One More Step into the Future of TV

by Jimmy Akin

in Technology

NBC to begin free downloads of programs.


As you’d expect for this kind of thing, there are commercials that can’t be easily skipped and (somewhat less expectedly) the files expire after a week.

Nevertheless, the industry continues to experiment with online delivery.

Paid, non-commercial, non-expiring is where it’s at as far as I’m concerned, but I understand free and commercial as one avenue to be explored.

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Suzanne from Okla. September 21, 2007 at 5:39 am

I don’t watch TV precisly because of the raunchy commercials(and we can’t find much worth watching). If we happen to want to watch something, DVR is a beautiful thing to have so that we can fast forward through them. I can’t imagine wanting to watch something online, especially since the commercials can’t be circumvented.

Helene September 21, 2007 at 6:21 am

It’s only for Windows-based PCs. There is still the discrimination issue against Mac users. So not fair!

Martin September 21, 2007 at 6:28 am Get your free movies (Past copyright date). Charlie Chaplin and others

Jeff Miller September 21, 2007 at 6:49 am

Though there is no reason it can’t be both.
Paid for no commercial, non-expiring, and higher quality video.
Free for streaming version with commercials.
This way pretty much everybody who wants to watch the show is covered.
Though I pretty much record anything I want to watch on Windows Media Center so that I can easily skip commercials.
But it was pretty cool to be able to watch the whole season of Jericho on the net since I only found out about how good the show was when it was cancelled (and then picked up again.) And since the commercials it had were only 15 seconds, that was quite acceptable.

Dent, Arthur Dent September 21, 2007 at 7:08 am

Free & non-commercial would be nice. But someone has to pay for the shows. I think that they will have to rethink how to pay and advertise. TV will probably go the way of newspapers & lose volume to the internet.

larsterkhan September 21, 2007 at 7:16 am

And this is only an interim measure. The news report I read said that NBC would transition to their own iTunes type of store. The quote made it plain that all they were interested in was eliminating Apple as the middleman.

Vince C September 21, 2007 at 7:54 am

If only the commercials weren’t so long and repulsive, I wouldn’t mind them at all.
What ever ever happened to a simple “This episode of [insert program]was brought to you by the fine folks at [insert sponsor] makers of [insert product]. Now back to our program.”

Karen--Linux user, secondary Mac user September 21, 2007 at 8:29 am

“With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they consume their favorite entertainment,”
Then how about acknowledging that part of the control we want is control over which OS we use. I hope I never have to give in, give up Linux, and get Windows (or rely on Macs either, for that matter) just to keep up with these things. I really pray I never have to do that. We should all pray, really, that down the road, we all still have choices, and don’t get locked into something, even if we’re absolutely willing to pay for our media content (which I am).

Bill Q September 21, 2007 at 9:04 am

I didn’t really catch on to “Heroes” until about eight weeks into the series last year — it was nice that NBC had all of the episodes online to enable me to catch up. I’m a little disappointed that this service will only be for one week after the show airs.
BTW, what’s up with the site that Martin referred to? It doesn’t seem to be anything other than a search engine. From what he said, I thought it would have free downloads or something.

Ed Pie September 21, 2007 at 9:40 am

all they were interested in was eliminating Apple as the middleman.
This after Apple wanted to drop the iTunes prices for TV shows and NBC refused?

David September 21, 2007 at 5:29 pm

I don’t understand why this is news. ABC was doing this last year. That’s how I watched Day Break and Lost.

Jon Jakoblich September 21, 2007 at 9:17 pm

This is exciting news for those of us who are attached to a show or 2 and will have to miss its regularly scheduled time!

Nutcrazical September 22, 2007 at 5:22 pm

That site is freaky, with that header that says: “Find Something Interesting“. Eech! It gives me the creeps.

Anonymous September 23, 2007 at 3:07 pm

This isn’t going to stop the tidal wave of piracy. If the networks insist on providing only cumbersome, commercial-laden files that expire, the mushy middle that might be willing to pay $2 for honesty will just go to Usenet, BitTorrent, and P2P for commercial DRM free files that can be easily played on TV and never expire. The reason that piracy is so popular isn’t mainly because its cheaper than the alternative, but because it is better (in the non-moral sense) than the alternative.

G September 26, 2007 at 1:27 pm

This “news” makes no difference to our fam. There’s nothing worth watching…much less downloading!

Lori September 26, 2007 at 7:20 pm

We used this feature on NBC last year to watch “Kidnapped”…the series went to online only after about 4 weeks on TV…same thing, though, the files expired one week after each initial “airing”, so if you missed it, you missed it…and it was tough to watch on the computer…but I definitely didn’t miss the commercials! (Just one at the beginning of each episode)

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