Westworld (103), Justified (401) Walking Dead (701) Black Mirror (301-302)

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AuthorTom Merritt

Do we want AT&T to buy TimeWarner? Vudu starts a free streaming service. FireTV gets a makeover. With special guest Ben Howard.

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CordKillers: Ep. 142 - A New Type of Extortion! 
Recorded: October 24 2016
Guest: Ben Howard

Intro Video

Primary Target

How to Watch

  • Walmart launches a free streaming service, Vudu Movies on Us
    - Vudu launched a free ad-supported video on demand service in the US, called Vudu Movies on Us. The service will not focus on new movies or original content, but rather build a back catalogue which will increase over the next several months. The site will be marketed by Vudu's parent company Walmart, both in stores and online. Movies will stream at 1080p with pre-roll and some mid-roll ads. The company is also working with Nielsen to track mobile and connected TV viewing. 
  • Amazon's Fire TV software is getting a new look soon
  • Amazon cuts Fire TV's price to keep up with 4K competitors
    - Amazon started shipping its refreshed FireTV Stick with Alexa-enabled remote for $40.
    - FireTV price cut to $90. Antenna bundle $100, Gaming edition $130
    - Amazon also started showing off an update to its Fire TV interface coming later this year
    - Primary navigation has shifted from left side to the top
    - More accessibility for screen readers
    - Individual apps can be reoreded


What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • Google reportedly signs CBS for web TV service
    - The Wall Street Journal reports that Google signed a deal with CBS to carry the network on an as yet unannounced YouTube TV service called Unplugged. Google is also reportedly nearing a similar deal with 21st Century Fox, and in advanced talks with NBCUniversal and Disney. The Unplugged service will supposedly offer bundles from $25 to $40. If talks advance, the service could launch in early 2017. One sticking point in negotiations, the right for YouTube to overlay data on top of network live feeds. 
  • Vimeo launches a TV store featuring top series from Lionsgate, STARZ
    - Vimeo launched its partnership with Lionsgate and STARZ to sell shows in the Vimeo store. Lionsgate produced shows liek Orange is the New Black and Mad Men are in there and will be joined shortly by Starz original series like Ash vs. Evil Dead and Black Sails. The store is at vimeo.com/tvstore
  • YouTube is now available on your Dish DVR
    - Dish has added a YouTube app to its Hopper 3 DVR accessible on Channel 371. You can also cast videos from a YouTube app to the DVR. The Hopper 3 also supports Netflix, Pandora, Vevo, and Weather Channel channel apps.
  • Sling TV adds NHL Network to its add-on Sports Extra package
    - Sling TV added the NHL network to its sports extra package. It's the first over the top service to get the NHL. The NHL Network offers 75 games a year. The Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries were added to the "Lifestyle Plus Extra" add-on. 
  • Why Netflix shouldn't be scared of the 'Netflix of China' and its splashy US debut — yet
    - Chinese company LeEco which offers a service often called the "Netflix of China" announced a video service for its new phones and TVs launching in the US. While the servie announced partners like Showtime, Lionsgate and even Sling, it turns out the service is more of an app ecosystem where you have to subscribe to each service individually but can then use them seamlessly across LeEco devices. The one exception is Lionsgate which will license some movies directly to the LeEco Live platform.
  • The NBA is adding a zoomed-in view for smartphones to all League Pass streams
    - NBA League Pass customers will have the option to choose a Mobile View for every game streamed on the service this season. The option which appears in the app for phones and tablets has a dedicated producer and camera working to shoot video that's more zoomed in and easier to see on a smaller screen. The NBA also announced one game a week will be streamed in VR with its own dedicated crew and announcers. 

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Tom and Brian!

So today I decided to sign up for the PS Vue free trial, and I got a Roku Stick to put in the living room as well. I decided to tell my family to just try this "new cable service" for a week and tell me if they miss anything from before. I'm crossing my fingers that they don't notice so we can cut the cord. Currently I'm paying around $180 per month just for the cable (not including internet or phone) thanks to box rentals, extra fees, and taxes. I'll make sure to follow up next week and let you know how successful this experiment was!

- Alex


Hello I love the show it gave me the strength to cut the cord. I did it a year ago and have never looked back. It surprised me that half the shows I watched weekly were no longer important when I had to make an effort to watch them. This also includes mutliple sports.
My question is what show or sport you thought you couldn't live without but after cutting the cord you haven't missed? Mine was soccer.

- Kevin




Hey Brian and Tom,

I wanted to let Tom know (someone also mentioned this in the emails) that With PlayStation Vue, you can login to almost all channel standalone apps (Not Watch NFL Network for some reason). I use the Fox Sports Go app (Android, iOS, Roku, Chromecast, Web Browser, maybe more availability). It works really slick! Try it out.

That is how I get around the in home restrictions from PS Vue.

- Michael




Hey guys, as a Comcast employee one reason I see a decline in ESPN subs is because we install a lot of basic and limited basic TV packages which doesn't include ESPN. When I asked why only basic service to these customers they respond with "I'm only getting the TV service so I can have a cheaper price on my Internet service ." Just thought I would throw my two cents in. Thanks guys and keep up the great work. 


2016 Winter Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt

Netflix raises subscribers and kills revenue forecasts while cable networks lose subscribers. And YouTube brings The Rock to its originals.

CordKillers: Ep. 141 - Do I Take a Raincoat Today?
Recorded: October 17 2016
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • The networks getting hardest-hit by Cord-Cutting
    - Data from Deutsche Bank comparing subscription rates for US cable networks 2011-2015
    - Biggest drop, The Weather Channel, down 12 million (Verizon FIOS stopped carrying it)
    - Spike TV number 2, ESPN number 3 MTV number 4, ESPN2 number 5. (Many Viacom)

How to Watch

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front
I was listening to the Chris Plante Show during the whole hurricane Matthew thing was happening and Chris Plante had a friend who was in the hurricane and said the storm had just blown over. Thankfully, there was minimal damage to his home, but what I found interesting was that he didn't lose telephone, he didn't lose internet and he didn't lose electricity. The only this he lost was cable. If he wanted to watch cable shows, he would need to find an alternative and likely visit different sites in order to view each individual cable channel, and probably couldn't watch cable on his TV.

- Amar



Would love to hear your comments on Comcast's data cap of 1 terabyte. I'd like to drop my Dish network for PlayStation Vue, but worried I'd burn through my data.

Any real world experience out there that can help?

- Brian



Hey guys!

I wanted to address the email Bob sent in last week regarding hockey on Playstation Vue. As a cord cutter and huge St. Louis Blues fan, this was something that was very important when I considered dropping cable. PlayStation Vue ... does allow you to log in to the NBC Sports app, so that may be an option for watching ...games. Another thing to consider is 60 frames per second streaming, which is very important for hockey. Chromecast is capable of doing 60 FPS for PS Vue, but depending on which generation Fire Stick Bob has, it may not be able to handle it. I personally use both a Fire TV and Roku 2 for PS Vue at home and an iPad for mobile, and all of them work great for hockey.

Anyway, love the show; keep up the great work!

Your boss,

- Tom




David Pick in Wisconsin went back to cable and is logging his experience on his YouTube channel. He has two versions up one in which he literally cuts a coax cable for you!


-Dave. Best of luck with your experiment

The short cut.


The long cut.




AuthorTom Merritt