Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 30, 2021
An outdated way to watch TV

About a year ago I bought an Apple TV 4K device, primarily in order to stream services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or YouTube to my TV. That purchase included a free year of Apple TV+, and that free year is about to run out. Unlike most subscriptions, you can't cancel an Apple TV+ subscription early and still keep watching until the last day; if you cancel, you lose access, so if you want to use it until the last day, you need to cancel on the last day.

So what have I watched on Apple TV+ in a year? Not much! Mythic Quest, which was okay, with only the "Quarantine" episode being truly outstanding. Ted Lasso, which turns a rather stupid premise ("what if an American football coach would be hired to coach British soccer?") into a very watchable feel-good comedy. And The Morning Show, which is star-studded, but otherwise just okay to watch.

So, I just watch everything I want and then unsubscribe? Not so fast! Both Ted Lasso and The Morning Show are in season 2. And you can't just binge them. The episodes are released one per week, "next episode coming next Friday". Duh, really? This seems like a very outdated way to stream TV to me. Ted Lasso is on episode 10 out of 12, but The Morning Show is only on episode 2 out of 10 of season 2. If I wanted to watch the season to the end, I would need to subscribe to Apple TV+ for two months, just for that. Sorry, Reese and Jennifer, but I am not going to do that, even if it is just €4.99 per month.

Netflix clearly has more and better original content, and Amazon Prime has most of the rest. Plus Amazon Prime is essentially free if I substract the saved shipping cost of my Amazon orders from the cost. Unlike Apple TV+, there are no shenanigans with inability to cancel early, and most series are released all at once. As somebody who is somewhat cautious about being subscribed to too many things at once, Apple TV+ will have to go!

I'm old enough to enjoy it when a series is released with an episode weekly. Reminds me of when I was young and things were right and proper :D

Of course the new way does have its avantages. One thing I hate, though, is when a season is released in two halves, six months apart. Be one thing or the other, folks!
" most series are released all at once"

Are they, though? The two I'm most interested in watching right now, Riverdale and Stargirl, are both showing one episode a week. So did The Expanse back in the spring. There are clearly huge benefits to the streaming companies in dripfeeding the most popular shows rather than dumping all the episodes at once. Also, a lot of people still prefer to watch that way - not everyone either has time or likes to binge-watch.

Of course, unlike the old days, all you need now is a little patience and self-control. All the episodes will remain available for a good while after the last one airs (at least on Netflix and Prime - I can't speak for AppleTV since I've never used it) so if you want to watch them all in a row, just wait a while. That's what I do.
I think the only thing I watched in my free year of Apple TV was the movie Greyhound... and then two days before it ran out the first two episodes of Foundation. Guess I'll stay subscribed for a couple of months.
The weekly release schedule is becoming far more common again and a lot of streaming services, including Amazon Prime and Disney Plus, are adopting it. I guess they realised that allowing viewers to binge new shows and then unsubscribe wasn’t a good business model!

I actually really like Apple TV+. The quality of shows in general is very high (highly recommend For All Mankind) and I personally prefer to have less choice but better quality. The amount of dross on Netflix can be overwhelming.

But then again, I wouldn't really watch much TV or streaming stuff anyway. My only subscription is for Prime as it's included and so occasionally I will watch stuff if it peaks my interest.
When I remember that it's running, I will pirate Bake Off or Sewing Bee but I don't mind missing a week or two. Funny enough that I would actually pay for a subscription for those.
The only reason I took up on Apple TV+ offer of one free year was that I want to see the "Foundation" series, as it is based on one of my favorite SF series of all time.
And whether I will keep the subscription after the free year expires mostly depends on whether I will like the show and whether there will be more seasons.
I may watch "For All Mankind" during that time as well, but I also have a Disney+ subscription and I find it much better value for my money, as there are way more content that interests me and my family.
The most "efficient" way to watch TV nowadays is wait until a full season of your favorite show releases and then sign up for subscription service that has it and binge watch the show and cancel as soon as you are done with it. Bonus points if you use a new email or the gmail "trick" where you insert a period to get first time sub benefits.

It's no wonder piracy is reportedly on the rise again with so many different subscriptions out there. I can see the appeal of just going to a piracy streaming site or torrent site and finding all your content in one place.
I believe you can cancel a regular Apple subscription early and get the benefits until it expires. It’s only free trials that cut you off as soon as you cancel them. It’s still annoying, but at least it’s annoying and free.
Can you still use the Apple TV device to watch other services if you cancel Apple?
Yes, Apple TV+ is just one of many apps running on the Apple TV 4K device. Just like you can run non-Google apps on a Google Chromecast.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool