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CONK! FAQ

Click on a question below to view its answer.

 
Pre-Sale Questions:

Only $19.95 a year? How can CONK! charge so much less than other streaming services?

There are three main reasons we can keep our prices so low:

1) We Get Stuff Cheap – or Free: Although it looks and acts like one, technically CONK! is not a streaming service. It’s a unified user interface for a whole bunch of stuff – much of it available for free – located all over the web. CONK! aggregates all this content under one terrific, display-ad-free user experience that works at any screen size, on any device. Although all our content is properly licensed, it is not directly licensed by us but rather by the content providers who make this stuff available to us. The typical arrangement is that they allow us to use the content in exchange for commercials and ads they show during the videos. This in turn allows us to get most of our inventory either for free, or close to it.

2) We Concentrate on Quality, not Quantity: CONK! has “thousands” of movies. Many streaming services announce “hundreds of thousands” of available titles. If you watch even two films a day, every day, it would take you more than 136 YEARS to watch 100,000 of them. So we have only “thousands” of movies – but that’s enough to keep you busy watching for the rest of your life.

3) It’s All Automated: Unlike most of our competition, our process for finding and adding content is almost entirely automated. Our servers don’t need health insurance, cubicles, or paid vacations. We then pass these savings on to you. (And we don’t apologize for knowing our business better than our competitors, either…)

These make up the primary difference between us charging you twenty bucks a year versus a hundred-plus.

How do I know I’ll like it?

Because you can pretty much try it out, silly. Almost the entirety of CONK!’s terrific user interface is available to the general public – except you can’t actually play the videos and games if you’re not logged in. But the shows in our TED Talks TV category are viewable by the public, so you can get an idea of how videos on CONK! display (and note that virtually all the videos on the service can be expanded to full-screen). And you can see how our news videos play “overlaid” on your screen by clicking on the news thumbnails located in the right sidebar of most category pages. (Our News Categories display 12 thumbnails to a page, with descriptions; and there’s usually 5-6 pages for each category.)

Seriously? No ads?

Seriously, no ads. But let’s be specific here: no display ads – i.e., webpage advertising. Also, to be clear: We do show ads – as well as commercials – within the video players themselves. This is the primary way our content providers get compensated. (See the answer to the first question above.)

We did consider showing paid adverts to people not logged in; but we are personally sick to death of the overhead and bloat with which web display advertising is currently torturing our browsers. The amount of additional money we’d make is minimal – and it’s stupidly obvious, but for us to be paid for those ads you’d have to click on them and leave our service. We’d much rather sell you a membership, thanks.

You’re going to sell my data, aren’t you?

No, we aren’t. We pledge in our Terms of Service that we will never sell or give away any of your data to third parties – and the proof of this is, we hardly collect any. On the checkout page, we don’t even ask for your real name or physical address. All we ask from you is a username, password, email address and your credit card info – that’s it.

For us to exploit your data (that we don’t have…), we’d need an extra sales staff and IT department; and we’ve figured that, by the time we pay for those, the money we’d make off your data would be a wash anyway. (Also, we’ll let you in on a little-known secret: at present, the concept of “Big Data” is mostly bullshit. Don’t tell your downtown clients, though…. 🙂 )

You’re going to spam me, aren’t you?

No, we aren’t. As mentioned in the answer immediately above, we pledge not to sell or give away your email address to any third party.

As for us, aside from the occasional system status emails, we might occasionally send you an email about a new feature on our service, or to announce other products and services we launch under the CONK! brand. (We have at least two planned for the next year – and just like our flagship service, they’ll be good stuff, cheap 🙂 ) But we very much doubt you’ll hear from us more than 3-4 times a year. We’re really intent on making your use of CONK! a pleasurable experience.

You’re going to upsell me on a bunch of other cable and streaming services, aren’t you?

No, we aren’t. We don’t even understand why we’d want to do this. The whole point of our service is to make your streaming life uber-cheap. And then we try to sell you something expensive? Fuggetaboutit….

We don’t want you to sign up for a more expensive service. We want you to be so happy with CONK! that you re-up for another year. Does that make sense?

What do I need to use CONK!?

You’ll need a computer or device running any modern web browser – we recommend Google Chrome for all devices (but the web browser you’re using to read this will probably work) – and a broadband internet connection (sorry, but if you’re still on dial-up, that’s just not going to cut it for streaming all this video). If you’re reading this, you probably already have this stuff.

If you want to run CONK! on your TV, you’ll also need an HDMI cable to connect your desktop or laptop computer up to the television, or alternately a Google Chromecast dongle. We have a separate page devoted to this topic.

If most of these videos are free somewhere on the Web, why can’t I just find them myself?

You can… if you want to spend the time and frustration to look for them. There are now more videos on YouTube alone than there are websites on the entire Internet – i.e., Google works harder to search their own video service than they do the entire web! They claim that currently 300 HOURS of video is uploaded to YouTube EVERY MINUTE (seriously – that’s their own figure).

Of course, most of that video is crap you simply don’t want to see: other people’s weddings, kids that aren’t quite as cute as their parents think, Miley Cyrus singing(!), yada yada…. CONK! not only saves you the time of searching through all this stuff, but our server algorithms also separate the professionally-produced gems from the BS chaff. The question becomes: Is your time worth more than $1.66 a month – heck, less than six cents a day! – to spend all that time trying to find all this good stuff to watch? We’re betting our business model on the fact that it isn’t.

Exactly how much stuff does CONK! have, anyway?

When we came out of beta on January 1st, 2017 we had over 2,000 movies; over 5,000 episodes of about 200 different TV shows; over 700 single-player games; and over 600 news videos from about 50 established news sources. We’ve been adding stuff daily ever since.

Remember that our interface is open to the public. So even if you haven’t signed up yet, you can still see our inventory – and even what videos we add daily. (Start at our home screen.)

Exactly how much new content does CONK! add every day?

It’s not a precise amount; but on a typical weekday we add about a half-dozen movies and about 1-2 dozen episodes of currently-running TV series (usually added 1-9 days after they air on cable or broadcast TV); less stuff on weekends and during the summer months (as there is less new TV aired then).

Of the roughly 600 videos in our News categories every day, about half of them are new (with the previous day’s videos being pushed to interior pages). We also usually add about 1-6 new TV shows each week to the roughly 200 for which we currently keep episode inventories; and we add new games sporadically as they become available. (By the way, all this stuff is added in the middle of the night, U.S. time, by robots. It’s Da Future, Bay-Bee!…)

If I need help, is customer service available?

Logged-in members have access to a customer support form; but unfortunately, we make no guarantee that your support request will be answered. Of course, global technical issues will always be dealt with promptly; but requests specifically related to your particular issues will be answered only as time allows.

At twenty bucks a year, we could easily eat up all of our revenues attempting to answer every member request. This is one of the casualties of our ultra-low price; if you really think you need someone to hold your hand, then maybe Netflix or Amazon Video is a better choice for you. (‘Course, you’ll spend about a hundred bucks a year more – and you still might not get your hand held!… 🙂 )

Rest assured that, if you can reasonably run a web browser, you should have no problems using CONK! or your CONK! account.

Is $19.95 a year just an “introductory price”? Will you be raising the price soon?

No, $19.95 a year is the permanent regular price for our service, and we expect this to be the price for sometime into the foreseeable future. And even if we do raise prices later on, we do not expect that rise to be more than a couple dollars or so yearly. The whole idea of CONK! is good stuff, cheap.

I’m really broke. Can I share someone else’s CONK! account?

No, you may not. Not only is this against our Terms of Service, but it’s technically not possible. Our system is set up so that, if you’re logged on and someone else logs into the same account, you’re instantly thrown out. Only one person can be logged into a CONK! account at any one time. (Sorry, but at the amounts we’re charging… we don’t feel too bad about doing this. 🙂 )

If I don’t like it, can I get a refund?

Sorry, but no. CONK!’s entire interface is publicly accessible – except you can’t actually play the videos and games if you’re not logged in. (Our TED Talks category is even free to the public, so you can see how videos display to logged-in members.) The point being, you should have a really good idea of how our service works before you sign up.

At the amounts we charge, manually processing even a handful of refund requests could easily eat up the entirety of our profits. And seeing as how you can see the service before you pay – and what videos are available, and even what we add daily – we think this is entirely fair. You get what you pay for – and this is one of the casualties of an ultra-low price.

Post-Sale Questions:

My password doesn’t work – and I know it’s right. How come?

On our system, passwords are case-sensitive – i.e., if you used a capital “B” in “Brooklyn” in your password when you signed up, that’s the way you’re going to have to type it in to enter your account. This is the primary reason logins fail; so check to make certain you’re doing this. (Often this problem is caused by inadvertently hitting the “Caps Lock” button on your desktop or laptop keyboard; so make sure this is off when you enter your password.)

Ironically, usernames and email addresses on CONK! are NOT case-sensitive – so the system doesn’t care if you enter “Bryan” or “bryan” as your username. But passwords must be entered exactly the same way they were when you registered. If you think this will confuse you in the future, you might want to enter your Account Center and change your password to something else. (BTW: If you click the “Remember Me” box on the login screen when you enter, that will keep you logged in on that device for one whole year. If you share that device with someone else, you might want to consider that when using it.)

Can I cancel my account (without your help)?

Yes, and it’s super-easy. After you log in, go to your “My Account” screen and under “My Memberships” click on the “Cancel” link. On the next screen you’ll be asked to confirm your intentions. And that’s it – your account will be closed, and you won’t be billed again.

I got a message saying I’ve been automatically logged out of my account. What gives?

This relates to the question about sharing accounts in the “Pre-Sale Questions” section above. If you know you’re not sharing your account with anyone else, this will usually happen if you log in using the “Remember Me” checkbox on multiple devices. On CONK!, only one device can be logged into an account at any one time, from any location; if there is already a device logged into that account, that device is automatically logged out.

The “Remember Me” checkbox on the login screen will keep you logged into your CONK! account on that device for one year. If you enable that checkbox on more than one device, when you go back to the first device you enabled it on after using another device, that first device will be logged out according to these rules. So there’s nothing wrong “per se” – you’ll just have to keep this in mind when you access CONK! on more than one machine.

On the other hand, if you only use CONK! on one device and this still consistently happens, then there is a distinct possibility that someone else knows your password and is using your account. That could be anything from your teenage daughter figuring out what your password was, to getting your machine hacked via wifi at your local coffee shop. If this is the case, we strongly recommend you log into your Account Center and change your password as soon as possible. (Also keep in mind that, other than with minors, it is against our Terms of Service for you to knowingly share your CONK! account with anyone.)

How come the number of episodes available for my favorite TV show never changes? Aren’t you updating it?

When you select a category for TV Shows, all the series in that category appear at the top of the right-hand column of those screens (or if you’re on mobile, immediately below the episode listings); and the number in parentheses after each listing is the number of episodes of that show that we currently have available. But just because that number might not change doesn’t necessarily mean we haven’t got new episodes in.

Many of our content providers only allow us to keep a certain number of episodes of any one TV series available at any one time (typically, it’s usually five episodes). So when we get a new episode from that series, in these instances our system is set up to automatically delete the oldest episode in the inventory to make room for the newest one just added. If that’s the case, we’ve added new episodes to that show – but the number of episodes available will not change. (A good example of this is our inventory for the TV drama Chicago Fire – it’s actively updated, but typically we only have the latest five episodes available.)

This remains true even if the show goes on summer break or “mid-season hiatus”: we will keep a certain number of the latest episodes of that series – and, even if it hasn’t been added to in months, when a new episode finally arrives, the oldest one on the list will then leave our inventory. So don’t let those episode numbers fool you: you might want to Favorite or bookmark the archive page of your favorite shows and check back regularly to see if a new one has been added. (NB: Only shows in the “Classic Series” TV category never get updated.)

Why doesn’t CONK! have a smartphone app?

CONK! was designed to be universally accessed via a web browser, and with that in mind there are two reasons why we have not created a native smartphone app for it, and probably never will. The first is that, because of the technologies our system runs on, there would be no real advantage in terms of speed or accessibility that a native app could provide over our browser-based version. Indeed, our smartphone app would basically just be a “wrapper” for our browser-based code. It would look and run virtually identical to the browser-based version… and every phone comes with a web browser built in already. In other words, any smartphone app we created for out system would essentially be technically redundant.

The second reason is a little more complex, and delves somewhat into the politics of the current tech industry. Apple has always favored “walled garden” systems – i.e., their hardware and software are designed to flawlessly work with each other, but not necessarily with other third-party offerings. Although we are convinced that this was not their original intent in coming up with the concept of web apps – in the beginning, it was truly just a way to simply let outside developers create external programs for the iPhone – it is now our opinion that, with their App Store offerings, Apple’s intent has evolved to actually trying to replace the public web with their own private app ecosystem – where, instead of using “websites”, the users now uses “apps” – i.e., it’s the same walled-garden philosophy they’ve taken with their own offerings, now expanded to the entire internet. In other words, Apple is now trying to replace the public web with their own private version – which, of course, they also completely control and monetize.

We here at CONK! are intrinsically opposed to this philosophy, and much favor Google’s approach of keeping the public web equally open to everyone. (Of course, Google has their own selfish reasons for doing this: they make gobs of money helping you find crap in that huge, glorious mess! And of course, with Android Google has their own app store; but we’re convinced Google did this only to match Apple’s offerings.) Besides, very soon there will be nothing that can be done on a native app that can’t be done in a web browser – in other words, soon native apps will become technically obsolete.

So our opinion is, let’s just keep it on the web in the first place. Like we said above, for what we do there would be no technical advantage to moving it off the web onto a native app. So why go there at all? So Apple can ultimately control our ass?

I want to save stuff I really like to play later. How can I do that?

When you’re logged in, in the left-hand margin of every movie, TV episode and game you’ll see a widget with the title “Add to My Favorites” – and that title links to your Favorites page, at conk.com/favorites. Every member gets a “Default Collection” to put their bookmarks in to start; but you can create as many collections as you want. (Just click the button marked “New Collection” in that left-hand widget and name your new collection in the textbox.) Use the drop-down menu at the top of the widget to choose what collection you want to put your newly-discovered gem in (if you’ve created more than one collection), and then hit the button “Add to Collection”. Viola! – the page won’t even refresh, you’ll see a little pop-up notice that confirms that that page was saved to your Favorites.

You can then go to your Favorites page (accessible from the full slide-out menu at top right) to use your bookmarks and manage your collections. There’s one thing you have to keep in mind, though: if one of our content providers removes a video or game from their library, that video or game is also removed from CONK! within 24 hours; so if you see a bookmark that reads “Content Deleted”, then you’ll know that’s what happened. (Needless to say, the Favorites system is only accessible to CONK! members.)

When I go to a video’s page, I get an error message saying “A plugin is needed to display this content” (or something similar). What’s going on?

At this point, if you see an error message like this you are almost certainly using the Mozilla Firefox web browser; and you’re seeing the message because the Adobe Flash plugin for Firefox has been automatically turned off because it’s out of date. The Adobe Flash plugin allows some video files to be played on web pages; it’s now mostly obsolete, as modern browsers now will play all common video files directly. However, some older video files still need this plugin to do the streaming conversion – and one of the consequences of running an uber-cheap streaming service like CONK! is being offered these files from content providers. (Neither the Google Chrome nor Microsoft Edge browsers have this problem, as they have proprietary Flash converters built into their browsers that update when the browser itself does.)

If you see this message, you need to update the Adobe Flash plugin – called, confusingly, “Shockwave Flash” in your Firefox Plugins list (NOT the “Extensions” list; go to “Addons” off the mains “Tools” menu to find both lists). The reason it’s so important to keep this plugin updated is because hackers are constantly finding bugs in it that make your computer vulnerable to outside attacks. (This is also one reason why both Google and Microsoft decided to create their own versions from scratch.) The Shockwave Flash plugin is supposed to update itself automatically by default – but there’s lots of reason why this does not always happen.

Instead of us re-inventing the wheel here, we are going to refer you to Mozilla’s official pages for dealing with this problem:

Finally, to make certain the Flash plugin automatically updates once you get this problem fixed, go to Adobe’s official Flash test page, right-click on the animation at the top of the page (which is using Flash to display) and choose “Global Settings” from the pop-up menu. When the Flash Player Settings Manager appears, go to the “Updates” tab and choose “Allow Adobe to install updates” and save that. This should (hopefully, but not for certain… 🙂 ) take care of this problem for good.

There’s no way for me to comment on the videos. Why not?

After much internal discussion we decided not to implement this feature when we opened, for a variety of reasons. However, our system is certainly capable of accommodating this…. If we get enough requests from members in the future to turn this on, it definitely will be considered.

In the meantime, you can rate all videos and games via the 5-star rating system in the left sidebar of all content; and those ratings display below the images on all selection and search pages. (Although non-members cannot rate content, they can see the current ratings.)

I want to play CONK! videos on my TV. How can I do that?

We have a whole separate page devoted to this topic. But to summarize: the best way to accomplish this is to hook your laptop computer (NOT a tablet or smartphone – here’s why) to your TV with an HDMI cable. And if you don’t own a laptop: keep in mind that, at $19.95 a year, a one-year CONK! membership and a $200 laptop are about the same cost as one year of Netflix ($119.88) and a Roku or Apple TV box ($50-150)… AND NOW YOU ALSO OWN A LAPTOP. More on this »

I can’t find CONK!’s channel on my Roku/Apple TV box. Where is it?

You won’t find it because it doesn’t exist. Not only do we not have a channel on Roku or Apple TV, but we probably never will – primarily for the following two reasons: 1), the content providers of many of our videos won’t allow us to use them in that manner; and 2), CONK!’s current method of streaming video is technically incompatible with both Roku and Apple TV. So for these reasons alone, we do not expect to be on your Roku or Apple TV box any time soon.