For those brave enough to persevere with Now TV, one thing to check when BSkyB eventually release their iPad/iPhone app is whether or not they’ll support Apple’s AirPlay.
Unfortunately I’ve just discovered that LOVEFiLM do not support streaming content from their iPad/iPhone app to my Apple TV. If Now TV implement similar restrictions, then run away quickly (for £15 a month, I’d expect full AirPlay support).
These kind of restrictions are now a bit of a moot point anyway. This is because OS X Mountain Lion now brings AirPlay and AirPlay mirroring directly to desktop and laptop Macs. I can therefore stream any LOVEFiLM Instant content – in HD no less – from my MacBook Pro or iMac to any Apple TV device I might own by simply using the web site. The downside is that AirPlay HD streaming from LOVEFiLM’s Silverlight desktop player is terribly jerky that I can’t view much more than 5 minutes without feeling sick.
LOVEFiLM: I can live with the UI quirks when finding TV programs via the web site, I have happily put up with the delays in sorting out issues surrounding my multiple accounts, I can put up with the desktop player either being deeply embedded and unmovable or full screen.
What I can’t deal with is the ridiculous over the top DRM nonsense that comes with the iPad/iPhone apps that prevents me from streaming the content to my Apple TV because the film studios say that’s what they want.
Well, here’s some news for the film studios: I’m not going to pirate or copy your films. Why would I? Ironically, it would be easier for me to rent physical discs (Blu-Ray and DVD) from LOVEFiLM and rip the content if I were so inclined. But I’m not. I do not want to, and I will not.
Whether it be £4.99, £5.99 or £15 a month – I should expect to be able to play movie content on whatever devices I have, regardless of whoever made them. We never had this problem back in the days of VHS video – all VHS tape recorders were able to playback exactly the same content regardless of whoever manufactured the device.
As a distributor, Netflix, LOVEFilM and BSkyB are all big and ugly enough to go back to the film studios and slap them vigorously around the face until they start to see sense when it comes to DRM and copy protection. One cannot make that assumption that every single customer is a potential pirate. This leads me back to my argument that watching films at home is becoming increasingly more complicated than it needs to be.
I will always watch films at the cinema as and when time and money allows. But if the home movie market continues to play at being arseholes, then yes, perhaps I will head towards piracy because quite frankly they seem to be doing a far better job at distributing the content – on demand and in a timely fashion – than the key players in the various markets that are supposed to be doing it on behalf of the studios.
The studios themselves have tried – and failed – with their own content delivery systems. But such is that the restrictions and cost of using these services, consumers are driven away from using them.
For goodness sake – it’s no wonder content creators are turning to Kickstarter for fans to finance their projects because even for a nominal fee, you’ll often end up with a DRM-free movie/music album at the end of it.
I’m cancelling my LOVEFiLM subscription as a result of this discovery (I’m tempted to put as an answer to “I’m watching movies a different way” as ‘piracy’ but I think that may trigger alarm bells and I have enough on my plate to deal with than trying to convince people I’m joking).