Where Are The Sopranos?

Considered by many as the turning point in cable television programming, the mob based drama The Sopranos is nowhere to be found streaming.   The official HBO site HBO Go is the only place to watch The Sopranos.  Netflix, Hulu and the other big streaming sites are shut out from the adventures of Tony Soprano and his New Jersey mobsters.

The SopranosThe series features Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini and his on screen wife Edie Falco who plays Carmella.  They’ve got two kids and Tony has a small mob off men who do his bidding from robberies to murders to extortion.  The series is unique as it portrays the mobsters as family people who just happen to be criminals. Like most Americans go to work as teachers or office workers, the Soprano clan go about figuring out how to get more money and control through organized crime.

Outstanding performances, scripts, directing and more cemented audiences to this series from day one.  It’s part of our lexicon too.  It’s ending is one of the most controversial ever and with the passing of its star is now quite poignant.  Although tens of millions have seen the series it would be nice for people who don’t subscribe to HBO to get to watch it again.  Netflix would have been the first choice but that’s not to be had.

Getting the DVD series is the only other route so people who need their Sopranos fix have to go to Amazon or Ebay or any of the reputable online stores.

Here’s a word of warning.  Do NOT go to websites claiming to stream episodes of The Sopranos.  These are traps.  No one but HBO Go has the authority to stream the Sopranos and if you fall for one of these bogus sites you’ll end up finding your credit cards and personal information compromised.

Seems like the Sopranos aren’t the only ones doing dirty deeds.

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Online Streaming And Your Internet Connection

Online streaming is only as good as the service provided and the bandwidth available.

Choppy streaming is a nightmare and ruins the experience.  Internet service providers are supposed to provide ample bandwidth so that your connection provides for as much bandwidth as possible.  This isn’t always the case even with the cable companies.

streaming-ott-tvIn order to combat this the average person doesn’t know how to improve things other than call support.  Support can be a nightmare as well, with people from foreign countries who are unintelligible trying to troubleshoot from a computer menu.  Each household or device has its own configuration and it takes a pro to go through each step to see what the problem is.

Often it’s a company wide problem. Technicians and companies not having done their jobs are are behind schedule.  Consumers need to know what steps they can take with their internet service providers to get the best service possible.

Sometimes it’s the device you’re using.  It hasn’t been optimized or you’ve got other programs running or any number of things.  A good service provider will have a troubleshooting staff that is aware of this and will join in to help you solve these issues.

Governments are working to increase bandwidth and there’s a controversy brewing regarding priorities over who gets that bandwidth.  All this said and done it’s up to the consumers to demand the best service and to keep their own computers in top shape to handle bandwidth properly.

For streaming help read our streaming help guides – How to get stutter free streamingHelp with streaming guide.

Get Your Zombie Fix From Online TV

Zombies.  They’re all over the place.  There are more zombie movies and television shows than one can shake a stick at and more are on the way.

The-Walking-DeadThe dead wandering around looking to eat brains is based mostly in popular lore on the classic horror flick Night Of The Living Dead. The fan base of that movie has grown to involve people who have to have their zombie thing going on.  Why?  Probably because shooting zombies with a shotgun or blowing them up with grenades doesn’t leave any guilt as they’re not living people anyway.

Go figure.

Shows like The Walking Dead have taken the world by storm. Fans cannot get enough of this show based on a popular comic book.  The success of this show alone has ushered in a zombie mania so to speak and even super star Brad Pitt starred in a big budget zombie movie recently.  As long as fans shell out that money or bring in that viewership, zombies are going to be good fare for the media.

Many new projects featuring zombies are in the works in Hollywood and foreign companies are trying their hand at it too.  These movies and TV shows are easily accessible via streaming as the streaming sites know that without zombies they’d be losing viewers big time.

The revenue streams from this genre are healthy and fat and people’s bloodlust are satisfied with exploding heads, viscerals on fire and all sorts of grisly action.

That all being said, expect more ghoulish zombie action for quite a while to come.

Revolution Returning Tonight!

The second half on the 2nd season of Sci-Fi show Revolution, will be returning tonight at 8/7c on NBC after the exciting end of the first half of the season. (Beware Spoilers Ahead!).

Revolution-season-2After the last episode which aired on November 20th of last year in which massive storyline changes took effect as Cynthia was
killed by Horn, Aaron talks to a boy who is a manifestation of the nanotech, Miles finally confesses his love for Rachel and Neville finds his wife on a train which is bound for Washington D.C. and finds out she is remarried.

Hopefully tonight’s episode will be very exciting as the outcomes unfold and NBC is hoping that today’s episode will attract a lot of people. A hint was given to fans on the official Revolution website which was described as… “Neville and Julia mount a new plot while Aaron quests after the nanites.”

It might not be a lot but it points out that for the rest of the season we will definitely be seeing more of the couple and their journey.

Binge Viewing On The Web Becoming The Norm

If you have ever felt any shame whilst watching a whole season of a TV show, just like when you eat a whole box of chocolates, then worry not as binge viewing is becoming acceptable.

netflix-binge-viewingIt has been discovered that a lot of people who view TV via the internet on a regular basis, indulge in binge viewing, and think nothing of watching several episodes or even entire seasons of their favorite show.

A survey Harris Interactive and sponsored by Netflix asked 1500 adults, who watch internet TV and video at least once weekly about their viewing habits.

The survey’s results confirmed there’s a growing trend of people who watch multiple episodes of a given show do so in one sitting, and 61% say that they indulge in binge viewing on a regular basis, where 3 in 4 say that they are watching between 2-6 episodes at a time.

And 51% say they would sooner do binge viewing with friends, also there’s 73% that say that they had a good vibe about it.

I’m a binge viewer myself, having found myself falling behind on a lot of great TV and needing to catch up.

24 is a TV Series that caught me via binge viewing with the first season on DVD, it then became a compulsive watch, and when Netflix had it online i could sit and watch as much as i could in one sitting. It was great, and now that technology is bringing full seasons wirelessly to most connected devices, you can too.

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How To Rip DVDs On Linux OS

Ripping DVD’s has been well covered for Windows users who have plenty of options, but what about those running the Linux operating system? The options are far less, but it is still possible to back up your DVD collection so you can stream straight from your hard drive as part of a home theater setup. Remember that copying a DVD is illegal in a lot of Countries, but if you are just backing up your collection then most people believe it is fine to do.

linux-dvd-ripI decided earlier this week I needed to rip a DVD and looked into the available options on Linux. I’m not overly experienced at doing this sort of thing on linux, but I have done this on windows, using makemkv to copy the DVD to hdd and handbrake to encode to mp4 file.

You can setup makemkv on linux but it does require having installed gnu compiler, headers, libraries & tools.

A Mac using friend of mine who really like using makemkv and likes to remind me how good it is for ripping DVD’s & Blu-Rays. Handbrake is free and open source software, so I thought i would give it a go.

Installing the makemkv and handbrake was fairly simple to do on Linux Ubuntu. After going to handbrakes website its just a matter of going to the downloads page and clicking on Ubuntu PPA link. if you want you can download the source code and build the program yourself. Once installed the application should just appear on your menu, for me it was in the Ubuntu Menu under “Sound & Video” so it’s likely to be in a similar place even if you’re using a different flavor of Linux.

Once you have everything installed you can start ripping the dvd.

Open up MakeMKV and insert the DVD you want to copy, after a bit of disk activity you should see information on the DVD you inserted and the disk drive just below that becomes active. When it has click on it and a new screen should appear that shows the processing of the disk, after this another screen appears with titles for the DVD if you don’t want everything copied deselect everything except for the first largest title in my case it was the title has 5.0GB size, this is the movie. When that is done in the Output folder put where you want it saved to and click Make MKV button and now wait until its ripped, this can take a long while.

When the ripping has finished you should find a large .mkv file in the Output folder you chose, if all is OK then you can quit MakeMKV.

Now its Time to run Handbrake, when it shows itself make sure on the right hand side Presets->Regular->Normal is selected. Now click on source top left of display and click Open File and navigate to the Output folder you saved the .mkv file to and select that .mkv file an wait a while, while it processes it. When finished make sure Container is Mp4 and click on video tab where Video Codec should be H.264 (x264). In the File box just above the Container you chose earlier enter the Output file. Now click Start and wait for the encoding process to complete. If you have a slow system this can take a few hours to complete.

Now you can start transferring those video files and watch on your Linux, windows or android systems with ease.

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