Digital Theatre Woes

 

Well, my level of frustration with Digital Theatre hasn’t reached such an epic level as Zee’s, but I will say this… it’s pretty likely that the service is not all that I’d hoped it would be. Let me explain.

Today I decided to do a bit of a trial run. We’d had a very modest TV for almost a decade, and we’ve never been the type to buy something (such as a “SmartTV”) simply because it exists and we have to have the latest technology. I didn’t have a smart phone, much less a smartTV, until just last year, and that was only because I needed a smart phone as part of the new security system I installed at the vet clinic when we purchased the practice. No, we’ve made do with a pay-as-you-go cheapo cell phone for years, and the only reason I got a cheapo cell phone was because I was previously employed at a vet hospital where the doctors rotated being on call 24/7. Prior to that I didn’t feel I needed that newfangled technology, the cell phone. LOL. We don’t have a gaming system, we have one older computer in the house, and up until recently, our TV was a modest 20-something-inch TV with no HD.

So it was really quite a deviation from the norm for us when we decided we could finally afford a nicer, bigger television… and I campaigned for a Samsung SmartTV because ever since September, I’ve been plotting how I’d watch The Crucible on my own TV, and I knew that there was such a thing as a DT-App for this type of TV. Our Christmas gift to each other was therefore a really nice, much larger, much smarter Samsung Smart TV, and I don’t regret it at all… it’s wonderful to be able to watch our favorite shows in HD.

But then today, Hubby and I worked out how to download the Digital Theatre Samsung SmartTV App (the TV is smarter than us… took a damn long time to even find the app store on this insanely complex TV!) I went ahead and made a practice purchase from  DT… David Tennant in Much Ado About Nothing came highly recommended by Perry, and I’ve been mildly preoccupied with Tennant anyway after glomming Broadchurch and several other Tennant television shows over the past few weeks. When I got down to the nitty-gritty, I found out that after purchasing my Download of MAAN, it gives you a “redemption code” which is then entered into the Samsung Smart TV DT App. Then you have 30 days to watch it, and if I understand correctly, once you start watching, you have 48 hours to complete it.

Then what? Well, apparently you have the one redemption code for the TV per download purchase. Not rental… purchase. That’s right. Apparently I’ll be able to stream it to my computer whenever I please once it’s in my library, but not to my TV. I hope I’m not disseminating mis-information. To make sure, I sent the following e-mail to DT Support, and we’ll see what they have to say:

I just want to make sure I have this right. I’m intending to purchase The Crucible and decided to do a practice run by purchasing Much Ado About Nothing. I have my Samsung Smart TV app, and I’ve entered the TV redemption code. Am I to understand that even though I’ve purchased this download, I’ll only ever have ONE opportunity to watch it on my large screen TV? I can’t watch it as many times as I please? I do understand that I can watch on my computer screen by streaming whenever I want, but if I can’t watch The Crucible over and over on my TV screen, I’m going to be extremely disappointed. If I’m misunderstanding, please explain how I can watch it on my TV whenever I want. And if I’m not misunderstanding, then may I suggest you get a new price tier for some kind of download with unlimited TV viewings? Because expecting hard-core Richard Armitage fans to limit themselves to one viewing is pretty far-fetched. Thanks- JHolland

If Zee’s experience is anything to go by, I’ll probably never hear back. But I sure hope I’m wrong. One and done on The Crucible is just NOT going to work for me, and while, unlike Zee, I’ll probably settle for the computer streaming to get my fix, it’s going to be a HUGE let-down, after campaigning for months for this TV in anticipation of The Crucible being available eventually.

Sorry for the rant. If any of you know of some way around this… am I going to have to get a freaking laptop and some kind of cable? That sounds pretty complex for a techno-phobe like myself, though I’m sure the long-suffering Hubby would be willing to help me.

Sigh.

 

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17 comments

  1. Helen · March 15, 2015

    If it’s any consolation, I’ve found Digital Theatre to be very responsive to email queries – I have been surprised at the communications issues Zee has been suffering. So fingers crossed for you. I don’t have any sort of TV so I guess your problem won’t be one for me. And yes, Much Ado about Nothing is very, very funny.

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    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      I hope so, Helen… because if they don’t respond, and I’m actually wrong and will be able to obtain multiple redemption codes on my purchase, it will probably save me a ton of money. (Much to Hubby’s consternation and sorrowful head-shaking, I’m already reading reviews on laptop computers, figuring that at least with a laptop, I could A) sit somewhere comfortable to watch the 3+hr production, or B) connect it to the TV much more easily than trying to connect the desktop to the TV! )

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  2. linnetmoss · March 15, 2015

    That sounds terrible! I have never heard of a purchase scenario where you could not then continue to watch the content, but maybe it has something to do with the differences between TVs and other devices. I’ll be interested to see if they respond. Thanks for the tip on Much Ado, BTW. That’s like Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre–I have to see every version!

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    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      I really hope I’m misreading the redemption code thing. Maybe once your 48 hrs is up you can just get another redemption code off the same purchase. Because if not, then they’re really kind of doing some false advertising… it’s more of a rental situation than a purchase, for the TV-viewing hopefuls. =)
      Haven’t actually watched MAAN yet. It’s currently at 62% downloaded on the desktop (HD version) and it’s been since mid-afternoon yesterday… looking like it will take 24+hrs to get the HD version downloaded, and meanwhile it’s sucking up the bandwidth and the streaming to the TV is not working… LOL my whole trial run is shaping up to be a big fail… just glad I figured this out early. Think I may need to get the SD version for The Crucible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • linnetmoss · March 16, 2015

        Well, you have probably saved a lot of others from the hassle, at least. I have not ventured too far into streaming, though we do have a Roku box. It works great until it doesn’t, and then it’s a nightmare…

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  3. Perry · March 15, 2015

    I agree with Helen. DT customer service in prompt and reliable with the their responses. I expect you will here back from Jonathan Ware on Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      I hope so. I’ll post whatever I hear, and I’ll be more than happy if I need to post a mea culpa!

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  4. Perry · March 15, 2015

    P.S. The computer with cable option to TV is pretty easy. I just don’t know if it work with a desktop, who how you would work it with a desktop. All you need is the cable that has an HDMI plug on one end, to plug into the TV, and a usb or thunderbolt port on your computer. But I agree. You ought to be able to see your actual purchases, wherever you want.

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    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      Thanks, Perry. That’s useful to know. I was looking into laptops and not finding many that have an HDMI port. But you’re saying that if you have the right cord (one with USB on one end, HDMI on other), as long as the laptop has a USB port, you can connect to the TV? Most laptops have the USB port, but few have the HDMI port. That would make a huge difference! It’s dangerous when a techno-phobe tries to figure these things out. It’s all sort of mumbo-jumbo for me! =)

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  5. Helen · March 15, 2015

    I watched MAAN on my iPad… Not a big screen obviously but very easy to download and watch…

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    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      I’ve been looking at getting either an iPad or a laptop. My old laptop is completely defunct, but I didn’t use it much so I wasn’t intending to replace it. I have a kindle fire, so having an iPad seems redundant, except for the fact that DT isn’t compatible with kindle fire. Probably a laptop would be more useful in the long run, but then I think to myself… I could probably pay for repeated downloads for an awfully long time before it ever came close to the expense of a new laptop. Yes, my preoccupation is somewhat out of control to be even considering this. LOL Of course, I already knew that, the moment I booked a round trip to London…

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  6. Mezz · March 15, 2015

    Like the others, I found DT support to be very good when I had an issue with downloading the player – I did a trial run late last year, purchasing Private Lives, and have since rented one production and purchased two more, all without any difficulties. I watch on my laptop or hook it up via HDMI cable. Battery life on the laptop is the problem I’ve found with a long production, it does need to be plugged into a power source as well as the TV. I hope you get your problem sorted. I was under the impression that once your smart TV is set up, you can watch your purchases as often as you like – on your TV, because your DT player and library are “built in.” Good luck!

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    • jholland · March 15, 2015

      Thanks, Mezz… I’m hoping to get the problem sorted, too. I’d already invited family and friends for a dinner and viewing next Saturday, and it’s not going to be too great to have all of us view it on the desktop. LOL. At this point,it’s looking like we may need to reschedule. Still can’t get the TV to stream the trial run on Much Ado… now we’re wondering if the TV is faulty. Hubby is going to have the Best Buy Geek Squad out to check it out, as we haven’t really tried to use the TV in any capacity other than as a TV yet, but when we had so much trouble with the Digital Theatre App, we decided to try some other Apps, like the YouTube and Internet Browser apps, and none seem to work. The one good thing is we did decide to troubleshoot before the family and friends arrive… would have been doubly disappointing if we discovered all these issues when everyone was here and all set to watch. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Servetus · March 15, 2015

    Interesting — I was going to comment earlier that the possibility that you would get one viewing on your TV if you purchased the item for your library is not what their website says. I’m not happy you might be having TV issues but at least that might mean Digital Theatre is not the culprit here …

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    • jholland · March 16, 2015

      Well, they are the culprit in the sense that it is exactly as I feared, a “one-time bonus”… on to the laptop. Maybe I’ll be getting a MacBook Pro. Maybe I’ll then pursue my Richard Armitage fanvidding aspirations. Always the silver lining…. =)

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      • Servetus · March 16, 2015

        I love my MacBook Pro, but that really *does* suck.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Digital Theatre Responds to My Query | preoccupiedwitharmitage

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