Why no one watches TV, Sling TV gets cheap, and how Allison got her TiVo MoJo back.

CordKillers: Ep. 159 - Tiers for Fears
Recorded: February 27 2017
Guest: Allison Sheridan

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Millenial men cutting the cord in droves
    - Videology, a company that sells addressable advertising found 1/3 of millenial males expect to pay for cable in the coming year
    - More than 1/2 said they already had cut the cord.
    - Recent studies of all age groups projected 12% cord cutting (GfK) and 6 % (emarketer)
    -But here’s the kicker. When asked how they watch TV shows
    - 27% said on TV as they air
    - >27% said laptop or desktop
    - 26% Boxes like Roku
    - 20.5% mobile devic es (tablet/smartphone)
    - 13% DVR
    - But
    - 21% said they do not watch TV. At all. (Sports excluded)
  • Where people watch Hulu
    - Less surprising is Hulu’s study of where people watch Hulu.
    - 500 heavy users of Hulu surveyed
    - What’s the craziest place you watch Hulu?
    - 1. the bathroom
    - 2. meeting
    - 3. At a red light
    - 4. weddings
    - 5. funerals
  • YouTube says people watch a billion hours of video every day
  • Netflix CEO shows friendly face to telcos at top mobile fair
    - Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave the keynote at Mobile World Congress, a gathering of mobile device makers. He mentioned unlimited data plans and efforts by Netflix to optimize video.


How to Watch

  • New Sling TV Channel bundles
    - Sling TV just added an option for $10 to add the Kids, Comedy, News and Lifestyle bundles, which are $5 each so normally a $20 add-on price for all four.
    - Sling trying to compare to DTV Now
    Sling starts at $20 for 30 networks and now has a plan for 80 channels at $35.
    - DTV Now plans start at $35 for 70 networks.
  • Sling TV Is Really Helping Dish Network Add Subscribers
    - Dish had better-than-expected profit AND added 28,000 subscribers when Dish and Sling TV numbers were combined in Q4.
    - Last year Dish lost 12,000 subscribers
    - Analysts had expected Dish to lose 87,000 subscribers
    - Analysts think most of the growth came from Sling TV because the revenue missed estimates.
  • Allison: Just replaced 3 (aged) TiVos & a Frontier cable box with a TiVo Bolt+ and 3 TiVo Minis. Saved $55/month on my bill
    - Don't have Ethernet in the house, discovere that having FiOS meant I had MoCA!
    – Amazing how much faster the new boxes are (who knew?0
    – Only downside is I have a 3 router setup to isolate iOT devices, and the TiVos (being on MoCA) are on the top level above my "real" routers
    – For example, can't use the TiVo app on iOS to control them because they aren't on WiFi at all
    – Investment was $990 but the lifetime TiVo had died, so I'd have bought the Bolt+ either way ($500 of the $950)
    – Worst case break even is 17 months (or 8 months if you don't count the Bolt+
    - Full story with coax diagram and math: https://www.podfeet.com/blog/2017/01/tivo-moca/

What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines


Dispatches from the Front

Hi Tom and Brian,

Just had some thoughts on the Caavo. I think the idea of Apple buying the company and applying it's tech to the AppleTV is interesting, but to me the better fit would be Logitech. Imagine a Harmony remote that would control everything with voice and do it seamlessly. The advertising writes itself, "The new Harmony One, the remote you'll never lose." I'm sure someone else has thought of this but it seems like a good fit.

Keep up the good work guys on the podcast, loving it.

Thanks,

- Thomas from Missouri

 

 

Hi Tom and Brian,

I've amassed a large collection of DVDs and Blu-rays over the years and about two years ago decided all of my discs were collecting dust, as I was far more likely to watch a title I already owned on Netflix simply because it was accessible.

I decided to 'roll my own' solution and digitize my extensive 800+ movie collection using MakeMKV and Handbrake- and now have them on a Synology NAS.

Problem Solved- after many hours of encoding, I have access to all the titles I spent so much to acquire, streaming locally to my FireTV running Kodi.

Now- I'm hoping you or the CordKillers audience may be able to help. With new movies coming 3-4 week early to streaming prior to the DVD release, is there any service you know of that I can pay to order the disc but gain early steaming rights to the title?

I understand the studios are looking to encourage streaming titles, but this leaves me with limited access to the movie I have just paid $20 to 'buy' streaming rights to.

I've been enjoying your show since the Frame Rate days and also enjoy your joint and independent ventures, and wanted to thank you for the independent content you both create on a daily basis.

Keep up the great work!
-Jon 

 

 

Hey guys. I just finished up listening to Cordkillers 158 (On... DEMAND!). Loved the discussion about the Caavo and the consolidation of all the devices and services. As I was enjoying Brian's rant about wanting to be ignorant and being able to ask for a can of dog food and dog food appearing, it occurred to me that perhaps the Google Home device (w/help from Google Assistant) is actually moving (albeit slowly) in the direction of what I think he is asking for. Even though the Home device is still relatively new, it already supports me saying "Hey Google. Play Stranger Things on the family room TV" and it will find Stranger Things on Netflix and cast it to the chromecast named Family Room TV. On the contrast if I say "Hey Google. Play DTNS on family room TV." It goes out and finds the latest episode of DTNS on YouTube and starts casting it to the Family Room TV. In neither scenario did I have to specify the service where to play the content from, it just played it. It also does a pretty good job supporting natural language speaking, allowing different derivatives of the same sentence so, "Ok Google, Cast DTNS to the family room tv" would have the same effect. Me watching another fine episode of DTNS on the TV in the family room.

Of course where this currently falls short however is that it's only working for a VERY small number of services that I know of, those being Netflix and YouTube. But I'm hopeful the list of services will increase quickly. This would make sense, as the Google Home App on my phone already has "universal search" capabilities that support searching across a much wider list of services, including but not limited to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies, HBO GO, Watch ESPN, Vudu, and I'm sure many others (Note: I believe the service's app has to be installed on the device which is probably how they are searching the data of those services). Of course who knows if Amazon Video would ever be supported. I also find it confusing and rather annoying that I can cast music from Google Play Music to my chromecast's via Google Home by talking to it, but I can't play a movie from Google Play Movies & TV this way. I'm sure over the next year or two a lot these issues will get worked out, at least I hope they do.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my experience with the Google Home device with you guys in case you weren't aware.

Thanks,
- Levi

 

 



How do you pick where to buy shows? I want to cut the cord and I want to just buy shows i want to watch (this looks like it would be cheaper). But I'm having a lot of problems picking where to spend my money. My wife and I have iphones, but I don't want to use iTunes because I don't want to lose access to my shows if i get a new phone. Amazon, Google and Vudu look like good alternatives, but again I would hate to get locked down. Currently I use a TiVo and an Nvidia Shield TV to watch all my shows. I really wish these providers would all participate in UltraViolet or act like Disney and let me buy it once and watch on everything.

- Andrew


Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

Winter Movie Draft, Logan impressions, Split, The Young Pope (106-110), Justified (506)

01:09 - Winter Movie Draft
01:49 - Logan (spoiler-free impressions)
04:03 - Triage (The Expanse 203)
06:11 - The Young Pope (106-110)
20:56 -  Split
29:51 - Justified (506)

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

Apple’s plans for TV, Caavo gives one interface for all boxes, and the future of Plex from Jared Newman. With special guest Jared Newman (https://twitter.com/OneJaredNewman).

Download audio

Download video

CordKillers: Ep .158 - On... DEMAND!
Recorded: February 20 2017
Guest: Jared Newman

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Eddy Cue says Planet of the Apps will premiere this spring & be ad-free, watch the first clip now
    - At the Code Media Conference Monday, Apple’s Eddy Cue and Ben Silverman talked about the upcoming Apple original show “Planet of the Apps”. Will.i.Am created the show and appears as an advisor along with Gary Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jessica Alba. Developers appear on the show to pitch app ideas. Each advisor picks one developer to work with and pitch to venture capitalists. The winner of the series gets $10 million in funding and prominent app store placement. The show will premiere this spring on Apple Music.
  • Apple Vowed to Revolutionize Television. An Inside Look at Why It Hasn’t
    - Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says his sources report Apple is testing a new Apple TV with 4K capability. Regarding the hiring of Fire TV chief Timothy D. Twerdahl, “The arrival of Twerdhal, the former Amazon Fire TV chief, will free up his predecessor, Pete Distad, to try and hammer out content deals and potentially revive the skinny bundle.”


How to Watch

  • Caavo knits together TV devices, streaming and voice control for $400
    - Caavo announced its streaming media box which plugs into your other boxes, like Apple TV, Roku, and your cable box to provide a unified front-end for finding shows. Caavo uses machine learning to interpret what’s getting sent to it from the other boxes so it knows it sent the right command. Essentially it tries to do what you do when you control a box by looking at what’s on the screen. It also has a skill on Amazon Voice Services. Caavo was founded by the late Blake Krikorian, former Slingbox CEO, and is run by former Microsoft employee Andrew Einaudi. Caavo will go up for preorder in May for $400 shipping in the autumn.
  • Jared's Write-up on the future of Plex

What to Watch


What We're Watching

Front Lines


Dispatches from the Front
Long-time cord cutter here, and long-time fan of the show (the two kind of go hand in hand).

Regarding your recent Dispatches discussion about cord cutting in the UK - After having moved here recently myself, I felt the topic could use some more local content - so I researched the UK's cord cutting options and just launched a dedicated website with guides, news and reviews:

https://www.cordbusters.co.uk/

The name is definitely an homage to one of my favorite podcasts! Thanks and keep up the good work,

- Or Goren

 

 



Hello Killers,

Boss #1772 here. I wrote you guys in December recapping my adventure with killing the cord because Comcast made changes that rendered my TiVo obsolete. You read that email on show 148.

I thought it may be worthwhile to follow up with a progress report and a few observations.

I am extremely happy with my cord killing experience and I don't see myself ever going back to cable.

At $30 per month, the PlayStation Vue basic service is working nicely for those "cable" networks which have programs I want to watch. The DVR option makes it worthwhile for someone used to the on-demand viewing that TiVo provides. Skipping commercials is a bit less convenient than with a TiVo but not horrible.

The OTA antenna is still working great with my old HD TiVo for the shows on the "broadcast" networks.

HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are also continuing to work well although I had those before I killed cable with specific reasons for each service.

I use an Apple TV for most of the non-broadcast viewing like HBO Now, Netflix, Hulu, and PlayStation View. I do find it rather annoying I can't see my Amazon Prime video on the same device.

I think I am actually watching a little less TV than I did before. I am not sure if that is entirely a result of my killing cable or the fact that I had some new Peter F. Hamilton books to read while waiting for Amazon to deliver my pre-ordered copy of Pilot X. I think it may be a combination of both. I just don't turn on my TV unless I am going to be actively watching it. I think I casually turned on the TV in the past more often than I realized.

Lastly but perhaps most importantly, my wife is still happy with her Amazon Fire Stick and watching her TV shows using the various services she can access with it. She bought the Fire Stick on her own last year and set it up herself.

Having PlayStation Vue available on the Fire Stick and Apple TV was a major factor in my decision to use the PlayStation Vue service and shows how prescient Netflix was in getting their service on every device. If you want to be a player in the video landscape today and you are not an 800 pound gorilla like Apple or Amazon you need to be available "on any damn device I please."

I just wish Apple and Amazon would kiss and make up over the Apple TV.

- TJ

 

 

Hey Tom and Brian,

So I'm all in on my Amazon Fire TV as most of my content is purchased from Amazon and I've got Hulu, Netflix and Prime as my primary sources.

Yet you might find it interesting that I decided the other day to cut my HBO Now subscription in exchange for paying for HBO through Amazon's add-on services. It gives me all of the same catalog and I was able to watch the Young Pope in real time the same as all the other apps but it kept me in the Amazon UI without kicking me off to another App.

I've already got a Showtime add-on for watching Billions (if you haven't already started watching it know that you are both missing the greatest show on TV ever, just saying) so I didn't think much of getting add-ons when I need them.

The only downside of add-ons is that you can only cancel on the desktop Amazon site but otherwise I'm loving the experience of never leaving the Fire TV UI.

Hope you find that interesting and love the show.

- Michael

 


 

Hey guys! Wanting to add an Amazon firestick to our apple tv and xfinity x-1 box lineup, we've run outta hdmi ports on our Samsung tv I know there are hdmi splitters/ports... What do I get, to add two more ports? Seen prices from $19 on Amazon for one, to $99 for one on Monoprice. Any advice would be helpful .

- T.

 

 

I don't remember how I found you guys back when you were doing FrameRate on TWiT, but as soon as I heard you guys had left TWiT and were starting your own thing, I signed up on Patreon and I THINK CordKillers was the first show I supported on there.

Ok! I just checked! Beginning in January of 2014, I signed up for Patreon and began supporting DTNS and CordKillers.

Keep up the great work, guys!
- Michael From North Texas



Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

Apple gets serious about Apple TV, HBO Now gets a lot of subscribers, and Guardians of the Galaxy will be the perfect movie.

Download audio

Download video
 

CordKillers: Ep. 157 - Their Crimes Are The Literal Crimes They've Committed
Recorded:
February 13 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Apple Hires Amazon’s Fire TV Head to Run Apple TV Business
    - Apple hired Timothy D. Twerdahl, former head of Amazon’s Fire TV division, as vice president in charge of Apple TV product marketing. Twerdahl previously worked at Netflix and Roku. Pete Distad will move from that role into focusing on Apple’s negotiations with media companies. Distad left Hulu in 2013 to join Apple.


How to Watch


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • Vizio settles for $2.2 million in FTC suit over snooping on consumers’ viewing habits
    - Vizio agreed to settle a lawsuit with the US Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey for $2.2 million. Starting in 2014, Vizio began tracking what shows were watched alongside IP addresses, MAC addresses, and nearby wi-fi networks, then a third party matched that data with sex, age, income level and more and sold for advertising use. Vizio agreed to delete all collected data, stop tracking, and get express permission before collecting and sharing any new information.
  • MTV’s Mina Lefevre Exits to Join Facebook as Head of Originals Development
    - Facebook has hired Mina Lefevre to be head of development of video content for Facebook. The former executive vice preisdent of development and head of scripted programming at MTV, Lefevre over saw shows like Teen Wolf and the Shannara Chronicles. Facebook recently indicated it wishes to develop original short-form programming. She joins co-founder of College Humor Ricky VanVeen who is now Facebook’s head of global creative strategy.
  • Viacom Puts Its Might Behind Six Brands to Turn Itself Around
    - Viacom says it will prioritize BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr along with its Paramount movie studio now. Other brands will be reorganized to support those six. For instance, Spike will be renamed, the Paramount Network. And Nickelodeon and Paramount will co-brand 4 films. This is the first major move by new Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish who took over as permanent CEO in December.
  • E.U. Agrees to Cross-Border Access to Streaming Services
    - The European Union agreed Tuesday on rules allowing subscribers of online services to access those services while traveling outside their home country within the EU. The rules apply to video streaming services, online TV services, music streaming services and online video game marketplaces.
  • Netflix Plans New Toys, Merchandise Based on Hit TV Shows
    - Netflix has posted a job listing seeking someone to oversee licensing shows for books, comics and toys and creating partnerships with retailers. Bloomberg also said Netflix is also starting to ask for a cut of merchandise made for shows released by Netflix but produced by outside studios. Netflix experimented with Stranger Things merchandise being sold in Hot Topic stores.
  • Nielsen steps closer to cross-platform measurement
    - The Media Rating Council has given accreditation to Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings tool which is part of its Total Audience Measurement initiative. The tool allows digital viewership to be combined with traditional TV ratings.


Dispatches from the Front

I have TWC now called Spectrum in NYC & I tried to stop my cable but because I have internet & tv bundled the price would go up if I stop cable. Crazy!

- Fin

 

 

One of your many bosses emailing here to ask if you've seen or heard of this streaming tv guide site for the top 3 streaming TV services out there. The site is www.streamingtvguides.com and it gives you what is currently on in your traditional grid format we grew up on.

It has Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV NOW and all of their respective package options. So simply choose your package from the drop down you subscribe to and you'll see what's on right now! Find the logo of the channel or channels you're interested in in the grid and quickly scan what's on. You can even click on each program and get more information if needed. The reason I found this is simply due to the fact I didn't have my TV on and didn't want to turn it on, load the Sling app and wait for everything to populate just to see what was on, I just wanted to know if it was worth turning on. I know, pretty lazy, but now that I know this site is out there, it'll be quicker and more convenient in the future.

I've only used Sling TV myself and still am currently subscribed to it, but I found this quite useful to quickly glance through all the channels I have available. I can't speak to the other two services as I haven't used them, but it can take a few minutes just to "surf" through all the channels in the Sling app as it takes a couple seconds to load the channel information and art for the current show on each channel.

Anyway, just my two cents and hopefully it helps a fellow cordkiller out there. Been listening since the FrameRate days and haven't missed an episode. Keep up the good work!!

- Brian

 



On the last show Brian talked about syfy streaming issues with the expanse restarting and other crazy stuff. I ran into this awhile back. when running an ad blocker it will let you get to the first commercial break but then freaks out and restarts. Just in case no one has mentioned it already, just disable ad blocker (mine was ublock origin) and it will play fine.

- Mike

 

 



Hi Tom, thought you would be interested in how they cast the actress for Bobbie Draper. They were worried about finding an actress who was a 6 ft Polynesian that was physically muscular. Just as a side note, being 6'5" and 270 she is pretty much my perfect match.
 

 

 

 

Weighing in on the idea that $4 is too expensive for Seeso…

I have to agree that this IS too expensive as compared to what you get from Hulu or Netflix. If you’re trying to put content out there, those are the price comparisons that people are going to make. Hulu @ $8 includes nearly all current NBC, ABC, FOX, and secondary channel content plus some back catalogs, some originals, and a growing catalog of good movies. Netflix at $8 or $10 for HD gives you a huge back catalog of shows, a huge library of originals, and a good collection of movies.

So how can you justify $4/month for one genre of content from NBC? Or $6 for just CBS? Comparatively, their offerings are too limited to warrant that price.

Plus this model does not scale. Filmstruck wants its $7-$11, Crunchyroll wants $7. Are all the content licensees going to try to extract their $4 - 12 from you for their content? Forget it. If that’s the new world, I’m not buying. I’ll stick with Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, and I’ll supplement that with ad hoc purchases and rentals.

- Richard

 

 

 

You were talking about which services were considered "too expensive," and the survey said that CBS All Access was too expensive, but Hulu was not.

From my perspective, with Hulu, I get access to multiple networks (NBC, Fox, Comedy Central, etc.); but with CBS, I only get CBS. It does not seem worth it to me for the two or three shows that I want (especially when I want commcial-free), when I can use the other service to access many, many shows.

- John

 


Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt