Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I HATE streaming video.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE streaming video? All this season of SAG Awards, I've been trying to watch screeners so I can vote before Saturday, for Best Performances for the SAG Awards, which will air on Sunday (unless I mean Friday for Saturday and Saturday for Sunday; I forget). I'm just trying to get through all of these movies.

I promised you kids at least one more review today. Unfortunately, my review of Carol will be tainted by the fact that it only streams properly on my cell phone, and there is No. Fucking. Way. In. Hell. I'm going to watch a two-hour movie on that teeny-tiny screen! NO. FUCKING. WAY.

So maybe you can explain to me why it works this way, because it doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. I go to the website, on the television, and the video never loads. I go to the website, on my computer, and the video streams almost immediately, but I only get to see about four frames per second, rather than the standard twenty-four (I'm just guessing that the video loads only one out of every six frames). The audio streams just fine. But the video? Not so much. Still, connecting the laptop to the television via an HDMI cable allows me to watch it on a larger screen, jumpy though it is. Checked it out on the phone, just to see. To see if maybe, I could stream it via the phone through the computer into the big tv and therefore get to see all I'm hearing. Because on the phone, you see, using the same internet connection I've got in my laptop and the PlayStation4 into the tv, for whatever unknown ridonkulous reason, it streams PERFECTLY. Streams Perfectly into my tiny 4" screen, using the Same. Damn. Internet. Connection. What the ever-lovin' Eff, People? Why can't I watch this (allegedly) beautiful film on more than 4"? I can, as long as I resign myself to seeing approximately 1/6th of the originally shot visuals. (Honestly, I probably got to watch significantly LESS than 1/6th of the visuals. Just sayin')

So here's my review: Carol is about a forbidden love affair. It's forbidden because the time period is the 1950's and the location is Anywhere, America. The two parties of the love affair are both female; thus the forbidden aspect. Galadriel the Ageless Elf woos the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Apparently, one or both of them are nominated for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. I couldn't tell ya. Sorry.

In case you can't really wrap your brain around my frustration, imagine this: A Sweeping, Historic Battle Epic with Brilliant Landscapes and Cinematography that you have to watch as a slideshow, all the while hearing every stinkin' bit of dialogue and swordplay in "real" time. Imagine The Best Ensemble Cast in the Most Quotable Romantic Comedy of All Time, performing their hearts out while you quote along with them, but only getting to watch it like a filmstrip in elementary school. I'm very unhappy. You should be, too. If I had received the physical screener they'd promised me, you'd have gotten a much better review much sooner than this. But what are you left with? This. Pathetic. Blog. Post. And now I have nothing left to look forward to but Trumbo, streamed in iTunes, which I'll have to fight with because Stupid Apple. Yay.

Go ahead. Yell at me. You deserve better than this.
A sample of what I endured.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the weather changed to super-fantastic yesterday. I drove around, doing my errands, with my window open and my shirt sleeves pushed up to my elbows. And then my congestion returned last night, disallowing anyone in this household to sleep until well after midnight. So I feel great today. Peachy.


  1. You asked, so I'm going to get technical for you. And I'll try to be easy on you and not get too technical.

    First thing you probably already know. The movie being streamed is basically a data file sent to you over the internet. This data works much better if it has somewhere to live once it arrives on your home network. A computer, phone, Wii, PS3, etc... all have hard drives in them for that data to be stored temporarily, hence why it's easier to watch on those devices. Your TV, however, usually does not (there is something there, but it's more like a conveyor belt, it just holds it for a bit then erases it almost as fast), same goes for most Bluray players, etc... so when you stream it, the data has nowhere to reside, so a lot of times you'll be waiting for it to load, and then reload because there's too much data for it's teeny tiny hard drive to hold on to. The larger the movie, the harder it is for that TV to handle it (which is why I don't really buy Smart TV's). Now, the larger the screen, the bigger the movie file will be, the smaller the screen, the smaller the file will be, hence why your phone can play it so well. Also, it depends how fast your internet line is, as well as how fast theirs is. You could have a super fast internet line, but if their line is slow, you're going to receive the data slow. And the more people that are trying to stream from them at the same time, the slower their line will get.

    Something that might help to watch it on your computer, start the stream, then pause it for a long while. It will give the computer time to download more of the data and the image will be clearer. Depending what kind of stream, you can also force it to stream at better quality, but you'll be waiting longer for it.

    Hope that helps you understand better. :)

    1. Thanks, Lee. It doesn't actually help, because I do KNOW all of these things that you've said, but I don't GET IT. And to be clear, when I said I look for it in the tv, I meant via the PS4. It NEVER would load into the PS4; not even the first little bit of it.

      And I TRIED streaming into my computer and PAUSING so it would have time to buffer, but there was no buffering taking place. You know how, if you're watching a YouTube video or something else, you can see how much has buffered, so you can choose to wait, OR you can even go back to an earlier time and re-watch it better (because now it HAS buffered)? There was NO buffering with this particular stream. It's NOW or forget it. Attempting to start over, even slightly closer to the beginning, still resulted in jump-cuts.

      This particular movie was being streamed through a different website than the others. The others did load into the PS4, and you could stop and start them wherever you wanted. None of them had captions; that was my frustration with the others I had to stream. Carol had captions, but no buffering.

      I may try again, connecting my phone directly through the PS4 (and into the tv), rather than via the laptop. Still don't expect much... and I DO need to try to watch Trumbo still. But I hate Apple products with about the same vitriol that I hate streaming video. So we'll see.

      Also, just so's ya know, you can always talk as much tech with me as ya want. Daddy always gave us the long answer to any question we ever asked, and still does. So I'm acclimated to tech answers. Just because I love working in front of a camera doesn't mean I ain't smart! :)

    2. I work with lots of users, so I'm trained to try and dumb it down for certain folks since I'm never sure who does or doesn't know what I mean.

      They must be using a different type of streaming. It doesn't sound as "advanced" as Netflix or Youtube. It's really odd that there's no buffering going on. I'm curious how they're doing it because it doesn't sound very well done.

    3. No worries, Lee. I could tell from your first response that you are likely a giant in your field, but not remote from the Liliputians who use the stuff. I don't know that I'd "advertise" that I "dumb" things "down" for your audience - I think you just make your vernacular more accessible.

      And I have no idea why Carol was so difficult/different from all other streaming sites!

    4. LOL, no I don't usually say that I dumb things down to people. I just meant that I do it so often with my users that it comes as second nature when I try to explain things to people.

      I'm no giant. There are many people out there smarter then I. Plus I'm getting old and my abilities are dwindling...CURSE YOU AGE!!

    5. Agreed (your last sentiment) - CURSE YOU, AGE!!!

  2. No idea with the streaming thing - I am rubbish at things like that but I love your reviews. I especially loved 'Galadriel the ageless elf'. Oh - and you say ridonkulous, Luke says that all of the time!

    1. I can't cast an honest vote for either of the lead actresses, so I figured I'd reference their most recognizable roles rather than the actresses themselves.

      Sometimes, shit is just ridonkulous. Sometimes it's bat-shit crazy, but sometimes, it's just ridonkulous. I wouldn't say I say that "all of the time", but ya know... ?


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