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Podcast HomeTheaterUnited Podcast Episode 14 - Todd Erwin on Streaming Frustrations (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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When was cable ever $10/month?
Back around 2010 there was a "lifeline" cable subscription option that was just OTA channels via analog cable for $10/mo. It was a thing. But it wasn't advertised. You had to call and ask for it, IIRC. I learned about it from a popular HT forum (HTF or AVS, I forget). I think it was meant as a cheap "essential service" for people who couldn't afford cable and couldn't get OTA. I had mediocre standard OTA reception that a storm would clobber. So when I learned about the service, I signed up. Worked with my analog TiVo Series 2.

Later, when digital OTA rolled out, I switched back and upgarded to a TiVo HD because, surprisingly, while my analog OTA was meh, my HD OTA was excellent.
 

DaveF

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@startrekcbs is very good. But the buffering is killing me. I have gigabit fios and the service can’t feed a clean stream :(
Bummer. Sounds like something with your locale. CBSAA works like all the other services for me on FIOS in NoVA. No particular buffering or quality problems. I'm HD, so no comment on 4K streaming.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I’ve never had an issue with CBS All Access streaming on an AppleTV 4K box or a Roku. I don’t think the buffering is an issue inherent to the service.
 

Sam Posten

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Bummer. Sounds like something with your locale. CBSAA works like all the other services for me on FIOS in NoVA. No particular buffering or quality problems. I'm HD, so no comment on 4K streaming.

googling and Twitter searching indicates it’s a nationwide service issue. They can’t keep up with demand
 

DaveF

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A Play in two Acts
[SCENE: Valentine's Day, 8pm]
Me: What movie are we watching?
Her: Haven't decided yet. Want to watch something new. Here are several I've found free with our streaming.
Her: [Lists Movies]
Me: Everyone said The Big Sick was really good. Let's watch that.

[SCENE: Valentine's Day, 8:10pm]
Us: <Watching The Big Sick on Prime>

What I'm wondering: is an important distinction between streamers and non-streamers their movie buying preferences?

We're leaning more into the "all the new movies are streaming so we'll find something there and be waching it 20 minutes later". I don't buy a lot of movies. I don't buy discs regularly to sit on the shelf unwatched until I think about it three years later.

I'm wondering if the non-streamers don't find benefit in the online libraries because they've avid purchasers, and have libraries with dozens, maybe hundreds, of unwatched movies ready for these ocasions. So in my scenario above, they'd instead have The Big Sick and every other recent romantic movie from the past five years sitting in shrinkwrap, waiting for this moment?
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I'm wondering if the non-streamers don't find benefit in the online libraries because they've avid purchasers, and have libraries with dozens, maybe hundreds, of unwatched movies ready for these ocasions.

I think there’s a divide that falls right about there. As physical media fans, home theater enthusiasts and movie buffs, so many of us that fall into those categories want to watch a specific thing of our specific choosing at a specific time. A lot of people in that small niche believe that’s not possible with streaming. It’s entirely possible, of course - it just means that storefronts like iTunes are perhaps a better match than subscription services, but there are a lot of people that still equate “streaming = subscription services = content on those services changes = those services aren’t for me”. I do think at least some people are coming around that if access to a specific title vs a library of titles is more important, that means you’re buying a title from a digital storefront, not that the entire concept of streaming is invalid.

On the other hand, I genuinely believe the overwhelming majority of the general public thinks more like your post. “I feel like watching a movie. Probably something I haven’t seen before. Let’s see what’s on the thing I subscribe to” and that’s that.
 

Todd Erwin

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Yeah and @Todd Erwin twisted my arm into getting the ad free launch paramount+ deal now too. So I can skip the ads ridden version of the stand on Hulu and catch up on all the Trek I’ve missed.
Made the switch to ad-free CBS All Access/Paramount+ with an annual subscription yesterday (sorry everyone for misquoting the pricing on the podcast!) 4K HDR is only available with an ad-free subscription, and the only shows I saw so far that were noted with the HDR logo were: Star Trek: Discovery (seasons 2 & 3), Star Trek: Picard, Twilight Zone (season 2), The Good Fight (season 3? & 4), and The Stand. So far, only Dolby Digital+ 5.1 (if you are on Roku, you must go into options and select DD+ from the audio settings when the program starts, otherwise it still defaults to stereo; FireStick users only get stereo - unless you subscribe via Prime Channels which I will never do). I suspect, though, that Star Trek: Discovery is probably 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos overseas, since it streams on Netflix, and Picard may be the same overseas on Amazon Prime Video. :angry:

So, the Paramount+ pre-launch deal is $29.99 for the first year for limited ads while ad-free (with 4K) is $49.99 for the first year. Again, sorry for that!
 

Josh Steinberg

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The Atmos/HDR thing I’m more indifferent to, but I definitely agree about having an ecosystem built on access to all. I’m sure you and I can’t be alone in that.

On most days, my wife and I will stream an episode of newer show from one of the services we have, and then we’ll also conclude the evening with a sitcom episode film a show that’s always in our rotation. It doesn’t make sense for us to own most of the newer stuff that we’ll watch only once or that will live in perpetuity on a service we always have. It does make sense for us to own all of I Love Lucy, which no service has in its entirety and which we start at the beginning again whenever we get to the end.

For us, it’s all about balance and practicality. We don’t have the desire or space to have a hard copy of everything we’ve ever seen, but there’s also some stuff we see so often that there’s value in having that hard copy available.
 

Brian Dobbs

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kick-them-while-they-are-down_1172.png
 

DaveF

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And I do a bit of both.

I have some movies that I wanted in highest quality, Atmos, whatever. They're on my HTPC, and I go and watch them when I'm in the mood for something specific I bought specifically in best possible quality.

But discs are expensive and a nuisance, and the HTPC hobby is a time suck. So, streaming gets the majority of my eyeball time becase it's so easy and cheap and has all the best shows.
 

DaveF

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Another divide is "Movies" vs "TV".

If you're a movies fan, I see compelling reasons for dealing with discs over streaming. Highest quality. "Ownership". Home decor.

But if you're into modern TV, streaming is basically all there is.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I can see a point coming in the not-too-distant future where I stop putting new stuff into my HTPC and simply use it to manage the legacy content that I already have. I’ve already decided I’m not doing 4K with it. My disc purchases these days tend to be for things not available anywhere else. And the HTPC is brilliant for managing TV show episodes compared to dragging out the discs. But in general, I don’t see myself buying discs forever just to buy more hard drives to rip them on to.
 

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