The chief problem with internet-based television programming is that the content owners are dragging their feet.
Case in point: My new Apple TV.
Among other features, it allows me to watch free streaming content through my Netflix account. So on the advice of a friend I started watching a program called Dexter, a Showtime channel drama about a Miami serial killer who only snuffs those who deserve it.
Good show. I watched two seasons of it this way, streaming it off Netflix directly to my TV. But where are seasons 3 and 4? Not available for Netflix streaming.
I figured maybe they would be available on iTunes. And they are. But not for rent, only for purchase. That means instead of paying 99¢ each for the 24 episodes in season 3, I would have to pay $1.99 for each episode. Furthermore, I can’t just get it directly through the Apple TV, as it only displays rentals. Instead I have to purchase and download it on my computer, then point the Apple TV to it in order to watch on my television.
To be fair, it works beautifully. I tried it last night. But why should I have to do this? Why should I have to pay double and go through the hassle of using my computer as a middleman?
The answer seems simple. Showtime isn’t allowing iTunes rentals of their shows. Only purchases.
Foot-dragging. Or price gouging. Or something.
Now that I have all the hardware and services lined up to get a la carte internet-based entertainment to my television set, I really hope the content providers open their doors and let it happen.