Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: TVNZ on Demand actually doesn't suck

46 Responses

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  • Donald Matheson,

    I'm impressed too - all seems to work very well and has started with a good amount of material. One of the few instances I can think of, too, where copyright restrictions have done us a favour. Al least for now, wall to wall Aotearoa New Zealand programming. Wonderful.

    I wonder, though, why TVNZ's sticking to the TV format so closely. Overseas (e.g. BBC, America's ABC) the thinking seems to be that people are much more likely to 'snack' online, particularly the younger people who are major users. Could we not have programmes broken into meaningful chunks as well? Expensive new initiatives in broadcasting are also on dangerous ground when they don't give people new content. I'd have liked to be able to do more than catch up on programmes (oh, and, watch TVNZ promoting itself with director interviews). I suppose it's expensive enough as it is.

    I look forward to seeing user generated content too - TVNZ as a public service broadcaster, could do with engaging in a bit more two-way traffic.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm thinking that a service offering those overseas VPN access through an NZ IP address might become popular.

    I might have to look further into whether it's possible to have a New Zealand allocated IP block set up to route to a US-located server.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Johann Schoonees,

    Hmmm... Never mind the Mac, there's no viewing pleasure running Firefox on Linux either. No video at all. Clicking on "Show me now!" results in "Access to this file is forbidden." Isn't DRM great?

    Since Mar 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    Just wondering if anyone's had a chance to try using ondemand through Parallels (running Windows XP or Vista) on a Mac? Sometimes even this doesn't get past the old No-Macs-Allowed barrier but sometimes it does... Cheers.

    And I have to agree with Russell's comment re: paying for a one week license when I can just download it... I'll likely be able to buy the DVD's (which I get to keep!) around the same time I can download one episode... Although one thing I've now wised up to lately is buying a tv series box set I'd like to see, watching it and then onselling it as soon as I'm done (in near brand new condition). It only ends up costing about $20 to watch the whole series in my own time.

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the thinking seems to be that people are much more likely to 'snack' online, particularly the younger people who are major users. Could we not have programmes broken into meaningful chunks as well?

    this is a good call. i've given away tv entirely (too much shit just wasting my time), but have enjoyed the three of five part documentary on auckland public transport viewable on this site.

    go is, i've tried watching dvds and the like on my desktop pc, or on a laptop, but sitting in an office chair passively veiwing is damn uncomfortable.

    viewable snippets would be fantastic, and more easily downloadable on a crappy ihug 4meg line.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    Oh and how nice that I can still watch the ads on the site, just not the good stuff! Smug BAS####S!

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    this is a good call. i've given away tv entirely (too much shit just wasting my time), but have enjoyed the three of five part documentary on auckland public transport viewable on this site.

    It's funny - I can't remember the last time I watched anything on TV except for the news and the odd Simpsons episode while I'm cooking dinner, but it's gotta be at least 18 months.

    On the other hand, 90% of my viewing consists of tv series on DVD - it really seems to me like we're in a golden age of TV writing after decades of crap. Perhaps not coincidentally movies seem to have suffered a massive decline in quality over the last couple years. Two of the most critically acclaimed movies of 06 were 'The Departed' and 'Little Miss Sunshine', two decidedly average films. 'The Departed' in particular seems hopelessly mediocre when you compare it to shows like 'The Sopranos' or 'The Wire'.

    I wonder if the writing community in Hollywood has realised that the film process (you write a film, spend years trying to get it made, the Director totally ruins it and then the studio rips you off on the profits) is less appealing than writing for TV (you get hired by the studio, develop your story and character for years and get a regular paycheck).

    Maybe I'm gettin' old and my tastes are changing, but it really seems to me that it's now TV that's, well - not avant-guard but certainly more challenging and interesting than anything that's happening in film.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Perot,

    Just wondering if anyone's had a chance to try using ondemand through Parallels (running Windows XP or Vista) on a Mac? Sometimes even this doesn't get past the old No-Macs-Allowed barrier but sometimes it does... Cheers.

    Downloading via Firefox on Parallels now. Will let you know if it plays OK.

    Deutschland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    danyl mate, you're obviously just not in the "lowest common denominator" demographic.

    there's plenty of time on the tube dedicated to punters who want to see nothing more interesting than charlotte bounce her jugs around.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Firefox on Linux

    Ditto. They seem to show me ads in the flash player really well. I also get a "classic" clip about Auckland in 1908, but other than the, just ads. This isn't DRM material is it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    No the ads aren't DRM protected. They want anyone and everyone to see the ads but only the paying punters to see the shows... What a preposterous idea!

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    But, this is the free site, right? And if I watch the ads...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I haven’t really watched TV regularly since about 04, so while this new service doesn’t look bad, at least in regards to archive access, I don’t see it changing my habits. Perhaps TV is too passive compared to the new alternatives that the Internet offers, like online gaming, news, blogs, forums (like this site), podcasts, net radio, youtube, chat services (hooray for IRC) and the like. Oh and books, currently I am reading Daniel Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.

    Like everyone else has said here - until broadcasters/publishers can approach the level of simplicity/ease of use/speed of the pirated/overseas DVD alternatives they are really just grasping at straws. People are no longer willing to just sit back and wait for TVNZ etc to determine their viewing habits for the coming year.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Capewell,

    Wow, the classics line-up is pretty sweet. Massive kudos to TVNZ for that, if nothing else.

    I can't wait till the BBC pulls this off with iPlayer.

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    People are no longer willing to just sit back and wait for TVNZ etc to determine their viewing habits for the coming year.

    wasn't this exactly what that geezer russell brought out from the Beeb saying in 2005?

    is the beeb service not weighting up?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Possibly. It isn't really an original observation on my part - in fact if I cared to go back I'm sure I could find dozens of similar statements from the late 1990s.

    I wonder what TVNZ said about the internet and file sharing back in the day?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Adrian Wills,

    Is it fair to say that the Television industry need to realise that TV is no longer the box in the corner for entertainment. It's more just something else to do - now we have consoles and computers that we can occupy our time with in much the same way, we have shelves at stores full of dvd's we can buy or hire, devices we can carry around and watch movies on, not to mention the people who actually have (as I'm sure they're still out there) hobbies that they participate in on their spare time.

    It's not the crutch of entertainment that it used to be for the majority of people any more is it? Don't get me wrong, it still is for plenty I'm sure but not in the way it used to be...

    Parnell, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    This really is a good start.

    Annoyed by the "catchup" episodes, sure play 50 second clips of shows that haven't played yet, but how much more money are they going to make out of a show that's already played here? How much money does Unauthorised History of New Zealand make after its first airing? $1?

    Might be an interesting requirement for NZ On Air funding that publically funded content go up on a site like this after some reasonable duration from first airing.

    Good fun watching the 1977 Top Town final, Howard Morrison is so young! Such a different time.

    (And I really don't care how much advertising they play, there are bills to pay and I'd far rather arseholes like Sony pay them than I do.)

    Anyway, good on TVNZ for not completely sucking this time.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Expensive new initiatives in broadcasting are also on dangerous ground when they don't give people new content. I'd have liked to be able to do more than catch up on programmes (oh, and, watch TVNZ promoting itself with director interviews). I suppose it's expensive enough as it is.

    When the new Freeview channels launche in October, I expect you'll get your wish. Realistically, the initial uptake is going to be slow, so On Demand will be a significant outlet for the local Freeview programming.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    wasn't this exactly what that geezer russell brought out from the Beeb saying in 2005?

    is the beeb service not weighting up?

    The BBC has a crippling bureaucratic lag between research and deployment. So the interactive media player trial had to be put away before all the boxes could be ticked on a "real" launch.

    They're now talking about iPlayer being available to subscribers worldwide. Bad news: it'll be Windows Media DRM. Until they learn to meet viewer needs, the torrents won't be going away ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Capewell,

    Too true Russell: its really gonna be a let down when it finally comes out.

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    'The Departed' in particular seems hopelessly mediocre

    Saw it on DVD (that's replaced the bulk of our TV viewing too) and had the same reaction.

    But did see a brilliant film at the film society L'Esquive

    Low budget, shot on video, young actors.

    Also worth catching is Alain Resnais' latest Coeurs which showed in Auckland recently at a French flim festival.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Capewell,

    I've only watched one yet, but the Radio With Pictures about the Chills in England is 17 minutes long but is actually two of the same 8-odd minute segments one after the other. Oops!

    Still, loving it :)

    Manchester • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I'd be in to it if the online player meant I could watch things at 1.3x the speed, like my parents' DVD hard drive lets me. Shortland St and the news talks waaaaaaaaaay too slowly. I like my television conversations to move at Gilmore Girls/West Wing speed.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    yesiknowwhatyoumean.itsamazinghowlittlespeedinguptheplay
    erdoesforyourcomprehensionanditsavesalotoftime.
    wellsomeanyway.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

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