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TCM On Demand: Why Some Films Won't Load For Past 2 Days?

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I don't understand why certain films being offered on "TCM On Demand" won't load today or yesterday while others will load.  It doesn't matter which specific browser platform is used.  If some films will load while others don't, this seems to be a TCM technical issue and not one at my user end.  In the past, TCM has advised that the technical problem is mine or my cable provider's, but I do not believe that this is the case.  The latest films that won't load are "Madame Bovary (49), "Man's Castle", "Bullets or Ballots" and the Indian film "Charculata".  These films don't expire until 9/18 through 9/20 but today is only 9/17.  I find this very annoying, especially since this is not the first time, and TCM has provided no reasonable response in the past as TCM apparently won't acknowledge its own streaming limitations.

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I only use a PC for TCM ON-DEMAND viewing (no other devices, nor app's).


As far as I can figure from my end, this latest (of a very long line) of TCM ON-DEMAND "snafu's" began a week ago, Sunday evening (9/10/2017).


Everything from earlier that day, up until the first of the Prime Time movies, seemed to load and play normally from ON-DEMAND.

TCM hadn't aired "Blood and Sand" (1941) since 2/8/2013, and I wanted to watch it again... ON-DEMAND. No such luck.

For several days the movie wouldn't load at all, just a black screen. Then later in the week it would finally load, but began buffering and then freezing completely during Ben's intro.

Now it will load and begin to play, but the buffering begins early on in the first few minutes of the movie, and occurs repeatedly, often completely "freezing" the screen.

Same scenario with "The Three Musketeers" (1921), and "Charulata" (1965).

Strangely, I was able to watch "The Coward" (1965) all the way through without a problem. 


I checked all of the usual suspects (latest browser & flash player version, my provider's download stream consistency, my modem, other on-line video sources i.e. YouTube, PBS, etc.), everything was as it should be, except for TCM ON-DEMAND.


I have experienced problems "similar" to this with TCM ON-DEMAND several times before over the last three years, and many times "someone" at the TCM end "eventually" catches the problem and it mysteriously "self-corrects" after a few days... Usually before the particular movies affected run past their 7 day ON-DEMAND window... sometimes not.

Generally all movies during a particular time frame period are affected, which does make this recent problem somewhat different as it appears "sporadic"  from Sunday night through to Wed morning (9/10-9/13).

For example, that Sun night "Blackbeard The Pirate" (1952) appeared to load and play "normally" (though I did not watch it through to completely verify), whereas "B&S" immediately before it would not, and neither "T3M" nor "Charulata" after it...

But from "The Coward" through the following Monday's Jimmy Durante marathon, TCM ON-DEMAND movies appeared to load and play normally. However I only verified two of them completely ("Speak Easily" (1932) & "What! No Beer?" (1933), both early Buster Keaton talkies).

Then TCM threw us a curve ball that Monday night and didn't have a single Disney feature available ON-DEMAND, which I wasn't expecting at all since for the last two and a half years every Disney feature was also available for ON-DEMAND viewing.


The ON-DEMAND no load, no play, &/or buffering "problem" began reoccurring again with the Tuesday am (9/12/2017) schedule. Nothing beginning with "Son of the Gods" (1930) through the entire line-up of Jennifer Jones' movies that evening would load or play normally from ON-DEMAND.

However since the Wed am program day began (9/13) every ON-DEMAND movie loads and plays as it should, while the previous ON-DEMAND "failed" titles (from Sunday night-Tuesday night-early Wed am) remain "unviewable."


I noted that the trailers, clips, and intros were not affected. And the Live streams that i checked appeared to load and play normally.


What makes these issues particularly annoying is that when they (frequently) occur we have no effective way to contact anyone at TCM about them (except for ineffectively mentioning the problem/s on these boards).

As previously mentioned by others (in other threads), TCM obviously doesn't effectively monitor their own ON-DEMAND output, and evidently has no effective (if at all) Q&A or oversight staff.


I've also considered the possibility that the recent hurricane/s may be a factor... this time.


However, because this type of frustrating problem, as well as many others, occur so frequently with TCM ON-DEMAND, I long ago stopped recommending it to anyone that I wanted to retain as a "friend".


I did check and "Blood & Sand" is on next months schedule, so perhaps there will be another "opportunity" to view it then. 

Who knows when TCM will re-air the 1921 version of "The Three Musketeers" and Charulata," neither of which I've seen before?

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  • 3 months later...

Why isn’t there ANY information available for us to contact someone at TCM when we have problems? All the other channels seem to give at the very least an email for us to use to report things or ask questions etc. What KILLS me is how they talk about the “viewers” and the “wine club” blah blah blah, but perhaps they want us half tipsy so that when there are issues we won’t care. It is VERY frustrating. I have never seen “Dial M for Murder” and was thrilled to see it on the TCM app on my Amazon Firestick. Every other movie I try plays FINE but not that one. So how in the HELL can we let them know there is a problem if they give us NO place to contact them? It’s UTTERLY RIDICULOUS! Makes me literally irate. And it happens WAY to often for people with Turner money. They can afford decent tech and products. And then some...

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I have tried “Dial M for Murder” several times throughout the day and still it won’t play. It says the same old “an error has occurred...” that makes me want to throw the tv out the window. I can watch it on the Comcast On Demand TCM app, no problem. However, I WANT to watch it on my Amazon Firestick app, as I can use my wireless Bluetooth earbuds with that and not bother anyone in the house. Not everyone shares my love for the old movies lol. I appreciate the “message” being sent on. Really REALLY wish there was a tech help email or phone number for us to use when we encounter issues. Why in the world would the not want to know when their stuff isn’t working? It makes no sense to me...

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  • 2 weeks later...

From 12/28/17 to 1/6/18 TCM streaming has been working.  But, there are problems again.  I've now tried 4 films, all of which stutter.  Audio continues while video stops.  My browser and flash are up to date.  The moderator has indicated TCM is aware of the problem; hopefully, this condition will not last long.  

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