Saturday, September 08, 2012


The problem with piracy, people point out, is that it's so much easier than doing it legitimately.

Last night, we decided to watch Iron Sky. I loudly said how it'd be avaialble through my Virgin set-top box. Turns out, it wasn't, but it was through Virgin's Online OnDemand service. How hard could it be?

STEP 1: Order film.

STEP 2: Install a new, different version of Silverlight.

STEP 3: Reinstall browser.

STEP 3: Re-order film.

STEP 4: Enter my Virgin account details.

STEP 5: Re-enter my Virgin account details.

STEP 6: Wait... you want me to set up a whole new Virgin account, different from the one I use for all other Virgin Media stuff?

STEP 7: (swearing)

STEP 8: Set up whole new account.

STEP 9: Order film.

STEP 10: Quick trip to Pay Pal.

STEP 11: Curious diversion on the PayPal site where they bring up whether it'd be easier if I entered my credit card details. Well, no, as that's why I use PayPal, silly.

STEP 12: (put dinner in microwave as it's getting cold now)

STEP 13: I have bought a movie!

STEP 14: But wait... would I like to stream or download? It's an either/or, chum. And no changing your mind.

STEP 15: Open up speed test. Apparently, my Virgin broadband isn't fast enough to stream a film from the Virgin website. Fun.

STEP 16: Click "Download movie".

STEP 17: Install "Virgin Media On Demand Movies Playing" software.

STEP 18: As Asterix would say "!@@##1!!!%%^&!¬"

STEP 19: Start downloading movie.

STEP 20: While waiting, try to ignore massive "Cannot play on this device..." caption on the player. It's just bad design, it's just there to tell me that I have downloaded no movies that cannot not play on the player. Helpful.

STEP 21: Movie downloads (in only 10 minutes, so actually, you now, I could have defied that speed test after all - but let's not risk it).

STEP 22: Movie starts playing. Amazing.

STEP 23: Plug laptop into telly.

STEP 24: Movie stops playing and flashes up error message.

STEP 25: Restart player. Movie plays.,

STEP 26: Remember crispy dinner needs re-microwaving. Press pause.

STEP 27: Movie crashes again.

STEP 26: Restart player. Enjoy Iron Sky!

1) We actually had no rows during this. This was partly because my boyfriend went and hid in the kitchen, eating Naan bread in the dark.

2) I had just downloaded a movie. The people of 2002 would be a bit chuffed by this. Craig David, for one, would be delighted all week.

3) Buying movies through set-top box? Sooo easy. Buying MP3s, even from audiobook firms (some of whom, yes, I work for occasionally) really easy and pleasant.

4) No, I haven't tried iTunes as that's installed on my Netbook. It's only just powerful enough to run it, and, while I'm quite happily letting iTunes declare liebensraum over it, I'm not going to risk damaging our fragile entente by asking it to play a film.