If you’re a reader of Anglonerd magazine, you’re probably a TV junkie like the rest of America–you just have better taste. A lot of us TV junkies have neurotic viewing habits caused by busy lives, short attention spans, or disorganization. TVShow Time is the perfect organizational (and social!) tool to get your TV watching under control. TVShow Time is a free website that will help you keep track of which classic Doctor Who episodes you have and haven’t seen yet, discuss with other Clone Club members what on earth is going on in Orphan Black episode by episode, and even provide links to watch the next episode of Sherlock on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Instant, etc. There’s been some thought put into what is attractive to the users: There are ten subtitle language options, you can vote for your favorite character per episode, and even rate the episode by emoticon. Your comments and discussions with other users can include photos from the episode. If you are competitive, you can also earn points and even be labeled as the best commentator.
TVShow Time’s organizational features listed above are free, but for $7.99/month, you can subscribe to PUT.IO, which is integrated seamlessly with TVShow Time. But what the hell is PUT.IO you may be rightly asking. PUT.IO selects the most popular bit torrents among TVShow Time users for the shows that you’ve selected to follow on TVShow Time. It uploads those torrents to a cloud for you so that you can watch them anywhere, anytime. Unlike subscription services like Hulu or Netflix streaming, you can download the files to your device and watch offline. While you will not be interrupted by advertisements, you may see the annoying ads that come up on the bottom telling you Top Gear is coming up next because it’s been tape-recorded off television. If you pay for this service, when you go to the show you’re catching up on, it will start playing automatically through PUT.IO rather than ask you if you’d like to jump over to Amazon, etc. to buy the episode.
Icks and bugs
In PUT.IO 2.0, I’d like it to not only remember where I left off in the season but also where I left off in the episode if I didn’t quite make it all the way through before the tea kettle boiled. I’m told this feature will be added this week. Also, you shouldn’t have trouble buffering mid-episode, but some episodes take longer than other to load–from 3 seconds to…4 days? This may also have to do with your internet connection speed or the size of the file.
If you click on your favorite character, it takes you to a page for the actor, suggesting for you other things that they’ve been in. If you choose a show that hasn’t been aired yet, it counts down by the minute to when that show will become available for you. It even creates a calendar for you with all your forthcoming shows. They have an explore tab that allows you to browse shows by genre, but there’s only a couple genres. While nobody wants the shambles that is Netflix genre placement, a few more genres would be helpful. For you, you might want to see a subsection of British shows, maybe even British comedies and British dramas.
What shows are included?
While pretty much every show is on TVShow Time for your organizational and social features, not everything will be found on PUT.IO. But if that’s the case, you’ll still get the link to Hulu or wherever it can be found. You’ll definitely be able to watch the popular British shows like Doctor Who or Peep Show. You’ll be harder pressed to find a working version of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and those similar less-Americany shows. Conclusion: TVShow Time I would definitely recommend because it’s free, fun, and actually helps you keep track of what you’re watching or plan to watch. If you’re anything like me, you hear about shows that you want to look up later and wind up forgetting about it. The PUT.IO upgrade I leave up to you. Personally, I would rather pay a service I know is cutting the copyright owner in on the deal, but if you like the convenience and multitude of choices bit torrents offer, or you like the integration with your new TVShow Time account, I certainly won’t stop you.