That doesn't bother me one shred (don't much like the show myself), but the principle of the thing annoys me.
The IRONY hurts so much.
"Stop pirating Game of Thrones please... also stop buying it."
Well that lasted about a week...
We're finished setting up out iTunes on TV rig. Joy.
We've just finished watching Walking Dead Season 3, quite hanging out now to watch Walking Dead Season 4 episode by episode as it aired in the future.
But maybe Foxtel has canned the deal to allow shows to be sold on iTunes as they air?
Walking Dead isn't HBO... and this IS an opinion piece, I'd want more info... but still, if this is true... I'm surprised they have that much power.
Oh, no, let me guess. You figured that by removing a timely and legitimate method for viewers to watch the show within a couple of hours of its US release, you would force a handful of extra punters to take out one of your lousy subscriptions?
Well here’s a slow, sad little golf clap for you, Foxtel.
What you’re actually doing by trying to shore up your monopoly is guaranteeing that a whole heap of viewers who ponied up good, honest money to watch that series by a method other than membership of your exclusive club are now more likely to sign up to channel Bit Torrent.
I think I'm one of the last people left in Australia who is happy to pay for TV. Maybe my "market" (people who pay for TV but not subscribe to shite) is so small, annoying me doesn't even compute in their decisions?
Oh well. Back to waiting for DVDs to come out. Fun to think I lived in the 21st century for all of four seconds.
I had a brainwave about frame-rates and TV refresh rates and experimented changing the output to the TV to 60hz (NTSC) from 50hz (PAL), on the assumption that Walking Dead is an American TV show and probably NTSC (and therefore about 30fps rather than 25fps, displaying better in 60hz).
Playback is better when the output is set to 60hz. Coincidentally (or not?) the laptop screen itself (which tends to display video better, less choppy) is also 60hz.
However, my reasoning is wrong, because I inspected the iTunes TV file this morning and it is actually film rate (ie. about 24fps), not 30fps as I thought.
It probably just plays better at 60hz because it has more frames to play with.
As an experiment I tried setting the TV output to 24hz, trying to match exactly what the video was, but that looked rubbish. I'm not actually sure what iTunes plays the video back at. It's a technical how-computers-work issue I'm not capable of dealing with without falling asleep.
I'm pretty amused that frame-rates in regards to PAL/NTSC are still a problem in the 21st centurty.
I was pretty impressed by the huge range of frame-rates my TV will display though, clearly setup to suppose devices like Blue-Ray which can output at the frame-rate originally recorded (ie. film rate or 24fps rather than doing horrible things to the picture to fit it in PAL (25fps, video is sped up) or NTSC (30fps, voodoo).
Some quick Googling tells me that this isn't an uncommon problem (playing 24fps video smoothly on a 50hz/60hz TV). I suspect this is the first time I've seen the problem because this is the first 24fps video I've seen. I think the graphics card is responsible for smoothing things out?
Meanwhile, setting to 60hz has improved it.
Clearly I'm more obsessed by this than I need to be. I notice this sort of panning choppy playing in store bought NTSC DVDs, caused (I suspect) by the shows being filmed in 24fps then converted to 30fps, which involves some dodginess. You don't see it in PAL because they just speed it up to 25fps, not skipping any frames.
All of which is stupid.
This kind of not-quite-great playback does make you appreciate DVD and Blue-Ray as formats. If your DVD player did any of the above it would be "broken" and you'd take it back for a new one.
Somehow we put up with this sort of flaky behaviour from a multi-purpose tool like a PC.
I found out last night that when you buy the HD version of the show, you are allowed to download the SD version for free [by going to the iTunes store, choosing SD as the format, the "buy" button is a "download" button for every episode].
I experimented with one episode and the SD version looks fine so tonight we'll try that to see if the SD version plays better (mostly in regards to the panning choppiness).
I find it slightly funny iTunes won't just let you down convert the video, you have to actually download a new version from their server. Surely that costs them a lot of money? The answer is of course "because DRM".
I also think its funny I have three devices now (TV, DVD player, PVR) that play DivX, MPEG, XVid... a whole heap of formats they've managed to agree on a standard for, from USB keys, but none of them will play iTunes files. Again, of course, because DRM.