Tom shares his tips for cordcutting direct from Japan, Neilson says more people are watching TV, and a bunch of new apps! With special guest Justin Robert Young.

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CordKillers: Ep. 135 - Gideon's HDMI
Recorded: August 29 2016
Guest: Justin Robert Young

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Discuss getting your content while traveling.

Signal Intelligence

Under Surveillance


Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Hello Cordkillers,

I'm an idiot. I plunked down $99 for NFL Game Pass. I cut the cord this month. I got rid of Dish network since they were still fighting with Scripps which would affect my ability to record/watch the Hawks. I decided to sign up for PlayStation Vue (saving about $100 a month). That got me all the cable channels I wanted and most of the network shows on demand. The missing piece was how I was going to watch my beloved Seattle Seahawks. So I signed up for the 7 day trial of NFL Game Pass. I used it to listen to the last half of last weeks Vikings game on my phone. I read all the fine print and a few reddit threads and thought I understood what I was getting. So tonight I got home after date night with my wife, ready to watch the Cowboys game. Booted up my brand new PS4 which I got so I could run the NFL app and get better performance with PS View than I had on my PS3. I open up the NFL app and pull up the game. I can't watch the 30 min cut version due to "broadcast restrictions" (hey it's 10:30 PM and I just wanted to get the highlights before bed).I pull up the full game and I have no choice of broadcast team like I did when I listened to the radio via the phone app. So now I have to watch the opposing team's commentators. I'm going to have to call to see if this is the way its going to be during the regular season. I can't even fast forward through the stupid "We'll be right back after this commercial break" nonsense that stays on the screen for what would have been the entire live commercial break.. I'm so disappointed.

I know NFL Network will be coming to PS View but I don't think that will give me access to all the full games, just the Thursday night games and the RedZone highlight versions of each weeks games. If any of the Cordkillers can give me any advice that isn't "go to a sports bar" or "watch it live over the air" I'd love to hear it. I've actually backed the antenna/DVR project you discussed in the last episode but that won't be out in time for the season.

Pity me,
- Keith in Kent





Brian and Tom,

I like to live in the past.

I didn't see a single Olympic event without a spoiler and I'm rocking a 5 year old phone with no alerts. I check the news every so often though and that's my downfall. Is there hope for people like me? Do I need to buy a bunker from that guy selling seeds?

Here's an idea for anyone in the media distribution industry - how about news without sports? Bit like ESPN in reverse.

I know lots of people couldn't care less about stick and ball. How are sports spoilers any different than CNN announcing "New Star Wars out this week: Han Solo died. You'll never guess what comes next"?

- Edward







Tom, Brian, and Bryce

I would like to add an idea to the reason for the name change of the new Anne series. In part it might be to distance the new movie from the Sullivan Entertainment versions.

There are two different fandoms those that love the books and those that love the Sullivan produced TV. Sullivan TV has controlled the visual media of the Intellectual Property since 1985. After the first mini-series he paid less attention to the original work than Michael Landon did to the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. At least Landon kept the story in the same time period, even if he did call Plum Creek the Prairie. Sullivan time traveled Anne and Gilbert from the early 1900’s to 1940’s and had Gilbert serving in WWII. In “reality” Anne and Gilbert’s sons (like LM Montgomery’s sons) served in WWI as very very young men. This very much irritated fans of the books. I can watch the first miniseries with pleasure but three sequels make me want to throw things at the screen. Many book fans refer to the last three mini-series/movies as really horrible fan fiction. The character and place names stayed the same (except when they go off to WWII), but the heart was hollow and contained nothing of the original.

I think in a way the Sullivan series sanitized drama that was considered too adult like Anne’s daughter being stillborn, parents having to send children off to war and those children dying, very young by today’s standards teens getting married or engaged because the boy was going off to war, for the more acceptable hero goes to fight the Nazi’s story they told. There is also a character in Rilla of Ingleside (WWI book) that stands on the back stoop and repeatedly calls Americans especially President Wilson cowards who are letting other people fight and die for them. I'm guessing that might not go over so well with some people. Anne of Green Gables is often on the banned book list because of its how adoption is shown in the book. Adoption in that time period was about getting cheap labor (room/board no money maybe allowed to go to school) for a farm or house not forever families. The story of the abuse Anne suffered before Marilla and Matthew and the story of other abused orphans is horrible it is also based on real stories of that time.

I’m looking forward to the new movie. I hope it is more true to the source material.

- Kimberly
(Texas Teacher)


2016 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorBryce Castillo

We now know the lifetime of a TiVo, Netflix comes to your hotel, a wireless antenna with fewer wires. With special guest Mulango Akpo-Esambe.

CordKillers: Ep. 134 - Deeply Regret Button
Recorded:  August 22 2016
Guest: Mulango Akpo-Esambe

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • TiVo is cutting off support for its original DVR in September
    - TiVo will deliver a last download of guide data for its 1999 model TiVos on September 15th. Customers will get a $75 Visa gift card. The boxes will continue to work but will not have any guide data after September 29th. TiVo says there are still 3,200 Series 1 TiVos in active use

Signal Intelligence

  • Netflix is coming to more hotel rooms worldwide
    Netflix partnering with Enseo (in-room entertainment for hotels)
    - Partnership expanded to any hotel under contract in a country with Netflix
    - Beyond pre-approved brands
    - Netflix app on TV or Netflix button on remote
    - Sign in with Netflix account, no Internet fees
    - Promises to wipe out login at checkout
    - Most-used channels in 19 hotel brands today (Marriott, Hilton La Quinta)
    - Hotels like it as a perk, and frees up wifi for other uses
    - Enseo's system can also provide marketing messages

Gear Up

  • This wireless antenna may make cord cutting easier
    - WatchAir antenna streams to Smart TV (WebOS, Tizen, Android TV, Vizio), smartphone, tablet (ios, Android), Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV
    - Sends OTA signal over WiFi then to apps
    - Has a TV guide and 5 hours of recording (25 with SD Card)
    - Kickstarter promotion $149
    - Hopes to ship in October for $249

Under Surveillance

Front Lines

  • Here's TV Networks' Latest Scheme to Limit 'Cord-Cutting'
    - Reuters has a story about how more networks are doing what they call "stacking" by making all previous episodes of a series available on demand to cable subscribers. 54% of people in one survey said they would not start watching a show unless they could watch all previous episodes. Comcast will offer full-season stacks of 60% of original scripted series up from 41% two seasons ago. A source told Reuters one network saw a 3-11% rise in ratings after offering stacked shows. 
  • How to see everything you've ever watched on Netflix and Amazon
    - Engadget's Matt Brian has written up instructions for seeing your viewing history on Netflix and Amazon. Netflix history can be found in a section of Your Account called Viewing History. You can delete items to remove their impact on recommendations. Amazon buries it in Your Account under Personalization where you click Improve Your Recommendations and then choose Videos You've Watched. You can then rate shows to fine tune recommendations. 
  • Univision buys Gawker Media for $135 million
    - Univision doesn't just run the top spanish-language channel in the US it also owns The Onion and The Root. And it has provisionally acquired Gawker Media pending the decision of the bankruptcy court. Gawker runs Gizmodo, Lifehacker and io9 among other sites.
  • Amazon brings free episodes of its Original Series to YouTube & Facebook
    - Amazon has begun posting pilot episodes from 10 of its shows on YouTube and Facebook Live. Shows include Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch, Red Oaks, and The Man in the High Castle.
  • HDHomeRun's DVR app is ready for the Xbox One
    - HDHomeRun's DVR software is a big hit with people looking for a replacement for Windows Media Center. It can now help folks who wish their Xbox could act as a DVR. You'll still need HDHomeRun on a PC, Android TV box or NAS, but there is now an app for HDHomeRun on the Xbox One. 

Dispatches from the Front
Hi Tom and Brian

Take a listen / look at this:

It's 80 min of TV themes performed by the Danish public service station's classical band.

There is some Danish talking in between, but most series covered are ones I've heard you talk about on the show.

Maybe something for the cold open? Or as a link to the listeners.

BTW - this is why I'm happy that we in sunny Denmark have the license fee that everybody with a TV, radio or access to the internet has to pay!

Thanks for always great shows!
Your boss,
- Eric



Hi guys.

I've now watched Jon-Claude Van Johnson and The Tick.I will watch I love Dick after work tonight.

My frustration with these pilots is not the content or format.I just don't recall Amazon ever asking in there survey on what are your favorite shows ever? Then ask why these pilots are greater or worse then your favorite shows.

It just seems this kind of questioning sets these pilots up for failure as each one I've seen is slightly worse then say Battlestar Galactica. But it's really unfair compairing a 30 minute pilot to a 4.5 season show for example.

I'm hoping somebody can reply and let me know if Amazon has asked this kind of question before in there pilot survey?

Long time Patreon Boss:
- David from Fond Du Lac,Wisconsin asking



I was talking with a girl who works at Hulu.
She said they get to see the first preview of what they are doing for the Hulu Streaming Channel today.
She said that currently she knows it will have an online DVR, but doesn’t have the details yet as to if it will be any restrictions on what can be recorded or if time limits or such. But if it isn’t all easily integrated it would seem a non starter.

She was pretty open about this as there is so many press leaks…but just in case don’t mention my name if you say anything on the air. Not sure if she was speaking out of turn. 



Tom and Brian,

I am constantly scouring the net to find interesting tidbits on cord cutting and specifically OTT live streaming services. To compare the channels available I put the linked spreadsheet together. It needs a little more refining (cannot make out what networks some of SFN’s Faith based offerings are) but your viewers may find it useful. The link is public.

This is strictly a channel availability chart not a comparison of services

PlayStation Vue is still the best by nearly every metric I care about except mobility and the name (and lack of a desktop app). It is ridiculous they launched nationally with PlayStation in the name. Nearly everyone I speak too about it says “I might try it but I don’t have a PlayStation”. How about Sony Vue or just Vue? Or Sony Live Stream (SLS for short)? Or Sony Dream Stream? Anything without PlayStation in the name. Plus the integration into the PlayStation website makes it more confusing to the average user.

Very Respectfully,
- Gregory



Tom and Brian,
Comcast upped my rate again so it was time to go for the chicken challenge again. Long story short, I was successful but not in the way I imagined.
I started out calling Comcast and had no luck getting my deal back to what it was before. So, I did what any reasonable person would do in 2016... complain on Twitter about my bill going up. Imagine my surprise when the Comcast Cares account at replied me and asked I follow them so we could exchange DMs. Using an exchange of DMs I was able to get back to my previous deal and lock it in for 2 years. That included free HBO for another 2 years and then to top it off they added 2 years of Showtime for free as well.
Comcast justifiably gets a bad rap in regards to customer service at times, but their social media team was fantastic to work with. I just wanted to share another path for all your listeners to take to try and get a better deal via the Chicken Challenge. Twitter, who would have thought that would work so well?

- Chris




When I decided to cut the cord, I called Cox cable and told them I was cancelling in favor of HBOGo and Hulu. They made me a deal in which I pay for a "starter pack" cable plus HBO and Starz, at $12/month, which made it cheaper for me to keep it than to have HBO alone.

The end result is that I never bothered to connect my cable box - by using mobile apps to stream the network shows (using my cable login), I get all of the current shows offered by Hulu and was able to cancel that as well.

Definitely worth the phone call. 


2016 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt