Watching television without a telly

My old television stopped working about three years ago. When I looked around to replace it, I stopped for a second and realised I was no longer watching telly on the telly anymore. So I didn’t buy a new one, and instead have settled into watching online.

As I am constantly whingeing about on Twitter, I do miss being able to watch programs live, and to participate in online discussion. I persist with #qanda, despite repeated *headdesk* moments, because the Twitter cacophony is a great deal of fun.

I’m happy to buy programs that I’ll watch again, but mostly I use online streaming to catch up on Australian and overseas programs.

The Australian television networks have come a long way in the last few years, in bringing a wide range of their programs to an online audience. Some, however, do it better than others.

Of the public broadcasters, ABC iView is the hands down winner. Programs go up reasonably quickly and the quality is good. My main gripe with them is that programs that used to stream live online (like 7.30 Report and MediaWatch) don’t anymore.

SBS – total dog’s breakfast. The interface is clunky. The quality is awful and episodes are difficult to find.

For the commercials, Ten is streaks ahead of Seven and Nine, in terms of timely content and use of advertising. Seven’s not bad, but content takes far to long to get online. Nine is missing so much that it’s really hard to understand. Most of their programs online don’t have advertising throughout the show. Their episodes are listed with the oldest first, and the quality is patchy and bandwidth hungry.

But what is really missing still in Australia, is any kind of online service such as Hulu, NetFlix or BlinkBox. While FetchTV is trialling a sort of version, it still has major flaws.

While there are ways to watch the overseas streams, I would much rather be spending my money here and supporting the development of tech industries. I also want to watch my telly legally, with money going to content producers and less spam and crap.


About bluntshovels

Freelance writer, with an unhealthy interest in Senate committees.
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