Cordkillers 173 - Super Crazy Magic Hands

Plex goes live, Tablo adds more tuners, and Apple TV gets ready to add Amazon.

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CordKillers: Ep. 173 - Super Crazy Magic Hands
Recorded: June 5 2017
Guest: None

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Plex becomes a low-cost, DIY streaming TV service
    - Plex has added the ability to stream Live TV and expanded the number of tuners it works with beyond HD HomeRun to now include Hauppauge, Avermedia and others. Live TV is provided by the user, either from an over-the-air source or a cablecard device like HDHomeRun’s. Live TV and the existing DVR function are available to PlexPass subscribers at $5 a month., $40 a year or $120 lifetime. The feature is launching on Android TV and iOS with Android mobile and Apple TV to follow.

How to Watch

  • Tablo launches its next-gen DVR for cord cutters, the more compact Tablo DUAL
    - Tablo DUAL
    - Two tuners
    - 20 percent smaller case
    - 64GB built-in storage
    - USB port can add up to 8 TB
    - Tablo works by plugging into antenna then streaming video over the home WiFi network to up to 6 devices simultaneously.)
    - $4.99/month subscription to the expanded TV guide offering episode and series synopses, cover art, and metadata for the two weeks ahead.
    - The Tablo DUAL will be sold beginning on June 4th for $249.99 exclusively at Best Buy stores and online in the U.S. and Canada.

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines

Dispatches from the Front

Greetings Cordkillers crew,

On the previous episode, Lisa wrote in about her decision to cancel Starz's streaming service because it didn't offer anything of interest beyond American Gods, and she'll just wait to purchase it in a year when it's made available. Brian praised her for making a ""logical"" decision, while your guest, Ron Richards, balked at the idea of waiting that long to watch the show. Perhaps there's a way for Lisa to have her cake and eat it too?

Instead of waiting a year and paying anywhere from $25 to $40 to own the first season, why not wait until the season ends and just pay another $8-10 for the streaming service and binge watch it within the month? She'll get to watch it sooner and pay a lot less to do so.

Keep up the great work!
- Jesse




Hey Killers,

I've been running a Plex server for years to keep my library of ripped DVDs, Blu-rays, music and photos available to stream on just about any device. We have an antenna for over the air TV but I'd never bothered to get a tuner to setup Plex DVR until I heard about the live-TV support so I decided to drop $70 on a Hauppauge WinTV-DualHD and try it out. Setup was super easy. It scanned for channels and found most. I could swear I was able to pick up a CBS affiliate before, but it's not finding it. Streaming live works great on my iPhone/iPad but it does take several seconds to connect and buffer. Unfortunately, those are the only devices I have that live TV works on. I see it's coming to Apple TV soon but I hope the Roku gets some live TV love soon too. I have a Roku connected to our "media room" TV and the TV in the bedroom is a TCL Roku TV, so that's what we use for Plex and all of our streaming needs. I like the guide functionality and regular DVR functions for scheduling recordings are nice, although I know those aren't new but new to me. With Hulu Plus commercial-free though, there's really not much I'd record with it but being able to watch live TV on the Roku without leaving the Plex environment and having the guide information available will be nice if/when Roku gets it.

Thanks guys,

Your patron,

- Tony




Tip for getting stubborn media into Vudu -
For dumb-nonsense-millennial reasons, I've been in the process of getting rid of ALL of my physical media and local storage, and switching over to cloud storage for my media. I decided the best option for me was to do the Disc to Digital conversion on Vudu. I have a decent mix of DVDs and Blu-Rays so it was another nice opportunity to upgrade my 480p content to 1080p. I also like that the movies don't use any storage on my cloud storage providers. Anyway, While doing the conversion I found that some of my barcodes wouldn't scan for one reason or another (Missing back cover, old Blockbuster sticker over the barcode etc). So after hitting my head against the wall trying to do image searches for the back cover to scan, I found an excellent website that solved the issue UPC Item Database ( You just type in the name of the movie in the product search, and then it'll provide the UPC barcode for the item. Every movie that I couldn't scan physically I was able to find and convert without issue. Hopefully this tip might help anyone in the same situation.

- Dan




Tom and Brian,

First of all, thanks for a great podcast that has been very relevant to me over the past few months as I’ve been making the journey into cord-cutting. Secondly, my apologies for the extended email. I only recently found your podcast at the tail end of my cord-cutting journey and was happy to see that my experiences fell very much in line with the content of your show. I decided to catch up on previous Cord Killer airings (not the Spoilerin’ Time editions) just to be sure I was caught up with all the latest news and talk. I figured that going back into 2016 would not have provided too much value simply based on how quickly things have been moving and changing in this space. Is binge-listening a thing? Well, it certainly was for me.

Now that I’m “live” and done with my consumption of about two episodes per day, I’d like to share with you my experiences, thoughts and suggestions. I hope they serve to validate the efforts you guys put forth in producing such an excellent, interesting and funny show. I find that they show maintains a great pace, breaks up aspects of the Cord Killing Revolution in easily digestible chunks and manages to do so intelligently and humorously.

With all that out of the way, here’s what I have to contribute….

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Brian has recently lamented several times about making choices either before during or after cutting the cord. The biggest of which is how to supplement the whole “Live TV” experience for those who want to cut the cord and send TMF (Two Middle Fingers) over to their favorite cable provider. He mentioned once about providing advice to someone directly and said how difficult it was to encapsulate what he knows for someone else. Sure, you don’t want to lead people astray but you don’t want to dissuade them from making the journey. For myself, that journey included some luck and a whole lot of research. As much research and information I managed to cobble together likely isn’t even a fraction of what you guys have learned and know given the time you’ve devoted to cord cutting.

I do believe that there is room to provide an easy path to help those who’d love to cut the cord but don’t have the foggiest idea of how to go about it. There’s no single site that gives you everything you need in an easy to understand manner. Such a solution could help move the needle even further on the cord cutting dial. Personally, I knew I’d have to provide live TV for my wife as she loves various network broadcast shows. Picking a skinny bundle was a big thing as didn’t want to go through too many changes. So I did what I always do, make a spreadsheet. I collected all the data and used a spreadsheet to help me compare. Sure, not everyone will go through the effort but for me it was needed.

The opportunity here would be for a site where you could enter key aspects of your viewing preferences and have it spit out maybe one or two suggestions. How important are sports, movies, TV shows? How many people are watching TV? Are there specific shows that are must-haves? A fairly simple set of questions that could guide people on where to start.

A new Cord Killer segment suggestion…

I enjoy all your current segments from Frontlines to What to Watch and Dispatches. In keeping with the mostly military theme of the show I’d like to suggest a section called Battle Ground. It would be a way to compare similar products, services or aspects that relate to cord cutting, The twist would be that you would not need to do the comparison directly as that takes time and access to all the items being compared. Instead, you’d ask your watchers, listeners, subscribers to submit their own feedback to next week Battle Ground combatants. “Next week, Battle Ground compares streamers. Send in your experiences and suggestions for discussion next week.”

As for Dispatches, gotta change the music intro. Needs to be more telegraph sounding. Doesn’t fit the “Killer” and combat theme of the show.

My Journey…

I had DirecTV for 15 years and was fed up with the cost increases and lousy customer service. My TV bill for 4 TVs was over $165 when I finally said, “enough!”. On top of that we already had Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Several years ago I purchase a Sony Blu-Ray surround system that had all three OTT apps which made it easy to stream that content. I added an AppleTV to the living room and then a Roku for the kids and we had all the pieces in place to start the cord cutting.

I put a $50 antenna in the attic and connected it to a 2-tuner Tablo (bought a refurb unit from Tablo for $139 and a 2 TB hard drive for $65) and signed up for PS Vue. Been going great for a few months now. My only challenge has been Hallmark and Lifetime channels for the wife and daughter. Likely will have to supplement for a few months when their favorite shows come online with either Sling or DTV Now (would hate to give any more cash to DTV though).

I’ve played around with Plex as well and find that to be an interesting option. We’ll see where that goes.

I found it very easy to cancel DTV. I called up, cot transferred to retention and they said we’ll take $10 off for three months. I laughed and they said fine, we’ll send a box for our stuff. Next day, got the real call and they offered my same service for $85 a month, almost half what I was paying. Then the gotchas… That’s for three months, then it goes up $20. Then after 12 months it goes up another $20. No thanks. Never looked back.

I have Comcast internet with 90 meg download and I’m curious about their upcoming Instant TV offering. Who knows, might provide my missing pieces. I pay $50 a month which I think is fair. They always try to bundle me up but I just say no.

Thanks again for all you guys do. I’ll continue to listen every week now and see how things progress. I’ll check in if I feel I have something valuable to contribute. Look forward to seeing how all this fleshes out. I included the excel sheet in case it can help anyone else. Feel free to share.

Kindest Regards,

- Armando




"Hi Brian,Bryce,Tom,and somewhere in the chat room Jackie.

So I emailed you and said I delayed the unsub purge until June 1.Did I actually do it? Yes. I used my Ooma landline to call Charter around 12:30pm on June 1 before comuting to work that day.

The call took just under 6 minutes to complete.Durring the conversation with a woman,she only asked what channels do I watch?When I stated that I just don't need cable and mainly everything I watch is on the internet,she asked no more questions and preceded to process me for cancelling cable.

She did towards the end of the call become seemingly condescending as she stated my bill would only go down from $101.00 with the double bundle to $68.00 with just 60mbps internet.

I asked her why the internet was now $68.00 when it use to be $60.00 a month as of last year? She informed me Charter had raised prices as of February.When she asked me what day did I want cable service to end? I stated June 3.

I requested the 3rd as I had off of work on the 2nd and wanted to answer some questions I had with traditional cable and watch some recordings on the dvr before it all shut down 1AM CST on the 3rd.

Also,I placed my Hulu subscription on hiatus for 90 days as I'm taking the summer off and evaluating if I need it with Netflix and Amazon.

Finally,I'm one of those rare and getting more rare by the day traditional local paper subscribers.I signed up for 9.99 digital annual subscription vs the $149.99 for the Wednesday and Sunday paper.As I was billed for traditional paper for 3 months on May 29.I decided not to get a refund and August 30 will be my last paper.Did I continue subscribing to the paper after my mother's death 3 years ago for getting news? Not really.I've always been a fan of the comic section.I discovered I get 40 comic strips in 1 edition vs 40 tabs in a browser.Who needs more then 8gb of ram in a pc indeed.

Questions I had with cable on the last day.What channels did I get with my subscription? I honestly didn't know for close to 8 months I received BBC America and the Outdoor Channel.Those channels were always on what's known as digital tier 1.I was surprised to discover things reversed. Turner Classic Movies was always included with basic cable.Now it's on the premium digital tier 1 and BBC America is on the basic tier.

I had wondered why I was getting new Doctor Who on demand.Thought it was a mistake like with HBO on my Roku 3.For some reason HBO Go still works even though I was never a subscriber or received a free promo from Charter.

As for outdoor channel.I don't hunt and haven't fished in years.So why would I care? Because the channel guide showed me a film starring James Coburn I never saw. Called ""Duck You Sucker"" .I recored it and watched it before the DVR service ended.It was a really good spaghetti western.It had some great real explosions.And the digital restoration was superb.Definitely added the blu-ray to my Amazon wish list.

So in summary,I was taken for a ride when I re-subscribed to cable.But overall I don't have regrets.With cable,your paying to be first in line.But if you don't have the time,it's just not worth it.And frustrating when you want to watch a recording and the cable DVR will only play on the local connected tv only.

When my DVR shutdown,I had 6 episodes of Super Girl,The Flash,and Arrow totaling 18 episodes now streaming on Netflix.

- David


2017 Summer Movie Draft


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