TopBilled

When does FilmStruck launch..?

74 posts in this topic

I've still put off subscribing or even doing the free trial.  Since I'll have to watch on my computer, it has been easy to delay.  I wish an app to work with most smart televisions and blu ray players would be developed.  Many of us stream Netflix and Hulu with a simple click of an icon.  It is fine that owners of other equipment (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) are or will be served by Filmstruck.  But what about the large number of us who don't want to invest in new equipment or subscribe to something in addition to the cost of Filmstruck?  I suppose when I do join or do a trial, the first thing I'll try is to use my Samsung player browser to try to navigate to the Filmstruck site, enter my username and password, and see if that would allow streaming access without having an official app with Samsung.  I do miss the Criterion Collection I had from Hulu with a simple click of an icon.

 

David

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I've still put off subscribing or even doing the free trial.  Since I'll have to watch on my computer, it has been easy to delay.  I wish an app to work with most smart televisions and blu ray players would be developed.  Many of us stream Netflix and Hulu with a simple click of an icon.  It is fine that owners of other equipment (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) are or will be served by Filmstruck.  But what about the large number of us who don't want to invest in new equipment or subscribe to something in addition to the cost of Filmstruck?  I suppose when I do join or do a trial, the first thing I'll try is to use my Samsung player browser to try to navigate to the Filmstruck site, enter my username and password, and see if that would allow streaming access without having an official app with Samsung.  I do miss the Criterion Collection I had from Hulu with a simple click of an icon.

 

David

 

I guess things change, right David? I stopped subscribing to Hulu last summer. A lot of the British television I watched on Hulu moved over to Amazon and the Criterion films were in the process of leaving. I haven't subscribed to FilmStruck yet because I don't think it's available to Roku users until January. And I use Roku. 

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I just registered to this forum after reading this thread.

 

Like LaurenceA, I was also a beta tester who is enjoying free full access to FilmStruck for the remainder of the year.

 

i also work in technology, so I know quite a bit about the technical aspects required for the site.

 

In a nutshell, I'm a movie loving software engineer who does not play "video" games (much to my wife's relief)!

 

I do plan on joining FilmStruck once my free "beta" gift ends.  Like many, I joined Hulu because I was excited it included the Criterion Collection.  Granted, it wasn't marketed too well, and it didn't include the entire collection.

 

FilmStruck has more films - the Criterion portion has a huge inventory (in my opinion), while the Filmsruck side is more minimal but includes non-Criterion films.  I plan on purchasing the annual full-access package for $99 - it is a better value than the monthly fee.

 

What sets FilmStruck apart from Hulu is the format feels like you're actually buying a blu-ray or DVD full of extras.  Both "channels" are also frequently curated by theme or director/star - even including extra material organizing the theme.

 

The title are exhausted enough for me, and off hand I can mention that I'm currently watching Edward Yang's "A Brighter Summer Day" and I have the Apu trilogy in the watch list - neither of these were available on Hulu.  I have also heard that currently unavailable titles are being "dusted off" for FilmStruck (like the Laser Disc version of "Silence of the Lambs").

 

in a nutshell...it feels like Hulu was a repository for Criterion films, while Filmstruck is a real partnership between TCM and Criterion.

 

I do hope more of the TCM library of classic films become available (since the FilmStruck side is supposed to be a mix of Criterion plus films from other partnerships).  Yes - films like Richard III, Stagecoach, and some Michael Powell films are available, but I would love to have the best of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Billy Wilder at my disposal as well!!!!

 

Anyway - this sounds too much like a sale pitch, so I'll switch to some technical info.

 

The Smart TV dilemma...some get outdated and only make certain apps available that are popular (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.)  Others have something like Roku or Fire built in - those type of "Smart" televisions will have software updates and the ability to search for downloadable apps.

 

Televisions integrated with their own proprietary software will probably not include Filmstruck unless it gets "huge."

 

With that said - if the site is offering realistic target dates, the available devices will keep increasing.  Fire TV was with the launch, their December date for Apple TV was matched, and I hope early 2017 will be matched for Roku and Chromecast.

 

Yes...to people with smart tv's, I understand the convenience of choosing an app, and the pain of buying a new device.  I also understand the annoyance of just being able to watch on a laptop, tablet, or phone!

 

My suggestion - try a free trial to check material.  Then, decide if it is worth buying a device.  Apple Fire Sticks and Roku sticks are under $50.  You'll just need an adequate wireless signal.  More "expensive" versions allow for Ethernet connections if you're wired for cat-5/6 wiring.  The device format allows for app selection as well and is very easy to navigate.

 

It just comes down to what you're comfortable with technologically and financially.

 

I hope I haven't bored anyone with this wordy "essay!"  Feel free to ask any questions to me as well.

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Welcome to the message boards jbderwin. Glad to have you with us in this on-going discussion!

 

I agree-- Hulu did not market its Criterion titles too well-- but my theory is Hulu tends to focus on the Universal television catologue it has, plus the ITV (British) network of films and series. So they might have seen Criterion as a way to enhance what they offer, but for it never to be a focal point. 

 

It's certainly a benefit that FilmStruck is including bonus features, something I don't recall any other streaming service offering before.

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Thanks, TopBilled.

 

Looking forward to trying to join the discussion on these boards.

 

Since you're using FilmStruck and will continue to do so, please let us know if/when there are service changes. People that consider subscribing will find the information helpful.

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Since you're using FilmStruck and will continue to do so, please let us know if/when there are service changes. People that consider subscribing will find the information helpful.

 

I'll keep updating this as FilmStruck keeps evolving.

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Just a quick update.  Using Filmstruck's chat, I tried getting a date for Filmstruck access for Roku devices.  They still are just saying early 2017.  That is the same with Chromecast. 

 

Their next Targets will be PS4 and XBox One.

 

I signed up for an annual subscription since it was more cost effective, and I'm enjoying it so far.  I have been using Amazon Fire - it works great on a Fire device that actually uses an Ethernet cable.  I have one Fire Stick which relies on wireless.  I have a pretty fast wireless connection, but the Firestick version I have is a little clunky (there is a current version which is supposedly better).

 

I mostly use Roku for streaming access since it is very fast, so I am looking forward to seeing how Filmstruck performs on it.

 

I remain happy with the inventory since I have both Filmstruck and the Criterion channel (I may feel differently if I only had Filmstruck).

 

Granted - I feel I have watched a ton of films in my 52 years, but I certainly don't compare to some of the film connoisseurs on this site (like TopBilled)!  So, I am pleased to have this quality at my fingertips.

 

I'll update once Roku and other devices are available.

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Just a quick update.  Using Filmstruck's chat, I tried getting a date for Filmstruck access for Roku devices.  They still are just saying early 2017.   

 

Thanks jb-- I was wondering about this. I'm a Roku user, so it looks like I need to be a bit more patient. Probably within a month or two.

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It is nice that there is a functioning tech support team for FILMSTRUCK/THE CRITERION CHANNEL.  Sadly, they could never get things to work for me.  As someone waiting for the development of a app/icon to work with smart TV's and Blu Ray players, I was encouraged when staff at Criterion said such an app is in the works for some time in 2017.  Meanwhile, I joined after my free trial and found, to my dismay, that sitting at my computer to watch didn't work.  No luck at all.  Movies wouldn't start, an error message kept appearing, and occasionally I'd get a brief start/stop/start/stop of a film's picture and sound.  No luck with my preferred FIREFOX.  Also tried IE and downloaded--at tech support's suggestion--CHROME.  No success on any of these browsers even though HULU and NETFLIX play fine on my Dell with a Comcast cable modem/router, plenty of memory, and Windows Vista.  It seems there are problems with in-browser media players and FILMSTRUCK/THE CRITERION CHANNEL. I cancelled my membership and requested a refund for the month of no success.  I'm unwilling to have to invest in new hardware/software (Apple, Amazon, Roku, etc.) just to receive one channel.  So, I'll be waiting and hoping that someday...

 

David (Tucson, AZ)

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It is nice that there is a functioning tech support team for FILMSTRUCK/THE CRITERION CHANNEL.  Sadly, they could never get things to work for me.  As someone waiting for the development of a app/icon to work with smart TV's and Blu Ray players, I was encouraged when staff at Criterion said such an app is in the works for some time in 2017.  Meanwhile, I joined after my free trial and found, to my dismay, that sitting at my computer to watch didn't work.  No luck at all.  Movies wouldn't start, an error message kept appearing, and occasionally I'd get a brief start/stop/start/stop of a film's picture and sound.  No luck with my preferred FIREFOX.  Also tried IE and downloaded--at tech support's suggestion--CHROME.  No success on any of these browsers even though HULU and NETFLIX play fine on my Dell with a Comcast cable modem/router, plenty of memory, and Windows Vista.  It seems there are problems with in-browser media players and FILMSTRUCK/THE CRITERION CHANNEL. I cancelled my membership and requested a refund for the month of no success.  I'm unwilling to have to invest in new hardware/software (Apple, Amazon, Roku, etc.) just to receive one channel.  So, I'll be waiting and hoping that someday...

 

David (Tucson, AZ)

 

Sorry to hear it didn't pan out, David. A lot of frustrations you seem to have had. Hopefully they'll find a way to improve the way they are offering it. I'm sure you're not the only one with tech-related problems and that's why they have a tech team.

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Sorry to hear about that, too, DavidST.  I rarely use a computer/laptop/tablet for filmstruck for any of the services I subscribe to, but I have not experienced any issues with Firefox using both WIndows 7 and 10.  I also have fast wireless and frequently use an ethernet connection for work reasons, so I have an optimal environment.

 

I have a feeling there may be issues with Vista.  Granted, this was not a successful operating system.  General support by Microsoft has ended for Vista, and extended supported will conclude in April. 

 

With that said, the only criteria Filmstruck lists is browser versions and the latest version of Flash.  If you have the correct versions of both, and you cleared your cache, then it should work (or Filmstruck should be able figure it out).  Lack of memory or bandwidth would result in buffering issues, what you're describing is something different (leading back to Vista).  I bet they'll start listing OS requirements in the future.

 

I'm sure there are hiccups with a newer service that doesn't occur with Netflix and Hulu.  That certainly doesn't make it OK, nor does it help one's frustration.  I certainly would lack patience as well, and I work in technology (and run a number of diagnostics before I go to support).  One reaches a point where it isn't worth the frustration.

 

I certainly wouldn't buy a device for one supplemental service.  I just happened to use a number of apps, so adding Filmstruck (after having an extended free period due to Beta testing) made the purchase easy for me.

 

Frankly, I am not sure how sales have been.  I love it, but I wonder if the content is more for a cult following.

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Thanks for your thoughts, jbderwin.   You may be correct--a Windows Vista issue.  If so, Hulu and Netflix desktop streaming are not affected.  Actually, I felt some relief to let the hassle go and cancel Filmstruck.   That having been said, I'd still be watching the Criterion films if they were still available on Hulu and I'd be watching them via the smart app on my Blu Ray player.  So, I'll wait and see if the Criterion staff's promise of an app for smart players and tv's sometime in 2017 actually happens.  They did tell me via phone and email that there are problems with the desktop functionality of Filmstruck.  So, clearly I'm not the only one having trouble.  In the next few weeks/months, I'll be purchasing a new computer with Windows 10.  Perhaps that may solve all the desktop player problems or it may introduce new ones. ;-)   Nice of you to take the time to share your thoughts.

 

D.

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I had a chat with a customer service representative on the FilmStruck website. This is what I was told about when the service will be available for Roku users:

 

screen-shot-2017-03-13-at-6-37-34-pm.png

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Thanks for the info, TopBilled.

 

Certainly later than originally planned.  They were less specific last time I chatted with them.

 

Hopefully, that means they'll a fairly sophisticated interface.

 

Some Roku version of apps pale in comparison to their counterparts on other apps.  Netflix gets it right, but something like PS Vue has less bells and whistles with Roku (and a sophomoric looking interface).

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Thanks for the info, TopBilled.

 

Certainly later than originally planned.  They were less specific last time I chatted with them.

 

Hopefully, that means they'll a fairly sophisticated interface.

 

Some Roku version of apps pale in comparison to their counterparts on other apps.  Netflix gets it right, but something like PS Vue has less bells and whistles with Roku (and a sophomoric looking interface).

 

At first they were saying early spring, now it looks like late spring. I guess we'll see.

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A quick little update on FilmStruck via Roku....

 

I just got invited to participate in their beta program today, so hopefully I'll have more information moving forward.

 

This typically means FilmStruck may be two months out on launching for Roku, but this is not written in stone.

 

One thing I do know - it only supports Roku 3 or above.

 

TopBilled - perhaps you can check if you can become a Beta tester.  It will come with two months of free access.

 

This will at least be better than the original beta since there is more content than pre-release.  Plus, you get access to both Criterion and Filmstruck.

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A quick little update on FilmStruck via Roku....

 

I just got invited to participate in their beta program today, so hopefully I'll have more information moving forward.

 

This typically means FilmStruck may be two months out on launching for Roku, but this is not written in stone.

 

One thing I do know - it only supports Roku 3 or above.

 

TopBilled - perhaps you can check if you can become a Beta tester.  It will come with two months of free access.

 

This will at least be better than the original beta since there is more content than pre-release.  Plus, you get access to both Criterion and Filmstruck.

 

Thanks for the info, jbderwin. Another poster, LawrenceA, said he did the beta testing last year. I am surprised they need to do it again.

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Beta testing last year (which I was part of) was only for Amazon Fire, PC/Tablet, and possibly Android/iPhone.

 

This is specifically for the Roku app.

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Beta testing last year (which I was part of) was only for Amazon Fire, PC/Tablet, and possibly Android/iPhone.

 

This is specifically for the Roku app.

 

Okay, I understand. Thanks for the clarification. I am assuming you were chosen because you've given them feedback before on other things. If we have to wait for the testing, then it probably won't be ready to launch until mid or late summer.

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Filmstruck is now officially available on Roku.  I got the email announcing it, and I am able to search for under under the streaming section.

 

I Beta tested the app, and I wrote up about 15 items.  Most have been addressed (perhaps more since I still have the Beta version installed) - the final being a few crashes.  Only a couple of suggestions haven't been implemented.  Granted - I probably was one of many to report some items, but at least I received thank you messages on the detail I provided.

 

I'm not sure if anyone here will try a trial, but I personally like it (and feel this beta was smoother than the others I did). 

 

I also can't vouch for connectivity - I have fast internet, so I have streaming success with both wireless and Ethernet connectivity.

 

 

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Filmstruck is now officially available on Roku.  I got the email announcing it, and I am able to search for under under the streaming section.

 

I Beta tested the app, and I wrote up about 15 items.  Most have been addressed (perhaps more since I still have the Beta version installed) - the final being a few crashes.  Only a couple of suggestions haven't been implemented.  Granted - I probably was one of many to report some items, but at least I received thank you messages on the detail I provided.

 

I'm not sure if anyone here will try a trial, but I personally like it (and feel this beta was smoother than the others I did). 

 

I also can't vouch for connectivity - I have fast internet, so I have streaming success with both wireless and Ethernet connectivity.

 

Thanks for the update. I just went to the Roku Channel Store and added it. There's a 14-day free trial for new customers. Then it goes to $10.99 per month.

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You're welcome, TopBilled.

 

I would be curious about your impressions.  I signed up for a one year subscription for $99 last January.

 

It is by no means perfect, but I may be a little bias since I love having so many great films at my disposal.  I also was a little late to adding Hulu, so I only had 3-4 months access to their Criterion library.

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You're welcome, TopBilled.

 

I would be curious about your impressions.  I signed up for a one year subscription for $99 last January.

 

It is by no means perfect, but I may be a little bias since I love having so many great films at my disposal.  I also was a little late to adding Hulu, so I only had 3-4 months access to their Criterion library.

 

Yes, I liked accessing the Criterion library on Hulu. Now I use Hulu to watch one of my British soaps, old sitcoms and Disney movies. 

 

The yearly amount for FilmStruck is $131.88 if you pay each month at the $10.99 rate. The 12-month subscription saves the consumer almost $33 (meaning you are essentially getting three months free).

 

What will be interesting to see is how many MGM and UA classics they rotate in with the Criterion titles.

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