Dear TNT.tv

I enjoy your shows.  The Closer?  Awesome.  Damages?  Very cool.  I would like to watch Leverage someday.  However, your online player keeps telling me that it needs to download some extra plugin in order to play your videos.

Um, no.

Users don’t like downloading extra shit.  They want to watch their videos when they visit your site.  I don’t know what this extra plugin does — something with DRM?  I dunno — but the fact that it’s necessary to enjoy this show tells me I’m not going to be happy about it.

You’re putting one extra step in-between me and the episode, and thus I will not watch it.  I’ll either wait and maybe rent it on DVD or just illegally download it like everyone else.

That’s what you get for putting an extra step in-between me and my entertainment.

Don’t do it.

No love,
Me

Comments

  1. says

    I refused to download the plug-in for Firefox, but whatever it is, it seems to be standard in IE, because I didn’t get prompted to install anything.

    Next season, I’ll get an iTunes subscription for Leverage if one is offered. I don’t feel bad about my alternative viewing stream, though, because I’m going to pre-order the DVD’s as soon as possible, so they’ll get money from me regardless.

  2. says

    Apparently, TNT uses WMV files, and non-IE browsers require a plugin to stream them. Or you could just use IE.

    The plugin seems standard, just like every other plugin from Java to Quicktime to Move to RealAudio that is used to view streaming media on the web.

    By the way, Damages is on FX and, thus, on Hulu (Java required).

  3. says

    well this is what I get for in the heat of the moment posting :)

    I tried watching in IE but the page wouldn’t load. But then, I have ie 6. I guess it’s time to upgrade (i hate ie sooo much, arg).

  4. says

    The plugin is just the beginning of the trouble with tnt.tv. I couldn’t get it to work at all on IE–it kept prompting that “You do not have rights to play this file,” yet every time I try to click through to get the permissions, it says an error occurred. I finally installed the plugin in Firefox, and could get past the getting rights phase, but it turns out that it does the same thing for EVERY SEGMENT of the video–i.e. after every commercial break too. Also, half or more of the time when you hit pause, it goes on to the next segment, where you have to get permission again. You have to hit pause from time to time, because when the stream from the website is slower than what it takes to play, it pauses every second or two. You have to pause for a few minutes to get some video in the cache so more than half a word will play before it stops again. So when you catch up with the video stream and hit pause, and it jumps to the beginning of the next segment, you have to go through the DRM dialog boxes, then go back to the segment you were watching, then go through the DRM dialogs again, then fast forward to wherever you were (you were paying attention to what segment you were on, and where in it you were) then you’ll have to pause again, and if it jumps forward again, repeat. God forbid this happens in the last segment, because then it’ll jump to the PREVIOUS episode (not the next episode, as you’d expect) and then you have to go back to your episode, go through the DRM dialogs, go to the last segment, go through DRM dialogs again, then jump to wherever you were in the segment (you noted where you were, didn’t you?!) and hit pause again to cache some video and hope it doesn’t jump to the previous episode again. If it does, repeat that whole process again. Wow, what a nightmare. I’m guessing they don’t get very many online viewers. I’m a software developer and a pretty expert user, so I’d hate to see a novice try to use this online viewer.

    They should just contract with hulu, veoh, or someone who has figured out the technology. DRM should be invisible to the user. The buffer cache should be visible. If my pipe (or their pipe) is too slow, I should be able to see my buffer filling (like hulu, when you hit pause). Pause should never jump to the next segment–it should just pause. Flash and Java are advanced enough that there should never be some obscure plugin required. And if it is, it should be *better*, not worse, than the Flash/Java alternatives.

    I mostly watch on TV, but when I miss an episode I like to watch online. I watch more commercials online than I do with TiVo, but that’s not too oppressive. For TNT, though, I think I’ll just skip the episode or if I miss a couple in a row, I might just quit watching the show. This online player is just too horrible.

  5. Laurie says

    TNT changed something with the viewer toward the end of the last season of leverage. I discovered the series online and watched almost all of the episodes just fine. No lags whatsoever. Then they changed something with the viewer. Haven’t watched an episode since. Change it back or stop offering it all together. This viewer sucks.