Stephan55

What's Up with TCM ON-DEMAND? Again....???

64 posts in this topic

More problems with "TCM On Demand", which is becoming very unreliable to the point where I will need to find an alternative classic movie source.  :angry:   In the past, I had problems loading certain movies but not all of them.  If that issue were a problem with my hardware (pc) or from my end at all, why then would I be able to stream ANY '"TCM on demand" movies when I can in fact stream others?

 

Today, I attempted to stream films from "TCM On Demand", and I received an ominous, hateful message in a nasty dialogue box that "I am unauthorized to view this content. :huh: Check with your tv provider", which I did (Verizon Fios), who insisted that there has been absolutely no change in my home tv channel lineup and that I am still a valid Verizon FIOS subscriber.

 

What makes this even more frustrating is that there is no tcm customer service whatsoever.  Even if there were, these frequent tcm streaming  access issues always occur late at night, so even if tcm had customer service agents, they probably wouldn't be able to respond late at night anyway.

 

Seems like I have no alternative but to search for alternatives to tcm.  Oh well.  :(   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Stephan55,

I see you are having issues with Firefox again.  There is another browser you may be interested in testing for these purposes.  It is from the team that brought us Opera in the early 2000s. 

https://vivaldi.com/

 

The short story is that the Opera browser was sold to the Chinese and is no longer being developed by its Norwegian founders.  The good news is that Opera's original developers have regrouped and are actively developing Vivaldi, carrying over their methodology from Opera.  (The original Opera browser brought us many of the browser features we use across the board today, such as tabbed browsing)

 

It has more native baseline features than Firefox, so depending on your browsing habits you would probably need fewer add-ons for Vivaldi than for Firefox.

 

The rendering engine is the open-source Chromium project from Google, so if the Google Chrome browser can work for you, then this should too - except that it won't "phone home" to Google (though it uses free add-ons from the Chrome "store").

 

Just another tool for the toolbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It appears than any film set to expire on October 11 or earlier will load on the TCM on Demand website. (I use Firefox.) Anything scheduled to expire after that will not load. I think the same issue exists if I use Internet Explorer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OCT 9, 2017, Update!

 

 

Regarding the inability to view TCM ON-DEMAND movies (that "refuse" to load and play "normally"),

A little "good" news, and much more "bad" news...

 

Good News first!

 

I just finished spending about two hours attempting to load and begin to play practically every TCM "ON-DEMAND" feature listed as "available for viewing" beginning with when I first noticed this recent TCM snafu (last Tues. (10/3/2017) evening.

From that evening up until yesterday FRANKENSTEIN (1931), failed to "load" or play, leaving a blank, black screen, where the movie should be. I am happy to report that as of about two hours ago, it now loads and begins to play as it should.

This feature is due to expire by tomorrow evening (10/10/2017) for those that wanted to view it ON-DEMAND, so TCM has "allowed" us at least a day to still watch it.

 

Because not all systems are the same, I share the following data for comparative purposes :

My OS is currently Win 7 pro, 64 bit.

I have a high speed system with a high-end GPU with 4 GB of dedicated memory, plus 32 GB of fast RAM and 4 (1TB) SSD drives.

For TCM video, I use direct Ethernet (from modem to PC), so I can maximize my download speeds (tested using speedtest.com ).

When TCM is operating as it should (with this system) TCM ON-DEMAND features will normally begin to load within 2-3 seconds.
For this downstream "test" I allowed up to 30 seconds for each feature to attempt to load and begin playing.

Those that did load, did so within 2-5 seconds, the others failed to even attempt a load throughout the entire "test" time that I allotted.

For these "tests" I used slightly earlier versions of both Firefox v.55.0.3, (released 8/25/2017), and Google Chrome v. 60.0.3112.90 (released 8/2/2017), both of these web browsers have proven to work well with TCM ON-DEMAND.

I did not test using any version of MS Explorer.  The still current version version of Adobe Flash (v.27.0.0.130, released 9/10/2017) was used. No other apps were running.

 

Of the features that failed to load and play on Wed. (10/4/2017), through to yesterday (Sun. 10/8/2017), I am happy to report that as of a couple of hours ago, most of those will now load and begin to play "normally."

 

Of the Buster Keaton features from that day, the only ones that still will NOT load are:

BELL BOY, THE (1918) a 21 min short, CAMERAMAN, THE (1928), and STEAMBOAT BILL JR. (1928).

From that evening All features will now load and begin to play normally, except the 25 min MGM PARADE SHOW #2 (1955).

These features are due to expire within the next two days (Wed. 10/11/2017), so TCM still has a little time left to maybe "correct" the "problem" before the above four viewing window closes.

 

From Thurs (10/5/2017) through to yesterday (Sun. 10/8/2017),  I previously noted Five features from that day that wouldn't load or play, that now will: WICHITA (1955), EXPERIMENT PERILOUS (1944), FACE BEHIND THE MASK, THE (1938) an 11 min short,  DAYS OF GLORY (1944), and INCREDIBLE STRANGER, THE (1942) another 11 min short.

These are due to expire in the next three days (by Thurs. 10/12/2017), for those of us still wishing to watch any of them.

 

Now, for the BAD News:

As previously posted by scsu1975,

All of the remaining TCM Not ON-DEMAND features, from Thursday Evening (10/5/2017), up to the present (Mon. 10/9/2017), 

beginning with ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, THE (1960), to the most recent  EASY TO LOVE (1953), still refuse to load or play at all... Just a blank, black screen...

 

It is obvious that "someone" at TCM apparently made an effort to "correct" part of the "problem,"  by virtue of the fact that some of the movies that wouldn't previously load, now will. But they stopped well short of remedying the entire issue, leaving a huge block of still un-viewable Not ON-DEMAND features to present.

 

Not knowing the how or why this is (continuously) happening in the first place (since TCM refuses to even acknowledge that these problems exists, let alone offer any explanation or apologies for them), allows us otherwise "loyal" viewers little room for patience and understanding.

That said, it may prove of some "value" to periodically recheck TCM Not ON-DEMAND, to see if a currently un-viewable feature, may suddenly begin to load and play.

 

However, I do empathize with those that are so frustrated with TCM about this, that they no longer wish to subscribe to TCM at all.

I'm having similar thoughts myself. Since the primary reason I subscribe to cable TV at all these days is to have access to TCM, and since for the last year and a half my viewing has been almost entirely from the ON-DEMAND "service," if that service continues to degrade even further than it already is, I see no point in continuing to throw my money away subscribing to it.

 

I can at least "cut" the TV portion of my cable bill, and just retain the internet. The money saved will allow me to try out other alternative on-line services such as hulu, which, in addition to NetFlix, and PBS on-line, may end-up satisfying my video "needs." 

 

I never thought that I'd ever say this before, after being a loyal TCM viewer and "fan" almost since it's inception in 1994, but I may join the ranks of others who have put an end to frustration with this chronic TCM Not ON-DEMAND inconsiderate  "mess" by saying goodbye to TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Stephan55,

I see you are having issues with Firefox again.  There is another browser you may be interested in testing for these purposes.  It is from the team that brought us Opera in the early 2000s. 

https://vivaldi.com/

 

The short story is that the Opera browser was sold to the Chinese and is no longer being developed by its Norwegian founders.  The good news is that Opera's original developers have regrouped and are actively developing Vivaldi, carrying over their methodology from Opera.  (The original Opera browser brought us many of the browser features we use across the board today, such as tabbed browsing)

 

It has more native baseline features than Firefox, so depending on your browsing habits you would probably need fewer add-ons for Vivaldi than for Firefox.

 

The rendering engine is the open-source Chromium project from Google, so if the Google Chrome browser can work for you, then this should too - except that it won't "phone home" to Google (though it uses free add-ons from the Chrome "store").

 

Just another tool for the toolbox.

Thanks MCOH for the link, I will definitely check out Vivaldi.

I doubt that it will make the current TCM Not ON-DEMAND issues go away, since those problems originate with TCM.

 

But, Firefoxes latest update (v.56.0.0, released 9/28/2017) brings it's own issues into play (with TCM at least)  presenting us with a blank, greyed-out screen when attempting to load anything from TCM ON-DEMAND.

 

Another issue I have with Firefox is that it will not functionally accept a Privacy "exception" to block the google.com cookie.

 

And I stopped using the Google Chrome browser (except for testing purposes) over two years ago because of that undesired telemetry.

Same reason that I am no longer a fan of MS.

 

So if I can find a more "secure" browser that is as functional for me as Firefox, that will allow me to deny persistent google cookies from migrating into their cookie jar, I would be a more happy on-line user.

 

My on-line habits have grown ever more conservative over the years, while at the same time my dependency on digital data has increased dramatically. It is a conundrum trying to balance an acceptable level of "security"  while still retaining access.

So I am very appreciative of your advice and suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks MCOH for the link, I will definitely check out Vivaldi.

I doubt that it will make the current TCM Not ON-DEMAND issues go away, since those problems originate with TCM.

 

But, Firefoxes latest update (v.56.0.0, released 9/28/2017) brings it's own issues into play (with TCM at least)  presenting us with a blank, greyed-out screen when attempting to load anything from TCM ON-DEMAND.

 

Another issue I have with Firefox is that it will not functionally accept a Privacy "exception" to block the google.com cookie.

 

And I stopped using the Google Chrome browser (except for testing purposes) over two years ago because of that undesired telemetry.

Same reason that I am no longer a fan of MS.

 

So if I can find a more "secure" browser that is as functional for me as Firefox, that will allow me to deny persistent google cookies from migrating into their cookie jar, I would be a more happy on-line user.

 

My on-line habits have grown ever more conservative over the years, while at the same time my dependency on digital data has increased dramatically. It is a conundrum trying to balance an acceptable level of "security"  while still retaining access.

So I am very appreciative of your advice and suggestions.

 

Ok, then in the same kind of direction I was going with Vivaldi, there is one more browser.  It is called Brave.  This is different from Vivaldi as it is written from the ground up.  As a result it has the least amount of features out of any browser I have covered in this thread, but it too is actively being developed by a real company.  It is headed up by the former CEO of Firefox of many years (back during their most productive years), and he was also the creator of Javascript (part of any modern web browser).  In any case, Brave is entirely built in-house, except for some optional extensions as I understand.

 

https://brave.com/

 

A unique feature of Brave is that it incorporates its own optional ad server system which allows you to substitute Brave's own ad network for a given website's ad server (Allow Ads / Show Brave Ads / No Ads).  The clicks from Brave Ads generate revenue for both the site being visited and Brave.  You can also choose to just browse without any ads.

 

Besides those three options, there is a fourth option to register and put money down to browse without ads, but only for sites you wish to support.  The money is directly transferred in anonymity to your preferred websites in click points, in exchange for no ads.  Your preferred websites get credit for click points and you get no ads. 

 

Like Chrome/Android, Brave will soon have a Sync With IOS completed (for iPhone).  On the other hand I think it is unknown if Vivaldi will have this, as most of the important things Vivaldi does operate outside of the Google Chrome environment.

 

There is the provision for extensions with Brave too, but it is mostly still in its infancy.  This would include an external plug-in for Adobe Flash.  I can't speak for Windows, but on Linux operating systems it needs "pepperflashplugin", a product developed for Chrome by Google.  This browser caught my interest because its main components are truly built from the ground up.

 

 

 

So to summarize desktop browser families in order of popularity:

 

There is Google Chrome and several downstream browsers which use common open-source tools developed by Google for it.  One of these downstream browsers would be Vivaldi, which has all the Google telemetry stripped out, but also has the benefit of their R&D in its rendering engine.  It has many additional features that only Vivaldi's (formerly Opera's) crazy Norwegians could think of (actually they listen very closely to their user base).

 

There is Mozilla Firefox and its derivatives, written from open-source components sourced by Mozilla.  This has a large add-on base, but they are currently phasing older ones out due to recent changes in the main program.  This may or may not hurt them.

 

There are the two main OS vendor browsers (IE/Edge and Safari).  Both are closed-source, so no downstream browsers being developed by third parties.

 

Then there are new ones built from the ground up.  This is a very small category because it is the most difficult to do with limited resources as they have built their own rendering engines too, in order to qualify being in this category.  This would include Brave (headed up by Firefox's former CEO).  Because he is involved, I would say Brave has a lot of potential.

 

 

 

I have Firefox, Vivaldi, and Brave all installed on my Linux Mint computer, mostly for evaluation purposes.  That way I get to see what these two major Firefox and Chrome families of browsers are doing as well as Brave.  If something is broken in Vivaldi, there is a good chance it will also be broken in Chrome (in particular, with rendering or with the add-ons).  My regular browser is Firefox. 

 

To reiterate, I have no interest in watching movies online using the Watch TCM services at this time, but wish to see things work out.  So thanks for the constructive feedback and helping them with their R&D.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OCT 10, 2017, Update!

 

 

Regarding the ongoing inability to view TCM ON-DEMAND movies (that "refuse" to load and play "normally"),

A little more "good" news, and some more "bad" news...

 

Good News:

Per a posted statement from TCMModerator1, and after another round of "load & play" checks, I can happily confirm that "somebody" at TCM is "attempting" to address this most recent TCM Not-ON-DEMAND mess....

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/156531-watch-tcm/

 

As of an hour ago,  with one current exception, ALL TCM ON-DEMAND features, listed as "available" through Saturday (10/7/2017) are actually available to watch ON-DEMAND. The current exception that day is CANYON RIVER (1956) which aired that mid-afternoon.

 

With one exception, Sunday afternoon (10/8/2017), ALL other features listed as available for ON-DEMAND viewing during that day, are also actually available to watch ON-DEMAND. The current exception is ALL NEAT IN BLACK STOCKINGS (1969) which aired that late-afternoon.

 

Now the Bad News: 

Only two features from Sunday night (10/8/2017) will actually load and begin to play at this present time, they are:  JIGOKU (1960)  and the  MGM PARADE SHOW #2 (1955). ALL other listed features refuse to load, leaving that  ubiquitous black screen.

 

This continues to be the case for every succeeding title listed as available to WATCH ON-DEMAND, throughout Monday (10/9/2017) through today, Tuesday (10/10/2017).

The latest title to join the list of Not really available ON-DEMAND titles is TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN (1962).

 

My loose "assessment," based upon what is transpiring, is that the problem has become endemic within the TCM ON-DEMAND system.

Rather than a "simple" individual technical error it appears as if perhaps some recent systemic TCM modification or flawed "update" is to blame. Something not easily reversed or corrected system wide, rather requiring individual, and evidently time consuming, remedial action movie by movie, which some TCM personnel is now attempting to reverse with the earliest movies first to allow ON-DEMAND users at least a day or two, or three  of  delayed viewing opportunity.

Of course this is only my subjective and limited assessment based upon my own viewer experience history with TCM ON-DEMAND.

 

Aside from a simple and belated acknowledgement that the problem actually exists (courtesy of a post initiated by TCMModerator1),  TCM consistently refuses to dialogue with us, it's user base. So how and why this happened and "How Long" this "problem" will continue to persist, is anybody's guess. But it is, in any case, another totally unacceptable happening from TCM.

 

If TCM did their homework and stopped treating their ON-DEMAND product as a forever "work in progress" Beta, and actually employed some qualified Quality and Assurance staff, these currently chronic issues could be severely limited. 

And If TCM actually provided a functional line of communication between themselves and their subscriber base, and used it to keep us informed, then they could reasonably ask for our "patience and understanding," when the hopefully rare disturbance occurred.

But again, that is only my experienced opinion.

 

I may not continue to routinely post updates on this current on-going problem, unless TCM stops trying to correct their "mistake," whatever it is, or to perhaps comment when it appears have been resolved this time.

 

While this "bad experience" persists, it may be a good idea for all those still loyal TCM viewers, which routinely use the ON-DEMAND product, to continue rechecking to see if or when TCM has finally made a listed feature that they wished to watch actually available for ON-DEMAND viewing before it's ON-DEMAND window expires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....

 

https://brave.com/

 

....

 

I have Firefox, Vivaldi, and Brave all installed on my Linux Mint computer, mostly for evaluation purposes.  That way I get to see what these two major Firefox and Chrome families of browsers are doing as well as Brave.  If something is broken in Vivaldi, there is a good chance it will also be broken in Chrome (in particular, with rendering or with the add-ons).  My regular browser is Firefox. 

 

To reiterate, I have no interest in watching movies online using the Watch TCM services at this time, but wish to see things work out.  So thanks for the constructive feedback and helping them with their R&D.

 

I currently have IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox browsers on my PC's.

IE is a relic that I stopped using over three years ago. I stopped regularly using Chrome over two years ago and only comparatively refer to it when trying to rule-out a possible issue with Firefox, generally associated TCM ON-DEMAND. Firefox has been my default browser since then.

Aside from the inability to effectively "block" the persistent google cookie, and a few conflicts with TCM ON-DEMAND, which more often than not originate with TCM, so far I have been generally satisfied with Firefox, and support them with donations.

However, because of my generally conservative on-line habits, there may be other issues with Firefox that I am unaware, and I think that it's good to have viable options regarding alternative browsers as well as Operating Systems. So I will follow your example and check out both Vivaldi and Brave. 

 

Perhaps it is wise of you to avoid the frustration of TCM ON-DEMAND, I find myself often wishing that I'd avoided getting sucked into the habit, more and more, these days. But when it works as it should it is easy to become reliant upon the convenience, and it has allowed me to wean myself from consistently recording on my aging DVR's, which I purchased years ago, and the tedium of transferring video's to my stash of blank dvd's.

 

Not sure how "constructive" or helpful any "feedback" that we've posted here has been to TCM, since they refuse to dialogue with us.

TCM ON-DEMAND has been chronically ill since it's inception. When I first started using it, it's "good" days, well outnumbered the "bad." But it appears to be entering a terminal phase, with ever fewer functional days, and longer lasting periods of decrepitude. Of course it doesn't help for it's "care" to be mismanaged by incompetent "physicians."

Regarding "their R&D," if they'd actually employ some qualified Q & A staff, and stop treating their On-Line viewing products as forever betas, then maybe we could stop posting about these ongoing problems. 

 

However, in light of the reality of what is, and not what I wish it was, I, and others here, have greatly benefited from your  technical savvy and insight, and generosity with your time in sharing with us. And if you should ever decide to begin "watching movies online using the Watch TCM services" for "evaluation purposes" I have no doubt that your astute observations and specific comments would prove even more invaluable, to us, and TCM as well, if they should ever discover the wisdom of actively tapping into these boards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently have IE, Google Chrome, and Firefox browsers on my PC's.

IE is a relic that I stopped using over three years ago. I stopped regularly using Chrome over two years ago and only comparatively refer to it when trying to rule-out a possible issue with Firefox, generally associated TCM ON-DEMAND. Firefox has been my default browser since then.

Aside from the inability to effectively "block" the persistent google cookie, and a few conflicts with TCM ON-DEMAND, which more often than not originate with TCM, so far I have been generally satisfied with Firefox, and support them with donations.

However, because of my generally conservative on-line habits, there may be other issues with Firefox that I am unaware, and I think that it's good to have viable options regarding alternative browsers as well as Operating Systems. So I will follow your example and check out both Vivaldi and Brave. 

 

Perhaps it is wise of you to avoid the frustration of TCM ON-DEMAND, I find myself often wishing that I'd avoided getting sucked into the habit, more and more, these days. But when it works as it should it is easy to become reliant upon the convenience, and it has allowed me to wean myself from consistently recording on my aging DVR's, which I purchased years ago, and the tedium of transferring video's to my stash of blank dvd's.

 

Not sure how "constructive" or helpful any "feedback" that we've posted here has been to TCM, since they refuse to dialogue with us.

TCM ON-DEMAND has been chronically ill since it's inception. When I first started using it, it's "good" days, well outnumbered the "bad." But it appears to be entering a terminal phase, with ever fewer functional days, and longer lasting periods of decrepitude. Of course it doesn't help for it's "care" to be mismanaged by incompetent "physicians."

Regarding "their R&D," if they'd actually employ some qualified Q & A staff, and stop treating their On-Line viewing products as forever betas, then maybe we could stop posting about these ongoing problems. 

 

However, in light of the reality of what is, and not what I wish it was, I, and others here, have greatly benefited from your  technical savvy and insight, and generosity with your time in sharing with us. And if you should ever decide to begin "watching movies online using the Watch TCM services" for "evaluation purposes" I have no doubt that your astute observations and specific comments would prove even more invaluable, to us, and TCM as well, if they should ever discover the wisdom of actively tapping into these boards.

 

Thanks again.  Just your objective testing and reporting is all they need.

 

FWIW, I see there is a odd Firefox testbed to happen in Germany.  Could be a rabbit hole or could be nothing as far as we are concerned:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/09/mozilla_tests_cliqz_in_germany/

 

Also the comments section there reminds me of the downstream versions of Firefox.  There are a couple well-known ones anyhow.  I say "downstream versions" as they are not really developed into something much different than FF.  In fact they are more just reactions to the design changes Mozilla has made over the years to Firefox.  Also I think they are maintained by one individual each, not by entire teams or companies.

 

Waterfox

-dereviative of Firefox.  "64-bit version only.  Creates its own user directory, seperate from the FF user directory.  The telemetry is all removed; it's not even an option you can turn on or off."

 

Pale Moon

-derivative of Firefox.  Frozen version with pre-Australis interface (classic theme).  32-bit only.  [FF Stable was 32-bit-only on Windows until just the last year or two, so not as big of a deal as it may seem.]  So if you like the older theme, you wouldn't need to use Classic Theme Restorer add-on.  Doesn't support "e10s".  

 

["e10s" is the finalized release of FF's long-time process abstraction project, using a dedicated Web Content process to run all external plug-ins.  This isolates the browser for stability in the event a plug-in crashes, in which case the browser just keeps going along.]

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few items I noticed the past few days:

 

1. The movies seem to be working again, but when I run them in Firefox, they are hesitating. The sound continues, but the picture freezes for a few moments. This is constant throughout the film. I thought this might be an issue with my laptop (it's 7 years old!!) but now I believe this is an issue with Firefox, because I ran the same film on Internet Explorer and had no issues. I will keep using IE if the problem persists with Firefox.

 

2. I usually connect my laptop to my tv via hdmi cable, so I can take advantage of the bigger screen, and also the sound system I have connected to the tv. For at least a week or so I was not getting any sound (on both Firefox and IE) except through my PC speakers. This had to be a TCM issue, because if I played a youtube video, the sound went through my television with no problem. Now the sound issue appears to have been fixed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few items I noticed the past few days:

 

1. The movies seem to be working again, but when I run them in Firefox, they are hesitating. The sound continues, but the picture freezes for a few moments. This is constant throughout the film. I thought this might be an issue with my laptop (it's 7 years old!!) but now I believe this is an issue with Firefox, because I ran the same film on Internet Explorer and had no issues. I will keep using IE if the problem persists with Firefox.

 

2. I usually connect my laptop to my tv via hdmi cable, so I can take advantage of the bigger screen, and also the sound system I have connected to the tv. For at least a week or so I was not getting any sound (on both Firefox and IE) except through my PC speakers. This had to be a TCM issue, because if I played a youtube video, the sound went through my television with no problem. Now the sound issue appears to have been fixed.

 

I noticed early yesterday (Wed. 10/11/2017) that TCM evidently had at least two persons working on the Not Really Available ON-DEMAND problem that began Tues. (10/3/2017).

At least one person was working on the current days programs, while at least one other was working on the earlier programs.

There were a few earlier programs that apparently had been skipped, but as of late today (10/12/2017), I am relieved to report (and confirm what scusu1975 posted) that both ends have met, and All TCM ON-DEMAND features currently listed as available, will at least load and begin to play. 

 

During the last few days of rechecking, I also noticed that some of the ON-DEMAND movies had slower than normal load and start times, as well as a few buffering, and stuttering issues, with occasional "freezes" during the initial load and play tests, even with my high end system and using dedicated Ethernet.

When I checked my download speeds while this was occurring, speedtest.net gave me better than adequate readings.

When I checked other on-line video streams from PBS and YouTube, everything appeared normal.

I have noticed with TCM streaming that sometimes just refreshing or reloading the browser will make the problem disappear, and other times it may last for an hour or so, which is more indicative of a temporary server issue with TCM.

Because this type of behavior does periodically (and usually transiently) occur with TCM, that is what I attributed it to.

 

I did check every ON-DEMAND feature to see if they would at least load and begin to play today (using Firefox but not IE or Chrome this time). However, since this latest TCM problem began, I have  both recorded (with Bandicam) and completely viewed  just a handful of the actually available features. Those that I did completely watch fortunately played normally all the way through. 

 

I am using an earlier version of Firefox (v.55.0.3, release 8/25/2017), and not the current version (v.56.0.0, released 9/28/2017).

This latest version of Firefox did present separate issues with TCM (a greyed out screen, with no movies or ancillary intros, clips, etc. loading) which you reported as well. So that could possibly be a factor if we are using different Firefox browser versions. 

 

When I am traveling and have my notebook in tow, I always carry a 10 foot length of HDMI cable, and if I have access to a large screen TV with an HDMI port, I will connect my PC to it. At home, I often do as you do, to take advantage of a screen larger than my notebooks 18 inch monitor. 

 

However something that we probably are both aware of is the fragility of those connectors. They do get loose after repeated use, and eventually will fail. I have 2 HDMI, and 4 USB 3.0 ports on my latest notebook, but only one Ethernet jack, to which I am routinely attaching and removing cable.  That is my systems weakest connection, and likely the first that will eventually fail.

I have one USB port connected to an Anker 7 port USB hub, so I can minimize wear and tear on those. But I have wore out ports on previous hubs before, as well as USB ports and Ethernet connectors on other notebook PCs.

With tower PC's, one can usually replace or add a card with new jacks and/or port access. But with compact notebooks, those are always integrated into the motherboard which creates another can of worms when something fails.   

 

This is generally not an issue with static systems that don't move around and remain plugged in all the time. But it is a concern with portable systems and peripherals.

You are probably aware of this already, and it may not be an issue with the way you use your system anyway. But I have noticed with weak connections that just a little loose wobble can also generate some of the symptoms that you have described. Which may or may not be an explanation for why you experienced the temporary sound problem, which can be replicated with a weak HDMI connection. Likewise a weak speaker jack for non-Bluetooth systems using external speakers.

Of course the more peripherals we use, amplifies the possible causes of any problem we may experience, another "potential" that may need to be ruled-out to determine a problems actual source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.......

 

When I am traveling and have my notebook in tow, I always carry a 10 foot length of HDMI cable, and if I have access to a large screen TV with an HDMI port, I will connect my PC to it. At home, I often do as you do, to take advantage of a screen larger than my notebooks 18 inch monitor. 

 

However something that we probably are both aware of is the fragility of those connectors. They do get loose after repeated use, and eventually will fail. I have 2 HDMI, and 4 USB 3.0 ports on my latest notebook, but only one Ethernet jack, to which I am routinely attaching and removing cable.  That is my systems weakest connection, and likely the first that will eventually fail.

I have one USB port connected to an Anker 7 port USB hub, so I can minimize wear and tear on those. But I have wore out ports on previous hubs before, as well as USB ports and Ethernet connectors on other notebook PCs.

With tower PC's, one can usually replace or add a card with new jacks and/or port access. But with compact notebooks, those are always integrated into the motherboard which creates another can of worms when something fails.   

 

This is generally not an issue with static systems that don't move around and remain plugged in all the time. But it is a concern with portable systems and peripherals.

You are probably aware of this already, and it may not be an issue with the way you use your system anyway. But I have noticed with weak connections that just a little loose wobble can also generate some of the symptoms that you have described. Which may or may not be an explanation for why you experienced the temporary sound problem, which can be replicated with a weak HDMI connection. Likewise a weak speaker jack for non-Bluetooth systems using external speakers.

Of course the more peripherals we use, amplifies the possible causes of any problem we may experience, another "potential" that may need to be ruled-out to determine a problems actual source.

 

I use the Dell Latitude 14.1" (E6420) and 15.6" (E65xx) laptops.  They are medium-sized business-class machines which are sturdy and the more commonly replaced items are usually easier to service than on the lower end consumer-grade laptops.  For instance, to get at the HDD, you don't need to remove the keyboard and/or the whole bottom.  It is just four screws on the bottom, and the HDD caddy slides out.  Also the CD/DVD transport slides out (without any screws) and is easily replaced with a secondary HDD caddy.

 

Anyhow I went wireless at home years ago.  I don't use my wired network interface unless I need to connect to the Internet at a job.  I went wireless at home over a decade ago with my laptops, before the wired network interface was integrated onto the system board and was usually just a slide-in PCMCIA module.  I was burning through CAT-5 connectors too.  For me it was the CAT-5 connector on the wire which usually went bad.  The coating on the terminals wore off and then oxidized.  Replacing the wire or reterminating the wire fixed that.  I have found a wireless-G or wireless-N hot spot and Intel mini-pci BGN internal network cards to be a good combination, more reliable than an actual wired connection, for the reasons you mention.  [This may not be the case if you live in a condo or apartment in close proximity to a bunch of others doing the same thing.]

 

A pitfall in the past that has been resolved in the last 8 years or so on these Dell Latitude machines is the DC power connector.  Prior to that they used to be soldered to the system board, and the electrical connection would sometimes break loose.  In more recent years the DC connector is a discreet component jack with wires that go to the system board.  This jack is loosely connected to the chassis, using a clamp mount which allows to float around a bit.  The first computer I got where they mounted it this way scared me, until I looked inside and realized the change they made.  I though "oh, how cool is that".

 

There are plenty of USB ports, so the only remaining weak point for me on these is the single HDMI port, which I don't use that much.  It looks to be more robust than the other types of connectors anyhow.  It is closer in design to a USB port, which is designed for a high amount of insertion cycles.  I don't think I've ever had a USB port catastrophically fail.  Not unless the computer falls to the ground with a connector plugged into it, and the USB connector is dislodged off the system board.  They just seem to loosen their grip a bit over time.  On the other hand, I have had thumb drives that get worn out over time (worn off coating and oxidation like the CAT-5 terminations??), but the USB ports on a computer generally outlast the computer for me.  I could be wrong, but I suspect that the HDMI ports would last a long time too, unless abused, like if bumped or it fell with a connector plugged into it.

 

Also last but not least, these days I insist on laptops that have LCD displays with LED backlighting.  Traditionally they used LCD displays with CCFL backlighting (a form of fluorescent light), and they might still make some of those.  The problem is that CCFL lights go through a "red-shift" when they get old, whereas LED backlights are brighter and remain bright longer, which is easier on my eyes for a work computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today using IE the films are hesitating like they did on Firefox. So I switched to Firefox and the films are not hesitating. Oh well ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us