Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Star Trek Discovery was obviously worth the trouble for me to watch but its a big pain in the ass.

I have technology fatigue. I work in technology, and I live in a smart home. Getting all of that set up took time and money, and it works beautifully. Everything should be seamless, but Star Trek Discovery gave me the huge middle finger last night. Like a lot of people who enjoy Trek, I recorded the first episode. I have an X1 Xfinity DVR with voice control, I have a 4K LG television set mounted above the fireplace, I have all of the HDMI and optical cables routed through the wall, a pioneer surround sound system for great sound, and I have fast Wi-Fi speeds. My 4K television and my X1 DVR both have apps. On X1 I can switch over to the Netflix app seamlessly, although I rarely do this because the broadcast isn't in 4K. Usually when I want to watch Netflix, I use the apps on my 4K television from LG, which is essentially like having a tv with a built-in Roku. I bought it for this reason. I didn't want to have more and more devices. I wanted technology minimalism, as it were.

On my LG television I can watch Amazon, Hulu, Crackle, and countless other apps. However, there is no CBS All Access app. Trust me, I looked. I went online and looked it up, and it turns out that CBS declined to make an app for the LG television. Okay fine. I have Xfinity too. So I went onto Xfinity's app store that has apps like Netflix on it, and nope...there's no CBS All Access. Xfinity on their forums even went so far as to say that this will never happen, as this streaming service by CBS is viewed as direct competition.

Okay, so I went to my small devices, i.e., my iPad and my iPhone. On the support page of CBS All Access, they proudly tout that you can watch these shows on the small devices. Keep in mind that I don't want to watch the show on a small device unless I'm traveling, and that it actually pisses me off that a company uses "This show is made for viewing on a small device" as one of its selling points. Those should be available, yes, but they shouldn't be the main goal. I guess CBS All Access didn't get this memo.

So when I view things like YouTube on my small device, an icon pops up that I can tap that will throw the show onto my television set so everyone can watch it. It's because my Apple and LG are compatible to each other and they are both set up through my Wi-Fi. This was not a coincidence by the way. I selected this compatibility through research when I purchased my electronics. However, the CBS All Access app doesn't produce the icon. It's not encoded on it, so you can't actually transfer any CBS broadcast through the small device onto the LG television. Needless to say, my patience is wearing thin here.

I decide to view the CBS All Access through a web browser built into my LG television set. I type in the web page, enter my sign-in information, and click play on the Star Trek episode. A beautiful commercial for Verizon plays (after which Star Trek will start) and the sound/everything is working as intended. Once the commercial ends, Star Trek starts and plays for two seconds and then stops. It errors out saying that the video is not compatible with this web browser. ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME? I can watch commercials but I can't watch the program?!?

What finally worked was a mockery of everything that I went to the trouble to avoid. I broke out my laptop, connected it to the side of the LG television with an ugly black HDMI cord that dangles down on the side with the fan of the laptop clearly humming, and then used the laptop to view the next episode of Star Trek Discovery, which was now visible on my big television via a hardwired connection of the HDMI cord to input 2. After all this trouble, I will be paying $5.99 a month to watch Star Trek: Discovery in this frustrating manner AND it will be filled with commercial breaks. It really was a big middle finger to all of the trouble I have gone to (and all of the expense) to make my house a beautiful zone of peace. It was a big "Oh...this is nice...too bad YOUR SH*T A'IN'T GONNA WORK WITH THIS HERE PROGRAM! HA!" **spits on my face** "YEAH YOU GONNA EAT THAT SH*T UP, BOY!" Those were the words playing in my mind as I looked at the ham-fisted way I solved my Star Trek Discovery problems.

There's part of me that's incredibly angry with CBS. It's like they made no attempt to make life easier for anyone. They didn't make deals with other companies, they didn't design apps well, and it was all because "zero f*cks were given." It must be nice to live in a world of "zero f*cks."


  1. I think that's more trouble than I would go through for any show, but then again, after two failed attempts to find the app, it would have been on principle.

  2. I watched the first episode and the first 20 minutes I was bored. It seemed to get more interesting after that, but I'm just not fully hooked. War with the Klingons isn't something we haven't seen before. It just didn't live up to all the hype, but the series probably will get better as there seems to be potential. Anyway, I guess all these problems you had were due to them trying to keep things locked down.

  3. Lol. I guess Canada gets it over the air for free so you could have someone there record it for you.

  4. I'm not going to pay for any of these two-bit companies trying to cash in.
    The only reason CBS made a new Star Trek show was to use it to get people onto their streaming service.

  5. I try to avoid smart TVs because the manufacturer has no incentive to update the software once you buy. I've found the $50 Roku stick to be a great investment. If you want 4k, go for the Roku Premier for $70. The great thing about keeping the TV and streaming device separate is technology is bound to change quick but you can throw out a cheap streaming device with little regret. The same isn't true of a $1000 TV.

    How did you like the show? I was really impressed but disappointed about the captain. I expected something when I realized the name of the ships but I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling. I love that the show has more grit/dirt than we've seen in Star Trek before and thus far it has more depth than other space dramas I've seen other than maybe the Expanse. I thought it was a very good start.

  6. We watched the first one and now need to pay if we want to "live stream" it. I wasn't sufficiently impressed to pay extra for it.

  7. You really should protest. Cancel the subscription and wait until they get their act together before you reward them with your fees. If they expect you to shell out cash for their service, the least they can do is make the service convenient for you.

    I'm of the mind that if these services don't make money for them, they'll eventually scrap them and sell their content to NetFlix and the like. Naive, probably.

  8. I couldn't even understand what all you were doing just to try to watch the show, which tells me that a) there's no way I'll be able to watch it with my technologically primitive devices, and b) CBS really screwed up both technologically and PR-wise with this clumsy, ugly attempt to make the new Star Trek series ultra-exclusive.

    That said, I did like the freebie premier and was impressed they lined up the likes of Michelle Yeow to be the captain. Yet at the same time--Klingons again?

  9. My brother is a big star trek fan, and he tried to DVR it because he goes to bed early. When he went to play it, somehow the last half was missing. He still hasn't seen the whole thing. So it seems you're not the only one who had problems.