My name is Suzanne. This is my new blog for my video analyses class. Be sure to visit my personal blog! I try to write in it every day, and I post it once a week.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post...I tend to write a lot when it's about something I have a great deal of interest in or knowledge about.
Sometimes those shows that I have to review are on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle, or some other website/service, so then I will watch it on there (I have subscriptions to them all; none of them cost much, but they sure do add up). I have a ROKU connected to my TV, so I will usually watch these streaming sites through that. That way I can see them on my TV set screen. I would rather not watch on my laptop because I usually like to work on the laptop while I'm watching (can't do both at once), and because the TV has a larger screen.
I also get some of the TV shows ahead of time from the networks to review. They used to send me DVD's for that (called "screeners"), but now most of them are online. I get screeners from NBC, Syfy, PBS, Freeform, Netflix, A&E, History, Lifetime, TNT, TBS, and some other cable channels. I also do receive some DVD sets to review from PBS, CBS, Warner Brothers, Lionsgate, et al. In short, I have way too much to watch! I always have a stack of DVD's, an almost-full DVR, and a long list of shows to watch. Forget about streaming... I need to have shows beamed directly into my brain, preferably without commercials and in double-time fast motion.
If I miss an episode of a broadcast or cable TV show for some reason, then I will either watch it On Demand on my TV, or I'll try to find it online. I've been online since 1994, and I used to work for a search engine, so I'm very good at finding things.
I get most of my TV through DISH Network, which I love. We used to get Comcast cable, back in the earlier part of the century, and it was terrible. There were intermittent reception problems that they couldn't ever fix, and a lot of outages, and they kept raising our bill. Worse, when I called up to find out why they were raising it, I could never get a straight answer. That's when we switched to DISH and never looked back. They're cheaper than DirecTV, too. We rarely have any problems with DISH, and they don't raise our rates. We use Suddenlink for our internet and Verizon for our cell phones.
Anyway, DISH now has Netflix as well. However, for whatever reason, it doesn't work terrible well when I try to watch it via DISH. I'm not sure why, but it freezes up, and I can't get it to unfreeze. It usually works pretty well on the ROKU, or on my laptop. It might have something to do with our internet. I know that Arkansas has some of the slowest internet speeds in the country. It can't be just that, though, or else it wouldn't work well on my laptop, either. Maybe DISH still hasn't gotten the bugs worked out on it yet.
I know that people love to binge-watch, but I'm not really a big fan of that. I'd rather record shows on my DVR and then get around to watching them, one episode at a time, at my convenience. It's just too much. I feel like the shows are pressuring me to watch them if they're all available right now. I'm sure that part of that feeling comes from being old. They didn't have binge-watching when I was growing up. They didn't even have the internet!
BACK TO TV, VIDEOTAPES AND DVD's
After I moved out on my own, I usually either had a TV or access to one. Back then you couldn't record one show and watch another, so you could only watch what was on the major networks, unless you had cable. There weren't nearly as many cable stations available then, either. In the late 80's, after my husband graduated from grad school, we finally did get cable. In the meantime, I got hooked on the soaps in the mid-80's while I was in college. They had a TV in the student union that was always tuned to the ABC soaps.
I bought a VCR in the late 80's, so I could record soaps and some other shows. I have a large collection of videotapes in the garage, but I rarely watch them. I was an early adopter of DVRs when they first became available, as well as DVD recorders. I love DVR's and don't know how we ever lived without them. It's great to be able to record shows with the press of a button, as well as fast-forward through commercials, and pause/rewind a live show. With videotapes, you had to have a tape handy and pop it in there, and make sure you have enough room left on the tape (I still have nightmares about running out of room on my videotape to record a soap!). DVD recorders are only slightly better. Really, the only problem with DVRs is that they have more limited space. Also, they do break down eventually, since they're just computers. You can't really back anything up, so once your DVR dies, you lose all of your shows. I've had that happen quite a few times, so let me tell you that it's absolutely heartbreaking (especially if you lose hundreds of hours of shows).
The DISH DVRs do allow you to move your shows to an external hard drive, but you can't actually copy them, only move them. Also, it's very slow, and if your internet or electricity goes out in the middle of moving them, you lose them. The same thing happens if you try to move too many shows at once. Mine holds about 2,000 shows, so good luck ever watching them, anyway. Somehow, no matter how many hours my DVR has, I manage to fill it up.
Even though I have many DVDs in my collection, they, too, are going out of fashion. Not nearly as many people buy them as used to. I'm sure by 2050, they will be gone and fully replaced by streaming/digital, just as VHS and other media before them were replaced.
I have a really good smart phone, the Samsung Galaxy 8, but I hate watching TV or movies on such a small screen (even though it's big for a phone, it's still way too small). We have a tablet, so once in a while I will use that, if I have to. Again, it's not nearly as big as our TV (and we don't even that big of a TV).
I have many friends and family members who are into them now, though, and some of them play online, on their PCs or phones, constantly. I admit that video games are fun, but one can only have so many hobbies that take up time, and I already have too many of those. I was recently interested in the new Star Wars virtual reality game (just because it seemed really cool and a lot of fun), but it's $200. Also, I read that it works off your cell phone, but it won't work yet with mine. Also, it got some mixed reviews on Amazon for how well it works. I think I'll wait until they get the bugs out of that one, the price comes down and it will work for my cell. Virtual reality definitely sounds fun, especially if it ever gets as real as the Star Trek holodeck.