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June Savings, Showtime


SpiceWare

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No new content for June so the savings was $156. At this point my cumulative savings of $3780 has more than paid for my investment of $3716 in the Mac mini DVR project, so I think I'll stop the monthly update; however, I'll still post the occasional entry when I check out things like Showtime's new streaming service.

There's a number of ways to sign up for Showtime: via apps on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Roku, or via the hulu or Playstation Vue (for PS3 & PS4) video streaming services. I did so via my iPad then logged on via my web browser. I haven't tested it out extensively yet but did notice that just like HBO Now, Showtime is using Flash to deliver the content; however, unlike HBO Now, Showtime's picture quality looked just fine in full-screen mode - here's a couple screen grabs from the series Episodes:

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Showtime also has a feature that I don't recall seeing in HBO Now - the ability to see the live streams (east and west coast). The live streams might be nice for those who watch sports - I don't, but when HBO showed a big fight when my HBO Now subscription was active I was curious to see if I could watch it, but couldn't figure out a way to do so.
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I've rewatched the first season of Nurse Jackie. For the most part the picture quality looks good, though on a few occasions the quality dropped or the frame rate stuttered - I suspect Showtime was dealing with higher than expected network traffic at those times, or that it was a network congestion issue local to me here in Houston.

 

Showtime's watchlist could use work in regards to series. The series themselves are added to the list, but when you select one you're shown ALL episodes for that series without any indication of where you left off.

 

Not a major problem though as I'm already using iTV Shows, an app on my iPad, to keep track of where I am in all the OTA series I'm recording. I use that because I prefer to watch a series in order and the reruns aren't always broadcast in the correct order - for instance Burn Notice skipped episodes 2 and 11 of season 6 on their last go around, so I'm waiting for those to be rebroadcast before I start watching season 6.

 

At this point I plan to keep the subscription for Showtime active as they've got a number of series I'm behind on and a number of new series that look to be interesting.

 

I'll check out HBO Now again when Game of Thrones returns next year. Like Showtime, they have a number of other series that look interesting but I won't keep the subscription active if they haven't fixed the picture quality problem.

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