Friday, November 19, 2010

Media Problems When You Leave the US

It's great to live outside the country. Even when what you call home is a rather large island with hardly any people on it. It's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see things in a way you'd never thought possible. It's also an opportunity to realize that every movie studio, video game maker, and TV purveyor is intent on making your life miserable.

To get some idea of what I'm talking about, here is a list of things we are prevented from doing because our IP address is foreign:

  • Watch TV online - unless you are talking about YouTube, which is a terrible way to try to catch shows you missed. So, no Army wives for me anymore. I'm sure Oliver is relieved.
  • Use the wireless feature on your game console. I had blamed our tightly controlled internet for this one, but I actually don't think it's their fault anymore. I'm fairly certain that Nintendo has made it impossible for us to network our Wii here. Not a killer situation, but annoying.
  • Netflix, well, that's the real story here...
 See, I decided to sign up for a free trial. I've seen people here picking up their red envelopes in the post office, so I figured it was worth a try to see how fast the mail is. Because our mail comes in on the same plane we use, it's only slightly slower than when we were in the U.S. So, I thought maybe it'd be worth it.

Except, I've since discovered that while packages (pretty much all we deal with for the most part) go directly to Florida to be sorted and sent to our plane, letters for some idiot reason go to New York City first. So, the DVD I mailed last Thursday to a place in Florida has only today been received and a  new one sent out. A new one that will head north before it returns south. Um, yeah, that means, if we are lucky, we'll be getting about 3 DVDs a month.  

In truth, I expected something like that, which is why I had yet to sign up for it. We were actually hoping to use the instant watching feature with an occasional DVD as a bonus. Then we could get some TV shows and movies that we can't watch easily right now (and we both hate watching TV as TV - the commercials are too irritating - it's not on much in our house).

Turns out, however, that Netflix also blocks access to people outside the country. This annoys me greatly because I have a U.S. address, and I'm a U.S. citizen. Since I'm clearly the person using the account, why can we not have permission to watch this stuff? These distribution laws are maddening.

Yeah, that Netflix account? Totally being canceled as soon as this month is up.

1 sonar pings:

Emily Snow said...

Yep, totally relate to this one!