Thursday, May 22, 2014

The current state of TV

A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed to get up to speed with GoT, and set about watching series 1-3, so that I could catch up to the latest series as it played out live.

This was my experience.
  1. Sign up to NowTV, Sky's pay-as-you-go monthly streaming service, in order to access the old series.
  2. Watch half of series 1 using Chromecast from Android app - it's a great experience.
  3. Enjoy it so much I fork out for a NowTV box, so I don't even need to cast. Brilliant. This is future.
  4. Sky's licensing window with HBO expires - all episodes disappear from Sky. I am bereft.
  5. Cannot find old GoT on any other streaming service in the UK.
  6. Purchase US VPN to access HBO-Go.
  7. Discover that in the US, you have to sign up via your "TV Provider" - as I live in the UK, my "TV provider" is a metal stick on my roof. It doesn't support oauth.
  8. Send an SOS out on Twitter for solutions. Nothing comes back.
  9. Give in, and download series 2 via BitTorrent. I've already spent about £40 just to watch 6 episodes of first series, so figure I'm owed something.
  10. Wait about four days for torrent to download.
  11. Watch downloads using Videostream chrome app and Chromecast - it too is brilliant, but feel guilty about my crime.
  12. Guilt takes control, eventually finding series 3 available on Blinkbox, from Tesco. This is ironic, given that I spent two years building Tesco's first streaming service, before it was folded into Blinkbox.
  13. Buy series 3.
  14. Find out that BlinkBox's Android app doesn't support casting, so have to watch from laptop. There's a terrible lag casting from a Silverlight app running in chrome, so I switch to mirroring via AppleTV. The Silverlight app threatens to melt my laptop.
So far, I've watched (most of) three series of GoT, and along the way:
  • I've subscribed to two new services (NowTV and VPN).
  • I've bought one new set-top box (NowTV).
  • I've used a further two set-top boxes (Chromecast and AppleTV).
  • I've used two separate device (laptop and tablet)
  • I've downloaded two new apps (NowTV, Blinkbox, Videocast)
  • I've used two further apps (TunnelBlick, uTorrent)
  • I've broken various Terms of Service agreements
  • I may even have broken the law?
This the current state of TV.

It's a clusterf*ck.

**UPDATE**

Despite my best efforts, I wasn't fast enough - so although I have now finished series three, and series four is available via my NowTV subscription - the first three episodes have already expired. And because the series is still in progress, it's not available for streaming anywhere else.