Monthly Archives: May 2016

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PlayStation Vue customers will now be able to access their local network stations through the service provided that the channels are owned and operated by the national networks as apposed to private ownership groups. Vue had struggled to offer services in more than a handful of communities since its launch because of a previous strategy that required the ability to offer local TV stations as part of the package. Recently the service dropped that requirement and became available nationally without major network channels in markets where deals were not in place.

 What this means for viewers
This does not mean that everybody with PS Vue will suddenly have access to the full lineup of network channels such as ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. This is because a number of major network affiliate stations are owned by private media groups and even major conglomerates. But this is a big breakthrough for those in markets where the actual networks own stations.

Network Mish Mash
Because of the nature of this development future customers will be put in a situation where they will not be able to be certain exactly which local channels will stream through the service and which will not. For a list of all of the owned and operated network stations see MCN’s story here. In our area, Raleigh-Durham viewers will only receive ABC while in New York viewers will be able to access, CBS, Fox and CBS.

This is the logical step for online streaming operations like Vue  and Sling and will likely provide a model going forward for other online ventures such as Hulu’s proposed offering and the rumored service from YouTube. PlayStation Vue adding major network channels for some viewers may well influence other services as well as the privately owned stations depending on how revenue works out for the affected stations.

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The future continues to look bright for the WWE Network. The WWE Network continues to defy early critics and add subscribers with the online network now counting well over 1 million subscribers as of the 1st quarter of 2016.  The number of subscribers averaged 1.29 million in the 1st quarter of 2016 with a high of 1.47 million subscribers at the close of the quarters.  The average was a 39% increase over the 1st quarter of 2015.

This is huge news for WWE for one big reason.  Due to floating dates for WWE’s marquee event, WrestleMania, the event sometimes falls in the 1st quarter, as it did in 2015, and sometimes as in

The WWE has regularly pushed the benefits of it network.
The WWE has regularly pushed the benefits of it network.

the case of 2016 it falls in the second quarter.  This means that this year, without the benefit of WrestleMania, essentially the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, the network improved over 39% from 2015.  That number is just astounding.  Not surprisingly, the live WrestleMania event proved to be the single biggest driver of subscription increases for the network in 2015, which allows viewers to see all of its major events which can cost as much as $70.00 for a monthly cost of $9.99.   As a result of this, during the week of WrestleMania, the network had 19 hours of primetime premier programming and subscribers watched 22 million hours of content, breaking down to 12 hours per subscriber.

To show how big of a draw WrestleMania is, on April 4th, the day after WrestleMania in 2016, the network had a record 1.82 million subscribers. I predict that if subscriber growth next year mirrors 2016, the day after WrestleMania next year will eclipse 2.5 Million subscribers.

Go East and West Young Man
The company has continued to broaden the distribution of WWE Network internationally during the first quarter of 2016. It is currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. The company continues to work on launch plans for China. WWE Network had 362,000 total international subscribers at quarter-end and 434,000 as of April 4, 2016. If the WWE Network is able to get into China as they hope to do this year, that number could be over 3 million. This is no accident as the WWE has pushed the network heavily during PPV events and of during its weekly broadcasts. Viewers are almost admonished for paying large PPV fees as the crowds are led in a 9-9-9 chant. While it might seem anti-intuitive for the company to brush off PPV as a revenue source it allows the WWE to continue to separate itself from the pay TV model as it continues its slow decline.

Not Just Big Events
It’s not just WrestleMania. Other pay-per-views, original series, NXT Takeover, and specials have continued to drive viewer engagement. The company expects to add more than 300 hours of

The WWE is upping the number of programs on the network.
The WWE is upping the number of programs on the network.

original content to the network’s featured programming in 2016, and more than 1,500 hours of archival content to the network, which would result in an on-demand library of nearly 6,000 hours at year-end 2016.

For the 2nd quarter of 2016 the WWE predicts that the WWE Network will average about 1.5 million subscribers.  Depending on how hard they crack down on subscriber sharing I feel they might add even more subscribers.  This is also a bit of self-projecting but I feel that the WWE Network will eclipse its record of 1.82 Million in the 3rd Quarter when SummerSlam, another major event for the company comes around in August.

See Earnings report here

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Classic Skins For Kodi is a Nugget of great creativity. I like Kodi because of how easy it is to customize the look and feel of it. From wizards to just changing up the skins that are included with a standard download. A designer named Classic Nancy has put together a number of excellent skins that willWinter Wonderland brighten any configuration without adding anything else allowing you to keep all of your addons in place without anything extra. See our Video To see how to load Classic Skins on our YouTube.

My favorite thing about the skins is the little touch of adding animations. Andry Birds Skin moves in the background, the winter wonderland skin features snow etc. These skins are well thought out and we appreciate that. See our Video To see how to load Classic Skins bellow.

Repo For Classic Skins

http://communityrepo.comlu.com

How To Install Classic Skins For Kodi

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The Streaming Advisor would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial day. I know there is nothing I can do to repay the costs of those who have sacrificed for the freedom of our country. Blessings to all who served and those who love them.

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Entry level box has some great unadvertised features

Roku 1 review

Chris Brass
Contributor

For those unfamiliar with the Roku family of products, Roku 1 is the budget-minded entry level model. It features a single-core processor and a standard remote without motion control as well as the  ability to connect the device to a TV using RCA cables (since the Roku 2 was updated in December it is the only model that can), but don’t let the retro-tech fool you. This is a capable little streaming device.  I have over 100 channels installed on my Roku 1 and have not encountered the device locking up or crashing (rebooting) like I have with the (Older Purple) Roku Stick.

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The Nexus Player is the first Android TV Set Top Box.

The Nexus Player, the first Android TV device rolled out to the public, will be disappearing from the market as Google has cut the device from its lineup. the device was not only the first Android TV devices but it was also one of the first to offer a quad-core processor in a set-top media player. Unfortunately for Azus, the device never caught on like its more established competition which included the $35.00 Chromecast. This story should not surprise anyone who has been paying attention. The signs of this eventuality were apparent for a while.

Problems from the beginning
The Nexus Player, which originally sold for $100.00 but featured a much smaller selection of apps than its main competitors, The Roku and Fire TV.  Its price was later slashed by $40-$50 depending on where it was being sold making it a tremendous value. Our original take on the device though was that it was doomed from the start.

Android TV confusion
Part of the reason that the Nexus Player never took off was that the device was lumped in with numerous others that boasted Android operating systems meant for mobile devices. Many people could not understand just how different it was.

The failure of Google TV
While the Nexus Player might have been the first product to utilize Android TV it was seen as just the latest Google based product in a long line of failed experiments with its first home TV platform known as Google TV. The company abandoned that brand and launched Android TV in its place and packaged it on the Nexus Player. Consumers may have been understandably apprehensive about the product fearing that support for the product would be dropped. Now that the product is being euthanized it will only further hurt Google’s future products.

Last to Get Major Apps
The Nexus Player was wedded to the Android TV platform, which lagged when it comes to major apps. While it included Netflix and Hulu it was late to the game for HBO Go, HBO Now, Sling TV, Watch ESPN and many more. It was a lot to ask consumers to buy into a device that could not do the basic things that its competitors did. The Android TV version of the Google Play store did not include the same apps that were available in the Google Play store found on all standard Android devices.

Reliance on Wireless Internet
The Nexus Player did not have an Ethernet port. All of its competitors at the $100.00 price range offer  both wireless and wired options for Internet connectivity. A wired connection will give a more consistent connection for streaming and high demand functions. The lack of the option might have frightened heavy streamers especially those looking to use Kodi.

The NVIDIA Shield
Considerably more expensive but much more powerful, The NVIDIA Shield launched after the Nexus Player giving users a dedicated gaming experience, 4K rendering and Kodi right out of the box.  The hype from the new product, which also featured more ports and shipped with a fully voice controlled game controller took the market by storm and quickly became known as the best Android TV box on the market. It included Standard sized USB ports to support periphrials like air mouses, keyboards etc, an Ethernet port and options for more storage. This relegated the Nexus Player to entry level device status. 

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Last week we took advantage of the chance to sign up for a month-long preview of Seeso, the new streaming comedy option from NBC Universal. We added the new Roku channel and dove in to see what its offerings are like and how well the app works in general. Also, see our Seeso Review video below.

Overall I think it offers a great deal of content for a low price, $3.99. It has a colorful interface that is easy to navigate. All of its content is broken down into logical categories and playlists and there is a large variety of options for comedy fans from older British content right up to the most current episodes of Saturday Night live.

Truncated SNL
One major negative for me about Seeso is that even though this is NBC universal and they should have very little trouble securing the rights to the episodes the shows omit a good chunk of sketches as well as the musical performances. I’m sure in many cases the lack of musical performers does not bother most viewers though it does mean that we can’t relive some of the more memorable moments in the show’s history like the music dubbing problems that have exposed various artists as well as the controversial Sinead O’Conner appearance where she ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II. This is a reverse of many versions of SNL syndication the included both musical performances in an hour-long format that also included commercials meaning that there was less time for the actual sketch comedy.  So for those looking to see Michael Jordan as the “First Black Harlem Globetrotter, or Alec Baldwin as “The Mimic” I am afraid you are out of luck. I am not familiar enough with some of the other content to be able to say whether the same thing occurs with other sketch-based shows. They better not have taken the “Eradicator” from The Kids in the Hall.

Potential for Growth
There is obvious room for this service to grow. As it secures the rights to more programming and expands on a small collection of original shows and features Seeso will have the potential to become a dynamic offering. With the kind of content it has I feel the app should offer a “live stream”. When I say live I don’t mean filmed live, as much as I mean a curated scheduled stream that would give users a lean back experience.

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CBS has released a teaser trailer for its new Star Trek series which will have a home on CBS All Access. The show which will take place in the original Star Trek timeline vs the alternative timeline created by The JJ Abrams reboot will embark Star Trek Bannerin 2017. See the trailer below.

The show is one of the most highly anticipated new series of 2017 and could serve as a great anchor for CBS as it looks to add subscribers to its streaming service which has been steadily growing both its subscriber base and live streaming capabilities since its launch.

Trek fans are some of the most dedicated in the world and building on the popularity of the franchise may well work out for the network and streaming service going forward. The buzz for the new series has been unmistakeable. There is still very little known about the plot of the series to come and the tease does very little to expose anything. It is sure to build excitement nonetheless.

Sign up for CBS All Access click here.

See new trailer here

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Summer is right around the corner. Amazon will be bringing a number of titles to its multiple formats. Here is a listing of TV Shows and movies that will be available.

Key: italic = show available day after it airs on broadcast; * = new series for Amazon streaming

TV

Downton Abbey S6 – 6/6/16

Mr. Robot* S1 – 6/13/16

The Good Wife S7 – 6/20/16

Braindead* S1 – 6/17/16

American Gothic* S1 – 6/26/16

Lego Ninjago S1 – 6/6/16

 

Movies

Apocalypse Now – 6/1/16

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – 6/1/16

Runaway Bride (1999) – 6/1/16

The Black Stallion – 6/1/16

Sleepover (2004) – 6/1/16

Wayne’s World – 6/1/16

Apocalypse Now Redux – 6/1/16

W. – 6/1/16

In & Out – 6/1/16

Carrie – 6/1/16

Six Degrees of Separation (1993) – 6/1/16

The Golden Child (1986) – 6/1/16

Death Wish 2 – 6/1/16

The Presidio – 6/1/16

Mulholland Falls – 6/1/16

Switchback (1997) – 6/1/16

Ground Control – 6/1/16

Criminal Law (1988) – 6/1/16

Hammett – 6/1/16

Trading Mom – 6/1/16

Iron Eagle IV – On the Attack – 6/1/16

The Million Dollar Hotel – 6/1/16

Foolish – 6/1/16

One From the Heart – 6/1/16

Heartburn – 6/1/16

Double Whammy – 6/1/16

Ulee’s Gold – 6/1/16

Syriana – 6/1/16

The Rage – Carrie 2 – 6/1/16

Poltergeist III – 6/2/16

The Program (2016) – 6/2/16

Rules of Attraction – 6/3/16

Love & Mercy – 6/4/16

Lamb – 6/6/16

The Cokeville Miracle – 6/6/16

12 Rounds 3 Lockdown – 6/8/16

Remember – 6/8/16

The Adderall Diaries – 6/14/16

No Stone Unturned: The Loughinsland Story – 6/15/16

Trumbo (2015) – 6/16/16

Southbound – 6/20/16

Pup 2 – 6/20/16

Stand Up Guys – 6/22/16

Open Grave – 6/25/16

6 Souls – 6/29/16

 

Key: * = Prime Video is exclusive streaming home

 

New in June – Available for Purchase on Amazon Video

TV

Feed the Beast* S1 – 6/1/16

MasterChef S7 – 6/2/16

Marriage Boot Camp S5 – 6/4/16

Patti Stranger* S1 – 6/4/16

UnReal S2 – 6/6/16

Barbarians Rising* S1 – 6/6/16

Olympic Families* S1 – 6/8/16

The American West* S1 – 6/12/16

Ride With Norman Reedus* S1 – 6/13/16

Queen of the South* S1 – 6/22/16

Cleverman* S1 – 6/30/16

 

Movies

Zootopia – 6/7/16

London Has Fallen – 6/14/16

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – 6/7/16

Hail, Caesar!(2016) – 6/7/16

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For all of the talk this week about Netflix’s deal with Disney finally coming into full effect in September, streaming fans should keep in mind that the Disney/Marvel/Pixar titles we only part of an overall strategy from Netflix to future proof the streaming network. While I think it is amusing that so many entertainment outlets finally realize that Netflix is a company that acts and maneuvers 5 steps ahead of its competition we have been reporting on Netflix’s long game for a year or more. This is why Netflix decided against the EPIX deal. In fact, the plan went into effect shortly after Netflix dropped its agreement with STARZ. But at the time, the over-reactionary blogosphere and many mainstream news outlets decided to write clickbait stories about the death of Netflix and the rise of Hulu and Amazon. So instead of simply recalling what has already been covered here and in other places, Let’s take a look at another piece of Netflix’s master plan. Netflix Original Series.

When Netflix first began planning for the future, which is about to be the present and announced an investment in original and exclusive content in the wake of dropping STARZ the idea of original streaming content was a novel one. While HBO and other cable networks had been building libraries of series for years streaming had been relegated making whatever it could get the rights to for the least amount of money available and in the case of many outlets, it still is. But when Netflix announced House Of Cards it was the first drop in a torrent. The service has quietly built a massive library of original titles. How massive?  Netflix currently has 137 original titles in its catalogue. If that number sounds too big log in and see for yourself. Right now there are 31 of its shows renewed for another season. At least 14 Netflix originals including Marvel’s Daredevil, are pending and those are just a percentage of the over 137 Netflix original productions available via the service. The streaming network’s stunning growth of originals was spurred by the company’s interest in exclusive content and a lack of interest in overpaying for content that could be found on multiple services.

Not all of Netflix’s originals are TV series, they include original movies, TV shows, documentaries and a growing library of one-shot specials featuring stand-up comedians. The dearth of programming on Netflix compared to the offerings from its rival Amazon is stunning. Currently, Amazon, which has been releasing its own original content including numerous pilots over the past 3 years has only 6 original series set to be renewed including the critically acclaimed Transparent. Many of the series the company has put out never went any further than the pilot episode, but to be fair that is part of Amazon’s model, which invites users to choose among numerous shows as to which will be made into a series.

Not all of Netflix’s investments are Emmy-nominated hits but they provide a strong dose of insight into what the company’s strategy is. Netflix does not value catalogues that offer the same thing Amazon and Hulu do. And it’s quite apparent that over 75 million customers don’t either. The original series though do include the ever growing Marvel Movie Universe based series that began with Daredevil and now include Jessica Jones, the upcoming Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the recently announce Punisher. Marvel titles are viewing gold at the moment, but Netflix’s originals are not all dark and brooding. The big red machine also has a major hit with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and while it was panned by almost everyone Netflix also caught lightning in a bottle with Fuller House. Its investment in children’s programming which includes shows from, Puss In Boots, based on the character from the Shrek franchise and Veggie Tales which builds on the success of the popular Christian based series. We have not even delved into Netflix’s investment in original movies.

So as Netflix moves forward with its strategy and locks down the top 10 movies of the next few years which will undoubtedly be dominated by Marvel and the Starwars franchise it will be supplementing them with a quickly growing library of titles that nobody else has. We will see if it continues to win out going forward.