Cord-Cutting is Over!

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Cord-Cutting is Over!
Number 119
Broadcast Date May 2, 2016
Episode Length 49:29
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Brian Ibbott

Cord-cutting is dead! So why do Hulu’s owners want to make an OTT service? Also FullScreen launches another service and TiVo finally courts cordcutters. But it’s dead you guys! With special guest Brian Ibbott.


Intro Video

Primary Target

Comcast grew subscribers by 53,000. Biggest in almost a decade. (last year shrunk by 8,000)
Inlcudes subscribers to OTT service “Stream TV”
Interestingly Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal noted a decline in subscribers to cable networks.
Added 15,000 subs (last year lost 12,000)
Added 21,000 residential customers (added 314,000 Internet subs)
The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu is planning a new web subscription service that would sell live and on-demand programming from the likes of ESPN, ABC, Fox and FX, for about $40 a month, starting early next year.

Signals Intelligence

FullScreen launched it’s own Platform
ElectroWoman and Dyna Girl among premiere shows
British comedians Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs, and US vlogger Shane Dawson
$4.99 a month
Comic-Con channel launching this week.

Gear Up

Rovi has agreed to purchase TiVo for $1.1 billion ($10.70/share) pending regulatory approval.
The Wrap reports the combined company will keep the TiVo name with Rovi CEO Tom Carson as head. - Rovi provides electronic gudie data to cable companies and others.
Both companies have analytics operations and make money licensing patents.
Coming May 2, Tivo’s Roamio OTA will get a 1 TB hard drive and come with lifetime service

Front Lines

NBCUniversal plans to acquire Dreamworks Animation for $3.8 billion. The deal is expected to close later this year. Dreamworks is the one with Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. The deal does not include Dreamworks Pictures which does live action movies like Bridge of Spies and is owned by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners. AND don’t forget Comcast owns NBCUniversal.
The Wrap says Amazon Studios is in early talks to produce original VR content. Two months ago a job listing indicated Amazon was putting together a VR team.
Amazon hired James DeLorenzo as an executive to head up a new sports group in March, according to his LinkedIn bio. DeLorenzo comes from Relativity Media and previously ran digital video for Sports Illustrated and helped Time Inc. launch 120 Sports video.
Time Warner is launching an on-demand movie service this autumn called FilmStruck, managed by the Turner Classic Movies People. The Criterion Collection will be moving off Hulu as of November and on to FilmStruck. No word on what day it will launch or how much it will cost.
Vimeo announced it's acquiring VHX, a service that helps people sell online video episodes and subscriptions. VHX helps sell episodes on the Web and recently added Apple TV support.

Under Surveillance

Jon Bernthal will return as The Punisher in a Punisher series on Netflix. That’s the 6th Marvel series on the platform.
Netflix is also bringing back Wet Hot American Summer set 10 years after the movie, and called Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. (At the end of the movie they agree to meet in 10 years at 9:30 AM.) David Wain and Michael Showalter will write and Wain will direct along with almost the entire original cast. Coming in 2017.
The BBC and Netflix are working on a four-part CGI adaptation of Watership down with James McAvoy, John Boyega, Nichola Hoult and Sir Ben Kinglsey. Coming to both BBC One and Netflix in 2017
And the last of the Netflix show news, Danger Mouse, which aired in the UK on BBC’s kids channel arrived on Netflix Friday April 29th.
Hulu is doing a 10-part adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss. Bruce Miller (The 100) wrote the script and will EP with Daniel Wilson who did the movie, Fran Sears and Warren Littefield.
Lucifer is streaming 13 hour-long episodes on Hulu and FOX apps. Also available on iTunes and Vudu. It's been picked up for a 2nd season, which should air next year.

Dispatches From The Front

FYI Margo Martingdale was NOT in THE Leftovers. The actress you are thinking of was Ann Dowd.

- Lehman

Because of studio paranoia, PC users haven't been able to take advantage of their hardware for video content. Steam is offering full 1080p movies at a user-selectable, locked bitrate -- unlike the Netflix "we'll decide to downgrade when we feel like it" system. Also, Netflix only streams in 1080p with the Windows 8/10 Metro app -- Win7 or Linux are left behind. The killer app for Steam will be if it offers UHD. I have a 4k monitor with Displayport and full HDCP support, but there's absolutely no legal way to watch any 4k movie content on it. None. I hope Steam plans to fill that void.

Sure, the HTPC crowd is tiny, but so are the new generation of HTPCs. Steam is thinking ahead about the PC being the one box to rule them all.

- BD

Dear Tom and Scott,

I can speak to technology as I experienced it in 1970, having been 8 years old at the time. Here are some details you may find interesting:

TV We had 3 channels on TV. 4, if you counted PBS. PBS was on UHF, the rest of them were on VHF. There was a switch on the TV to switch between the two. In the attic above our family room, there was an antenna. Every once in a while, my father would go up there and adjust it, when we were getting a particularly poor picture. One thing that was very annoying was when the vertical hold went off kilter and the picture would roll in a strange way that is like nothing we experience now. There was a dial on the TV you had to turn to try and adjust this. The TV we had in 1970 was encased in a nice wooden cabinet that sat directly on the floor. When it died, my father removed the electronics and made it into a cabinet that held the VCR and the a/b switch we used to switch between cable and VCR, and the TV sat on top of that. Phones

We had 2 extensions, which allowed for some interesting things. Like, I would be up in my parents' bedroom talking on the phone to a friend and my mother would pick up the phone downstairs to tell me dinner was ready. You could dial your own number followed by the first digit of your number again and hang up quick, and then your phone would ring. A neat trick to play from the upstairs phone to get mom to pick up the one downstairs. There was a number that you could call that would tell you the time and temperature. If you didn't want calls, you could take the phone off the hook. The early equivalent of ignoring calls. This was before answering machines, so the phone would just ring and ring until the caller hung up if you didn't answer. Hardly anyone ever just let it ring, though. Electricity

We had two special electric switch mini-console thingies in our house, one on each floor. They allowed you to turn on outdoor lights and one light in each room of the house. My mother would "blink the lights" in the family room to alert whoever was in there that she needed them upstairs.

I have to share one other thing, that's probably from later in the 70s, just because it's so hilarious. Our first cable TV came with a box that literally looked like the bottom part of a blender -- you know the ones with rows of buttons, and if you push one down the one that's pushed down pops up. Ours had 2 rows and a switch to switch between them, and a dial to adjust the picture. And a really long cord (yes, a cord) that reached from the TV to the couch or easy chair, so you could sit and change the channels without getting up. Our first remote control.

Love the show!

- Beelissa



Preceded by:
"Steam's Stream Dream"
Cord-Cutting is Over!
Followed by:
"Where’s Your ALF, HBO?"