Cordkillers Ep. 39 - Dongle War

Why Comcast is almost giving you what you want and driving out competition at the same time. And why Chromecast is winning the dongle war!

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CordKillers: Ep. 39 - Dongle War
Recorded: October 9, 2014
Guest: None

Intro Video 

Primary Target

Signal Intelligence

  •  "The TV model is broken,” says ISP that stopped offering pay-TV 
  • -Oklahoma comapny BTC Broadband dropped TV service for its 420 subscribers because of the expense.
    - bills would rise from $60 to $130
    - National Cable Television Cooperative negotiates on behalf of small cablecos. but also todl the WSJ “small companies "representing about 53,000 customers have shut off cable-TV services or gone out of business" since 2008”
  • Comcast beefs up X1 cloud-based cable in San Francisco
  • -Meanwhile Comcast has X1 a service that is just a hair’s breadth from being Internet-only cable
    - full TV lineup on any connected screen in their home, and they can download any programs recorded on their cloud DVR to a gadget to watch them outside the home too.
    - X1 is in 8 cities

Gear Up

Front Lines

Under Surveillance

On our Radar

Dispatches from the Front

Hey Brian. Hey Tom. Sorry it took so long to become yall's boss. I've been listening since the beginning of FrameRate. Anyway, Brian, I am a 6th grade science teacher up in Taylor (about 16 miles east of Round Rock). If you're ever in the area and want some Louie Mueller BBQ, hit me up; I owe you some! Also, if you've ever got a free day and feel like doing magic for some 11 year olds, Taylor Middle School would be a great place to do it . . .

Anyway, I real question:

You guys have talked about the Netflix problem of not being able to decide what to watch. One solution I've heard is for Netflix to have a station that would automatically pick something it thinks you will like and play it for you, kinda like Pandora.

But here's a different solution I don't think I've heard anyone suggest:

I don't want a personalized station just for me. I want to watch something I know that thousands, or millions, of other people are watching at the same time. What if Netflix had genre specific stations that showed the same thing to EVERYBODY at the same time. It would be great to tune to the Netflix Sci-Fi station and catch a show or movie I know nothing about right in the middle, like we always used to. If I like it, then I could tweet out 'hey, check out what's on Netflix Sci-Fi right now'.

Any thoughts?




My Amazon Prime subscription just renewed and was the first time at the $99 rate. I use prime for so much, the $99 didn't bother me at all. But, it got a question in my mind regarding Amazon bundling everything and their dog under the "Prime" umbrella.

If you had to choose just one, Netflix or Amazon Prime, which would it be?

To me, although I watch Netflix much more than Amazon Prime right now, the choice would absolutely be Amazon. There is just too much other value to be had there.

Just a question I thought might be interesting.




Thought I'd write in and tell you guys what happened to me the other day. My friend sent me a link to a youtube video the other day, and I decided to Chromecast it to my TV. I turn on the TV and a preroll ad starts playing... and then another, and then another! I was so confused, because you usually only get one ad before a youtube video.
All of a sudden I realized my chromecast hadn't switched the input for me, and my TV was displaying the signal from my OTA antenna...
Oh, right... this is how people used to watch TV!

Sam a Cord-Never

P.S. Transparent on Amazon Instant is one of the best TV shows I've seen all year, thanks for the recommendation.


Dog House Systems Cordkiller box

Tom MerrittComment