26 September 2007

TV Download Services - Reviews Coming

It's been a long time since I watched any TV. Mind you, I'm actually a big fan of serialized dramatic visual arts (the art formerly known as "TV shows"). Some stories just cannot be told in a two hour movie. But I gave up on broadcast and cable both when Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer retired. I canceled my subscriptions then because there simply wasn't anything left to watch. I nearly came back when Firefly came out, but then it was canceled in mid-season and I felt completely justified in rejecting the broadcast establishment with disdain. If anything good did happen to make it to the airwaves by accident, I knew it would be out on DVD and available from Netflix soon anyhow.

Lately, however, there have been a few twinkles of hope, and my Netflix queue has become clogged with TV DVDs. Battlestar Gallactica got me hooked first, then The Unit and Heroes. Now I have 327 discs in my queue and not much hope of ever getting through them all. I actually broke down and decided I should consider downloading some episodes. (No, not that way. I mean legally.) I picked a few oddball things from iTunes, but I realized that iTunes is not the perfect solution. As Chris Breen said (or was it really his daughter?), NBC are being poo-poo heads and pulling their shows from iTunes. And just when I want to watch Heroes and the new Bionic Woman, too. Grrr!

So I think it's time to take a look at the various online services available and see how they compare to each other and to the DVD experience. I know going into it that this is going to be an especially trying experience, because iTunes is the only commercial service that supports Macs. All the others require Windows. That means I have to jump through flaming hoops to get them to work, because all my computers are either Macs or run Linux.

Sigh. Nothing is ever easy. I'll write future posts on my experiences so you can follow along at home.

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