Cordkillers 194 - Accomplished Cord Murderers

What's going to happen to House of Cards? Apple TV 4K gets more reasonable controls. Might Disney buy its way back into controlling X-Men and Fantastic 4?

CordKillers: Ep. 194 - Accomplished Cord Murderers
Recorded: November 6 2017
Guest: Iyaz Akhtar

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney
    - CNBC has sources who say 21st Century Fox has been holding talks with Disney over a potential sale of everything but news and sports. The idea would be to sell international assets and movie and TV production to Disney. In other words , X-Men and Deadpool would come back to Marvel. Fox's leaderhsip supposedly fears it will not be able to compete on its own with Netflix and Amazon.

How to Watch

  • Apple TV 4K top get finer tuned controls in update
    - The Apple TV tvOS 11.2 update (in beta as of last Monday) will let users set the Apple TV to automatically switch display settings to native frame rate and dynamic range. Two separate options.
    - Apps must be adapted to respect the new settings.
    - Currently Apple TV picks the highest settings a TV can do and shows everything at that rate by upscaling if necessary. Manual tweaks are necessary for each video.
    - The simpler setting will remain the default. Apple is concerned the new setting will upset some users as it causes flickers when adjusting the display.

What to Watch

  • Netflix drops Kevin Spacey from House of Cards
  • Netflix developing a House of Cards spinoff
    - Friday in statement Netflix said “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore, which was in post-production, starring and produced by Kevin Spacey."
    - Media Rights Capital says that Spacey has been suspended from House of Cards, effective immediately.
    - Season 6 production had begun with Spacey. Production suspended Oct. 31.
    - The Verge mentions the producers may consider killing off Frank Underwood.
    - Variety reports Netflix in "very early stages" a spinoff, centering on Doug Stamper, with EP of seasons 1-4 Eric Roth attached. Two other spinoff ideas are being explored.
  • Netflix film 'Tau' will feature an evil smart house
    - Netflix has acquired rights to Tau, from Marvel animatics director Federico D'Alessandro. a former street grifter named Julia (played by Maika Monroe) who is kidnapped by sadistic Alex (Ed Skrein) and held captive by an advanced artificial intelligence named Tau. Also stars Gary Oldman.
  • Iyaz's Netpicks segment for November

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • ‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series Shopped With Huge Rights Payment Attached
    - Variety reports Amazon is in "very early" talks with Warner Bros. and the Tolkien estate on a series based on Lord of the Rings. The Tolkien Estate has also approached Netflix and HBO, although HBO has reportedly passed. CEO Jeff Bezos is supposedly personally involved. Deadline says the rights alone would cost $200-$250 million. Rights may not encompass all characters either.
  • Nielsen Says Stranger Things Is a Big Hit. But Netflix Says Their Numbers Are Upside Down
    - Nielsen says its estimates show 15.8 million people in the US watched the first episode of Stranger Things in the first three days, putting the show alongside Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. Netflix said, “the data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”
  • Streaming Services Help Fuel Growth at CBS as Political Ads Decline
    - CBS reported earnings and cited a 3% revenue climb on affiliate and subscription fee growth of 52% led by boxing on Showtime, higher retrans fees for local TV stations and digital growth including CBS All Access. A new sports OTT venture called CBS Sports HQ is set to launch in the coming months. Content licensing and distribution fell 22% and ad revenue dropped 5% with no election to juice ad sales.
  • Netflix adds 4K streaming for Comcast Xfinity X1 users
    - Netflix has added 4K streaming functionality to its app on the Comcast Xfinity X1 set-top box. Netflix is available in 4K on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast Ultra, Roku, Sony TV, and more.

Dispatches from the Front

Your discussion about the possibility that interface is king hit home. While my family subscribes to various streaming services we have not gone beyond shaving the cord. We have DirecTV with DVR. We put 100% of all the TV shows that we watch on the list. The only time we care about what time and channel a show comes on is during the setup process. When it’s time to watch TV we go directly to the DVR list. Once the DVR list is clear we switch to finding a show to binge on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. I have been looking at alternatives such as the Plex Live TV with DVR but nothing works at cleanly as the setup we have now. If DirecTV really wanted to lock me in (so I’d quit looking) is to set up their DVR so that it would pull shows from streaming services into the list. Why can’t Star Trek Discovery show up ready to watch right next to The Walking Dead?

On a completely different subject. The Orville is proving to be a classic Star Trek type series (albeit less stiff) giving us the traditional story of the week while Discovery has gone the modern route of serialized drama. I find I like both series and it got me thinking. Is there still room for traditional story of the week shows or are they old fashioned?

- Troy



I just wanted to point out something cool I noticed after activating Movies Anywhere. A couple years ago, I used VUDU's Disc to Digital service to convert some of my DVDs to digital copies for a few bucks a piece. I had forgotten about them until they popped up in my iTunes library after I activated Movies Anywhere. Back then, you had to put the DVD in your computer's old-fasioned "disc drive" to confirm you had the physical copy. Now, you can just scan the barcode on the DVD case with your phone using the VUDU app. I tried this with a couple Harry Potter DVDs we recently got from Goodwill, and it worked flawlessly. I had Prisoner of Azkaban playing on the Apple TV faster than it would have taken to find the DVD remote.

Quick note: if you only pay the $2 for a standard definition copy, it seems that you will only get the standard def in iTunes. I was hoping it wouldn't notice and do the HD version, but alas, I know own Goblet of Fire in 480.

Hope some of you find this useful!

- Andrew




Regarding spoilers and getting a better experience of the show knowing upcoming plots:
I am binge watching "insert show here", one of the characters is hinted that she will be dead by the end of the season, I look it up and yes, her character is not returning next season.
Me knowing that a character that has been on the show since day one will not return makes it more enjoyable for me to enjoy the show as I can process the upcoming death scene.
- Sina




Having worked as a software engineer for a very large financial entity , I have a pretty solid understanding of how statistical experiments work.

The thing is, every experiment basically boils down to establishing causality between two variables. If I change X, does it affect Y and if so how much?

Most "Bad" studies fail because they either:
1) fail to properly define their variables
2) fail to properly establish causality
(i'm simplifying majorly here but it's the gist)

The problem nelson faces is how to properly define the variables. However I don't think this is a impossible task. Taking the netflix example , you can pretty easily run an experiment to establish "if movies of this genre appear on their home screen then they're more likely to like this procedural drama" etc

so I think Nielsen still has a pretty good future.

- Sean




I loved the discussion about Movies Anywhere in Episode 191. I was so excited, I signed up at my first available opportunity. Connecting all the services went VERY smoothly on my cell phone EXCEPT for iTunes (I'm an Android), but I even got that connected once I got to a desktop. Libraries on the various services either updated immediately or with a refresh.

According to this article in The Verge, 4K upgrades are apparently limited to Apple titles:

Example: I own Glory in HD on Vudu (Disc upgrade). It is available on all of the other services, but there is a 4K version on Amazon. I do not have access to that one, even after registering with Movies Anywhere.

I hope other studios get on board with the 4K upgrades. It also irks me that the 4K versions of some movies are only available on one service (two I know about: Star Trek Beyond is only 4K on Vudu, Glory is only 4K on Amazon). This obstacle will slow the adoption of 4K - convenience trumps fidelity!

Your Boss :)
- Chris 




I love the show, I've been listening for a little over a year now as well as heeding your advice.

My wife and I are just starting to watch Game of Thrones and I'd love to listen to your guys' past perspectives in Spoilerin' Time from season 1 forward.

What was the number of Patrons that you needed to be able to catalog Spoilerin' Time by show?

- Casey


2017 Winter Movie Draft

Tom Merritt3 Comments