Monthly Archives: April 2015

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The latest episode of the ever evolving Cord Cutting Show podcast is available on iTunes. The Cord Cutting Show is a weekly podcast that centers on cord cutting strategies and services with insight from the minds of Myself (Ryan Downey), Luke Bouma of Cord Cutter News and Elias Saba of AFTV News.

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Hulu is busy. The streaming option that provides streaming access to first run TV content (in most cases) less than 24 hours after it airs has been moving aggressively to sign new exclusive deals with content providers. Already this week Hulu announced a deal to stream the entire series run of Seinfeld. Hulu outbid more popular rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant video in order to secure the rights to the 1990’s show. The terms of the deal were steep (as much as 1 million per episode) leading many analysts to conclude that it may have been too big of an investment.  But the prestige of the property appeared to be too much to pass on.

Hulu Flexing its TV Muscle
Hulu Announced that it will be the exclusive streaming home of a number of shows produced by AMC Studios including Fear The Walking Dead, an upcoming spin off. AMC Studios is also responsible for content on BBC America, WE tv, IFC, AMC,  and Sundance TV. The service will also feature series from FX another major content creator and distributor.

There were no details announced as to whether the service will have access to content the day after it airs as it does with a majority of the content available or whether it will have the content after a season has been finalized.

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It’s Draft Day. Want to see whether Winston is in fact the number 1 pick in the draft? Today you will have something in common with the future millionair. Neither of you are going to be at the draft in Chicago. So how do you keep up or watch it?

There are a few ways to check it out

The Watch ESPN App
I am not telling you to watch the channel. If you can’t be home during the draft and have a cable subscription check out the draft on the Watch ESPN app for multiple platforms to stream the NFL draft live.

NFL Draft Live
This is not a full live feed of the NFL draft. But it promises to have interviews with the players and reactions from experts and so on.

Listen Live ESPN Radio
The Draft is not really a visually stunning event. If you have seen it before you are probably used to the looped clips of offensive linemen blocking or running backs….running while the hosts fall all over themselves talking about the picks.

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Cablevision of New York is taking a very interesting approach to cord cutting. It is embracing it. A number of cable companies are reacting to the growth of cord cutting by expanding “cable everywhere” or providing more on-demand offerings. Multiple companies are also offering skinny bundles featuring Internet access and small selections of channels some are offering HBO Go saying they want to address the needs of their customers. But executives have long said that cord cutting was not a real factor in for the cable industry. Well Cablevision of New York seems to be willing to say what nobody else will. With their new cord cutter package which offers Internet access and a Mohu Leaf Antenna the company is openly admitting that there is a segment of their market that does not want their primary product, pay television.

It does not stop with Antennas
Besides offering an Antenna the company is also looking to distribute Hulu Plus. This might be the beginning of the end of what we think of as modern television. The cable industry is starting to see the writing on the wall. According to a variety of reports the number of people who are cancelling cable is significant but not large. The populating that matters far more is the number of people who are choosing not to get cable. The problem is that it is difficult to gauge how many new households are being started at any given time, when people are moving to a new house, apt etc.

Cablevision of New York may well be future proofing themselves and getting out ahead of the pack a bit with these moves. Understanding that the interest in bundle free TV is not a passing fad or a young people thing could serve them very well going forward. Other companies would be quite smart to follow suit on this. Or they risk irrelevance in 5-10 years.

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Is Turner hedging its bets on the the Pay TV industry? There has been no statement from the company to imply an interest in its its channels being packaged outside of a standard bundle including Sling Television, cable and satellite packages, but the property which includes valuable commodities like live sports and major series has recently made its way on to two platforms outside of traditional pay services. Turner, like HBO is owned by Time Warner, but is available across multiple pay TV providers.

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Roku has begun to add the new “My Feed” service to Roku Players other than the new Roku 2 & 3 models. My Feed, a feature that allows Roku users to learn about the availability of new movie releases, rolled out with the upgraded models and has only recently become available to the rest of the Roku community. The service promises to help users not only find out what is playing and when but implies an Amazon like option to find out when the price of a feature drops. I suppose we will have to wait and see how that works.

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Fire TV owners may as well make a full investment in the Amazon ecosystem.

Fire TV users may be feeling left out when they see that NBC Sports Live Extra is available for Roku and Apple TV. But there is still a way to access NBC Sports Live Extra on Fire TV. The service is available through Kodi, which must be side loaded on to the box. While adding Kodi to Fire TV is not as simple as adding official apps it can be done. See how.

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NBC Sports Extra is now available for Roku and Apple TV. The channel/app provides live sports coverage of multiple events including Notre Dame Football, Sunday Night NFL Football, a Live feed of the Golf Channel and more. The new option requires cable authentication to activate so anyone looking to watch Live Sports on their device will need a valid cable login and password from a participating provider.

Those who picked up the Google Nexus player but have found the system lacking have a new option. The developers behind Cyanogen have made CyanogenMod available for Google Nexus Player. The quad core powered Android TV device has been criticized heavily for it lack of broad app support and Google Play centric search results. The CyanogenMod adds a number or features for Android users including, themes that allow users to change the look of their devices.

Should I put CyanogenMod on The Google Nexus Player?

I don’t exactly see the advantage of it. The Nexus player is set up for a set-top experience and is still a very new platform. While the system is lacking in some features it may be a good idea to stick with its current interface and software. Google has not announced any major upgrades to the Android TV interface but putting third party software on the device and possibly voiding the warranty on a still brand new platform is not advisable. If on the other hand Google does not push out timely updates such a modification may be more worth a look.

Where can I get it?

Download CyanogenMod here

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If you have a vested interest in the future of streaming, the Internet and media distribution keep a close eye on the public hearing that the FCC has recommended in regards to the Comcast TWC merger. The FCC issued hearing designation order which will put the fate of the long-expected media mega merger in the hands of an administrative judge. According to multiple sources such a plan of action is tantamount to nixing the deal. Think of it as the Comacast TWC merger getting a new Saturday Night time slot. Administrative court is where mergers go to die.

If the deal were to go through the company would control 57% of the broadband internet market. If you have been following the steady drip of media movement you will see that the trend is going towards an over the top based delivery model. While popular the form of delivery in very much in its infancy. That has not stopped HBO, which is owned by Time Warner from launching HBO Now, CBS from launching All Access or dampened the growth of the streaming hardware industry which includes set-top boxes, smart TV’s and other connected devices. The future of media delivery is streaming and the cable companies know this whether they admit it publicly or not. We have long believed that the internet was much more important to the merger than the Cable distribution because forming such a company would help combine resources to fend of growing competition from companies like Verison, AT&T and Google Fiber.

The Streaming Advisor will keep an eye on this developing story.