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Cable companies, unsurprisingly, are hoping to keep their self-described “cash cow” going during the transition to streaming. AT&T has been moving the most ambitiously into cord-cutting streaming alternatives, and its excellent DirecTV Now service is one of the most popular streaming options available.
But DirecTV Now is also losing money, thanks to the high cost of programming and competition in the streaming space capping how much providers can charge. In an effort to make a little more money, AT&T is branching out from offering just one streaming service. We learned last month that it’s planning on launching a no-sports skinny bundle, which will cost around $15 and be free for AT&T wireless subscribers. But according to AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan, the company is also planning to launch a more expensive bundle, which will serve as an alternative to satellite TV rather than a cord-cutting bundle.
As DSLReports spotted, Donovan told attendees at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit that the company is going to provide a streaming equivalent of the company’s existing satellite TV service, DirecTV. The new service will use internet streaming to provide the same service as its existing satellite TV bundles, but possibly at a lower cost. “The CPE (consumer premises equipment) will be cheaper, it will be a thinner, lighter version and we will have lower operating costs. We anticipate passing a lot of those cost savings,” Donovan said.
A streaming service that offers the same channels as satellite TV but with less equipment and a lower monthly cost is undoubtedly a good thing, but it’s not set to be a seismic change in how you watch TV. What AT&T is doing here is using the internet to make content delivery cheaper, but seemingly not changing the pricing strategy or offering anything new like a la carte service.
Worse, it seems that AT&T is determined to keep going with a strategy of offering multiple streaming services. Donovan said that the company plans to have five streaming services operating by 2019, which means that picking a streaming service will end up as complicated as getting a cable bundle. Half the reason people hate cable is because of high prices forced on them by bundling; if streaming services go down the same route, we’re likely to end up with something that looks a lot like cable, just delivered over the internet.
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If you’ve already seen it, you know you’re in for plenty of unexpected jokes, including Deadpool breaking the fourth wall every chance he gets. Some of these jokes are incredibly amazing. You might not understand everything Deadpool says, but the gist of it is pretty clear.
One of the best moments of the original movie, to me, is the Ikea bit between him and his roommate, the blind-as-a-bat lady that assembles Ikea furniture for Deadpool — that’s just the preamble of the joke.
The actual Ikea conversation between Deadpool and Blind Al takes place well into the movie, at a point where you’ve had plenty of laughs already and can’t wait to see what happens next. Here’s that clip:
If you burst out laughing watching that that’s because you get the gist of it. Ikea furniture has incredibly annoying names, all Scandinavian and what not, the kind of names you’ll never remember — at least I don’t.
So when they’re dropping all those names, it’s likely the name of the Ikea products will not make any sense for most people. But the bit is still hilarious.
So let’s break down what they’re saying. And let’s do it with pictures.
Deadpool: How’s that Kullen coming along? IKEA doesn’t assemble itself, you know.
Here’s the Kullen, a $69.99 5-drawer chest that comes in black and white, depending on market (or this is the closest I could find):
Blind Al: You’re telling me. I don’t mind the Kullen. It’s an improvement on the Hurdal.
Ah, the Hurdal… I assume they’re talking about a variation of this one, given that it’s nowhere to be found on Ikea’s site right now:
Deadpool: Please. Anything’s an improvement over the Hurdal. I’d have taken an Hemnes or a Trysil over the Hurdal.
Hemnes you say? It costs $199.99 right now, a bit more expensive than the Kullen, and it also comes in white and black.
The Trysil, meanwhile, is more affordable at $99, but only has four drawers, but hey. it’s your money:
That’s what the Ikea joke is. It’s a blink, and you missed it movement in the movie that’s inconsequential to the action, other than to give Blind Al a hilarious background story. But it just proves the comedic genius of the writers. Blind people assembling Ikea furniture? Come on! And talking about different models like Ikea pros? That’s legit humor right there.
Finally, here’s Ryan Reynolds explaining why the Ikea moment simply had to happen. Can’t wait to see what Blind Al is up to in Deadpool 2.