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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Watch It Online?

I downloaded a preview for a PBS series called Carrier. There'd been other shows on aircraft carriers that I'd seen, but those were an hour long and this one is ten hours and follows members of the crew from the moment they're deployed until they come home. The preview was fascinating and I knew I wanted to watch the series. It looks like a good resource for someone who writes military heroes and/or heroines or paramilitary characters.

Unfortunately, the preview had come out in April and a search of the PBS website said that it wasn't going to be replayed in my area within the 2 week search parameter. Maybe they'll replay it later, but I couldn't bet on that. PBS did have all the episodes available on their website. Great, I thought, I'll download them to my iPod and watch when I have a few minutes here or there.

As it turned out that wasn't going to work. The episodes are not downloadable and I wanted to watch them I'd have to sit at my computer. The other alternative was to buy the series and I figured I'd just do that sometime and watch it at my leisure--although I'll confess that I wasn't real keen on spending the money for that.

Then it dawned on me. Netflix! I don't know why I was so slow to think about it. Maybe because I've had my last movie on top of the entertainment center since like, well, July. Sure enough Netflix had it available, but I could also watch the episodes on my computer from their website.

Okay, is it just me? I don't want to watch television or movies online. For one thing, I'm usually on my computer doing something while I have the TV on. If I'm writing, I'm watching something with the sound muted and if I'm not writing, I'm probably researching online as I watch or catching up on notes or searching for a picture of one of my characters. I'm multitasking which I can't really do online if I'm also streaming a movie or show.

For another, even if by some odd chance I'm not using the computer for something else, I don't want to watch online because--frankly--I spend enough time staring at the screen and if I actually have turned off life support (AKA my laptop), I don't want to turn it back on again. I'm on the computer all day at the Evil Day Job and I'm on the laptop when I get home to write. If I'm taking a break from it, there's usually a reason.

I'm beginning to feel alone, though. I know there are a lot of people who don't mind staring at the screen for an extra couple of hours. It's not as if my screens are small either--my desktop has a 24" monitor and my laptop is a 15.4" wide screen--I just don't want to do it.

And to be totally weird, I have no problems watching shows on my iPod and it's got an itty bitty screen. I think the difference is that the iPod makes me mobile. I can watch while I'm in line for license tabs or while I'm waiting to see the dentist. The iPod is about convenience, but watching on the computer just feels onerous to me. Am I the only one who's resisting the online streaming thing?