Is Sling TV or PlayStation Vue winning and will either survive? Do you need to download Netflix? And a Plex server you can put in your pocket. With special guest Jeff Cannata.

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CordKillers: Ep. 126 - Vlogumentray Now!
Recorded: June 27 2016
Guest: Jeff Cannata

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • PlayStation Vue live TV service now available on Roku, hits Android phones next week
    - Sony announced that their Playstation Vue live streaming service is now available on Roku devices. According to David Katzmaier at Cnet, the Roku Vue app offers a quick and simplified interface compared to other platforms, but advised the best experience of the service is still had on the FireTV, Playstation 3 or 4. Sony also announced that a Vue Android app is coming next week.

Signal Intelligence

  • Netflix May Soon Let You Download Its Videos
    - Dan Taitz is chief operating officer at Penthera, a company that makes software allowing streaming video providers to let viewers download content for offline viewing. Tattoo told Fortune, “From industry sources, I know that Netflix is out in the market negotiating to get download rights in addition to streaming rights.” He says he’s been told by content providers, cable operators, and other streaming service providers. Amazon enabled an option to download in September. During its last earnings call, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company must keep an open mind about downloads.

Gear Up

  • Plex in your pocket
    - Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless Pro hardware comes with a Plex server.
    - WiFi network (sync mobile devices, and stream media to Plex apps)
    - 10 hour battery life
    - 2TB $230, 3 TB $250.

Front Lines

  • CBS names an exec to develop shows for its streaming service
    - CBS moved Julie McNamara from drama development at CBS TV to become Executive Vice President, Original Content at CBS All Access. She was already overseeing the new Star Trek and the Good Wife spinoff headed to All Access next year.

  • Viacom launches BET Play streaming app for $3.99 a month
    - Viacom launched BET Play for $3.99 a month. It will offer current episodes from 16 shows and a live stream of BET Soul. It’s available for iOS and Android in 100 countries, though not in the US.

  • BitTorrent Is Looking to Launch a TV News Network
    - Variety reports that BitTorrent may launch BitTorrent News, a TV news network for BitTorrent Live, their P2P live video service. The company listed an opening for a news director to build out a team of journalists, with the hope of being ready to cover the US Presidential election this fall. The network will focus on breaking news, including “political campaigns, sporting events, tech and cultural events”, but no plans to do 24/7 coverage.

  • Amazon has doubled its performance in a hot market over the last year, and is pulling away from Apple
    - Sandvine released their report on prime-time internet usage in North America. Not surprisingly, Netflix and YouTube retain the top two spots for downstream activity, but Amazon Video more than doubled their percentage of traffic, up to 4.26%, surpassing both iTunes, Hulu, and Facebook to take the #3 spot. AND Nielsen’s latest numbers estimate subscription video on demand services, aka Netflix and friends, are now in half US households up from 42% last year. DVRs have held steady at 49-50%. It’s the first time the two categories have been equal.

  • Amazon Video now offers Dolby Vision HDR content
    - Amazon has caught up with Netflix and Vudu by adding support for Dolby Vision HDR content. Dolby Vision and HDR10 are the two main standards for HDR.

  • Google connects Netflix to Android TV's universal search
    - Android TV's universal search gains more...universality. In a Twitter post, the Android team announced that Netflix would be included in search results, although no update has been rolled out to devices yet. This brings Android TV up to parity with rivals Roku and Apple TV, who already have Netflix in their search.

  • Roku puts your laptop in control of movie night
    - Roku released a Windows 10 version of its remote app with Cortana support aimed at laptops and tablets. No word on an upgrade to the phone app.

Under Surveillance

Dispatches From the Front

Your boss here.

Here are the parameters of my conundrum:

I'm a patron

I listen to all episodes of cord killers without exception

I skip some episodes of spoilerin time when it reminds me too much of how many shows you talk about we DON'T have in Belgium 😉

I watch TV exclusively on demand, through my apple tv, mainly Netflix and YouTube

Here is the rub: I actually have a cable subscription! And it is because it costs me less to have the bundled triple play than just the same speed Internet alone!!!

My cable box is not on, there is no HDMI linking it to the TV.

My question to you Tom & Brian: do you officially grant me the right to call myself a cord killer?

I am going to try to sleep now, waiting anxiously for your verdict!

Love the show, obviously! Please keep them coming.


- Yassine


I'm an Amazon Prime member & occasionally use the Amazon Instant Video app on my Roku 3. However, the app UI experience is terrible. Is it worth buy the Fire TV Stick if I just want a better Instant Video experience?




- Zach


Hi-Dee Ho Bosses


Excuse me if this is old news, but I've discovered an easy way to search specific genres on Netflix by using Netflix genre codes. Simply sign into Netflix and change the URL to code number here)


Here's a site that lists all genre codes:


And I've created a for my fellow cordkillers:


- Jackie



Hello gentlemen. As a cord-never in the 40-50 age group, I would like to provide some initial feedback on my Tablo 4-Tuner experience. IT RUNS HOT!! So hot in fact that it locks up and requires the unit to be un-plugged for cool down. As for my setup, I use the ATV 4 for the interface. The ATV app is what I consider "still in beta". The app does provide a nice guide but changing channels is excruciating slow. My previous setup was a Silicon Dust HD HomeRun Connect and the Channels ATV 4 app. While the HomeRun Connect via the Channels app didn't provide the DVR experience I was looking for and it lacked a traditional guide - it does not have cooling and channel changing issues I am experiencing with the Tablo. I am going to go back to HDHomeRun/Channels app for live viewing and use the Hotplate Tablo for burritos and watching recorded OTA TV. Hope this helps other viewers.


- Your boss, Sean



2016 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt

Cable industry wants apps to be the law, Netflix’s future in doubt, and Westworld looks amazing.

CordKillers: Ep. 125 - Gimme an F!!
Recorded: June 20 2016
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Cable industry offers set-top box compromise to avoid stricter regulation
    - Cable industry reps. met w/ FCC staff June 15
    - National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) CEO Michael Powell, representatives of Comcast and AT&T/DirecTV, and reps from cable networks Vme TV, Revolt TV, and TV One - with Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel, Mignon Clyburn, and Michael O'Rielly
    - Willing to comply with a requirement to deploy applications for third-party set-top boxes using open standards.
    - Would agree to regs requiring large operators (1mm+ subs) to build HTML5 apps available on wide number of platforms. - No charge to get app only for service.
    - Would include all live and on demand programming but no recording
    - Would not allow interface competition
    - Unclear if content would be delivered over the Internet.

Signal Intelligence

  • Can Netflix survive the world it has created
    - The New York Times has an in-depth piece by Joe Nocera about Netflix. It goes through much of the history of how Netflix works, its corporate culture and focuses on how Netflix can survive in a world of competitors like Amazon, Hulu and even the slowly-adapting broadcast and cable networks. Nicer points out that Netflix has a negative cashflow of $1 billion and its annual revenue of $6.8 billion still pales next to the $28 billion of Time Warner and 21st CenturyFox. Hastings is confident though saying, “all TV will move to the internet, and linear TV will cease to be relevant over the next 20 years, like fixed-line telephones.”

Gear Up

Front Lines

  • Hulu’s VR app arrives on Oculus Rift
    - Hulu announced a VR app for the Oculus Rift. There will be 30 original VR programs, as well as stream Hulu’s entire 2D library in an immersive 3D environment and watch Live Nation concerts. Hulu also launched a new themed show space for fans of SyFy’s “12 Monkeys” series Hulu launched a VR app for the Samsung Gear VR earlier this year. 
  • YouTube 'star' Lonelygirl15 back after seven years
    - New material was uploaded to LonelyGirl15 for the first time since 2009. The show description says, “I know, you've got a lot of questions. Questions deserve answers. It's the only thing that satisfies them and I have many.”
  • BBC to put major new drama series on iPlayer before it airs on TV
    - The BBC put all six episodes of its Prime Time drama “The Living and the Dead online Friday June 17, two weeks before broadcast premiere 9 PM June 28
    The show is a Victorian era Ghost Hunter series, set in Somerset in the 1890s from Life on Mars duo Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham. 
  • Netflix enables picture-in-picture support for iPad app
    - Netflix viewers with compatible iPads running iOS 9.3.2 will now be able to use picture-in-picture to keep watching Netflix video while doing other things on the tablet. Other video apps like Hulu have had this feature previously.
  • Netflix, CW Near Deal That Accelerates Streaming Window as Hulu Ends In-Season Pact
    - Variety reports Netflix and CW are close to striking a deal that would bring scripted series to Netflix less than two weeks after the end of a season in the US. The deal is expected to last five years. In season shows are leaving Hulu and will only be available from CW’s app and website and VOD deal. 
  • Roku players now search for news videos
    - Roku’s cross app search now has 50 services including news from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Roku says it has a small number of news services included now but will be adding more in the coming months. 

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

Hi guys.

I got hooked on OJ made in America that aired ep 1 on ABC. So I signed up for Sling TV 7 day trial to watch the last 4 episodes.
Sling TV is not perfect. But as I'm single and their on demand is add free.I decided simply "Shut up and take my money. I can now legally watch Preacher.

- David  from Fond Du Lac,Wisconsin.



Hi guys, I've called this meeting, because during the last episode, there was an incident where the voice of Lance, was misidentified as that of Hank Venture..

While i do commend you on correcting that statment; as your boss it is ultimately my responsibility to provide you with the necessary tools, to be effective at your job...

Please review this list of the main characters, and their notable appearances, paying special attention to the final two...

Lance - Jeremy Shada: A.K.A Fin on Adventure Time

Keith - Steven Yeun: A.K.A Glen on The Walking Dead

Shiro - Josh Keaton: has made numerous appearances in DC Animated properties, primarily as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern.

Pidge - Bex Taylor-Klaus: A.K.A Sin on Arrow

Allura - Kimberly Brooks: A.k.A Ashley Brooks in Mass Effect, and Malachite on Steven Universe

King Alfor - Keith Ferguson: was Bloo on Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, and is currently the voice of Reaper in Overwatch.

Hagar - Voiced by Cree Summer: While she has provided voices for practically everything in the last 30 years.
Brian would best know her back in the 80's as Penny on Inspector Gadget.

Hunk - Tyler Labine: Whoever it was that suggested Netflix would pick him up, now that Hulu cancelled Deadbeat, wasn't far off. Honestly, I was hesitant to watch this reboot, but once i heard his voice, i was in 100%.

Thank you for your continued service,

Your Boss

- Voiced by Clyde: A.K.A PoodlePuncher




 I've heard Tom mention that he buys movies through VUDU to be able to view them on different services. How is it that you can link your VUDU and iTunes accounts to have the content available in different places?


- Rodrigo



A few episodes ago you guys mentioned Amazon Video Direct, which gives independent producers the opportunity to show their videos on Amazon Prime. I recently got my first movie listed on Prime and thought you might be interested in the process.

If you want to see the results, here's the link:

Or you can just search Amazon for "Hide and Creep."

The Basic Requirements:

Subtitle File - check out They'll subtitle an hour-long video for $60.
Video File - HD (at least 720p) required for Prime consideration
Trailer - recommended, not required, must be HD
Key Art - image file, basically your movie poster, must include the movie title in the image; size = 1200x1600 pixels
Turnaround Time - a little over a week for me; I'm guessing three or four days for most submissions

More Details:

In the interest of accessibility, Amazon requires subtitles or captions for every movie submitted via Video Direct. offers a great solution here. You upload your video to Rev, and they create the captions for a flat fee of one dollar per minute of video. My movie is 85 minutes long, so Rev charged me 85 bucks. Turnaround time was approx. 48 hours.

The good thing about the captions... at least for English-language movies, providing English captions makes your movie eligible for placement on the US, UK, Japan, and Germany Prime Video platforms -- you don't have to include separate Japanese and German captions.

For Prime consideration, Amazon requires an HD file -- at least 720p. That said, if your master is standard def, you can put together a pretty good up-res to 720p if you know your way around Premiere or After Effects. Amazon also asks for a high quality file. For a feature-length movie, that means a big file, so it might take a few hours to upload.

Though it isn't required, Amazon allows you to upload a trailer (as long as it is at least 720p). I uploaded one -- I figure anything to help the movie stand out from the Prime crowd is a good thing.

Also required, key art and a "background image." The key art is the little rectangular image that look like a poster (or DVD cover). Again, Amazon is looking for high quality -- 1200 x 1600 pixels (even though these images are generally displayed much smaller than that). You'll also need to put together a horizontal version of the key art. The "background image" isn't explained very well, so I just uploaded an iconic single frame from my movie. At present, I can't see that my "background image" is being used on Prime.

You also have to provide some basic info about your movie: Title, Category (movie, short film, music video, etc.), Cast, Crew, Synopsis, Genre, Rating (if available), Original Language, and Release Date.

And that's it! Well, other than the banking info and tax info, which you guys mentioned in your original coverage of the story. From the time I posted the movie, it took a little over a week for it to go live on Prime. I ran into a couple of issues specific to my movie that slowed the process (let me know if you want the details on that), so I would guess most videos would go live in three or four days.

If you have any other questions about submitting to Prime via Video Direct, send them my way. Overall, it's a pretty painless process. Until Netflix or Hulu open up to indies, I think Amazon Prime is the best venue around for feature filmmakers looking to self-distribute online.

- Chance


2016 Summer Movie Draft

AuthorTom Merritt