Region restricted web content is something that really annoys me, why should i be denied access to watch a TV show episode because i’m not currently in a certain country?
A lot of my favorite TV shows are American, however because i live all the way over in England i find that im often denied from watching video content on the TV shows official website. This can be anything from behind the scenes footage to full episodes of the show that have aired on the internet first, before its even been on TV in America.
A lot of the time episodes of TV shows on official websites make you watch adverts, so what does it matter where i am? show me some adverts for UK related products if you really must. I cant see how its a bad thing that someone in another part of the world wants to enjoy a TV show?
More to the point if that TV show is not even available outside the US, and likely will not be for a long time, if ever, does it really matter if i watch it online? Let fans enjoy it. The fans who cant wait to watch it are the ones who will end up purchasing the show on DVD / Blu-ray anyway! and spreading word of the show to there friends and family.
The reason for this blog post is that a Facebook page i had liked kept promoting a TV show called “Last Resort”, this is a new series i thought sounded interesting that will premier on US TV in September. However i keep been told in my Facebook news feed that i can watch the first episode right now! Except in reality i cant:
As i expected i was greeted with a message saying “We’re sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed from in the United States” Honestly does it really matter where i am?
I’m fully aware that i can click one button on my PC and trick the website to thinking i’m in the US, however it annoys me because i shouldn’t have to do that.
This brings me on to another point, piracy. We’re told piracy is bad, piracy is evil, priacy funds crime, piracy kills babies… however if there is no legal means to watch content in the country you reside, then what harm does it do if i decide to obtain the episode by other means?
I could be allowed to stream the episode in question and be shown adverts like American citizens if the content provider really wanted to make some money out of me watching it, however they don’t. So if i watch the episode by other means no one has lost out have they?
What do you know, else where on the internet i’m provided with a 720p HD copy of the episode with 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, and best of all no network logos or adverts. This took me about 60 seconds to download and can be enjoyed on the TV from the comfort of my sofa.
So basically I got the better deal in my opinion…
Now i’m not saying this is right, i’m simply pointing out that pirates get the better deal because the media industry refuses to adapt and embrace modern technology. Restricting content to one country might have worked when people were lucky to have 56k dialup internet at home, however now with broadband internet connections getting faster and tv networks putting there content online, region retractions are pointless and could honestly be bypassed by anyone capable of doing a Google search.
The technology exists, people want to be able to watch content anywhere in the world, the same time as everyone else in the world. Whats more is people have been successfully doing this with limited resources for over a decade. Yet the media industry’s dont appear capable of embracing modern technology.