FilmStruck

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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371229
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:28 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1126 Post by 371229 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:55 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I have an OLED LG Smart TV (i.e. a higher end model that cost a pretty penny that has great SmartTV app support), a PS4, and an Xbox One. I refuse out of principle (though I've had these devices in my hand sort of grumbling to myself several times) to take up another HDMI slot and spend more money on an Apple TV or Fire TV Stick or any number of other things just so I can get FilmStruck in the living room. But clearly, I'm the one losing as it's been years now without the ability to subscribe and enjoy it.
Trust me... they are doing you a favor. I was using Filmstruck through my Roku and was very unhappy with it. The streaming on the Roku is not up to Netflix or HBOGO standards. It was very common for me to be watching a movie and then have to wait many times for it buffer (usually for 15-30 seconds during a stretch, which was very annoying). Also, the PQ was pretty poor at times (watching on a HDTV) and sometimes the subtitles would not work properly. Finally, the navigation around the app itself I found to be very clunky. I used it for about 2 months until I decided it was a bit of a headache and not worth it. I felt the service was not ready for primetime.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1127 Post by Ribs » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:11 pm

It's not really *entirely* a fair comparison to compare Filmstruck to literally the biggest companies in streaming. Smaller services are often very susceptible to bottlenecking (meaning if you watch it at the same time as a lot of people, service suffers; the best way to identify this problem is usually if it's hard to load in the middle of a major east coast snowstorm or something like that when a lot of people are home streaming). I ended up through good fortune getting a TV with a Chromecast built into it, which has become my go-to way of streaming (previously I had been using a laptop via HDMI), and other than the app not having any subtitle customization options (which I *think* is a bug) have really had no hiccups at all with performance.

The subtitles are procedurally generated by individual character in a manor similar to captioning on cable systems rather than by the line/frame as they are on most other things. I don't really know why and assume it's some weird carryover from whatever tech from the TCM side they probably started off from but that means it's constantly screwing up and getting characters wrong.

The delay on getting these apps out, particular for Xbox which has really loosened its restrictions (you'd think they'd at least throw out a super buggy beta version - just something) is really foolish for them and really has been a missed oppurtunity. I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt to get them out in a timely fashion soon after launch but it's just kind of faded away from them.

Content's been totally killer, tho.

mkozlows
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:35 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1128 Post by mkozlows » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:20 pm

371229 wrote:Trust me... they are doing you a favor. I was using Filmstruck through my Roku and was very unhappy with it. The streaming on the Roku is not up to Netflix or HBOGO standards. It was very common for me to be watching a movie and then have to wait many times for it buffer (usually for 15-30 seconds during a stretch, which was very annoying). Also, the PQ was pretty poor at times (watching on a HDTV) and sometimes the subtitles would not work properly. Finally, the navigation around the app itself I found to be very clunky. I used it for about 2 months until I decided it was a bit of a headache and not worth it. I felt the service was not ready for primetime.
There were some problems in the early days, but honestly, it's been fine for a good while now. The most recent app revisions even gave the UI all the browsing capabilities (by director, country, etc.) that were so lacking at first.

For a while, it was a service that you recommended because of its content, despite its technical and functional shortcomings. Now it's just a solid service with great content.

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Filmstruck

#1129 Post by movielocke » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:22 pm

I know nothing about Roku. But the Apple TV is amazing, it can hardwire with Ethernet and as a result I have never had any buffering issue.

Navigation is better now that they have abandoned the Netflix style horizontal scroll in favor of tabs with full grids.

Chrome cast is a cheap option, and integrates with my phone or iPad really well.

but WiFi is the variable there. Chrome casting any app didn’t work consistently well in our apartment because of so many neighboring WiFi networks (and no, buying a bigger WiFi router to blast more signal didn’t help overcome the congestion), but I also sampled it at work (to confirm it was problems with WiFi limitations) and it worked great—except around updates which sometimes impede service to chromecast for some reason.

If you’ve got great WiFi, chrome cast is a cheap option, if you can wire Ethernet, the Apple TV is by the far the best option.

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371229
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:28 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1130 Post by 371229 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Hmmmm, thanks for the feedback. Maybe I should give it another try. I just remember being very disappointed by it when it came out. I signed up for it as soon as it was available on Roku. Maybe I've been spoiled by my viewing of Netflix and HBOGO. If I remember correctly, Netflix's streaming service was very buggy when it debuted too.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1131 Post by Ribs » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:22 pm

The newest TCM Inner Circle survey is polling for feedback about a dedicated "TCM" section on Filmstruck featuring some classic golden age Hollywood titles. Here's the example image.

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Big Ben
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Filmstruck

#1132 Post by Big Ben » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:27 pm

I know the chances of some of those films of ever coming to Criterion are significantly low but I'd love to have them available to stream. Thanks for this Ribs.

albucat
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:06 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1133 Post by albucat » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:03 pm

That seems great, can't imagine why people wouldn't like it (posting the image was helpful, since before then I worried it might be another modular "pay this much for another section" sort of thing).

MongooseCmr
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:50 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1134 Post by MongooseCmr » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:32 pm

I can’t see why they’d need to do market research for something that’s essentially another collection of movies though.

Werewolf by Night

Filmstruck

#1135 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:46 pm

MongooseCmr wrote:I can’t see why they’d need to do market research for something that’s essentially another collection of movies though.
I think they’re seeing if non-subscribers in the TCM demographic could be enticed to subscribe if classic TCM-style content were added. The answer, at least for this non-subscriber, is a qualified yes. (There will have to be rarer titles than Casablanca and Rebel Without a Cause available to entice me.)

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Oxidized
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1136 Post by Oxidized » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:51 pm

I think their survey (which I got too) is perhaps nervously gauging interest in something that's a fait accompli, as there are nearly 40 Filmstruck bundle placeholders already set up on the site and a bunch of them scream TCM Select type content. My best guess is that they'll start late February or early March. "Star of the Week" is going to replace "Director of the Week" occasionally. I hesitate to give up too many spoilers -- I suppose those placeholders could be decoys, though I doubt it.

And it looks like Director of the Week for Feb. 16th will be Peter Greenaway, which I'm excited about.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1137 Post by Ribs » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:12 am

The survey seemed like it was mostly to determine if "TCM Select" was a good name or not.

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OldBobbyPeru
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1138 Post by OldBobbyPeru » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:08 pm

Does anyone know how to access the commentaries on Filmstruck? There are quite a few of them, but damn if I can figure out how to select them, whether it's on the Roku or the desktop.

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Filmstruck

#1139 Post by movielocke » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:50 pm

Iirc, on Apple TV and on a desktop there is an icon (an ellipsis contained by a word balloon) on the upper right corner that can be selected (when playback is paused) that allows one to toggle through audio options.

This is the central problem, decades of the home viewer experience has taught you the following two step behavior pattern: select an audio option, begin playback.

This is not possible with the FilmStruck app. You have to learn a new four step behavior pattern: start playback, pause playback, select audio option, resume playback.

Totally intuitive amiright! Maybe complain, but imagine this process is less risky for them than doing the two step process which would involve a lot of user errors selecting commentaries they never wanted to listen to and resultant floods of complaints.

By making commentaries difficult to acccess they can simplify the experience for the majority of users and hope the two percent of users accessing commentaries can figure out the new process.

Don’t know about Roku. And last I checked commentaries were disabled by chromecasting, though I seem to remember chromecasting commentaries okay once Early on, I think th ability vanished in one of the updates.

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OldBobbyPeru
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1140 Post by OldBobbyPeru » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:35 pm

OldBobbyPeru wrote:Does anyone know how to access the commentaries on Filmstruck? There are quite a few of them, but damn if I can figure out how to select them, whether it's on the Roku or the desktop.
Here's the answer I got from the Filmstruck help desk in case anyone else is wondering:

You can activate commentaries on Roku with the following steps:
Play the film you wish to activate the commentary track on.
Press the "Star" button on your remote to open the options menu.
Scroll down to the Audio Track and press the "Ok" button on the remote. The track should change from "1 out of 2" to "2 out of 2". This will be the commentary audio track and will disable the main track.

You can activate commentaries on your PC browser with the following steps:
Play the films you wish to activate the commentary track on.
Press the "Gear" icon in the bottom right of the player. (It may take a moment to show up next to the audio bar)
Under "Audio Commentary" select the second track to play the commentary.

What I still don't know is how to select the commentary in the AppleTV app. Anyone know the answer to that?

I've been watching Filmstruck on the Roku app on my TCL 55P605, but yesterday I decided to see if the AppleTV app was any better, and I think I prefer it. For one thing, the subtitles display better. On the Roku app, these is a slight faded box on the subtitles similar to what you see with closed captions, but not totally opaque. On the AppleTV, the subtitles look more like they do on a Blu-ray.

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OldBobbyPeru
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:15 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1141 Post by OldBobbyPeru » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:40 pm

Agreed, it's not intuitive, but it's very cool that it's there at all. You can't do that on Netflix!

albucat
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:06 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1142 Post by albucat » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:18 pm

To say that this is an exciting month on the criterion channel part of Filmstruck is an understatement. Maybe that's mostly because I'm a huge fan of Weerasethakul, but there are plenty of other great releases as well (has anyone seen Marathon? I like Saura a lot but haven't heard of it). Anyhow, here's the list.

Complete list of films premiering on the Criterion Channel during February:

February 1
Tropical Malady, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2005
Syndromes and a Century, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010
Cemetery of Splendor, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015
The Great Escape, John Sturges, 1963

February 2
Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations, Leni Riefenstahl, 1938
Olympia Part Two: Festival of Beauty, Leni Riefenstahl, 1938
Tokyo Olympiad, Kon Ichikawa, 1965
13 Days in France, Claude Lelouch, 1968
Visions of Eight, Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Yuri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling, 1973
White Rock, Tony Maylam, 1977
16 Days of Glory, Bud Greenspan, 1986
Marathon, Carlos Saura, 1993
The Front Page, Lewis Milestone, 1931
The Games of the V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912, Adrian Wood, 2016
White Vertigo, Giorgio Ferroni, 1956

February 5
Lettres d'amour, Claude Autant-Lara, 1942

February 6
Five Miles Out, Andrew Haigh, 2009

February 13
Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero, 1968

February 20
Bluebeard, Jean Painlevé, 1938

February 21
Festival, Murray Lerner, 1967
Francis Ha, Noah Baumbach, 2013

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1143 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:22 pm

Sweet on the Weerasethakul gets - last year Tropical Malady was my personal Super Bowl counter-programming and I guess I'll be repeating that with one of these other films, which I was actually just looking at importing from Second Run earlier today. Will be especially interesting if they're in HD (or - and this is very unlikely but would be huge - they're Janus now?).

Will be interesting if that handful of Olympic Films are for some strange reason the only ones Janus has digital rights for or something like that (more likely just a month-long thing for the Winter Olympics)
Last edited by Ribs on Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

albucat
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:06 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1144 Post by albucat » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:22 pm

One other note about this month: the release of the Great Escape includes the laserdisc special feature commentary. Is that a first, given that it's not out on DVD or Blu-ray?

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MichaelStockCA
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:23 pm
Location: California

Re: Filmstruck

#1145 Post by MichaelStockCA » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:59 pm

February titles are very exciting indeed. I was hoping that the Olympia films will stream at some point and I'm positively surprised that it happened so quickly after the disc release, though I realize that this is not the whole collection. Yes, it might have to do with the Winter Olympics. Hopefully, they will stay long enough to get a chance to watch them. And hopefully, the other films will be uploaded too in the future.

I'm also looking forward to watch Festival. And Lettres d'Amour, which is the only one from the Autant-Lara Eclipse-Box not on CC yet.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:24 pm
Location: Teegeeack

Re: Filmstruck

#1146 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:04 pm

Ribs wrote:Sweet on the Weerasethakul gets - last year Tropical Malady was my personal Super Bowl counter-programming and I guess I'll be repeating that with one of these other films, which I was actually just looking at importing from Second Run earlier today. Will be especially interesting if they're in HD (or - and this is very unlikely but would be huge - they're Janus now?).
Syndromes was recently released on BD in Japan as a twofer with Cemetery of Splendour and it was clearly an upscale, so I'm not optimistic about it being in HD. No idea about Malady though.

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jsteffe
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:00 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Filmstruck

#1147 Post by jsteffe » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:45 pm

movielocke wrote:I know nothing about Roku. But the Apple TV is amazing, it can hardwire with Ethernet and as a result I have never had any buffering issue.

Navigation is better now that they have abandoned the Netflix style horizontal scroll in favor of tabs with full grids.

Chrome cast is a cheap option, and integrates with my phone or iPad really well.

but WiFi is the variable there. Chrome casting any app didn’t work consistently well in our apartment because of so many neighboring WiFi networks (and no, buying a bigger WiFi router to blast more signal didn’t help overcome the congestion), but I also sampled it at work (to confirm it was problems with WiFi limitations) and it worked great—except around updates which sometimes impede service to chromecast for some reason.

If you’ve got great WiFi, chrome cast is a cheap option, if you can wire Ethernet, the Apple TV is by the far the best option.
I had an older HD Roku, which was not bad, but I went ahead and purchased a 4K Apple TV based on the comments here. It was worth it. The interface is mostly superior, and having wired ethernet is a huge advantage over WiFi for streaming video. I have no buffering issues now, and very high quality video playback on Netflix as a result.

I also prefer the Apple TV interface for Filmstruck.

The only potential downside is the thumb trackpad on the Apple remote. It's easy to overshoot and select the wrong title, though I imagine that I'll get more used to it over time. It's just me, but I'd probably still prefer click navigation over thumb scrolling.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1148 Post by Ribs » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:48 pm

No sign of the Apichatpong Weerasethakul films...

albucat
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:06 am

Re: Filmstruck

#1149 Post by albucat » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:21 am

Weird. If they're not up tomorrow, I may email my contact asking about that.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Filmstruck

#1150 Post by Ribs » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:57 am

The three later ones have appeared, but no Tropical Malady. Syndromes and a Century is in SD.

Interestingly, though there's no Janus branding or anything, they're going to be up on the Criterion channel for a full year (taken down on 1/31/2019).

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