Wednesday, April 11, 2018

So I finally tried the Watch TCM app

I've stated quite a few times that I have a suboptimal Internet connection that because of latency and bandwidth caps, makes me reluctant to try streaming audio on a regular basis. I'd been thinking about experimenting with the Watch TCM app to see if it works for me and try to figure out how much bandwidth it uses. I don't know the answer to the latter question, but in my brief use I was pleasantly surprised by the performance.

I didn't have any issues with latency when I watched the Our Gang short Don't Lie while lying in bed last Saturday morning. The short is fairly mediocre, being an MGM-era short. Buckwheat is accused of being a chronic liar, and when he claims to have seen an ape (there was in fact one that escaped from a circus), the other kids don't believe him. So they dress Froggy up as an ape to try to fool Buckwheat. Only the real ape shows up too....

It was OK but not great. All (I think) of the MGM-era Our Gang shorts are available on a Warner Archive box set if you want to see them, although those show up on TCM unlike the Hal Roach-era shorts, for fairly obvious reasons.

As for the app, I had no difficulty with it accepting my DirecTV account, which mildly surprised me since I thought it was going to ask at least for the email address associated with it. There was surprisingly no latency either, which really surprised me since I almost always have latency issues with Youtube. I don't know if that has anything to do with the fact that I view Youtube through my browser and this was an app. I didn't notice any particular issues with the picture.

If there was one issue I had, it was that trying to go to a certain time during a movie just didn't work for me. I don't know if that was a buffering issue (probably), but jumping ahead just didn't seem to work for me, which would be an issue if I wanted to watch a movie in two installments. The one other very minor issue is that the main screen for the app seems to be in portrait mode by default, while the movies are of course in landscape mode.

Overall, though, I had a pleasant experience, with the caveat that I didn't try watching a feature-length film. Now if I had unlimited bandwidth....

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