Cordkillers 149 – Planes, Trains & Downloadables (w/ Ek)

Apple brings a TV app and single-sign-on without a lot of useful apps at launch. TiVo’s secret Aereo replacement. 

Download audio

Download video

CordKillers: Ep. 149 – Planes, Trains & Downloadables
Recorded: December 13 2016
Guest: Eklund

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Apple releases TV app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV
    – Apple’s TV app is out for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV Monday as part of iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1. The app tracks shows you’re watching and sends you into the right service to watch it. It can send you into the right spot on a partially watched episodes and notify you when a new episode is available across Apple devices. It makes recommendations of what to watch but not based on viewing habits. HBO and Hulu work with the new TV app but Netflix does not. ReCode’s Peter Kafka points out that Netflix does work with the Xfinity X1 box’s similar guide features though. 
  • Apple’s TV single sign-on feature goes live in the US
    – Apple launched its single sign-on feature for US Apple TV users. The feature is meant to eventually let users sign in once to all TV apps from various networks that they have access to. At launch subscribers to DirecTV, Dish and Sling can sign in. A&E, Bravo, NBC, Syfy, USA, ABC and Disney are among the apps that support single sign in though not all apps that support it work with all services that support it. For instance at launch Sling only worked with FXX Now.
  • Comcast subscribers can now log into apps for ESPN and HBO Go on the Sony PlayStation 4.
  • Apple Is in Talks With Hollywood for Early Access to Movies on iTunes
    – Bloomberg’s sources say Apple is negotiating with movie studios for the rights to offer higher-priced rentals of movies still in theaters. Bloomberg says Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are all considering a deal with iTunes some wanting to make movies available as soon as two weeks after theatrical release. Theaters usually get a 90-day exclusive. The studios are considering prices of $25-$50 and could go with a partner other than Apple.

How to Watch

  • TiVo appears to be testing cloud DVR recording
    – Previous leaks pointed to a TiVo box codenamed Mantis that worked with a cloud DVR (FCC filing)
    – ZatzNot Funny posted a picture of a “Cloud Recording Feature No Longer Available” screen from a TiVo Bolt.
    – TiVo website setup page refers to a product called Mavrik. Also filed a trademark with USPTO on Mavrik.
    – There also appears to be an Amazon Android app liosting that describes itself as “OTA Streaming, Diskless Cloud DVR TiVo Device Mantis” 

What to Watch

What We’re Watching

Front Lines

  • HBO leads the Golden Globes again, as attention for Netflix and Amazon cools
    – Netflix was nominated for five TV golden globes down from three last year and one film nomination. Amazon had five TV nominations and 6 film nominations. Hulu didn’t get any this time around and HBO has 14 nominations. 
    – The Crown – best drama, best actress, best supporting actor
    – Stranger Things best drama, best actress
    – FILM
    – Divines – foreign language nomination

    – Mozart in the Jungle – best comedy, best actor
    – Transparent – best comedy, best actor
    – Goliath – best lead actor
    – FILM
    – Manchester by the Sea – five nominations
    – The Salesman – one foreign language nomination

    – Westworld
    – The Night Of
    – Game of Thrones
    – Insecure
    – Divorce
    – FILM

    – All the Way
    – Confirmation

  • Amazon’s ‘Grand Tour’ Is the Most Illegally Downloaded Show Ever
    – The first three episodes of Amazon’s The Grand Tour have been illegally downloaded a total of 20.7 million times according to analysts at anti-piracy firm Muso. This is believed to make it the most illegally downloaded program ever.
  • National Amusements Pulls CBS, Viacom Merger Proposal
    – National Amusements, the company that owns the majority share of both CBS and Viacom, withdrew its merger proposal for the two companies Monday. CBS and Viacom were separated 10 years ago. 
  • Hulu will now let you create profiles for up to six people
    – Hulu now allows up to six profiles to be created per account, though at launch it only works on the website.The profiles will keep separate viewing history, watchlist and recommendations.There’s also a kids-specific profile that will exclude adult shows
  • Netflix rolls out video previews worldwide, but only on its TV app
    – Netflix will now show video previews when you are browsing through the library on TV and set-top box versions of its app. The previews offer a synopsis of the content and only start if you pause to read a title. 
  • 4K movies come to the Google Play Movies & TV app
    – Google has made more than 125 movies available in 4K to buy or rent from the Google Play store. Thjey work with the Chromecast Ultra, Sony Bravia, Android TV and Xiaomi Mi boxes.

Dispatches from the Front

Sweaty from my daily workout, I sat down in front of my locker cooling off to some CordKillers.  I opened my locker and pulled out my kids’ iPad mini.  Then I launched Netflix and checked to see if all of the episodes of Rescue Bots had finished downloading off of the gym’s WiFi.  At that exact time I heard the voice of Merritt speaking directly into my earholes and asking for my opinion about the new Netflix feature.  Divine providence?

I’m a dairy farmer and former software consultant living in Olympia, WA.  I have no access to cords.  No TV.  No Internet, except LTE. Netflix changed the game when it offered downloadable content because now I can go to any place sharing their Internet with my tablet, download the shows my family wants to watch (legitimately), and then watch them in comfort of my own smelly farm.  Sounds a little like watching what I want, where I want, on what ever damn device I want.




Hi guys,

You guys scared me! When you mentioned the new Netflix offline download feature in this week’s episode, you said that episodes would only be available for 72 hours. I downloaded a bunch of Netflix Originals last week-end in preparation for a week-long european trip and thought it would all be gone.

I checked my IOS device, which has been offline since I downloaded content, and thankfully all episodes are still there and I can watch them. Searching online, I only saw references to a 72-hour limit on Amazon Prime offline viewing, not on Netflix. Was that a mistake, or perhaps only Netflix Originals don’t have a time limit?

You also asked why people would be interested in this feature. I travel regularly, within North America and abroad, and being able to download content and view it on the plane or in hotels with spotty wi-fi is a dream come true. It’s just too bad that all Netflix Marvel series are not available for offline viewing.

Thanks for the great podcast!

– Yannick
Montreal, Canada


 My sister and brother-in-law were excited for car trips. They regularly drive 8 – 10 hours in Texas and 15 hours to go skiing in New Mexico with their kids 12 and 9 and assorted cousins 2 yo – 14 yo. The problem is spotty coverage in the middle of No Where Texas. They aren’t cordkillers yet – because sports. So they don’t have Amazon.

Texas Teacher




I have a 3 hour commute to and from work each day on the train and I’m on a pay-as-you-go mobile plan with Ting. But even if cost weren’t an issue, wireless coverage on the train route is spotty at best and the commuter rail’s public wifi is a joke. So watching movies off-line is really my only cost-effective means of wasting exorbitant amounts of time during the workday. What else would you have me do? WORK? Nonsense.

Love the show!




Dear Employees (Tom, Brian, and Bryce),

I am a frequent user of the download feature on Amazon Prime Video (and now Netflix) and I can say that for me it is HUGE! I take commuter rail to work and having the ability to download stuff to watch makes the hour long train ride downright enjoyable. With a family at home keeping me busy, frankly, its just about the only time I have to watch TV by myself. Streaming via the mobile network doesn’t really work since we hit a few dead zones or poor signal areas, which makes it things frustrating (not to mention the mobile data costs). The alternative would be paying for every episode to be able to download it locally (which I’ll do for a select few shows I can’t get for free, thanks to my monthly cord-cutting savings).

One thing to note: the Starz add-on for Amazon does not offer the download feature. I was excited to watch Ash vs Evil Dead on the train, but quickly saw there was no option to download so I cancelled the trial. I’m guessing the other add-on services for Amazon work the same way.

Love the show! Keep up the great work! Annual performance reviews are coming up and I think you’re due for a raise!




Hi Guys,
Okay, I am sure that DirecTV will get better over time but I tried it for the 7 day trail and quickly backed out.
First I could not get it running on Apple TV. This was the first day. It kept asking for locations and when I clicked okay it would take me right back to the asking for locations. I gave up. Two days latter I tried again and got the location taken care of. I’m 35 miles from Seattle (OTA is great). Now it told me that DirecTV Now was not offered in forgien countries and when I returned I could sign up. The next day I got it running.
It is not really cheaper. Vue is cheaper with just a few less channels. DirecTV Now does what DirecTV always has done and offer a bunch of channels you are not going to watch. I also did not like the vertical channel menu.
I use a Paystation 3 with a remote to watch Vue. The menu is great and horizontal. You can select a show and put it into My Channels and later you can check and it will tell you if there is an new episode. I watch all of Mr. Robot this way.
I am still using SliingTV but my quite it soon. It is easier to watch many of the channels I like but Vue is just a better deal and psreformance.
I’m sure DirecTV NOW will get better over time but it has a long ways to go to equal Vue.



2016 Winter Movie Draft