Peacock has, sort of, launched for everybody July 15

Are you excited about the Peacock launch today?

Yes? No? On the fence? I get it.

Guess I have mixed feelings.

We’ve had it through Flex (a little streaming box for Xfinity customers that offers access to various streaming channels including Peacock) for 90 days as Xfinity Internet customers, but they did release some new content that wasn’t previously available today.

I’ve watched it less than every other streaming channel we have, including Roku’s free channel. It has really rotated out movie licenses since the launch — in a big way. They had Jurassic Park, then it was gone, now it’s back. This shouldn’t be that surprising, as licenses rotate in and out, but their library seems to have been under frequent changes since the “soft” launch, if you will, I guess as they are trying to settle in on what the magical launch library of movies and TV shows should be.

Alas, there are TV shows I wish they had decided to offer (Las Vegas for one). They do have a pretty decent selection, especially if you’re an Alfred Hitchcock and Abbott & Costello fan. Many Hitchcock movies are available to watch.

So, I’m curious what new stuff they’re adding. What changes they’ve made since launching for XFinity customers on April 15 (see my detailed coverage of that even here: The Quest for Xfinity Flex required for early Peacock Access – TV Shows and Movies A-Z List).

I’m not going to do a side-by-side comparison in this post, but will highlight the Peacock Originals they are promoting along with trailers, if/when they are available.

What’s up with the “TV” branding?

Did the marketing people think we wouldn’t be able to figure out Peacock by itself was a TV streaming service? Maybe they are right.

In the beginning I was a bit confused with the whole “TV” part. In fact, I started out calling it Peacock TV rather than just Peacock. Maybe that name confusion is solely mine, but noticed today when I sought out the Google Play store app, it is branded as Peacock TV.

The official website is too. Who owns Well, NBC does, because it instantly redirects to I don’t get why they didn’t just use This is a minor quip on my part, but from a technology standpoint, this type of branding can be confusing. Luckily, they own both domains so whichever you type into your browser you’re going to end up at the right place.

They didn’t have the app available on the Google Play store until this morning. Since some have reported issues finding the app (just search for “peacock” and it will come up as the top result), here is a link to the app in the Google Play store:

Peacock Originals at Launch

There are some Peacock Original TV shows, one movie (Psych 2: Lassie Come Home) and one documentary at launch for those with the premium ($4.99/month) or the almost ad-free plan ($9.99). I believe Xfinity customers receive the $4.99/month plan as a free add-on. We’re not paying anything additional, and I see all these originals, but I’ve read that if you use the free service the originals aren’t available. If you are using the app and know differently, please let me know in the comments.

Peacock originals available at July 15, 2020 launch available to premium subscribers

Psych 2: Lassie Come Home – 1h, 28m – Comedy

The only Peacock original movie available. A sequel to a comedy made for TV movie and TV series. Didn’t see the first Psych: The Movie (this is available on Peacock, as well as the TV series all 8 seasons), so know nothing about this other than the trailer. I will give it a watch and see how it goes. I didn’t find anything in the trailer to be that funny, but comedy movie trailers don’t always work out. Maybe I’ll watch the first movie first, then perhaps a little bit of the TV series and then the sequel. Lots to dig into here for others like me who haven’t seen any of this. Any fans of this show reading? Tell me what you like about this show in the comments (no spoilers, please).

In Deep With Ryan Lochte – 1 h 3m – Documentary

Covers swimmer Ryan Lochte’s scandal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and his goal to get back to the Olympics.

Dreams Live On: Countdown To Tokyo – 57m

Since the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed thanks to You Know What, this documentary covers the athletes waiting for their chance to win the gold. The Olympics live coverage was set to coincide originally with the launch of Peacock so this delay impacts the live programming side of the streaming service. Not so much for me, because I haven’t been that interested in the Olympics for years. I do follow some of the Olympics sports, but it’s pretty far afield from what we cover at this website.

Kamone – 23m – Documentary

Blink and this short documentary will pass, but it was interesting (yes, already watched it). Crescent City, California and Rikuzentakata involving an earthquake and the ocean that separates two towns by the ocean. Footage of a 30-foot high tsunami bearing in on a helpless city killing 18,000 people. 1 tree out of 70,000 survived which is a miracle in and of itself and a boat turns up two years later an ocean away. Interesting little documentary.

Brave New World – 9 episodes – available to binge all episodes. It will be one of my Thursday picks. It’s based on the Aldous Huxley novel of the same name. Episode run times are from 40-56 min.

The Capture – Season 1 – 6 episodes – available to binge all episodes. A thriller with episode run times from 56 minutes to an hour in length. This looks pretty good, I’m going to check it out.

Intelligence – Season 1 – 6 episodes. Binge all episodes. Run time per episode is 21-22 minutes. David Schwimmer (Ross from Friends) stars.

Lost Speedways – Season 1- All 8 episodes available to binge. Episodes average 24-28 minutes. Dale Earnhardt Jr. visits historic race courses abandoned and/or no longer in service. An interesting idea and probably make for a good set backdrops for a movie.

There are multiple children shows listed as Peacock Originals including: Curious George (multiple seasons), Where’s Waldo? and Cleopatra in Space (1 season). Probably Waldo interests me the most there.

Have you checked out Peacock yet?

Looking over the app it’s getting rating bombed as of this writing. See the picture at the top. Seems like it has some technical issues. I guess the only reason I might want to use the app would be to include as another Chromecast option, but I prefer using the Flex box. I’m not sure what login to use either (my Xfinity account login?).

Ultimately, I hope they sort this out with Roku and show up there, because I find a bit unwieldy have three different streaming boxes, more if you count the PS4 and Xbox. Change TV inputs just to watch Peacock? I need one of those devices you can talk to that auto switches all of this with my voice (so I can say, “I want to watch Yellowstone on Peacock” and the input is switched and Yellowstone is auto-loaded).

What do you think of Peacock? Are any of the Peacock Originals drawing your interest?

Could Be No Roku and Amazon Fire support for Peacock at Launch – Here You Come Again

Cue the Dolly Parton.

Ok, so it’s not exactly the same reference — Dolly is singing about a lover entering her life and leaving with some arrogance — but it’s the song that jumped immediately into my head when I saw Peacock is a week away from their big launch and doesn’t yet have Roku or Amazon Fire support — just like HBO Max launched in May and still doesn’t.

It’s the latest example of brinkmanship between new streaming video services and the devices you use to watch them. Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and smart TVs are incredibly popular, with a combined 70% of the streaming player market and roughly 80 million active users between them. But rather than act as neutral platforms offering up channels, companies like Roku and Amazon have grown more aggressive in their negotiations with new streaming services, leading to impasses that have kept high-profile services from launching on their devices.

Peacock without Roku and Amazon Fire TV? Top exec is OK with that

What’s worse is the Peacock “top exec” doesn’t seem to be that concerned. This is 80+ million households, 80+ million potential customers (those you don’t already have with your Flex box) that you have to hope will reach you another way. Sigh.

One has to ask, is Peacock is following HBO Max’s lead and telling Roku and Amazon Fire they won’t play ball and cut them into their margins?

So HBO Max and Peacock are playing chicken with Amazon and Roku. Who will blink first? (I asked this question in a separate post here: Does HBO Max or Quibi Get To Amazon Fire and Roku first?)

While these people can’t get in the same room and work this out, the rest of us suffer out here through convoluted usability. Those who love using the Roku UI or Apple Fire TV are denied access to HBO Max, Quibi and, if they don’t work this out in the next week, Peacock.

Amazon I can see playing hard ball. They have always done things pretty much their own way — and quite successfully the vast majority of time in their core market. They focus on selling “stuff” and they do that extremely well. It’s often their sandbox and if you want to get in there with them, well, their rules. It’s their DNA. I fully expect we’ll see Amazon as a major studio force someday, just like we look at NBC and to a lesser extent HBO today. They are doing it their own way. Quibi? I don’t see them making it more than a couple years with their current direction. If they change, who knows, but you can’t just throw a bunch of money at a bad idea and make it a good business.

Roku? They aren’t a studio. They don’t produce anything except their Roku channel and their devices, which play other people’s “stuff.” Without other people’s creativity, their work, Roku has nothing to play. Amazon has done quite a bit for the creation of content, through their various book publishing models and through screenplays, movie and TV. Roku, at least to this writer’s knowledge, hasn’t done any of that.

So, I’m feeling less generous toward Roku. They are more leech-like in this scenario.

Again, when Roku first launched and nobody knew who the heck they were they would have done deals with both of these established companies in a heartbeat, even if it meant they got almost nothing in return. They forgot the people who got them where they are today — us. I get jaded by tech companies who forget their customers, except to use us against the content creators. “Look at the greedy studio, not wanting to get their movies and TV content on our platform for you.” That’s pretty rich.

Fast forward to some period of leadership in the streaming marketplace and the song has changed. Sing it, Dolly. At least you have it right. I shouldn’t end on a cliche, but it just fits too well.

What comes around goes around.

SmileDirectClub Wants to Take $2.85 Billion Bite Out of NBC

This story is relevant here only because it involves the parent company of streaming service Peacock (see: The Quest for Xfinity Flex required for early Peacock Access – TV Shows and Movies A-Z List), which is in limited release now (Xfinity customers only), and going widespread on July 15.

The bark may not be worse than the bite in this lawsuit by Smile Direct Club that wants financial payment for damages due to a news story they allege contained “false and misleading” statements.

First the story, then the article, then my take.

NBC News reporting on SmileDirectClub

Viewers and readers across the country turn to the media for the information they need to make decisions about their health and well-being,” the suit by attorney J. Erik Connolly also states. “NBC abused their trust by publishing reports about SDC that were littered with false and misleading statements. NBC’s misconduct not only financially injured SDC, but it also prevented patients from seeking the affordable treatment they need for their orthodontic problems and caused investors to lose millions, if not billions, of dollars

NBC Hit In The Teeth With $2.85 Billion Lawsuit By SmileDirectClub – Deadline

Sorry, I just have to ask: who signs up for a service to get their teeth straightened without their friendly dentist treating him/her/them in person?

If the first video wasn’t enough, check out this one:

Sounds like it’s meant to save money (save up to 60% over braces), so perhaps that’s the answer, but coat hangers can be used for a low cost abortions, too (no, I’m not making seriously making that comparison). The pictures of those molds people need to wear look painful, but maybe they aren’t, since they’re molded to the person’s mouth.

I don’t know how this lawsuit will work out, but it will cost NBC money in attorney’s fees regardless the outcome. That means less to spend on new content for new shows and/or greenlighting existing ones, which is where my primary interest here lies.

What’s Happening At Peacock?

Speaking of Peacock TV. I’ve been kind of quiet about them because, well, they aren’t doing that much new except monthly rotating their movie library. Every streaming service does that.

Peacock are missing some TV series that they own that I’d love to see them add like the complete Las Vegas (2003-2008) seasons. That’s one of my favorite TV shows of the 2000s (also 24!) and starred James Caan, Moll Sims, Josh Duhamel and others. It dealt with the day to day running of the fictional Montecino Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas including cheaters to trying to scam security, whales (large casino customers) being wooed to gamble at the casino, celebrity walk-ons (reminding me of the shows Love Boat and Fantasy Island), interesting and unique locals and more.

Alas, that TV show is owned by NBC Universal and it’s not even available to purchase digitally online as of this writing. This is the kind of TV series that Peacock should have, but doesn’t. Maybe it will be released in the future. Instead, they are letting DVD scalpers sell the complete season on Amazon for hundreds of dollars.

As for the movie library? It’s different than the soft launch A-Z that I wrote up (and is linked at the top of this article) and will likely change again on July 15 when they go into full launch mode for the rest of the web.

Any readers that are using Peacock? What do you like/dislike about this sleeping giant (I suspect they will be the HBO Max release of July)? Or of course if you’d like to comment on the lawsuit mentioned in the beginning of this article, you’re welcome to do so.