Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


No TV, watching the latest episodes

Our new place is pretty small -- only about 550 square feet. My desk is in the living room, and our (relatively) big 27" TV didn't really fit in anywhere. So, we gave it my parents, along with our old DVD player.

My Mac does a pretty good job as a DVD watching station, which is pretty much all we used the TV for anyways (we haven't had cable in years). I know about being able to download near-DVD quality movies, but it's something I've never really gotten into. I guess it's always been easier to just walk down the block and rent the DVD.

But, the other day I started downloading some TV episodes -- you know, Law & Order, CSI, The West Wing, that sort of thing. Some observations:

  • quality is great
  • commercials are edited out
  • episodes are available the day or the day after they are aired
  • using BitTorrent, I can download 4 - 6 episodes per night
  • BitTorrent downloads kill my VoIP phone system by saturating the bandwidth

Since I don't have QuickTime Pro, I can't use it to watch things fullscreen. Instead, I use VLC, which tends also to play a lot of files that QT might have trouble with. Also in my searches, I did as recommended by macosxhints and installed both DivX and 3ivx codecs, which pretty much solves all problem AVI files.

So Kate and I enjoyed a couple of TV episodes. In fact, Kate really liked it -- she went to Costco halfway through The West Wing, so I just closed it, did some other stuff, and watched the rest of it with her when she came back. We'll stick to rentals for movies, but TV…

All this just after I told Greg that I never really bothered downloading movies :p