I had On Demand cable and didn’t even know it!
Sometimes — heck, often — I’m clueless about new technologies. Last week, I out-and-out forgot to tape Stargate Universe, which is on at the same time as Castle. When I realized it the next day, I tried to find the episode on Hulu and the Syfy website, only to find I’d have to wait 30 days to see it on either. I tried to find another option online, and I thought of that iTunes thing, which I gathered had TV episodes available for purchase. I found that they did have the episode, but before I actually downloaded the thing, I asked on one of my bulletin boards whether it had any hidden costs or other catches. Someone there replied, no, iTunes is fine, but don’t you have on-demand TV on your cable service? So I checked, and there it was. Apparently I’ve had access to free on-demand service showing the past several weeks’ worth of quite a few shows for some time, and I never discovered it. So I was able to catch the episode I’d missed the day before, and on TV rather than on my computer screen.
So naturally, since then, I’ve been investigating the possibilities, seeing what was available. I’ve watched a number of episodes of recent shows I either missed or wasn’t sufficiently invested in to bother taping. It’s a very handy service to have, and in most cases I’ve gotten the programs commercial-free aside from an introductory promo.
Of course, I’ve found there are also movies available on demand for a fee, and today I decided that $3.99 was a reasonable price to pay to see All-Star Superman right away rather than waiting for Netflix to deliver it (since I can’t get it until I return my current disk, which is research for something I’m writing so I can’t return it just yet). Although I had to do some searching on the cable company’s help page to figure out the right code to enter to buy the movie; they don’t make it easy to find or give any clear instructions. Unfortunately the movie was “formatted to fit your screen” rather than letterboxed, so I didn’t quite get the full experience. But at least I’ve seen the movie now, and it was worth it. Definitely one of the best DC Universe DVD movies they’ve done, though of course they had to leave out a lot of great stuff from the comics miniseries, and the actors playing Superman and Lois were a little bland. And of course I gave a round of applause at the end when they showed the name of its screenwriter Dwayne McDuffie, who died on the day of the film’s release, and who was a personal friend of a couple of my friends in the industry.
I don’t think I’ll be buying on-demand movies that often, since it’s mainly stuff I can get from Netflix for a flat monthly fee, and there aren’t that many films I’m not willing to wait for. Still, it’s nice to know I have an alternative to Netflix for instances where it’s handy to have one, particularly considering that the local Blockbuster just closed.
Besides, I’ve got a lot of writing to do. I’m down with a cold now, so I kinda needed a day to just veg out in front of the TV, but I should really get back to work.