02 03 Nerd Lunch: How Not To Watch TV 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

How Not To Watch TV

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One of my eccentricities is that I enjoy soap operas. When CT and I roomed together in college, he had to put up with my regular viewing of As The World Turns. Since that time, my soap fandom has shifted to another CBS show, The Young & The Restless (Y&R for those in the scene). Since I'm at work during the day and too lazy to mess with the VCR and too cheap to spring for a DVR, I recently decided to start getting my Y&R fix through online, streaming video offered by CBS.

CBS offers two ways to get at videos:

Unfortunately, both options are based on the same underlying technology and both stink. Both players have trouble recovering from any interruption in bandwidth, it's impossible to resume playback if paused for more than 10 seconds or so, and the fast forward and rewind buttons seemingly do nothing. The player page has its own unique problems such as frequently corrupting if the browser window is resized and a progress slider that only works during the first segment of video (before the first commercial).

All in all, it's easier to futz around with the VCR or watch something else entirely. While it won't scratch the same itch as following the daily drama on Y&R, Hulu has a whole mess of Rockford Files episodes that will do quite nicely when I want to catch some TV on my PC.

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