Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Getting Some Stuff off my Chest

After reading my sister's post about CTV's Robson's Arms and their cool decision to put episodes online I decided to check it out. Turns out they've made an uncool decision to exclude Linux users from watching. Clicking on the "Watch Season 1 and 2 on Broadband" link gives me a screen telling me "Sorry, your OS is not supported! We recommend Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Mac OS X."

Even after using the "Change User Agent" option in Firefox to identify as IE 6 under Windows XP I get a message requesting I upgrade to Flash 8. Firstly, I'm running Flash 9. And secondly, if their video player is simply a Flash player why limit viewers to OS X or Windows? Flash plays on Linux as well.

I have also heard that some people are having problems playing the episodes on OS X, and even on Windows it doesn't always play smoothly.

I wrote a message to CTV via an online form last week that assured me all submissions are read by CTV execs, but I'm not holding my breath. As it stands now, I may or may not see the show if it happens to be on at the same time I'm watching TV, but I'm certainly not going to make an effort to seek it out.

I thought I had a similar problem with CBC's website. Quite a while ago my sister had blogged about a spoof of House M. D. that This Hour Has 22 Minutes had done. For some reason it wouldn't work for me. After my CTV problem I started getting all righteous about a broadcaster funded with taxpayer money using proprietary video players that wouldn't run in Linux. That's still true, they should be using H.264 or some other open standard, but it's now working with Firefox combined with the MediaPlayerConnectivity extension in Firefox, so now all my righteous indignation has evaporated.

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