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January 12, 2009

We live in an age of near instantaneous information. Screenshots and trailers for new games are released as soon as they’re ready. Hell, the game industry is on top of the ball when it comes to releasing information at instant speeds. So why, then, must TV lag behind?

For example, we are not allowed to watch sports over the internet. Adobe Media Player was a step in the right direction: on-demand on your desktop. Then it lost all its content and there’s nothing to watch on there now except some Food Channel clips and Ghostbusters. But let’s say, hypothetically, that I don’t have a TV, nor can afford a TV, but I have a $1500 desktop right in front of me. What are my options? Well, a TV Tuner card, sure. But shouldn’t that be obsolete technology by now? Would it be so hard for TV stations to have live streaming of their content? Or the MLB to let you watch whatever game you want to, especially considering the Red Sox are hardly ever on local Boston TV anymore?

Here’s another example: 24. Season 7 premiered tonight, a full year later than it was supposed to thanks to the writer’s strike (remember that?). So I don’t have a TV – hypothetically, remember – and I can’t watch it. OK, I’ll wait for it to go up on iTunes. Oh wait, there’s 2 episodes? Okay, guess I have to wait a while…

2 Hours Later…

Okay it’s still not up on iTunes. Hulu? Nooo… Fox.Com? Hmm… also no. So what you are telling me is that I have to go through channels you don’t want me to go through to watch what you made because you won’t let me watch it?

Does this make sense to anyone at all?

When DOOM was released in 1993, id Software had a server crash because of the high demand of people wanting the game. It’s happened countless times since, especially with MMOs. Even Steam crashed when Half Life 2 was released. But in games, when we see a problem, we fix it. In TV, they shrug it off and are like, “Oh well, guess you’re gonna have to wait till we feel like letting you access it!” Unfortunately there is very little benefit to watching the version they LET us watch, and the ripped versions we can find on YouTube. Maybe once in a while you’ll get an HD version instead of standard rez. But when all you care about is getting a fix, you don’t care if it’s homegrown or medicinal, as long as you’re smoking it.

You would think – in this day and age – that a TV show would go up on iTunes right after – if not at the same time as – its live TV broadcast. Sure, the people watching on iTunes save 15 minutes and don’t sit through commercials, but they’ve also just paid $2. If you put it on your website, you can put up commercial interruptions. We don’t care. We have even longer ones to sit through on regular TV. Fox did it right with 24: Redemption. It went up right after the broadcast.


Oh, did I mention I can’t BitTorrent where I am?

The loops are endless and we are stuck inside them, stuck at the whim of television, a form of entertainment I view as vastly inferior to gaming. And yet, 24 is the only show I really, truly care about. Fancy that. Some people have LOST, Heroes, or Smallville. Or all three. That’s fine, I’m not stopping them. But I do not care enough about TV to have or WANT more than 24. So please, Fox, for the sake of my sanity, put these episodes up because I am now a full 2 hours behind everyone else.


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One Comment
  1. skynes permalink

    And in another 2 hours the tweets and facebook updates will be revealing plot and OMG moments spoiling the episode for you.

    Totally agree with you. Bottom line is, if companies make it difficult for people to enjoy their product, they’ll get it elsewhere legal or not.

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