Tag Archives: streaming video

Episode 128: Game of Thrones season 5, episode 1 recap

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We welcome everyone back to Westeros by way of recapping the first episode of season 5.

This gives us a way to discuss HBO Now, the new standalone streaming service from HBO that does not require a cable subscription.

Jeremy has already signed up for HBO Now. Have you?

We also discuss how much better HBO Now is than the old HBO Go. The big difference is that HBO has a new streaming partner to provide high quality video and service.

Listen to this week’s show:

 

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Episode 124: We welcome our streaming future

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We take a deep dive into Sling TV, the first major streaming TV option available that includes a package of popular cable channels.

What makes this option so compelling is that it includes ESPN and several other channels for $20. With ESPN now available without a cable subscription, the landscape for over-the-top video has changed dramatically.

It’s one thing if a niche channel like HBO allows for streaming without cable, but it’s quite another if the heavyweight in cable, ESPN, is willing to go cable free.

We discuss whether or not we would describe to an entire year of a service like Sling TV or HBO Go or would we do it only for certain shows?

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Episode 112: Daddy bloggers (also streaming video for sports sucks)

MLS Live may be cheap, but the blackout restrictions are onerous. A bad way to grow a new sports league is to make it really hard for people to watch your games. That's a pro tip right there.

MLS Live may be cheap, but the blackout restrictions are onerous. A bad way to grow a new sports league is to make it really hard for people to watch your games. That’s a pro tip right there.

Pat is back from paternity leave.

Jeremy and him discuss becoming Daddy Bloggers, because parenting blogging could use a softer touch. Tech. Dads. Awesome.

We also discuss streaming video with the NFL, MLB, MLS, etc. None of these leagues do it well, and it’s really holding back soccer from catching on in the U.S., in particular. Also, Jeremy is not “eligible” to get NFL Sunday Ticket streaming this year after having it for a few years. What is up with that? Blackout restrictions suck.

You can get around most blackout restrictions be either using a VPN or a proxy, which may be or may not be what I do with MLS.

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Episode 106: HBO I-got-my-password-from-my-parents

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We discuss HBO Go by way of Game of Thrones.

We also discuss net neutrality, and why it’s important. Like Netflix? Want HBO Go to not require a cable subscription? Well, you better start supporting net neutrality.

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Twitter is the reason to watch television live #HIMYMfinale

himymfinaleI’m a binge watcher.

I don’t watch a lot of television live, save for sports. I don’t have cable, and Netflix is how I watch most television shows. But Twitter pulls me back into live television.

There is nothing that cable companies and channels can do to pull me back into live television, but technology and the communal experience can. Twitter is so much better than the day-after water-cooler experience. You discuss and share experiences in real time, as new developments happen over the course of a show.

Twitter is the only reason I watch the Oscars. The show itself is kind of boring and bloated, but all the discussion about the host’s jokes, who won what award (or should have won), etc. makes it enjoyable. Oscar watching parties are still popular, and a good way to go, but with Twitter you don’t need a party to experience a live event with lots of people.

I binge watched How I Met Your Mother with my wife starting about a year ago. We eventually caught up to the final season about halfway through (eight seasons in a year is a hell of a way to watch a sitcom). And I’m glad we did for the finale, even though the show is much more enjoyable to binge watch than in 22-minute chunks.

With the second screen experience and Twitter, watching television becomes a communal experience, where as share our thoughts and theories.

As we were watching the HIMYM finale, I couldn’t take it anymore. I opened up my laptop and went on Twitter. I had to see what people were saying, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The #HIMYMFinale hashtag was the top one in the U.S. I went there and was able to vent and share my feelings. About half way through the finale I began tweeting my own thoughts.

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As this point, I none of us knew the Mother would die (although I expected her to for several weeks), and that Ted and Robin might be a thing again in the future. And then people began responding to me. Some thought there was no way this could happen.

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After the final was over, and it was clear what had happened, I sent out one of my final tweets.

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If I hadn’t caught up to real time with the show, I would never have sent this tweet out, and had all the interaction I had with people all over the world that night and for the next week. People will still be upset by the finale (or continue to love it) for years, but the energy around the finale was when it aired. Imagine the snark that would have happened when Seinfeld’s finale ended if Twitter were around. I almost want a time machine and Twitter to make that happen.

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Of course, you have to avoid Twitter if you want to avoid spoilers, and there is no way to segregate tweets by region. West Coast HIMYM fans could watch the finale when it aired and still have it spoiled by East Coast viewers and their reactions. That’s a flaw in the current broadcast television model that will only cause more people to go to streaming.

Not showing shows at same time everywhere is the issue — an anachronism from a pre-social media time. The social experience around a television event shouldn’t be limited to people who get to watch the show first.

This is one of the big strengths of Oscars and live sports. These kinds of events are shown everywhere at the same time and work very well for social media. Scripted television will need to adapt.

Binge watching is great. Most of the time it is better than watching a 30-minute show filled with commercials once a week. But binge watching kills the social experience. This will have to be rectified.

But traditional television models are bad at binge watching and the social experience. Viewers don’t really benefit at all from the traditional television model, which is user hostile.

One day when all content goes over IP, this won’t be an issue. Imagine being able to watch a television show when it airs on CBS in your time zone or being able to stream it at the same time everywhere. West Coast viewers could tune in at the same time as East Coast viewers.

But the more I binge watch, the more I realize that the current model really harms the viewing experience and the show themselves. Sitcoms really drag when you are given about 22-minutes of new content a week surrounded by ads. Game of Thrones, with each episode being a weighty 50+ minutes, sans ads, still works in a once-a-week format, because the show is so dense that it’s hard to binge watch more than a few episodes in a week.

I don’t think sitcoms like HIMYM do that well. The show was more enjoyable when I could binge watch it. You can get in about three episodes of HIMYM in about an hour on Netflix. But, again, binge watching can’t be nearly the social experience. All you can talk about with binge watching are the broad strokes of a show.

So, what’s the solution? Perhaps we need more hour-long shows with fewer episodes per season. Or, maybe every episode except for the last few in a season should be available on day one. This way people can binge watch the show over a few weeks and then come together for a big finale together as a community.

House of Cards is a great show, and it’s fun to binge watch, but it lacks a strong social community around it.

Episode 38: To go or not to go


This actually happened. And it happened several times while trying to watch one episode on HBO Go.

We discuss the usability issues with HBO’s app HBO Go.

Besides the problem with using it on the go, it’s a pretty good app. Make of that what you will.

We also discuss our iPad setups for work, and how we use the iPad to get stuff done.

We then discuss how we’re all lucky be subjected to a second unskippable government warning before movies we buy. Double your pleasure.

And then we discuss how the American Community Survey is in jeopardy. It’s kind of a BFD.

Listen to this week’s show: 

 

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Episode 8: Our cloud/streaming future — get excited, but be prepared to cry

This is our Net Neutrality episode, and it’s a great discussion about what could be and how that may not come to be.

We go into this whole big discussion about our cloud/streaming/awesome future that may be derailed by our terrible ISPs. So get excited — but be prepared to cry.

We ask some big questions:

  • Do younger generations who have never paid for music have interest in owning digital content? Are we exiting the age of ownership?
  • Can our Internet support our awesome cloud/streaming future?
  • Will streaming digital content and better user experiences vanquish piracy?

We kick off the show by asking, are people being too harsh with Google and the whole Google+ deleting users for not using their real names? We think that people should cut Google some slack during a field test.

And organizations? Well you knew from the start that Google was rolling out pages for organizations at a later date. So, really how upset should you be that your organization’s page was deleted?

Out of nowhere we kind of do an Apple TV review at the end of the show. We talk about whispers of NFL Sunday Ticket coming to Apple TV.

Also, I lecture people about how only stupid people use P2P services such as Limewire. Is your computer acting weird? Is it slow? Might be because you’re using a P2P service filled with malware and viruses.

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Netflix uses its price increase to bring subscribers to the future (could news organizations do the same?)

Netflix’s price increase was largely created to encourage subscribers to adopt streaming only, because Netflix clearly sees that streaming is the future of video, not plastic disks shipped in the mail (and stored in big, expensive warehouses).

Netflix also wants to encourage content holders to release more content digitally. If the majority of Netflix’s customers are on streaming only plans (which is not the case today), that would push reluctant content holders to see that the days of the DVD are over.

A lot of people are upset with Netflix now, but in five years it will be clear that this was the prudent decision. They’ll end up convincing more subscribers to go streaming only and sell more new subscribers on the idea of streaming video, especially as their streaming library grows. Their streaming library will grow as content holders see more and more people signing up for Netflix streaming (and hopefully my streaming video dreams will come true).

The Nieman Lab tries to see if these lessons could be applied to the news industry:

Newspaper publishers started this process several years ago, saying, “Let’s have these print customers pay more of the freight of creating and delivering print.” Since then, community dailies that used to cost a quarter a day havetripled to 75 cents, and The New York Times goes for $6 on Sunday. They have priced in more of the cost of that expensive newsprint, ink, and delivery.

Now, this year, we’ve seen added in the charging for digital access. We’ve begun to see the answer to this question: How much will consumers pay for digital access? That’s still uncertain, though early evidence is coming in from The New York Times, Time Inc., and Journalism Online experiments, among others. In newspapers and in magazines, we see the interim play: the bundled, all-access subscription — pay us once and get both analog and digital, print and pixel. That’s a move for more consumer revenue in the short-term, but also a longer-term pricing play to get pure digital revenue as readers give up print.

What do you think? In my view, legacy news organizations, particularly newspapers, have been double- and triple- downing on print. Investment in digital has seen fits and starts, and there hasn’t been enough attention paid as to how to monetize the future, which is clearly digital distribution of news.

I have a dream for streaming movies, and it doesn’t involve mailing DVDs around the world.