The Pain of Watching TV Shows Online
by, 09-19-2012 at 06:02 AM (1140 Views)
In recent years, the trend toward watching TV on the Internet has increased greatly, especially with cable and satellite providers raising their subscription prices significantly. The large jumps have caused many to cut the cord, cancel cable and satellite television altogether, returning to the old way of watching the boob tube, antenna. Some combine these methods, yet I have certain frustrations with viewing TV on my computer.
This month, I was forced into watching the final two episodes of the drama Saving Hope online. This was due to NBC's classless act of canceling the show abruptly, even though it had steadily increased in the ratings and its replacement is a rerun that doesn't come close to matching the Saving Hope numbers. Regardless, my only way of seeing these final two programs was to go online.
I began at NBC.com. At the time, only episode 12 was available. I hit 'play' and saw the logo at the top left of the screen, but then nothing. Though my computer is up to date with plug-ins and such, it just did not play, and I tried it in two browsers and a even a special streaming program -- nothing.
Finally, I went to Hulu.com. I refuse to pay a fee, so I just watched the free version. I could not believe how many and how long the ads were now on the free version. Of course, I ignore the ads there, just like I do on TV. I am a multi-tasker. Go ahead, play the ads. I'll read my magazine or do email or play with the dogs, and because the ads are so long now, it is actually easier to do other things. The longer they are, the more I can get other things done.
Still, it was frustrating that in this past week as I attempted to watch the programs on TV, it was more of a pain than not. I still don't know why the NBC.com site would not play, and I still think it's horrid that the time allotted to commercials has increased so much. It used to be just two or three breaks with just a couple of 30 second ads. Not anymore. Breaks are much more frequent and can last 3 to 4 minutes sometimes.
Cord cutting may work for some, but with the unreliability of online streaming sites and the growing number of ads there, I pass.