Posts tagged ‘4OD’

On video filesharing

OK, hands up. I’ve downloaded TV shows. Before BBC iPlayer and got their act together, I used UKNova as a catch-up service (link omitted deliberately). But of course that’s all behind me. The broadcaster-provided services, along with 4OD, provide a legal version of the same thing, with no technological wizadry needed – I can even get iPlayer through the red button on my Virgin Media box. Which is way cool.

Charles Arthur writes an interesting piece on, arguing that the TV industry needs to get its act together to recognise that filesharing is here to stay. Parallels with the music industry abound.

But I believe there’s a fundamental difference with the way we enjoy video content vs the way we enjoy music – particularly TV shows. For me, I rarely re-watch a TV show. Maybe very occasionally, when I want to remind myself of how a previous series ended, but very rarely indeed. Music, on the other hand, is entirely different – I’ll hear the same track over and over, will choose a well-listened album to suit my mood, and pack the car and/or iPod full of familiar stuff ready for a trip.

TV shows, then, for me are ephemeral. Once watched, they can be deleted to make room for another show. So there’s only a miniscule chance I’d buy the DVD having watched the show already. I’d definitely not be a candidate for Charles’ proposal that TV production companies release low-quality downloads to promote sales of high-quality DVDs – once watched, it’s valueless.

Am I unusual in this? I guess to some extent I must be, because TV-series box sets top the DVD charts all the time. Are these bought by people who love the show so much they want to watch it over and over again? Sounds like Chinese water torture to me.

Which camp do you fit in? Serial repeat watcher or watch-and-delete like me?


August 1, 2008 at 2:54 pm 2 comments

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