I Hope This Is Not the FutureComplications Ensue
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

I've been trying for the past ten minutes to see LEVERAGE on my computer. (My parents don't have a TiVo, inexplicably.) The TNT website promises me "full episodes." But first I have to get FlipforMac to watch Windows video. So I do. Then I reboot and reload, and it tells me I have to get FlipforMac.

So I try Firefox. Firefox tells me I can only watch on a Windows computer. 

So I try my mom's Windows computer. This asks me to upgrade two components of my browser, Flash and something else. And then agree to some sort of DRM. And then watch a commercial. And then another commercial.

Then I got a couple of seconds of video. And then it froze. And then it jumped. It's unwatchable. (The commercials, interestingly, had no such problems.) 

The TNT site is really crappy.

For a mere $2.99 I can download the whole thing to iTunes. And I might do that. But only because I consider John Rogers a friend. $2.99 is a lot for a heist show.

I think they're going to need to work out a few bugs in these systems before they replace broadcast and cable.



I'm streaming it just fine on a PC.

Don't you have bootcamp?

By Blogger Whaledawg, at 12:48 PM  

I think it's fair to say that's the present.

Most networks want to maintain full control over the presentation of their programs so of course they're hosting the shows on their own sites. Some sites like Hulu that can offer a high enough standard of quality and usability (to avoid situations exactly like this) are convincing enough bigger players (NBC/Universal, Fox, and for a brief time, Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible) that they can outsource that media hosting but then of course they can't tack on trailers, ads, and surround the embedded video with banners, towers and popups.

My first instinct would be to hope that the media content providers agree on a single method of media presentation, but then I think about what channels are only available on which Cable or Satellite networks, the DRM issues (I still can't watch CBS's or NBC's free clips or episodes from Canada unless re-presented by Global TV or CTV's website) and realize it's probably not going to come to that. The real winner will be the virtual TV app that will take whatever media type/content that you can throw at it and channel it through a single understandable interface (i.e. the Slingbox, but that's just another set-top box that nobody really wants)

I'd worry more about what the proprietary plug-ins the networks want you to install are tracking, or at least are trying to.

By Blogger Unknown, at 1:19 PM  

Everyone wonders why or how to make money in the future via the web.

It's really easy: deliver it faster, easier and cheaper than the pirates do...

You do that, the rest will follow suit.

By Blogger Cunningham, at 1:29 PM  

Or you could, oh...I don't know...torrent it like I did. But that would be illegal and everyone would frown upon you for it. (Except I did it anyways.)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 PM  

Oh Nicholas, you're so cool and rebellious! swoon!!!!!

By Blogger DMc, at 1:57 PM  

Alex, you said Leverage was on iTunes, but it doesn't appear to be on the Canadian store. How exactly are you getting around the pesky "where you live" thing?

By Blogger Tim W., at 3:00 PM  

American credit card at my parents' address in NY.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 3:27 PM  

I hate to say it but Leverage is truly terrible.

By Blogger Unknown, at 4:57 PM  

I had the same problem with Flip4Mac on CNN's site. I contacted them and they instructed me to uninstall the version on my mac before installing the upgrade.

By Blogger Jeff Juliard, at 12:25 PM  

"It's really easy: deliver it faster, easier and cheaper than the pirates do..."

If you can't beat them...

I usually connect my laptop to the TV, and the quality is ok (nowhere near HD but good enough for a TV).

Are there any websites that offer TV-series to locations outside the US?

By Blogger Avlan, at 4:21 AM  

I had a similar problem with the scifi.com site. I've heard a lot about Battlestar Galactica when it originally aired but never got into it.

But with the recent addition of webisodes, my interest was piqued. I wanted to watch some original TV episodes first, to get some back-story, so I looked for archived shows. Here's what I found:

1. The navigation was unintelligible, ie: I had no idea what season I was looking at.

2. When I gave up and just chose one at random, the episode had trouble loading properly, but the commercial aired just fine.

3. When I finally was watching the episode, I realized why I stopped watching the first time. It was awful. Bland characters, corny-corn-cornball dialog, and a story that just didn't make much sense. And a set that looked like the Galactica has had trouble paying their electric bill.

Okay, that was a bit off subject, but I couldn't help myself. But, yeah, this online broadcasting has a lot of kinks to shake out before TV is a distant memory.

By Blogger Cliff G., at 1:53 PM  

I had the same problem. I wanted to show a clip to some friends who were over. That didn't happen.

By Blogger Jesse, at 11:29 AM  

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