Take the Cable Cleanse Challenge

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Take the Cable Cleanse Challenge
Number 139
Broadcast Date October 3, 2016
Episode Length 57:59
Hosts Brian Brushwood, Tom Merritt
Guests Fraser Cain

Cord-cutting hurts cable bottom lie but helps yours, says businessman. Netflix has lost half its content but do we care? With special guest Fraser Cain.


Intro Video

Primary Target

A company called cg42 estimates 800K customers will cut the cord in the next 12 months
CG42 is a management consulting firm and surveyed US customers
They say cable tv could lose nearly $1 billion, $1248 per customer
They estimate the average cord-cutter saves $104 a month
People tend not to spend more than $15 on streaming service after cutting the cord.
The average cord-cutter spends $83 on services and Internet combined
The average cable subscriber spends $187 on cable bill (double and triple plays etc.)
Contentment without cable or satellite “increases the longer they are away from paid-TV.”
1. Netflix (94% of cord cutters)
2. YouTube
3. Amazon Prime (About 50%)

How to Watch

Exstreamist has sources who claim to have used to work for Netflix
Catalog in 2012 est. at 11,000 movies and TV shows
Estimating on data from UNOGS.com current library is 5300 titles.
US FCC delayed vote on plan to require MVPDs to provide third-party access by apps
No timeline promised
"We are still working to resolve the remaining technical and legal issues and we are committed to unlocking the set-top box for consumers across this country.”
Sticking point is licensing terms for box makers
Wheeler wanted a standard license for all apps
Cable operators want the freedom to negotiate each license.

Under Surveillance

Netflix will distribute Duncan Jones next movie "Mute" starring Alexander Skarsgård and Paul Rudd. Mute is set in a futuristic Berlin, and will take place in the same world as Moon.
HBO renewwed High Maintenance for a second season. "The response to the new episodes exceeded all of our expectations," said HBO programming president Casey Bloys.
Amazon Greenlit "The Tick," "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" and "I Love Dick." They'll be available in the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan.

What We're Watching

Front Lines

The CW did in fact release apps for Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox, Fire TV, Android and iOS. They also list "Airplay" as a separate app. CW's superhero lineup returns to air Tuesday with the Flash, then Arrow Wednesday, Supergirl the following Monday and Legends of Tomorrow the following Thursday. The app requires no login but does have an option to opt-in to letting Nielsen collect data.
Xiaomi released it's android-powered Mi Box in the US for $69. It supports Google Cast and plays back 4K content at 60fps as well as HDR. It's available at Mi.com and Wal-Mart stores.
A new version of the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote is available for pre-order for $40 including a remote. In addition to voice-command capabilities the stick also gets upgraded from a dual to quad-core processor. Shipping begins October 20.
HBO and Cinemax are now available to subscribers of PlayStation Vue. You can either pay for the services for $15 a month on their own, or pay for the Ultra package which includes them. Ultra costs $65 or $75 a month depending on location.
Hulu began offering new subscribers a discounted price of $6 a month. The deal lasts for the first year of subscription then rises to the standard $8.
The Redstone family, majority owners of both CBS and Viacom, have asked the boards of both companies to look into a merger. Shari Redstone which speaks for the family would likely make CBS CEO Les Moonves CEO of the combined company. Moonves has previously resisted a merger. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman stepped down in August. COO Tom Dooley took over as interim CEO until the end of September.

Dispatches From The Front

Curt still uses a composite cable based ROKU 1 from the last generation ROKU hooked to a 36" Cathode ray television Tube set by the treadmill in the basement.

Kimberly the Texas Teacher says flat screen gives her headaches but has been using a Roku since the 1st gen in 2008. Her current Roku sometimes hs problems with the signal flickering and she was worrying about replacing it. The fact they will continue to make one that works with her current TV makes her like the company even more.

Dan writes "my older TV does not have HDMI and my Roku is one of the refreshed Gen 1 HD models circa 2010 (I believe). It still works for what we need to watch what we want, when we want, on the device we choose. Frankly for us, SD resolution is good enough and composite works better than trying to use an HDMI converter and distorting the picture squeezing it back into 4:3."

The Roku Plus would be perfect for my situation.

We also have an old school, SD, 36", super heavy, CRT TV that the kids use for playing SD video game systems like PS2, Wii, and Sega Master System. .. the kids would love to watch Online programming like Youtube and netflix on that old CRT TV. The problem is that the old TV only has component, composite, and s-video inputs. Since the new Roku Plus has an SD video and audio output, it would allow them to stream online programming on this TV as well, then all of our TVs would be connected to the internet.

Of course my parents have a couple of old SD TVs and the Roku Plus would be perfect for that situation if only they had internet, which they do not. Speaking of my non internet parents, they decided to upgrade their DVD.com subscription to the $7.99 per month, one DVD out at a time, unlimited plan and they are loving it. My mom just called to say that the DVDs get to her so fast that she needs to add more titles to her queue. Of course since they don't have internet I am the one who ads titles to the queue for them.

I just subscribed to "The Modern Rogue" youtube channel and have checked out a few videos and they are great. Keep up the good work and I'll keep listening and watching.

- Richard

I know this isn't necessarily the proper forum for this question, but I have been a fan of you guys since Frame Rate. I know that you have had experience with this situation. Every winter my wife and I go on vacation for a month or so. We spend a couple of weeks in hotels, and as I'm sure you are aware of the quality of WiFi at a lot of hotels. If I want to watch Netflix, or my Amazon Prime account it would be nice to have a nice predictable stream of data.

As much as the two of you travel I was wondering if you have had any experience using travel routers, and if so can you recommend any one in particular, or anything else I can do to improve the situation. I can only assume that after watching you guys streaming the show from various hotels over the years you must have some secrets that you can share.

Thanks In Advance - Chris

Hey Tom and Brian.

Just a tip for anyone in Australia RE the Chicken Challenge. Foxtel, our only major remaining Pay TV provider has a retention department just like the US cable companies. When you call you can get put through to them by saying to the voice tree that you “want to cancel Foxtel”.

Once you are through to a retention rep, saying you want to cancel Foxtel will trigger the rep to ask what you like about Foxtel, this informs the rep as to what free channel packages to offer you to try and get you to stay. This can include such goodies as the Drama package (which includes HBO, Showtime and Netflix Originals) for free for a time period determined by the rep. The one package they will not give away for free is sport, but they have a standard deal for sports of $10 per month for 4 months (normally $25 a month), and when that 4 months is up just give them a call again and they will extend it. Hope this helps.

- Nik



Preceded by:
"Can’t Beat That With a Roku Stick"
Take the Cable Cleanse Challenge
Followed by: