NBC.com vs. ABC.com
Full disclosure: I'm endorsing ABC.com
As boring as this topic may be for some of you, I had to post this as a public service announcement.
I must implore you, that you if you are waffling between watching an NBC show or an ABC show online, go with the latter!
Here's the background. For about a year, I've had an odd obsession with ABC's Ugly Betty. It's very strange considering just how few shows I care about. But the kicker was that it airs Thursday nights, which many of you know is stitch-n-bitch night. So, since this is 2008 and I don't tape TV shows anymore, my only other option was to watch episodes on the abc website. When I first discovered this, I was ecstatic! And I think that for a long time, it was the only network providing full episodes for free on its site. For much of the last year, you could only watch the most recent 4 episodes, but that didn't bother me since I always prioritized watching the newest episode as soon as the weekend started.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I was discussing The Office with a coworker. I lamented that this was also a show I was never able to see 'live' because of the Thursday night thing. But since it's an NBC sitcom, I pretty much had to write off the new seasons and just watch whichever seasons are available on netflix. But my coworker piped up that you can now watch full episodes on nbc.com! That news was seriously the highlight of my week.
I was extremely disappointed in nbc's execution of this wonderful service. I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful, but we're talking about NBC - they have the resources to provide a quality product! Especially given that ABC has pretty much done it better already - how can NBC not rise to this challenge?
Allow me to elaborate (I know, how can this get any more boring)...
Here are my issues with NBC.com's full episode service. (get ready for another list)
- The commercials they play throughout the episode are SO LOUD! I know they do this when it's broadcast on TV, but to carry that over to my computer? So uncool. I hates it. We usually connect the laptop to the TV so we can both watch comfortably. Then when the commercial comes on a few decibels higher, we get to race each other for either the TV remote or the laptop's mute button. This is lame.
- I also think that NBC plays more commercials per episode than ABC. This wouldn't be that bad except for problem #1 (see above).
- Since we connect the laptop to the TV, I usually set the computer to project 2 screens: 1 for me so I can continue to work and 1 for the TV so we can watch the show. This works great with ABC.com/Ugly Betty. However, the problem with nbc.com is that whatever I do on my laptop screen seems to affect the 2nd screen on the TV. What this means is that if i set the episode player on the TV to full-screen, it will stay like that until either 1) they play a commercial (argh) or 2) I try to do something on my laptop screen. Like, press any key or scroll down a website page. As soon as I do that, the TV projection of the episode shrinks back down to a 3" x 4" square. If I had never used abc.com, I probably would have assumed this was a problem with my computer or browser. But alas, this is just another example of NBC suckery.
- This is a placeholder for another problem that I can't remember at the moment. Believe me, it will be filled.