What would you pay for HBO online? Amazon might soon be award-winning TV, YouTube stops waiting for Apple TV.

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CordKillers: Ep. 49 - Did You Just Quote Frozen?
Recorded: December 15, 2014
Guest: Amber MacArthur

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • Amazon gets its first major award nominations with Transparent
  • -Amazon gets Golden Globe nomination for best comedy TV series and Best Actor (jeffrey Tambor)
    - House of Cards up for Best Drama, Best Actress (Robin Wright) Best Actor (Kevin Spacey)
    - Orange is the New Black Best Actress (Taylor Schilling)
    - Derek Best Actor (Ricky Gervais)

Gear Up

  • YouTube Updates Apple TV App, Adds Ads
  • - YouTube updated on Apple TV
    - Ads will run, meaning more videos available
    - Does this mean no overhaul of ATV soon?
    -Apple TV also added Conde Nast’s “The Scene”, Fusion, Dailymotion
    - UFC.TV will offer its $10-a-month “Fight Pass” subscription service on its new app.

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

2014 Winter Movie Draft

  1. Scott: $351,988,390
  2. Tom: $281,672,839
  3. Brett: $102,327,373
  4. Brian: $89,040,494
  5. Justin: $50,479,380
  6. John: $41,807,277

Dispatches from the Front

Hey guys,
I just wanted to tell you about my experience with Disney Movies Anywhere now that the first "major" release came out this week on BluRay - Guardians of the Galaxy. In short- holy crap it works!
Linking the accounts a few weeks back took no time at all since I already had a Disney Rewards account and LastPass autofiled my login information for my AppleID and Google Play accounts. (I even did Google Play from my Nexus tablet.) Then when they added Vudu two weeks later, it was so cool to link that account in and have a dozen or so movies show up all at once in that collection. Before to do something like this, you had to redeem the UltraViolet copy and then hope that whoever was releasing that movie also let you redeem an iTunes copy. Some movie studios made that a piece of cake others would make it more difficult.
When I got my copy of Guardians, delivered from Amazon I thought. "This was going to be the real test." I plugged the code into the Disney website and it added my digital copy to Disney Anywhere then went over to log into Vudu. Was it there? - Yup! Google Play? - Check! iTunes? Yes, Sir! I couldn't believe how smooth that was. So now, I have options when I want to watch any Disney/Marvel movie. I can either play it on my big screen with a BluRay, Chromecast it at my in-laws house with Vudu or Google Play, or have it on my iPad while I travel.

So anyway love the show guys! Keep on kill'n them cords
Sparta, WI




Dearest Brian,

Would you please stop picking on grandmothers?

I am a proud grandmother of 3 beautiful grandchildren, I am also an implementation consultant for a software company with a masters degree in technology. As Veronica Belmont used to put it, I am "tech support for my friends and family'. Whenever you use "grandmothers" as an example of people who need to be coddled into adopting new technology, I really want to smack you.

So, consider yourself smacked. And instead, let's find an appropriate term for those people who are inexperienced with a new technology. We all know what "early adopter" means. Could we call the people on the other side of the adoption spectrum "reluctant adopters"? Or "New users"? Anything but, "grandmothers".

I love the show and was an early adopter of the Patreon model for supporting you both. There is "Scam Stuff" and Tom Merritt books under the tree this year as gifts for my family.

-Lisa B.



Hi Tom,

Thought I'd drop you a line and let you know my thoughts on episode 2/Season 1 of Black Mirror. First let me preface this by saying I think this is an excellent show, but I find it way too disturbing to be able to enjoy watching it.

I was shocked when I heard Brian refer to episode 2 as a jaunty refreshing respite from episode 1 (I'm paraphrasing, but that's the gist of what he said). I also found it interesting that neither you nor Brian mentioned what happened to the woman. That is the real horror of this story. While she isn't the protagonist, it is her story that I found so scary. [Spoiler redacted]

So as much as episode 1 horrified Brian so much (because he empathized with the main character); episode 2 scared the crap out of me because I empathized with the woman. Honestly, I found all 3 episodes of the first season very disturbing. I watched them within 2 nights back to back. And ended up with vivid nightmares. I don't plan on watching the second season. I can appreciate that it is a well-written, produced, and acted show; but I can't take it.

- Lisa



Hey Brian and Tom!

Brian mentioned The Wire being 4x3 and now available in 16x9. I've worked and am Facebook friends with David Insley, one of the DPs and Camera Operators on The Wire. He says "As a camera operator and DP on The Wire, we were told to frame 4:3, and protect 16:9. We shot Super 35, and future proofed the framing on the negative. Not an unusual request at the time. I'm happy Mr Simon oversaw the remastering." And later adding "Headroom is constant in common top. Sides get wider when you cut the 4x3 out of the 16/9. And I think we shot 3 perf, the last two seasons. Always a compromise somewhere."

FYI 3 perf means the height of each frame is 3 perforations tall (instead of the normal 4). It's used as a cost saving measure to use less film while shooting a widescreen image.

Signed One of Your Bosses
James H.



Dog House Systems Cordkiller box

AuthorTom Merritt

Why Nielsen numbers may show the death of TV and the streaming sticks are winning the streaming wars.


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CordKillers: Ep. 48 - Look a Cake! A Cake!
Recorded: December 8, 2014
Guest: Veronica Belmont

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  • Google Fiber's broadband dreams aren't making cable TV any better
  • -Chris Welch of The Verge reviewing Google Fiber offering.
    - Dinged the TV service
    - “Looks like cable box UI”
    - Tons of channels, DVR w/ 2 TVB, VOD, netflix built in.
    - Bad search
    - Doesn’t integrate with Google service like Google Play
    - No portability to DVR recordings

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

2014 Winter Movie Draft

  1. Scott: $335,906,476
  2. Tom: $260,177,586
  3. Brett: $85,293,639
  4. Brian: $78,190,085
  5. Justin: $44,605,802
  6. John: $16,657,382

Dispatches from the Front

Just a thought on why Netflix and their competitors don't really need independently gathered viewing stats... They can find the popularity of any streamed show by using social media.

I would imagine that's actually more meaningful data, you can gauge the popularity of a show during its run on a streaming service by how much it's talked about, and that's all a competitor really needs to know.

James in the UK


With the change of Star Wars from a summer release to winter release (purely for Christmas toy sales), how will this "Babe Ruth" moving to the Puerto Rican League change the winter draft. Please join me in the conference room for an open discussion and refreshments.

Your Boss




Hey guys, remember that unbundled Canadian media service we were talking about last time I was on the show? 

Well, it's out, I've signed up for a 3-month trial.

Short answer, it's a pale shadow of Netflix (Canada). They blew it.

Okay selection of older TV shows, not many movies - none newer than 2012. A few things that Canadian Netflix doesn't have.

It's $8.99 a month, so I guess it would be the equivalent of ordering Amazon Prime so you've got a deeper selection of shows to choose from. I'll probably watch a few things I can't get any other way and then not renew it after 3 months.

Imagine a clone of Netflix, with less selection, a slightly higher price, a less refined interface, worse recommendations, more Canadian content, no device support.

So... meh.

One advantage is that content streamed from Shomi doesn't count towards your data cap. So, if you've got a low-end account, it might make sense.

Fraser Cain





I was wondering if you could answer my question.

I know Brian hates OTA transmissions, but does current OTA infrastructure allow 4K content to be delivered OTA? Is there enough bandwidth for long distance transmissions?

If a cable company wanted to deliver 4K content to me through a STB, would they need to run new lines? Is there enough capacity on normal cable lines to deliver to STBs today? Does it matter if it is coming through the internet 'portion' of my cable line or the 'television' portion?

Your boss, who updated his credit card,




Jim tells story about getting hulu plus, being about to cancel, but then keeps it because of the big difference the reduced number of ads makes, then elaborates below

Just my 2 cents. Keep up the great work!


PS: The math-

Five 30 second ads per break (typ) - two 30 second ads (plus) = three 30 second ads per break * 3 breaks per half hour + 1 additional 30 second pre-roll ad = 5 minutes per half hour

5 minutes per 1/2 hour * fifteen half hours (5 hour shows & 5 half hour shows) = 75 minutes per week * four weeks = 5 hours per month.


Tom and Brian,

I wanted to add my two cents to the discussion of YouTube Channels. I find most of them really frustrating nearly to the point of uselessness because they combine the worst elements of cable bundling and social media feeds. What I mean by that is many if not most of the most popular channels combine a bunch of different shows on their channel like a micro-version of cable channel bundling. I'm a big fan of TableTop, Wil Wheaton's board game show on Geek & Sundry but don't want all the other offerings. I want to subscribe to those channels to support the content I love and their producers but then comes the social media feed price in that all those other shows clutter my feeds so that it's far too much work to find the videos of the specific shows I want to watch. The result is that I don't use YouTube nearly as much as I otherwise would because it becomes too much work to find the individual shows I want to see.

Obviously this issue has to do with the intersection between the user experience (ideally, producers like Geek & Sundry could create a channel for each show and a master channel of all their shows so that I could pick and choose and curate my feed) and the economics (if producers did that, their channel subscriber numbers would be dispersed and diluted effecting their ability to negotiate, monetize, etc. What I'd hope is that Google would produce some more sophisticated mechanisms whereby a producer could offer multiple shows on an aggregated channel while simultaneously allowing me to filter my feed for only the shows I want.

Perhaps this helps explain the frustration of the feedback asking for channels be explained, or perhaps it's just my own ramblings. Keep up the good work gentlemen.

Your boss,


Greetings, programs.

Just finished re-watching the Primary Target segment about sports on show #47.

First off, I find it interesting that Re/code is paying an analyst for data on ESPN that I've had available for free at WhatYouPayForSports.com/Numbers for almost two years now. Clearly, I'm doing something very, very wrong.

Second, I've done several analyses on how much ESPN makes compared to what it spends on TV rights for major sports, and how cord cutting might impact ESPN in the long-term.

...and the bottom line is that cord cutting would have to increase dramatically over the rest of this decade before it would have a real impact to ESPN's bottom line. ESPN and TNT just signed a 9-year, $24 billion TV deal with the NBA. Does that sound like the move of networks concerned with cord cutting?

What's more, if Dish Network's NuTV service takes off, ESPN could collect MORE per subscriber than they could from the cable bundle, which means they could PROFIT from cord cutters who want to get rid of cable without giving up sports altogether. This would put ESPN in a much better position than Fox Sports 1 and NBCSN, it's two biggest competitors.

I'm a long-time sports fan myself, but I'm also a cord cutter, and right now, I'm sharing TV Everywhere passwords with family to watch sports at home. HBO CEO Richard Pepler said password sharing wasn't an issue for HBO, and I suspect other networks think the same way. The data on what people watch, when they watch it, and what devices they use to watch is just as valuable right now as carriage fees. Smart networks can hook us now and sell us on new over-the-top services later -- and in the meantime, WatchESPN has ad space to sell.

In the end, though, it will be sports fans who pay for sports. Which is how it should be.

Continued success with the show.

Durham, NC



Dog House Systems Cordkiller box

AuthorTom Merritt