Verizon may launch an internet-only TV service, Comcast will launch one but only to its Comcast internet customers, and Apple may be contemplating the skinniest of bundles. With special guest Mike Range.

CordKillers: Ep. 164 - Eyes Wide Shut Streaming
Recorded: April 3 2017
Guest: Mike Range

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Verizon Said to Plan Online TV Package for Summer Launch
    - Sources tell Bloomberg Verizon has been buying streaming rights to TV networks in advance of a US launch of an online TV service. The package will supposedly have a few dozen channels and go on sale this summer. CBS previously said its contract extension for Verizon’s FiOS TV service included “future digital platforms.”


How to Watch

  • Comcast could chase cord-cutters with 'Xfinity Instant TV'
    - Reuter sources tell it Comcast will roll out a streaming only TV service called Xfinity Instant TV for $15-$40 a month and included major broadcast channels, sports channels like ESPN and spanish-language channels. The service would launch in Q3 to any customer of Comcast broadband Internet. This would be a revamp of Comcast’s Stream service trialed in Boston and Chicago.
  • Amazon is making Twitch a destination for original shows
    - Starting April 5 at 4 PM Eastern Amazon will start running three of its spring pilots, Oasis, dramedy The Legend of Master Legend and comedy Budding Prospects, on repeat for 24 hours at www.twitch.tv/twitchpresents. Also the first Twitch Studio original comes out April 7th at 5 PM Eastern. Ironsights tells the story of Big Buck Hunter champ Sara Erlandson.


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • Apple wants to sell HBO, Showtime and Starz in a single bundle
    - Sources tell ReCode that Apple is pitching a deal to bundle premium services HBO, Showtime and Starz for one discounted price, potentially accessible in a standalone product. The three services are currently sold separately by Apple for a combined $35 a month.
  • Netflix is rolling out offline playback for its Windows 10 Store PC app
    - Windows Central notes Netflix’s option for offline viewing of select content is now available in the Windows 10 Netflix app. The update has begun rolling out to Windows 10 users through the Windows Store, though updates to the Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox versions of the app have yet to appear.
  • Smart TV hack embeds attack code into broadcast signal—no access required
    - Security consultant Rafael Scheel demonstrated a proof-of-concept exploit that would allow someone to take control of a smart TV using a low-cost transmitter to send a malicious TV broadcast. The attack worked against two fully updated Samsung TVs by exploiting known security flaws in the Web browsers. The attack gave full control of the TV.
  • Netflix nabs 'Archer' team for its first animated feature
    - Netflix’s first animated feature film, America: The Motion Picture, will be an R-rated comedic take on the founding of the United States. Archer’s Adam Reed and Matt Thompson will lead the production team and Thompson will direct. The Expendables' Dave Callaham will write the scrip. And Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Will Allegra from the LEGO Movie will contribute. Channing Tatum will produce and voice George Washington.
  • NBC will broadcast its entire 2018 Olympics programming live across the world
    - NBC announced it will broadcast events live regardless of timezone for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. NBC previously streamed all coverage live, but tape delayed large portions of the TV broadcast for prime time viewing.
  • ESPN's new Apple TV app behaves like your cable box
    - ESPN’s WatchESPN app which lets subscribers to SlingTV, PSVue and such watch all the ESPN content in one place has a couple feature updates on Apple TV. IT will start playing one of its channels immediately upon logging in, it also has a curated selection of on-demand video and some nice interface tweaks. The app also gives users a look at the miniseries We the Fans on April 9, two days before broadcast.


Dispatches from the Front

Add me to the fellowship of cord killers! I signed up for Playstation Vue last week for a trial run and just worked up the nerve to call Charter Spectrum to cut off my tv service. They offered me a couple different discounts, but it wasn't near the savings I would have needed to stay. Not all is perfect as I'm losing access to local channels (OTA signal is hit or miss where I live), plus I lament having to give up the wonderful interface of my TiVo Roamio. Yet, the extra $50/month in my pocket will help to ease the pain.

Speaking of interfaces, for the Playstation Vue app on Apple TV, does anyone know how to keep the on-screen menu from disappearing after only a few seconds? It's incredibly annoying, especially when you're not sure what you want to select.

Thanks guys, I wouldn't have had the courage to make the change without your show.

- Chad

 

 

 

Im excited about the vudu upc code add feature. I have over 800 movies on vudu 500 of them cane from the disc to digital at home feature. When doing it at home with a blu ray drive you get 50% off when you do 10 or more. Also when going from a blu ray to hd digital its only $2 before the discount. I love having them on vudu because i dont have to worry about wear and tear of disc or keepinh them in alphabetical order. It also makes it easier to share with my parents. I bet the upc code way is alot more accurate. I love the show.

- Kevin

 

 

My curious mind wanted to see if a Barcode from a picture of the blu ray cover online would also work, and it did. The barcode had to be a quality scan. A person could easily get 100 movies for $200 of they wanted to game the system here.

Keep up the good work.

- Tim

 

 


I do have a question I wanted to ask regarding authenticating broadcast channels. I'm able to use my SlingTV credentials to authenticate certain apps like WatchESPN, etc. However, I haven't seen a way to authenticate any of the broadcast channels for antenna users. Occasionally, I'll miss a show and will try to watch it on that channel's ATV app or website. Many of them are now wanting you to authenticate provider credentials which seems rather stupid since it's free, broadcast tv. Seems like they should at least provide antenna usage as an option. Do you know of anyway to do that?

Thanks in advance!

- Sonny

 

 

I recommends the Inteset INT-422 Universal Learning Remote on Amazon. This is a basic 4-in-1 remote, and comes pre-programmed to control a Roku, Apple TV, X-Box 360 and Media Center. Any of the device buttons that you don't want to use can be reprogrammed to control another device, and each individual button can be reprogrammed or even moved. This is nice because a few of the buttons to control the Roku were in weird spots so I moved them to a different button.

It also has some nice features like quick launch buttons for Netflix and Amazon Video, and volume and mute punch-through so they work in any mode.

I've had this set up for about a month and it has fully passed the wife test to the point that last night out of the blue she said "I really like this remote. Thank you for buying it."

And one of the best features is that it was only $26.

The one downside is it is an IR only remote, so the Roku needs to be line of site to work, but it's a small price to pay for the convenience of one remote.

If you need to get your remotes under control or just win points with your wife I highly recommend this remote.

Love the show!

- Biocow

 

 

Hey guys, thanks for all the good info but I have 1 request for the show. Most of the time when you talk about "what we're watching", the viewers get a all male perspective on the shows to watch. I was wondering if at least once a month that you could throw in a few things that your wives are watching. Since I was the one the one who initiated this whole cord cutting thing at our house, I feel it is my responsibly to bring my wife some content that may not be my cup of tea which is all Scifi, science and tech oriented. I am not saying that women don't like that stuff too but they sometimes cast a wider net than I do

Thanks for everything
- Mikey C

 

 


Hello gang! Paul from Dayton again. Thanks for reading my email last episode about my subtitle difficulties. Just wanted to follow up on a couple of things. I apologize for not mentioning which programs I use, sent the message a bit late at night lol. I use NextPVR to record video signals and Plex to play the video files back.

I believe you guys are right about the subtitles being embedded in the video signal. When I used Windows Media Center as my recording/playback software, I could enable subtitles easily by either pressing the subtitle button on the WMC remote, or by opening the menu with my mouse. In the new setup with Plex and Kodi, there are subtitle enabling buttons on the menu interface, but toggling these options do not bring up the subtitles. I'm guessing that something in NextPVR is either not enabled or not working, lol. Haven't found anything there which works either.

- Paul
 

 


Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

More evidence cord-cutting is not imaginary, AMC’s commercial-free service, Vudu’s disc-to-digital for phones, and the essential Expanse.

Download audio

Download video

CordKillers: Ep. 163 - Anthology Suicide
Recorded: March 27 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video


Primary Target

  • Whoa: Almost a third of Millennials have cut the cable cord
  • Surprise: There's one area where TV viewing is actually soaring
    - Pivotal Research analyzed Nielsen numbers and note
    - February english-language broadcast and ad-supported cable down 10.3% 18-49 and ad impressions down 7.2%
    - TV usage 18-49 for connected devices is 9.9% up
    from 6.2% last year and 3.6% two years ago
    - This does not count non-TV devices like laptops/tablets
    - Morning Consult survey
    - 29% adults 18-29 have no Pay TV
    - 33% cited cost, 20% cited quality of content on SVOD
    - More than half of Millennials, 54 percent, say they stream more than they watch regular TV. That’s compared to 40 percent of adults 30-44.


How to Watch

  • AMC Plans Ad-Free Streaming Service
    - AMC Plans to launch a commercial-free online video streaming service (sources told Reuters)
    - Require cable authentication
    - Feature digital-only spinoff shows
    - Cost $4.99 - $6.99 a month
  • Vudu can turn your old DVDs into HD digital copies, and all you need is a smartphone
    - Walmart's Vudu video service now allows users to "convert" movies on disc to UltraViolet digital copy. Users scan a movies barcode on their smartphone, and have the ability to buy a similar quality digital copy for $2, while upgrading from standard to high definition costs $5. Over 8,000 movies are supported, with support from Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines


Dispatches from the Front

Hey Tom, Brian and Bryce
I was listening to your discussion of the new ATSC 3.0 standard and Tom's concern that the spec included DRM. I wanted to let Tom know that the original ATSC spec (1.0 I guess) actually includes copy protection as well. A TV station can enable what's called a "Broadcast Flag" or rather a flag in the signal that limits how and where that video can be viewed.

I used to use Windows Media Center as my DVR and one of the local stations in Boston had that flag enabled. So I could record their content on my computer, but I could only watch it on that machine. If I tried to copy it to another computer or stream it, it would not play. Most stations, particularly local broadcasters, do not enable this flag.

So hopefully the inclusion of DRM in the new spec Won't cause any issues.

Here is an article about the "Broadcast Flag"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadcast_flag

Love the show, keep the the great work.
- Chip from Boston
 

 

 

A sign of things to come? Canada has a sports duopoly, with almost all english sports broadcasts done by Bell or Rogers. This week they invormed bars and restotaunts that they can no longer subscribe to regular packages to show games(at largely similar costs to home users) They must pay $120 on top of regular packages to get the 2 sports channels.
As subscription revenue drops, how long till US sports channels do the same? As ESPN goes through layoffs and crisis as it loses revenue, how long till they realize bars are a captive market that is able to be gouged much more than it currently is?

- Faiz

 

 

Hello Tom and Brian,

I wanted to mention a couple of developments with Plex that I heard about recently and am looking forward to testing out. Plex is currently in the process of rolling out a DVR feature that eliminates the need for a separate recording program, and one which will hopefully solve another issue that I discuss below. The other is Plex cloud, which allows the use of a user's cloud storage program such as Dropbox or Google Drive as a media folder in the device and make it much easier to watch videos anywhere one can connect to the cloud.

If I could, I'd like to pose a question to the Cordkillers community concerning DVR functionality. The setup I have now works reasonably well, with one exception.I have never been able to find a method for enabling subtitles and/or closed captioning within any of the programs I use. While not an absolute need, having some type of on-screen text can occasionally be helpful & I wondered if anyone else has a method for enabling this feature.

Thanks again and keep putting out these great shows!

- Paul

 

 

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I just found The Expanse's "Interactive Story Guide" at http://www.syfy.com/theexpanse/enterthefuture/inside.
I'm finding this pretty late into the second season, but it fun to see where everything was relative to each other. You're presented with a diagram of the solar system, and you can highlight different areas, seeing where different ships are, who's on them, and what they've been doing. Best of all, you select what episode you're currently on, so you only see information up to that point in time and avoid any unwanted spoilers. I've not read the books, but this would have helped me keep track of things in the first part of season 1.

Love the show!
- Tom

 



Links

2017 Summer Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers
 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt

Netflix switches to thumbs and might edit shows for screen size. Plus, Tom actually watched Iron Fist.

CordKillers: Ep. 162 - Rusted Fist
Recorded: March 20 2017
Guest: none

Intro Video

Primary Target


How to Watch


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • ABC News’ Apple TV app will now let you have up to four of its dozen news feeds on screen at once.
  • Unfinished Orson Wells gets a Netflix Commitment
    - The New York Times reports that Netflix has agreed to finance a restoration project for the unfinished Orson Wells film The Other Side of the Wind. Producers Frank Marshall, Filip Jan Rymsza and Peter Bogdanovich, had previously secured the rights to the unfinished film in 2014, but raised only $406,605 out of a needed $2 million in crowdfunding to complete the project. Netflix's agreement will require a renegotiation with the films rightsholders.
  • The truth about cord cutting? More talk than snips.
    - Crimson Hexagon, a social media analytics company, found that discussion of cord cutting is more common than the actual practice. Mentions of cord cutting have risen from roughly 20,000 posts at the end of 2013 to 120,000 last autumn, a 600% rise. But the number of actual number of cable households has not declined by that much of course.
  • The Matrix is reportedly getting a reboot
    - The Hollywood Reporter has sources who say Warner Bros. is in the early stages of developing a Matrix reboot with Zak Penn being sought to write the Treatment and Creed’s Michael B. Jordan as a headliner.

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Cordkillers,

Just wanted to throw my 2 cents (or rather yen) in here. In the last episode, you were talking about flipping through channels on analogue cable TV before digital. A streaming service with a similar feature launched in Japan last year.

It’s called Ameba TV and the interface is designed to allow swiping through channels of content quickly and easily, There’s almost zero lag between channels & you can even see the edges of other channels as you browse. It does have a programme guide (which mostly seems to be for their paid premium DVR service) but the app & channels are totally free! 20+ channels of content, available on streaming devices & mobile. (Only in Japan… :P)

- Kaylee

 

 



Hey I absolutely LOVE the podcast and I did subscribe. Quick thought on Viacom and CBS. I couldn't care less about anything on their channels. I don't think they have anything like walking dead or game of thrones to give them much leverage so they're probably hurting themselves. Also I was really let down by CBS all access. I tried it out but all the classic shows like star trek, cheers, and others have their entire back catalogue available on both Hulu and Netflix and I think some on prime. What I really wanted was Big Bang theory but didn't even get the current season. Just the most recent 4 or so episodes and in my area I can't even get live cbs stream so this is hot garbage as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks guys, love the show!

- Bill

 

 

Hey guys,

In response to Jon's question a few weeks ago about pre-ordering a physical disc and getting the digital copy early there are a few options. The first is Vudu's awesome Disc + Digital service where you can pre-order the Blu-ray on Vudu.com or even the mobile apps and you get instant access to the digital copy:

http://www.vudu.com/movies/#featured/14106/DVDs-Blu-Rays

Shipping is sometimes free, sometimes not (it has been for me but I often order within their promotional periods on new movies) and comes from Walmart.com usually very close to if not before the physical release date. The only major downsides to the service is they currently don't work with UHD Blu-ray's (sometimes you can pre-order the UHD Blu-ray from Walmart.com and get the digital copy, what they refer to as Instawatch, when it comes out but it's a crapshoot at best) and neither Warner Brothers or Disney titles are available through the Disc + Digital program. Also the program has been riddled with some technical glitches as of late which never affected me by the way.

The other option is through Bestbuy.com which I am not as familiar with but if you pre-order select titles like Sing they will email you a digital copy code soon after then ship you the disc when it comes out.

Hope this information is helpful.

-Kenny

 

 

 

Hi Tom and Brian,

In your discussion of Britbox, I started thinking "How DO you create a successful back-catalog streaming service?" You mentioned Netflix's lackluster initial offerings when it was called "Netflix Streaming". But that was OK for them because they were a successful DVD-by-mail company. Amazon's initial offerings did nothing to pique my interest, but I didn't care because all I wanted was the 2-day shipping. Any other successful service that focuses on back-catalog falls into the category of being the owners of the content they're making available: Hulu, CBS All-access, HBO Go/Now.

Can you think of any path to success for a streaming service that primarily offers back-catalog without either having some OTHER successful moneymaking venture or by being the content owners themselves?

Love the show,
- Tom 

 

 

 

As a British ex-pat in US (there are 3/4 million of us). This was a huge promise and a total failure in execution. My biggest hate is no news except "the papers". Question time, newsnight, panorama all missing. The classic comedy is just PBS left overs. No classic BBC shows like "Two Ronnies" & "Dave Allen". So I'm going to be sticking with YouTube since it has a better selection of classic BBC TV than this services which should be called BritSoapBox.

- Mark

 


Links

2016 Winter Movie Draft
patreon.com/cordkillers

 

Posted
AuthorTom Merritt