Still Love Star Trek, Still Hate Streaming

People are watching more network TV shows on the internet and I wondered what it would be like to be one of them. I'm the first to admit I'm not crazy about watching anything longer than three minutes on my PC monitor--even after upgrading to a 24-inch 1080p NEC. Still, I couldn't resist doing an hour of Star Trek from CBS.com. I figured if I could get through season one, episode one--"The Man Trap"--I might do a few more. Slow data rate and low res were givens. My first frustration beyond that was that the Adobe Flash Player wouldn't let me upscale the image to fill the screen. That meant I had to either stick to my desk chair or squint at a postcard-sized image from my armchair across the room. Buffering errors interrupted the flow of the program three or four times. As for the ads, I saw the series in the original telecasts (yes, I'm that old) and ads didn't bother me then. If anything, the online ad interruptions were fewer and briefer than typical broadcast TV. But the ads were painfully loud compared to the volume level of the program. Again, that happens on broadcast TV too, but in this case the disparity was extreme, and got even more irksome during one ad with substantial low-bass content, which turned my desk sub into a blaring bass bomb. Unfortunately my Onix desktop amp doesn't come with remote control. Altogether, I won't do it again unless I can get a full-screen image and a reasonable ratio between program and ad sound levels. These are solvable problems. Over to you, CBS.

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COMMENTS
Peter S's picture

I have not tried streaming to my PC and I will never try it. I like physical media. Even if its for free I would not do it, never mind paying for it. I like buying something and having it in my hand not at the control my cable companies internet connection. Same goes for music, never downloaded and MP3 and never will.I spend too much time on computers as it is between my full time job and writing.I just can't see downloading movies being more than a niche for the super-geeks. (no malicious intent) As everything that I have read it seems that the problems are myriad.

Bruce's picture

That first line cracked me up Peter S. Reminds me of this quote. Wife: "We don't need a hot chicks room." Husband: "That's what you said about the microwave and we use that darn thing all the time." Famous last words, "I will never..." Mark you need to have a Nvidia video card with dual monitor capabilities and run the DVI out to your tv's HDMI with appropriate HDMI to DVI cable. Then set your Nvidia control panel to "dual view" and modify full screen options to automatically play videos in full screen on second monitor. I do this with my computer and Sony HD projector. Works great. I also run the SPDIF to my Yamaha receiver. And wahlah, free HD. Make sure you have good internet connection. I don't know what you are using. With that and Netflix I have canceled my cable and haven't missed it one bit. I get better picture and sound, fewer commercials for far less money. Who wouldn't want to do this? Peter, have fun organizing all th

Peter S's picture

Bruce, to each his own...if you like it fine but that doesn't mean everyone will or wants to. How long have MP3's been around? I have NEVER downloaded one and NEVER will. Why would I waste my time on an inferior product. I don't like the idea of having to turn my PC on to watch something. I like physical media that I can hold and yes even organize. That is why I turned my downstairs bedroom into a library. I have my Books (hardcover and paperbacks), CD's, DVD-Audio, SACD's, Albums (yes I still listen to them, you can't beat the sound), DVD's, HD-DVD's, and Blu-Ray's. Good internet connection...does one exist? I have cable at home and a T1 at work and neither are reliable for speed. Besides I don't watch network TV, I watch movies, sports, the history channel, the discovery channel etc. only in HD. I do not watch regular cable anymore. If it is not in HD I do not watch it. But it is fun to have these discussions is it not....that's what makes this country so great...

Bruce's picture

Yes, I have lots of fun with these conversations. And anything I say I say in good fun. For me, my computer is always on. I have visioned the computer as the centerpiece of a home theater for well over a decade. My computer has an RF remote. For me its a hassle to go find the a DVD put it in, go through all the previews to watch a movie. Different locations have better internet than others. I know my cable internet in KY sucks compared to my cable internet in MN. I will be switching once my contracts up. You shouldn't have any problems with a T1. Its most likely you have problems with your network. I install T1s for a living. You probably have too many people on that one card. If you had a T1 at home you would be so blazing fast you would have absolutely no problems.

Peter S's picture

I'm just the opposite. I work all day on a computer for my day job and I am a writer by night so I am then also on my computer. So when I sit down to listen to music or watch a movie the last thing I want to do is look at my computer. But I know I have read on forums that a lot of people are starting to use Home Theater PC's for their media centers and I'm sure as time goes on they will get better and cheaper as all electronics do. But being an old school music nut I like having equipment to show off to friends. I have a B&K AVR-S2 Receiver, Marantz SA8001 SACD player, Marantz DV6001 Universal player, Toshiba HD-XA1 HD-DVD, Samsung BDB-1400 Blu-Ray, Samsung DVD-VR330 DVD Recorder and a Monster Power Condtioner with Snell Type E EE fronts, Snell Center channel, Boston Acousting In-Ceiling for the rears and a velodyne subThe T1 at work has 26 workstations on a windows network the speed is good enough for what we use.Nice blogging with you though

Bruce's picture

Whoa Peter, I would love to come over and see your stuff. I'm poor right now but things are moving forward so one day I will be able to build a nice home theater. I have a VPL-HS60 720p projector. My boss gave it to me because he upgraded. He also gave me an old Yamaha RX-V2095 AVR. It doesn't even have component video but the sound kicks my Pioneers VSX-816K's butt. I run the video through my projector anyway. I have Denon small satellites and sub I got off of ebay and a cheap Dalite 106" screen. Its the manual pull down kind with no tensioners. My computer was fast when I built it but now it just barely does the job. It doesn't even have PCI-E. Computers are cheap now though. Just don't get Vista. Go with XP 64. I need another computer but I'm a gamer too and gaming computers are expensive. Too bad we can't post pictures on here of our stuff. I would love to see your living room.

Peter S's picture

Hey Bruce, too bad there wasn't a way to exchange emails, I would send you some photos.My B&K Receiver has component but no HDMI. I just connect my sources directly to the TV right now anyways. That way I don't have to turn my receiver on every time I play a movie. Like Sunday I watched the Ultimate Underdog Collection Volume 1, no need to listen to that through my receiver. I don't see myself upgrading to HDMI components anytime soon. I am very happy with what I have. I would have bought separates instead of the receiver but I was married and the ex did not appreciate all the equipment. But it took me quite a few years and a divorce to acquire my equipment. Be patient my friend, good things come to those who wait.

Bruce's picture

I don't know if I'm aloud to do this but here's my band website on myspace. Well, I am the band lol, there is no one else. But you could send me a message there maybe and we could exchange pics and advice. http://www.myspace.com/guitarsketches Sorry if I broke any rules. This is a non profit site. My music is free to download. I wonder if Mark has figured out how to get those Star Trek episodes on his projector yet. Yeah, my paycheck will double and a half by the end of the year so I can start saving most and spending the rest on toys.

scam hater's picture

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