January 6th, 2016

A few remarks about watching TV

The TV in question was the crossover episode of NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans. In retrospect, perhaps I should not have put this much effort into watching the New Orleans continuation of the crossover, but it did remind me of something that I had forgotten.

I watch two of the NCIS versions (the original and LA). I watched a couple episodes of New Orleans at the beginning, but I am not a long term Bakula fan and I found it a little boring. I typically watch them delayed, using a Tivo. When something has gone horribly wrong, in the past, I would resort to the CBS website to watch an episode, however, I've been having problems with that. This time around, they put the two episodes together, so I attempted to move to the middle of it to watch it, but the video froze on an image, and I could only hear the sound (this is _after_ I turned off adblock so I could "watch" it at all). Worse, I was forced to sit through all the ads for the first half -- and the ads in the part I wanted to watch _did_ play, even tho the image for the second half would not.

CBS, you suck. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you have the most successful series on network television, but you still suck. Fix this. That is ridiculous.

In any event, I reverted to my usual strategy: fine, I'll just throw money at it. I checked to see if NCIS New Orleans was available through Amazon Prime. It is not. So, given the choice between buying it from Amazon video (downloadable only a couple times, otherwise you are stuck streaming) or Apple iTunes store (downloadable however many times you like, or you can stream it), I picked, as I always do, Apple.

I had a recent convo with a financial services person, and we got onto the topic of streaming services. He mentioned Netflix and Amazon, and secondarily Hulu. I said, Apple. And he treated Apple TV as a future-only thing. But I have to say, there have been so many times where streaming didn't work (in a hotel room, in the car, during peak usage hours) or didn't work well, but downloaded video worked great, that I ditched my Netflix subscription (for my purposes, the overlap with Amazon Prime was great enough that I never missed anything else). And then once I started watching a lot of content on TV vs. on a device, the download limit on purchased video from Amazon started really grating on me and I switched completely over to Apple, because it gave me the greatest flexibility.

I still use Amazon Prime and Amazon non-Prime video for a variety of purposes (when I'm traveling and the network is solid, like in a rental house vs. a hotel, the Fire Stick is amazing). And I really prefer recording off TV for my network shows, because decades of habit. But is interesting that any given customer makes such different choices, partly because of what any one customer is aware of or cares about in terms of tradeoffs and limitations.