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.