opinion.

Thanks for your Time,
Nicky Marson




Hey guys,

I wanted to add a little bit to your Apple TV predictions. In our house we primarily use Roku boxes simply due to the availability of ALL THE CONTENT. On what other device or platform can you get Amazon Video and Google Play video on the same big screen enabled device? This is what I want on a new Apple TV – apps directly from the content providers – and if the rumor is true about being announced at WWDC I’m hopeful that this might come true.

Here’s my prediction – at WWDC they will announce an Apple TV SDK and a beta that runs on current Apple TVs. This gives developers time to write and test apps prior to any new hardware. Then at this year’s iPhone event the new box is announced. This would allow them to have a fully stocked Apple TV App Store prior to launch like they did with the watch. With the technologies that came with iOS 8 and the watch the foundation is in place for building Apple TV apps as app extensions.

I can’t wait!

John in rainy Billings, MT




Hello Tom and Brian! You were discussing CBS All Access this week and Brian described it as meeting the “completeness” vector. But I wonder if you’ve actually used it?

My wife and I did a trial week to try it out and catch up on some shows we watch on CBS. But when she went to watch Big Bang Theory, it was missing several episodes – at that point, it had only the three most recent plus the first four of the season, but not the ones in between. We checked another show she watches, Criminal Minds, and found a similar result – only the last five episodes, same as is freely available on their website. They also still had the most ads of any streaming service I use – and that behind the paywall!

While it is true that other shows did have the complete current season, it was very hit-or-miss. We wound up cancelling the service because CBS “All” Access did not, in fact, give us access to all of the current season’s programming. For the same basic price as Hulu Plus or Netflix, I would expect that at the very least. Their back catalog is pretty readily available elsewhere too – for instance, I can watch any episode of Star Trek ever on Netflix. For my money, they need to worry less about the back catalog and worry more about actually providing complete current seasons.

Love the show – you guys helped me figure out what I needed to do to cut the cord, and I’m pleased to say we’re one year cable-free and don’t miss it! Thanks!

Andrew L


2015 Winter Movie Draft

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  3. Frogpants: $146,708,083
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  5. Night Attack: $23,446,781
  6. DTNS: $0

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It’s Spoilerin’ Time Episode 70

Movie Draft Update, Silicon Valley (Season 2), Game of Thrones (505), Daredevil (113), The Shield (509)

00:51 – Movie Draft Update

05:21 – Silicon Valley (Season 2)

09:25 – Game of Thrones (505)

19:02 – Daredevil (113)

26:43 – The Shield (509)

Become our bosses! Pledge at

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Cordkillers 70 – Talk Good Like Shwood

Showtime’s ready for its own HBO Now, Broadcast networks become optional and what Apple should do to keep the Apple TV relevant?

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CordKillers: Ep. Talk Good Like Shwood
Recorded: May 11, 2015
Guest: Justin Robert Young

Intro Video 

Primary Target

  • Showtime over the Net
    CBS CEO Les Moonves said Internet-delivered version of Showtime rolling out “in the coming months”
    – Moonves said HBO Now proving the opportunity to go over-the-top
    – “very encouraged” by $6 a month CBS all access. Whole country should get it by end of year.
    – COO Joe Ianniello: “underscores our value in retrans and reverse comp negotiations” In other words, it means we can      up our fees to affiliates and cablecos.
    Couple ways we can go here:
    -1.) Will this creep to non-premium channels like AMC and FX? Will this be the true way to a la carte?
    -2.) Will other broadcasters follow suit in order to gain leverage in fee negotiations?

Signal Intelligence

  • Sling TV may add broadcast networks but won’t force you to buy them 
    Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch: “a key decision from the beginning” to omit broadcast content from base package
    – ‘target market’ gets it from Hulu or OTA
    – “You’ll see us launch broadcast networks in a tier,”
    -Also “It’s not our vision that Sling TV will be everything that everyone will want.”

    Sling in my experience is definitely about watching live not on demand. HBO and AMC not very valuable there. ESPN and HGTV definitely are.
    – If Sling adds broadcast it will be a complex series of negotiations with local broadcasters.
    – Will it be able to do what Aereo couldn’t afford to?

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Just finished up a big survey of cord cutters and the habits of password sharing, thought you guys might enjoy the data:
The 10 cent version:
Younger age equals a higher likelihood of sharing passwords. Older age results in a healthy fear that these services are going to put an end to all this freeloading sooner rather than later. HBO Go the largest % of “borrowed” streaming services. Let me know if you’ve got any questions / need any more info about the data, hope you enjoy!




I’ve listened to every episode of cordkillers. In spite of Brian, I enjoy the show very much. I understand spoilers are going to occur. What I have issue with, is when people enjoy spoiling things when it’s unnecessary. Episode 67, Tom was describing the Star Wars trailer without naming Han and Chewy when Brian interrupted, mocking Tom for doing so and more than happy to provide the spoiler.
Recently, Brian thought it would be funny to watch Game of Thrones on HBO GO, skip to the end and then tweet the ending. DOUCHEBAG.
I get that Brian doesn’t understand my point of view. What I don’t understand, is why would you knowingly piss off a segment of your listeners.





Hi guys,
In regards to the TiVo OTA story, last fall we purchased an OTA for my snowbird parents to use as a second DVR so they wouldn’t have to lug their existing TiVo across the country twice a year. Ok it was also so I could avoid the yearly, “how do I hook this thing up” call. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my research and was surprised to find that, unlike every other TiVo I’ve purchased over the last ten years; I couldn’t get a lifetime plan for it.
Not only did I have to pay monthly, I had to commit to 12 months. Not the best option for a device that will be unplugged 6 months of the year. After much back and forth with TiVo, they refused to budge and the cheapest option they would “give” me was to pay monthly for 18 months, cancel for 6 months and repeat.
I had finally caved and was about to sign the contract and hook up the OTA on Saturday when this deal came out of nowhere. So I reached out to TiVo one last time. Of course no such luck for me, I have to buy another OTA that has lifetime I can’t put lifetime on the unactivated OTA I already bought! Crazy but it was still a lot cheaper than what I would have done. Luckily I was able to get the deal even though it did come and go for me as well.
Anyway, long story longer, does anyone want a new unused OTA sans lifetime service?

Your penny pinching boss,
Dan in Rochester


I have been an avid user of Windows media center DVR to record with Cablecard for years. With the software not being part of Windows 10, I was very disappointed. I have yet to find anything and then today I found this on kickstarter. . This is going to be a game changer for me. I already use HDHomeRun prime. This should be amazing. I thought this is something you should share with your audience.




Hi Brian, Tom, and guest,

A huge potential problem exists for those who rely on WMC for their DVR on some cable providers. WMC is currently the only software approved by CableLabs to play Copy-Once content (which is DRM’d video that can only be played on the device that recorded it or a WMC extender like the Xbox 360). All other software currently available (various Kodi backends, NextPVR, etc.) is only able to play/record Copy Freely material. Generally this isn’t a major problem as Comcast and Verizon flag most content as Copy Freely and only tag HBO/Starz/Showtime and the other premium cable channels as Copy Once. Nevertheless, some providers tag everything as Copy Once and therefore some users of WMC will eventually be forced to move away from an HTPC as an option to receive cable TV on their computer.

Not sure if it was mentioned on the show either but SiliconDust has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to develop their own DVR software. It appears that it will be a subscription-based program for $30/year, but the UI looks promising and it states that it should be able to play copy-once material.

Geoff in Maryland



Hey guys, last week Brian and Justin declared the summer blockbuster dead because Avengers 2 only had the 2nd biggest opening weekend in movie history. I really don’t understand this idea. As I write this, Avengers 2 has already made 3 times its budget. Furious 7 has profited well over a BILLION dollars, more than the budgets of all the movies in the series combined.

My point is, they can afford an an occasional flop (like Avengers 2) and still profit billions of dollars every summer. When you look at the worldwide grosses, its hard to find a high budget movie that didn’t make back its budget. In 2014, Robocop and Hercules over doubled their money. 300 Rise of an Empire tripled. Godzilla and Ninja Turtles nearly quadrupled. None of these movies were considered huge box office hits, but all were very financially successful. The ONLY high budget summer movie in the past 3 years I could find that didn’t make its money back was RIPD. It lost 52 million. Good thing Universal profited about 600 million off of Fast & Furious 6 that same summer! I think they’ll keep cranking out the summer blockbusters for some time to come.

If I’m missing something, please explain. Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing or maybe I totally misunderstood what you guys meant. Either way, would love to hear.

Thanks guys, I love the show and am proud to be supporting it!
Andy in Taylor, Tx

P.S. Brian: standing invitation for Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor any day this summer!


re: Prisoner 42




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  5. Night Attack: $13,942,258
  6. DTNS: $0

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Cordkillers 69 – I Can Live with This Thorn

Will Hulu and YouTube capture your eyeballs with their new hit shows? Will Microsoft regret killing Windows Media Center?

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CordKillers: Ep. 69 – I Can Live with This Thorn
Recorded: May 4 2015
Guest: Veronica Belmont

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom and Brian,

Hope all is well!

Wanted to throw in my two cents on your discussion on Nielsen. While Nielsen has branched out to cover various forms of digital and non-TV media, their bread and butter is still heavily fixed on the television medium. As far as I’ve seen and experienced, comScore remains the preferred service for digital advertisers. That being said, I wouldn’t go all conspiratorial on them – to Tom’s point, it’s more likely they’re coming from the lens of TV, though it’s also easy to spin the news any way you want.





Hi guys
I know you talked about it but Periscope could be a real game changer. I am not a big boxing fan but with all the hype I peeked in on the big fight Saturday. It worked pretty well. How long do you think before they shut this down? Can they? Just looking through the app it does have a lot of possibility besides illegally streaming stuff.
You guys rock
Ken F




Thanks to y’all, I have officially cut the cord this week. Just wanted to show my love.

Thanks guys,





I have a pick, that is a little time sensitive. It is a Kickstarter campaing for Sideclick. It is a secondary remote that clicks on to your Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire devices. It allows you to control basic functions like power and volume for your TV/receiver. Hopefully a cheaper way to get down to 1 remote.

It goes until May 21st. I pledged, and hope others do as well, seems like a cool little device.




Hey guys,
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to listen to your show since I’m watching GOT on Sunday’s but, even better, as you recap Daredevil. For the first time ever, I’m ahead of you and love to hear you wonder what’s coming next. And maybe for next weeks you can put on your cotton conjecture hats and theorize on the impacts of Daredevil season 2 on the other Marvel/Netflix shows. Will expectations be higher or was Daredevil the most popular of the crowd so the others will fly under the radar?




So I was excited to get the first survey in the mail which I completed (and got my crisp $1 bills) . The first survey, if I remember correctly, did mention shows you could watch online and asked about watching habits.

I was more excited when we received a Nielsen survey packet in the mail (my wife was not excited but then I flaunted the crisp $5 bills in this envelope) but later realized, as a cord cutter, there was zero information I could fill out on this survey. They even have VCR references in the packet. Turns out there is no where on the survey to add shows that you watch online and they only want cable, satellite, or OTA programs. I just thought this was interesting and trying to find the best way to return my survey. Maybe filling it out with only online shows (House of Cards, Kimmy Schmidt) and saying when I want on whatever device I was bitches!

Kyle from Jacksonville


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