Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Online TV Saves My Life

I’m almost finished my on-campus time at Royal Roads University. But as the program is general communication, with a focus on professional communication, there is almost no discussion of Internet topics and I’m in serious withdrawal!

In addition to the classwork, there’s an overabundance of after-class team work and “reflection” papers. Yes it’s meaningless academic busywork. So they keep us busy. During the scant free time, the campus is stunning beautiful so it’s been a treat to just walk around here.

Still there are moments when I need a break and need the refreshing mindless entertainment that only TV can offer – mental candy. As my room does not have a television, I decided to see what fun video stuff I could get online for the first time. As I have television and nearby DVD rental place at home, I’ve never ventured to explore streaming television available in Canada.

First stop: YouTube
Over the last year or so YouTube has grown on me. Its short videos ranging from the cute to the bizarre, are great but aren’t really suitable for extended viewing.

Next stop: American TV network sites
The United States has a lot available but due to copyright restrictions they are blocked in Canada.

Canada’s main stop:
I tried and enjoyed some Fifth Estate documentaries and Rick Mercer Report (although Rick Mercer is best when viewed contemporaneously) otherwise CBC doesn't have much in the way of comedy or drama. But after a hard day of listening to research methodology or talking about my feelings in interpersonal communications class, I need the relief only trash TV offers

Next stop:
Thankfully, provided me the medicinal TV, I needed to heal my academia-addled brain. Due to my wife and my busy schedule we tend to watch DVDs of tv shows we already know we like. CTV’s Broadband Network (including MTV, Discovery, Comedy Network) has a plethora of shows available to watch on demand – some even have all episodes of prior seasons. I should be ashamed to admit that the direness of my academic experiences drove me to repeat viewings of Gossip Girl & Paris Hilton’s BFF.

Recommended stop: Global TV
I Twittered my dire straights and asked for help and was referred to GlobalTV. I saw they had The Office and Heroes. Line-up is ideal for me, but after three attempts to watch an episode of The Office and was repeatedly either shut out or had an episode switch to the start of another episode. Global does allow one – in theory, if it worked for me - to access an episode at various points inside, which is great if you don’t have time to watch an entire episode.

Best stop: is undoubtedly CTV's Broadband Network as it offers a lot of good shows and has no technical problems.

I also noted that Bravo and Showcase have a lot of good shows on their site again. I may never need to buy an over-priced TV show DVD set ever again!

No comments: