Cordkillers 106 – Cordkillers React

Time Warner Cable numbers rise, The FCC tries to save cable companies from themselves and The Fine Bros. piss off the Internet. With special guest Iyaz Akhtar.

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CordKillers: 106 – Cordkillers React
Recorded: February 1 2016
Guest: Iyaz Akhtar

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

Gear Up

  • The FCC is going to war over set-top boxes
  • Actual proposal
    – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has proposes requiring multichannel video programming distributors, like cable TV companies, to allow subscribers to use any set top box to access service in the following ways
    – What programming is available (channel listing, on-demand offerings)
    – Entitlements – can you record the programming, transfer it to mobile etc.
    – Content delivery
    – Companies could use any published transparent format to do so. 

Front Lines

  • Time Warner Loves Hulu, But Also Wants To Ruin It
    – The Wall Street Journal reports that Time Warner (NOT the cable part but the part that owns HBO and Turner) is in talks to buy a stake in Hulu. At the same time Time Warner would like Hulu to stop showing current season episodes of TV shows. 
  • Apple could pull a Netflix, start creating original TV shows
    – Sources told that Apple’s Eddy Cue, chief entertainment architect, and Robert Kondrk, VP of iTunes content, has been talking with TV producers about creating original programs to offer exclusively in the iTunes store. 
  • Time spent online ‘overtakes TV’ among youngsters
    – Childwise has been tracking children’s media usage in the UK since the mid-1990s. For the first time their latest survey said children 5-16 in the UK spent an average of 3 hours a day online and 2.1 hours a day watching television. Netflix was the most popular TV service of any kind followed by ITV1 and BBC1. 
  • Sundance champ ‘Birth of a Nation’ chose Fox over Netflix
    – Birth of a Nation from Nate Parker won the Sundance film festival Grand Jury and Audience prizes for drama. Netflix sidles up and offered $20 million according to Hollywood Reporter. But Turner took a lower bid of $17.5 million from Fox Searchlight in order to insure a wider theatrical release, as well as showings in high schools and colleges. 
  • Sky’s Now TV Smart Box looks a lot like a Roku 4
    – Sky and Roku have introduced the Now TV Smart Box which combines pay TV content and 60 free-to-air channels along with streaming services. It looks very similar to the Ultra HD Roku 4. The box will be available to Sky subscribers later this year. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hi fellow Cordkiller dudes! A longtime fan, (aka MaxxAmmo) with a possible story or lead. Seems Amazon has taken Star Wars Rebels S2 Ep11 and called it Season 3 Ep 1!! Can you say “”Money grab?”” As a cordkiller and someone who has bought the Season Pass, I was outraged! Many season pass holders were furious and left harsh comments on the episode 11 page demanding Amazon fix this obvious problem. The comments have since mysteriously disappeared overnite. As an Amazon Prime member and long time loyal Amazon customer I called and expressed my outrage, the only resolution offered was a full refund of my Season 2 pass and the price of Episode 11 in HD credited to my account. I was told this is being investigated by Amazon and no clear answer why (S2 Ep. 11) is called Season 3 Ep. 1 was offered at this time. Link to Amazon’s Star Wars Rebels Season 3 page here.




Netflix/Hulu blocking VPN

Another use case of why you’d need to use a VPN legally is our phones. 

With the presence of Free Wifi everywhere, including my employer, I don’t want anyone watching my phone’s web traffic just because I don’t want to chew through cellular data so I run an always on VPN on my phone. 

Because of this when these conditions are present
– I’m at home
– the VPN is still on
– I’m in the US
– I’m connecting to a US VPN endpoint 

The end result is Hulu and Netflix are blocked. 🙁 




Hello Tom and Brian,

On last week’s episode you guys were talking about how Netflix had no real reason to release viewership numbers, that made me wonder how the show creators and production houses felt about this. Wouldn’t it hurt their ability to negotiate with other networks or services when shopping around other shows they make? Seems like that could backfire in the long run.  Anyways love the show, keep up the awesome work. 

Your boss,




2015 Winter Movie Draft


It’s Spoilerin’ Time 105

Mad Dogs (102-103), The Expanse (101-107), The Magicians (101), Justified (102)

00:36 – Winter Movie Draft

02:18 – Mad Dogs (102-103) with Romany Malco!

24:09 – The Expanse (101-107)

33:39 – The Magicians (101)

42:35 – Justified (102)

46:32 – Triage

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Cordkillers 103 – A Lot of Paperwork

Netflix adds 130 countries and lets you share your password, Sling cleans up its interface, and a new OTA DVR for cordcutters. With special guest Riley Blanton.

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CordKillers: 103 – A Lot of Paperwork
Recorded: January 11 2016
Guest: Riley Blanton

Intro Video

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • New Sling TV interface rolling out this quarter
  • Sling TV CEO on the competition and internet TV’s future
    – New section called “My TV” surfacing favorites (based on viewing habits and user selection)Continue Watching, Recommendations
    – What’s Hot – beaking news, season finales – coming in a later release
    – Sports section will make it easier to find favorite teams, with sign up to sports pack in app
    – Adding ESPN3
    – RCA will offer 10-day free trials with antenna
    – Rolling out to all devices by end of March

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Dear Tom and Brian,

I’m writing to comment on your discussion on Episode 102 about whether Netflix should concentrate solely on original content and de-emphasize the back catalog content. And you were also discussing how more and more streaming services are coming out with their own original content, and networks who already produce original content are making paid apps (like CBS).

And I think there’s a tipping point.

Here’s a scenario:

We want to watch the 11/22/63, and we plan to pay for Hulu+ to get that — But we already pay for Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO and we still have cable. And one of my kids is a big anime fan so we have a membership to Crunchyroll, too. (And I support several podcasts via Patreon). I’ve reached my limit of what I will pay for.

So my idea is to binge watch 11/22/63: pay for one month of Hulu+ and then put the membership on hold. I figured we’d do something similar when the new Star Trek episodes come to the CBS all-access plan.

So, my question is, where’s the tipping point? How many memberships will people pay for before they decide to do some kind of a round robin like I described above?

If they only have original content, I can see myself doing this kind of thing. But services like Netflix, with their large back catalog, would be the ones I’d be least likely to put on hold. If they let their back catalog dwindle, I may find I can go a month or two without it.

Wondering what you think about this.

Love the show!



You questioned if “the kids” are still downloading torrents, or if streaming is kind now. I work at a university, and we’ve recently implemented stricter controls on Peer-to-Peer / filesharing activity on our network. Based on the number of students who got caught by that this fall (and based on subsequent conversations with some of them, as they basically get kicked off our network when we see torrent activity), I feel like I have some idea anyway. Downloads certainly seem to be down some from the heyday for those things, but we certainly saw that the activity is still common enough. Interestingly enough, when we returned from Christmas break, we saw an upswing again as everyone went back to using the filesharing programs while at home and forgot to uninstall when they got back to campus! 





HBO Now was not available on my platform of choice (Android) until after Game o Thrones was over.

I did not torrent the show even though I have both torrented and borrowed HBO Go credentials in the past. I did enjoy binge watching it with my wife during our free trial. I left my subscription active for one more month after the free trial to show my appreciation for the service.

I think next year will be different. HBO Now is a great experience and I can’t wait to watch Game of Thrones on my Android TV devices next year.





2015 Winter Movie Draft


It’s Spoilerin’ Time 102

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fargo (210), Master of None (Season 1), Making of a Murderer (Season 1)

01:40 – Winter Movie Draft

5:43 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

14:20 – Fargo (210)

18:26 – Master of None (Season 1)

22:56 – Making of a Murderer (Season 1)

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Cordkillers 102 – What the Cool Kids Do

Will Netflix die? Game of Thrones wins most pirated again. Roku comes to HDR and 4K TVs.

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CordKillers: 102 – What the Cool Kids Do
Recorded:  January 4, 2016
Guest: Fraser Cain

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Reed Hastings – CES 2016
    – Reed Hastings will again deliver a keynote at CES Wednesday at 8:30 AM
    – Used to be Bill Gates opened followed by Intel, Cisco, etc…
    – Now Intel’s Krzanich will open followed by VW, GM and Netflix (and then Samsung and YouTube)
  • Netflix is on F***ing Fire
    – 3 of top 5 top rated series on Rotten Tomatoes are Netflix
    – Making a Murderer, Jessia Jones, Master of None
    – Amazon has two (Man in High Castle, Transparent)
  • Netflix Will Feel the Squeeze from Hollywood in 2016
    – Julia Greenberg at Wired points out companies starting to use Netflix’s strategy
    – Hulu acquiring shows Netflix not interested in anymore (replays)
    – CBS All Access, Disney’s Services in China and UK

Signal Intelligence

  • Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV show of 2015
    – Game of Thrones the most pirated show of 2015 according to Torrent freak. 4 years running! 14.4 million downlaods
    – Walking Dead and Big Bang Theory 6.9 and 4.4 million respectively
    – Also among the top 10 most downloaded shows this year are Arrow, The Flash, Mr. Robot, Vikings, Supergirl, The Blacklist and Suits.
    – 480p copies still most popular

Gear Up

  • Roku is betting big on 4K UHD and HDR TVs this year
    – TCL will come with Roku’s OS on 4K TV this spring
    – 4K channel to help find 4K content
    – Roku putting out reference design for HDR, workign with Dolby
    – Competing with Samsung (Tizen) and LG (WebOS) and of course Android TV

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front
Hey Tom & Brian,

Netflix just released a special episode of Marco Polo – Wait! don’t delete this message so fast!

This is probably the best episode of Marco Polo, yet. It’s all about Hundred Eyes and Kublai Khan and how they met. Marco Polo doesn’t appear at all.

Yeah, I thought you’d like that.

Love the show!




Happy New Year Tom and Brian,

Like you guys, I was pleasantly surprised when the MPAA launched last year. The site looked good and was fairly comprehensive and easy to use. 

Imagine my surprise then, when two weeks ago, I went back to the site to search for some holiday movies and Netflix was no longer showing up in the search results. I double-checked and sure enough, Netflix has been completely removed from the site.

I know there are several alternatives, but I was curious if you guys had heard anything about this or if you had any thoughts or insights.





Well, finally cutting the cord, for the 3rd and hopefully final time. This time I think it might actually take. I’ve had a similar issue as Tom with the spouse not quite being ready. We’ve had a Chromecast for a while, but she doesn’t really like having to rely on her phone to work the tv. But now we’ve got an Apple TV, and she is loving it, especially the new remote. I unhooked the cable box for a week before we had our U-Verse TV service disconnected, and we never missed it. We can get all of our shows on Netflix, Hulu, and the network tv apps. Plus we already have a small library of movies in iTunes. Even my 8 year old loves it cause she can watch her YouTube stuff on it.

So my suggestion if you have a reluctant spouse or family member: the new Apple TV!

Andy in Taylor, Tx




Hi Brian and Tom,

I’m collecting as much current and updated information as I can to include in a revised/updated version of “Cord Cutters Guide to Motorsports” that I’ve posted the past couple of years to the CordKillers Reddit.

Not even sure how many in the CordKillers family know about it, but before I post the update, I’m looking for any feedback you or viewers may have.

Open to feedback on how I may possibly improve the formatting, organization, and any information I’m missing that people would like to see added. A table of contents at the top is being considered.. The good news, many more options are becoming available, the bad news, it’s getting unruly to keep it all organized in the current format!

Anyone wishing to give feedback can just drop me a note on the Reddit at “perfectface4radio”

I hope to have the 2016 version posted before the end of the week, and will continue to update it as updated information becomes available throughout 2016.

Take care.
Jeff (perfect face for radio)




Brian and Tom,

It occurred to me as I was listening to a recent episode of Cordkillers on Doggcatcher how perfect podcast consumption is compared with TV shows. I don’t watch a ton of movies, and they don’t really apply to this concept, but do you ever think that watching series will ever approach the convenience and simplicity of consuming podcasts? Think about it – you subscribe to the shows you want and unwatched episodes appear in a single, consolidated chronological feed. As you watch the shows, they disappear from the list. You could binge on any show or watch a mix in order of release date. Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to create a way to pay to subscribe to an RSS-like mechanism to add a show to the feed. It may not be a pain point for some people, but I’m usually around 5 episodes behind on all of the series I watch, and tracking which episodes I’ve seen and bouncing around the different services is arduous, even with apps like SideReel.

I’d – gasp – start paying for a package again if I could create an interface that took the searching and thinking out of the equation and simply gave me the shows I wanted without the headache of having to remember where I left off or fighting through a ton of distracting excess content (see the HBO GO Roku interface).

Think we’ll ever get there? Is it too pie in the sky? I know you can do it today with torrents, but do you think in 10 years there will be a way for consumers to compensate creators in such a way that we will be able to do it legally?

Thanks for awesoming weekly,





2015 Winter Movie Draft