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Download era… February 11, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I find this in the Irish Times kind of intriguing. Interviewing people about how they engage with download television and film clearly there’s a tranche who have left behind pay television/streaming almost entirely. Netflix takes up some of the slack. Only one person indicated any concern about paying for such entertainments and their response resonated with me.

“I refuse to use illegal streaming. We watch nearly everything on DVD, Netflix or Apple TV. There are no adverts, and the internet speed is good quality, so there are no dropouts or streaming delays, which my son, who has autism, could not cope with. As a co-creator of an app created for people with special needs I’m extremely sensitive about paying for quality content. The bands I grew up with wouldn’t even get on the first rung of the music business now because no one wants to pay for original content.” – part-time social entrepreneur and mum of two teenagers with autism, 48

I know we’ve been discussing this, more in relation to music than anything else, this last month or so but it remains for me very intriguing. So much entertainment comes through these very specific channels. I still have a strong residual attachment to paying people – particularly in music (and books). As noted here recently, and isn’t it telling that there are so many posts since Christmas about the way in which entertainments are consumed, I’m signed up to music subscription services – not streaming – because I want the musicians to get something. Likewise with the occasional CD or T-shirt at a gig or whatever.

Film and television I’m less exercised by – though I’m never entirely convinced by the line that they’re so expensive to purchase they’re ripping me off. It seems to me that it’s actually relatively easy to get TV series in their entirety reasonably cheap discounted. But there is the fact there’s no cable or other channels in the house (other than the occasional recourse to online television) which is both a function of laziness – the cable to a free view satellite dish was cut by builders and never reinstated – and intent because a command level decision has been taken, particularly with the creature about, not to have tv on in the background on a continual basis (which was certainly the default situation up until 2009). And there’s just too much television, and reasonably good television at that. One life to live, there’s not enough time to see everything and read everything and get out and do near enough anything. It’s difficult too to be completely bored these days. On the other hand space for reflection is similarly difficult to carve out.

But beyond that I’m not keen on streaming. I don’t like interruptions and it just adds another paid entertainment stream into the mix. DVDs still are king where I am – usually second hand, much more rarely first hand. But visiting CEX and similar shops which sell second hand DVDs it has been obvious in recent times how their stocks of DVDs are diminishing. As to downloading films or tv, just cannot be pushed. I’ve used bit torrent to download one album, period, which was long deleted. If that album ever comes back in purchase form I’ll buy it – for the sound quality. And similarly with films and tv. I don’t like the quality of many downloads. Someone loaned me the first season of a show with dragons and swords and winter and it made for an annoying viewing experience. Not the plot or the narrative, it wasn’t that it was impossible to view, but it was just a fraction lower quality than comfort would require – the not exactly stellar CGI really showed its flaws – and that’s odd because the DVD/Blu-ray wars are of no interest to me at all. DVD is more than fine (there’s a different discussion to be had in terms of that in relation to how certain viewing experiences gain a weird ‘authenticity’ the more grainy the image – The X-Files, 1990s Law and Order, Odyssey 5 etc).

So it’s a bundle of reasons. But clearly from the interviews in the IT I’m part of a minority on this. I don’t know if ISPs can do much about this other than rhetoric. But if they did push it would certainly change matters. Or would it?

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