Cordkillers 203 - If This Then TiVo

Hulu tries to shape up, but what is its future? TiVo gets voice connected. With special guest Derrick Chen.

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CordKillers: Ep. 203 - If This Then TiVo
Recorded: January 15 2018
Guest: Derrick Chen

Intro Video

Primary Target

  • Hulu is growing. By how much? Good question.
  • New Hulu interface
    - Hulu reached 17 million subscribers up 5 million since May 2016.
    - Showed off new interface
    - Live TV guide for quick navigation to what's on now and seeing what is on in the next couple of hours
    - On demand shows can be started over from the beginning
    - Filtering options for movies, kids etc
    - More tools for suggestions and removing items you don't like
    - Scheduled for a Spring 2018 launch

How to Watch

  • TiVo DVRs will take commands from Alexa and Google Assistant
    - TiVo will add Amazon Voice Services and Google Assitant and smart home integration through the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
    - Amazon - navigation control
    - Google Home - searching for shows and tying in with other devices (such as dimming the lights when you're ready to watch
    - IFTTT support could deliver a lot more when combined with speakers and other smart home devices.

What to Watch

What We're Watching

Front Lines

  • Netflix was 2017’s top non-game app by revenue
    - Sensor Tower reports Netflix was the top earning non-game app across Android and iOS. Sensor Tower estimates Netflix saw 138% growth in subscriber revenue over the year to knock Spotify off the top spot.
  • Netflix, Amazon, and major studios sue maker of “free TV” box
    - Netflix and Amazon have joined Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. against the makers of the Dragon Box, for linking users to infringing content. The Dragon Box uses Kodi and Android. The Dragon Box prompts users to install more than 80 add-ons including one that promises to stream premium cable and sports networks.
  • Apple's Next TV Show Is a 'World-Building Drama'
    - Apple has signed a deal for an “epic, world-building drama” called See, directed by Francis Lawrence, who also did the Hunger Games movies. See will be set in the future. Actors have yet to be chosen for roles and it’s unknown when the series will premiere.
  • Marvel is finally giving Black Widow her own movie
    - Variety reports that Marvel has hired screenwriter Jac Schaeffer to write a script for a Black Widow movie. Black Widow has been in most of the Avengers related movies but always in a supporting role. Schaeffer wrote the reboot of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, called Nasty Women, due out later this year as well as Olaf's Frozen Adventure.
  • Podcasts are coming to Plex, followed by web series and other digital media
    - Plex announced it will add podcasts to its app this year. Plex is also talking to video creators to add content to Plex.Podcasts and other creator videos will benefit from Plex's recommendation engine.
  • Samsung TVs tap Bixby for voice, SmartThings for home control
    - Samsung's voice assistant Bixby will appear on its 2018 TVs. There's also a universal guide that combines streaming and cable sources in one place. and makes recommendations based on the shows you watch.

Dispatches from the Front

Dear CordKillers,

I was a cord-never for many years and when DirectvNow announced they were going to have the "Hallmark Channel" I signed up as a Christmas present for my wife in 2016. I am grandfathered in on their "Go Big" tier for $35/month promotion vs $60/month. Now Hallmark Channel is advertising their sister channel "Hallmark Movies and Mysteries" and my wife is asking me how we can get it. Unfortunately DirectvNow only has the new channel on their lowest tier. This specific channel/network seems to be the only one that gets removed when you go up a tier.

Reading on reddit it seems that DirectvNow copied this model from DirecTV.

Can you make any sense of this from a business reason? Hallmark doesn't seem to release any of their content as shows that can be bought from somewhere like Brian is so found of.

- John




I share your love for Star Trek Voyager for many of the same reasons. It was the first Star Trek show my wife and I could both agree to watch.

I don't tend to hold on to many things, but I still have DvDs (and many CD ROMs) containing the barely watchable episodes of the series that I downloaded from kaaza way back then, complete with severely pixelated video, almost unbearable sound quality and German subtitles.

When we moved into our own place in DC, I put them on and went through all 78 disks while we were waiting for the internet to be installed. It took me right back to those days (I'd just flunked out of college and was waiting tables and trying to figure life out and it was our escape).

Thanks for reminding me of that again :)

- Davey




Hi guys.

Matt, Regular blind listener from the UK here. In the last episode, you were talking about anime strike rolling into the main prime service. Seems to be that a couple of different channels have done this. My girlfriend is Indian and watches a lot of Bollywood content. Seeing as Netflix has reduced the amount of Bollywood movies it seems to have on it’s service now, in the UK at least, we subscribed to a service last month called Hira which cost us £3.99 a month. Got an email this month just after my subscription went out saying that Amazon have cancelled my subscription as the channel has left and that All of the movies within that channel have been rolled into the main prime subscription. This seems to be correct as there is now a new category in our movies section called Bollywood and South Asian. Wondering if this is a new trend with Amazon. Something else I want to alert some of your blind listeners to, and I know there are a few. There is a new feature in iOS 11 and the new Apple TV OS which allows blind people to read subtitles automatically with voice-over. This means that we can now watch foreign language content, where we couldn’t before. All a person has to do is wait for the movie to start playing, then use the voice over rotor and turn on a setting called media description. This also supports Braille displays for those people who are lucky enough to be able to afford one. Hope this information is useful. Love the show.

- Mathew



Gentlemen and guest, as one of your bosses, I wanted to get your opinion. Why do movies, and shows on HBO, Netflix and Amazon etc., need so much cussing? Went to see "Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" last night, and though I really enjoyed it, it seems the language was excessive. Do people really talk that way? I would never call my mother or daughter a cu*nt, no matter how ticked off I was at them. If you say mf every sentence, it loses it's effect. I wonder if people really talk this way or are movies going to influence them so that they do! OK flame away, thanks

- Steve




 Curious what do you guys use for sound while watching movies at home. I live in a,apartment looking for suggestions and also how important is sound quality to you guys?

- Melvin



2017 Winter Movie Draft


Tom Merritt2 Comments