Cordkillers 156 - Please Pretend You Have Cable

Which streaming services are too expensive, why Comcast charges extra for a Roku app, and who didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

CordKillers: Ep. 156 - Please Pretend You Have Cable
Recorded: February 6 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

How to Watch

  • Comcast Xfinity App on Roku Will Carry Additional Monthly Fee, Unless It’s Your Primary TV Outlet
    - There are headlines out there saying Comcast will charge equipment fees for subscribers who use its new Roku app. There are two situations to consider. One is while the app is in beta, right now, and one after the app leaves beta.
    - So. During beta, the Comcast Roku app cannot be used without having an Xfinity Box on the same network. It’s essentially using that box as a kind of authentication. During the beta no extra fee is assessed.
    - After beta, the app can be used on its own and Comcast will treat it the same as if someone is using their own TiVo with CableCard. That means if the app is your primary outlet for TV you get a $2.50 credit on your bill. If you continue using an Xfinity box, the Roku is seen as an additional outlet with a charge of $9.95, minus the $2.50 credit. The same currently applies to a TiVo as a second device.


What to Watch


What We're Watching


Front Lines

  • The FCC Is Voting on Changing Broadcast TV Standards
    -The US FCC will vote February 23rd on initial approval for voluntary adoption of the broadcast standard ATSC 3.0. ATSC 3.0 allows 4K TV, geolocation of broadcast signals and interactivity. The standard can wake up receivers for emergency alerts, and target those alerts on a street by street basis. It also allows better audience measurement and can support more encryption and access restriction of signals. ATSC 3 is not supported by most existing equipment, so the FCC will require ATSC 1.0 signals to continue while ATSC 3 is rolled out. South Korea adopted ATSC 3 in 2016.

  • Facebook is reportedly making an app for set-top TV boxes
    - The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is developing a video app for set-top streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV. Facebook is supposedly asking media companies to develop TV-quality shows that Facebook can license for the app. The shows could be up to 10 minutes long with both sports and scripted shows. According to the sources, Facebook considered developing video streaming apps over several years, but in the summer of 2016 decided to make video a top priority. Mark Zuckerberg told analysts in the company's earnings call that Facebook is, "focusing more on shorter form content to start.”

  • Plex acquires Watchup to bring streaming news to its media app
    -Home media streaming app maker Plex has acquired Watchup. The streaming news service aggregates content from 170 news sources, including local channels, letting users customize newscasts by selecting topics and liking or disliking reports so the app can learn what kind of news is preferred. Plex intends to use the personalization technology for other content in the future. Plex also added Amazon Voice Services support so you can control Plex with your Amazon Echo. 

  • Netflix engineers hacked a brain-controlled interface
    - As part of a Netflix Hack Day, four designers created MindFlix, using a brainwave-reading Muse headband to control the Netflix interface. Great if you lose the remote. Other hacks from the day included a picture-in-picture mode to see what other profiles on your account are watching, a donation feature for films tied to a charity, and Stranger Things as an Atari-like video game.

  • This Netflix extension for Chrome is your shortcut to a ton of hidden categories
    - A new Chrome extension called Netflix Categories is the latest effort to let you get easier access to the full Netflix library. Basically it’s a little search bar with more than 100 of the subcategories Netflix has which you can then bookmark. Netflix reportedly has 76,897 micro-genres, and creator Deekshith Allamaneni promises to keep adding more to the extension.


Dispatches from the Front

 On the cat recap of The Expanse:

It doesn't surprise me that people aren't watching the cat recap. In a world where it is now inevitable that the show will pop up on a service where I can binge it later, why would I risk spoiling myself with a silly YouTube video? The Expanse is exactly that show for me; I've heard so many good things about it from you guys over the past 2 years, but until it popped onto Amazon Prime recently, I was literally unable to view it (outside of piracy) because Syfy didn't put it anywhere without a cable sub. So I am just now 4 episodes into the 1st season... and I'll hold at season 1 until season 2 shows up for Prime. No way am I going to risk watching a silly 'cathup' video now.

- Gabriel




Hey Killers,

I was surprised when you guys said that you need an authentication to watch Adult Swim because you can stream Adult Swim for free on their site! Not only that, but they offer multiple streams:

Adult Swim Live Stream
Williams Stream
Animation Marathon
Live Action Marathon
The Venture Bros. Marathon
Tim and Eric Marathon
Off the Air Marathon
Ghost Planet Marathon

Check out the streams here:

- Amar



Hey there. Blind listener from southern England. Been listening since you were frame rate. Hope I can answer the questions that your listener asked from Massachusetts who is moving to England. The main services that people use over here are Netflix, Amazon, obviously, BBC iPlayer, all four, ITV hub, my five, uk tv play, TV player which offers about 100 free channels and 30 paid channels with Some on demand content and now tv. A majority of these services are free to use but will have adds. You can watch a majority of US shows with at least one of those services. For example, sky has the rights to most HBO content which means that now tv will have that. Channel 5 often get the rights to most CBS drama, Channel 4 have the rights to the majority of the CW dramas. Netflix often carry shows from the US exclusively as they are aired out in the states. Things like pretty little liars and once upon a time are classic examples of this. Same goes for things like Mr robot and preacher on Amazon Prime. The other thing is, it is very easy to be a cord cutter over here. I have not had satellite TV or cable for about two years now. We get about 100 channels over the air for free over here. All you really need is a free view box which can cost you anything between £20 to £100 depending on the functionality you want it to have and a decent antenna. You are only really out of luck here if you want Spanish television. There isn't really a big Spanish community here so it's very hard to get that content. You are in luck though if you are South Asian and love Indian content. There are two Indian channels on free view and if you get satellite, there are about 50 to 100 channels depending on the package you have. Hope that helps. Love the show. I have plenty of friends in the US so I am interested in what you guys do as far as TV is concerned. Keep up the good work. Sent from my iPhone

- Mathew



My current setup uses NextPVR to record the shows (a free option with a very small payment for channel guide data) and a combination of Plex and Kodi to playback the files. The main advantage for Plex is that file playback is similar to any of the streaming services in that I can begin watching on one device, stop, and continue on another at the exact point I left. In addition,...While Plex is much easier to setup and use for streaming, Kodi seems to work better with files that have some corruption in the recording, hanging up far less often than Plex. ...

A recent development essentially combined the two, with Plex producing an add-on for the Kodi program. The end result allows for navigation of the plex database using the remote, and incorporating some of Kodi's processing power to deal with corruptions in the playback.

Thanks for providing an entertaining and informative show on navigating the cordcutting world, and long live the cordcutting revolution!

- Paul



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