[opendtv] CBS "Under the Dome" online access

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 21:54:38 +0000

Well, so here's a new twist from CBS.

Normally, to get access to a show online, next day, you go to the CBS site and 
can stream that show in a couple of different ways. Direct from their site, 
with ad breaks that last around 2 minutes each.

Now go to their site and try this for "Under the Dome," the pilot episode of 
which aired last week:


Scroll down the page a little, to get to the pilot. Normally, you'd simply 
click and watch the episode. Try it and see what happens.

CBS is getting greedier, apparently, and they give you just these four options:

1. The apparently preferred option is Amazon Prime. Ad-free.

2. The other three options are Xfinity, AT&T Uverse, or Dish. So-called "free 
stream with ads." (Not sure what "streaming" from Dish means. Dish must have 
some agreement with ISPs.)

The good news is, CBS is smart enough not to force people to have MVPD 
subscriptions to get Internet access of their shows. (The other good news is, 
my wife has an Amazon Prime account, which she got to benefit from free 
shipping of stuff.) The bad news is, this is a FOTA show, which by all rights 
CBS should also stream, with ads, as FOTI, at least as an option. This creeping 
greed is annoying.

At the start of the process, Amazon downloaded some sort of DRM stuff into my 
home PC-STB, after which the show started automatically. They give you the 
option of HD or SD. I tried both. They both ended up as 300 Kb/s streams in my 
case, most likely because I have a 1.5 Mb/s link still, and my wife was 
streaming something else at the same time. Oh, and IIRC, it came using 
Silverlight. Easy to see the stream starting at low resolution, e.g. after each 
nulled-out ad break, then quickly ramping up to something quite acceptable, on 
the par with CBS's own streams.


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