Why the new Fire TV beats Apple TV and BBC streaming is a bad thing.

CordKillers: 88 – Involuntary “Dammit!”
Recorded: September 20, 2015
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Latest Amazon Fire TV Features 4k Video, Alexa Voice Assistant
    - Amazon Fire TV $100 ships Oct. 5
    - supports 4K HEVC (High efficiency video codec)
    - Alexa integrated into voice search (discover content queue up media; it cannot set timers or alarms just yet.full feature set coming next year)
    - New 64-bit quad-core processor and a dedicated GPU.
    - $50 Fire TV Stick with voice search ships Oct. 22 ($40 w/o voice still available)
    - A bundle called the Amazon TV Gaming edition packs a Fire TV with a game controller a 32GB microSD card and two free games for $140. Ships Oct. 5
  • Amazon boasts Fire TV is better at turning you into a couch potato
    - Amazon says Fire TV ranks among the top for customer loyalty for Internet-television app Sling TV. 16 hours per week on Fire TV
    - Amazon says it has more channels apps and games than any other
    - Roku claims 2500 channels

Signal Intelligence

  • BBC to offer streaming in US
    - BBC will offer a streaming service in US
    - Programs that aren’t already screened on TV channels or available on existing streaming services
    - No price announced
    - Coming sometime in 2016

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

Dispatches from the Front

 On your last show you guys talked about how it would be nice to easily be able to download Netflix shows for off- line viewing. I've been able to download shows from all the major online sites ( Netflix, Hulum amazon, YouTube, the networks, and many more using a companion program to playon called Playlater. HD quality, easy to use and then to transfer to my Tivo using Tivo desktop or my ipad using itunes. one time cost right now for both programs of $49 and no monthly fees

- Anonymous




 Do you know of a way to translate DVDs into digital format? I know DRM makes this hard, but I was hoping the production studios would get behind this as we transition from DVD to digital as a society.

Secondly, what options do you know of for renting movie content? iTunes and Amazon are great for this, but subject to delays in the studio's distribution plans (movie is available to buy only for a few months before rental is an option). 

- Tyler




I was listening to episode 87, where the listener wanted to use an antenna and split it off to multiple TVs. Let me tell you what I did. I bought four "flattenas" from Channelmaster.com. Each cost me $10. I went to Alltex computers in Austin Texas and bought some coaxial cable, some end thingies, and a crimper thingy. Oh, I also bought four switches that could switch from cable to antenna. I did not want to run the cable from my attic to the TVs. I just split the existing cable from Time Warner (that was already in the attic) and added the splitter. I then added a piece of new coax that went to each of the flattennas and connected it to the splitter (that was mounted where I cut the Time Warner coax). I mounted the antennas with a pushpin toward the bottom of my roof (as high as I could get them). I then put the switch to the antenna side and now each of my cable connections in the house go to the antenna instead of to the outside cable box. Now I can always switch it back to the cable side in case I ever want to subscribe to cable again. I learned how to create those correct cables by watching YouTube videos. It was simple. And cheap. I get about 23 English-speaking channels here in Cedar Park Texas. Works great!

Thank you for all you do,

- Steven
Cedar Park, Texas





Dear Tom and Brian,

I want to keep you updated on the new revolution in cord cutting in the Middle East and North Africa: icflix.

The Netflix clone just surfaced in the area with a huge selection of movies and TV shows and it costs just 8 US$ a month. It comes pre-installed in all new LG and Samsung smart TVs and has apps on consoles, smartphones, and tablets.

The price includes simultaneous streaming for 5 devices of libraries of movies of Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (the latter two are Indian and Arabic movies.)

The Walking Dead is the first thing I searched for and surely, it was there.

And since all major Football (soccer) are already available for paid streaming on Bein Sports, and NFL Game Pass available for the middle east, everyone in the Middle East and North Africa can finally cut the cord and never go back.


- Fares



I can already stream Cordkillers on my Apple TV, through the Podcast channel.

- Sara in Sunny Seattle




Brian and Tom,

On the most recent show, you were talking about scenarios where offline streaming would be useful outside of planning trips. I watch a ton of video on my tablet in my tractor. I've got an unlimited data plan, so the 70 gb or more per month of mobile data doesn't cost anything, but there is a lot of my farm where Verizon doesn't work well enough for streaming video. I usually fill up my tablet at night using Plex, which isn't always as legal as I'd like, so having an offline option with Netflix would be huge. Imagine burning through a 12 episode season of TV every day for a month, and you can see just how nice it would be to have to work a little less hard at sourcing content.

- Aaron @Traffas from smoggy Sharon, Kansas



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AuthorTom Merritt