I’m planning on downloading everything anyway, since streaming is nice, but a backed up file is forever.
I just wish there was a faster way to batch download from VHX. You have to drill into each movie and choose the format, one at a time, over and over again. I picked up the “ultimate digital collection” as an add-on, so, that’s one heck of a lot of mousing!
With the TV I want to use it on currently, the USB port is not easily accessible, given where I have it mounted. I have so far used that tv exclusively for streaming, although I will be getting a blu-ray player for it tomorrow that has a USB port, so I will be able to plug in through that without moving the TV. I also don’t often use thumb drives, although I have a small one (8gb) attached to my keychain for important documents. I did just order a 64gb thumb drive, as a friend of mine is going to put the Johnny Sako series, and a bunch of Gamera movies I do not yet have on it for me.
I did manage to pry the girls off of the TV where I have my media PC connected in the living room yesterday, and watched Revenge of the Mysterons after their time for go to bed. It’s not ideal, but it scratches the itch for now, I am hoping to get a viewing of Quest of the Delta Knights in today. As I said before, I’m not complaining, I am happy to have my rewards and I can watch them, just not in the ideal place. I just feel like this is a good place to let MST3K know that things are falling a bit short with the currently selected platform for viewing. I want them to improve, I don’t want to them to feel like I am piling on the toxicity, because that will get us nowhere.
Finally, I am a software developer, and one of the current professional projects I work on is a video chat app. I know a bit about APIs and 3rd parties, and how the development process works in general. From what I have seen in the updates, I am not confident that this particular issue will be worked out with the initial release of the Gizmoplex. I am confident that MST3K will put their best foot forward to improve the product, but software development today is an iterative process, and takes time. I feel it is very likely that the initial Gizmoplex offering will be feature light and only designed to work well with the most basic usages of product.
“You kids with your big pants and your colored chalk and your Neve Campbells…”
We talked about flip phones elsewhere, and yeah, I don’t have a smartphone - and don’t deal much with apps. I am so out of touch on many things, but when I saw this discussion I’m like, well, just pop in a DVD, watch it on TV that way. Easy peasy.
I don’t mean to be flip, or insensitive to your frustrations (and I understand not all of us have these things on disc), I just think, man, in trying to simplify everything we’ve somehow made it more complicated.
I am appreciative of the reward, I’ve downloaded a bunch and watched a bit of “Village of the Giants”, offline on my laptop while at work (shhh, don’t tell the boss) - so for a quick and handy way to watch an experiment away from the house, I love having these. And when the Gizmoplex arrives, I’ll be downloading and using a flash drive, or plugging the laptop direct into the player to see the new episodes on TV. So I’m set.
But I do hope this all gets worked out and you all get to watch the way you want to watch.
It’s wonderful that these episodes were released in time for Christmas as myself - like many others - have time off and will be filling at least part of that time with them. I wrapped all my presents this morning with Gamera vs Barugon on. This topic existing isn’t a criticism of the team’s efforts rather a consequence of unfamiliarity with VHX and how they handle content. Sure, when the Gizmoplex is ready things will (hopefully) be simpler but right now it isn’t.
Anyway, streaming is nice and convenient but I’m perfectly fine with downloading and watching via a USB drive in my 4K player. At least that way I don’t have to worry about a janky wireless connection causing stalls or stutters plus the remote has a -10s rewind button which is great for quickly replaying riffs.
Hey all. Now that we’re done getting all of the digital episode codes distributed, a few answers and details that (I hope) will address some of the concerns voiced in this thread.
Not 100% sure, because I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but this help article on VHX seems to indicate that you can stream the individual player window straight to Chromecast as well. Have you tried and found that it doesn’t work?
This tends to be a big point of confusion. Vimeo owns VHX, but hasn’t integrated with it yet… so, as far as we know, your Vimeo account and your VHX account are totally different things, with their own logins and passwords. Stuff from one won’t show up in the other for the foreseeable future, though it’s possible Vimeo will eventually integrate them more.
Again, it’s possible that it’s not working… but in theory, they work with Chromecast. And as @klcorridon said, if you’re using Apple Safari, that should be able to AirPlay to an AppleTV, or any device that can receive AirPlay.
There won’t be a generic VHX channel on Roku… but as promised during our Kickstarter campaign, we will be releasing a custom Gizmoplex app powered by VHX, so you’ll be able to access and stream all of your collection easily from Roku.
Appreciate the sentiment. That was definitely the logic in releasing them before the holidays, rather than holding them until all of the apps and the Gizmoplex are ready to launch. We know this isn’t ideal – if VHX was a better solution, we probably wouldn’t have started thinking about designing the Gizmoplex to begin with. But we know it has a lot of problems, and the goal of the Gizmoplex is to ease or solve as many of them as possible.
We’re well aware, but appreciate the polite reminder! We know that VHX doesn’t offer a good streaming solution by default, which – again – is why we’re working with them to release MST3K-specific apps for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Google TV, Roku, and Amazon FireTV. But all of those cost money to develop, and to keep running, since they dramatically increase the amount of bandwidth most people will consume streaming episodes to their preferred devices… so they’re not ready quite yet.
Yes. It was one of the Kickstarter stretch goal promises that we’d release apps for the six most-used OTT platforms. They’re not coming in a few weeks, but they’ll be ready by the time the new season premieres.
Reasonable question, but happily, the answer is: no, it doesn’t give much indication. As noted, we’ll be releasing apps for 6 OTT platforms, and our custom build for the Gizmoplex uses the VHX API and links to your VHX account to manage which videos you own, and to provide the streaming bandwidth… but beyond that, we’re building a custom set of features around it.
Precisely. When we used them for the last Kickstarter, they still had an app. They discontinued it when they realized that they’d do better selling enterprise services to media companies and shows (like MST3K) rather than individual consumers, end users and fans. This is doubly true because offering apps increases the odds of higher bandwidth usage, which is why there’s an annual platform fee involved in keeping our apps running once they launch.
Yeah, in retrospect, I wish we had made it clearer exactly what we were doing, so that people wouldn’t assume that these episodes would already be available with the full functionality we’re building out for the Gizmoplex. No good deed unpunished, I guess.
Which problem are you specifically referring to? Making it easy to access the Gizmoplex and its content on a television and other devices, or something more specific?
Finally: there’s always the option – for most semi-recent computers – of connecting to the TV with HDMI to get a stable, big-screen experience. Not the easiest option for everyone, but it’ll work in a pinch – and even if your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port, adapters aren’t hard to obtain.
Anyway: hope you’re all able to find solutions that work for you over the holidays. Apologies for not having the full feature set ready for you to use just yet. We’re still hard at work on it, and hope it’ll prove to be worth the wait. Plus, if you use VHX for a few months first, you’ll be really aware of how the Gizmoplex improves on that experience.
From Update #29, July 26-30, 2021:
2. An update on the OTT APPS for phones, tablets and TVs.
As we said during the Kickstarter, our goal for the Gizmoplex was to accomplish it with the smallest (initial) budget possible, so that most of what we raised could be used to make new episodes of MST3K.
So, while we’ve seen in the forum conversations that there are a lot of ambitious ideas and hopes about what the Gizmoplex apps will include – at least in their first incarnation – we want to manage everyone’s expectations a bit, so that you won’t be disappointed by our actual plans.
While we have a lot of ambitious, interactive plans for the web-based version of the Gizmoplex, including a virtual space that you can explore, watch parties, and more, our current budget will not make it possible to put a lot of that advanced functionality into the Apple, Android, Roku and Amazon apps that we’re developing.
Those device-specific apps are being developed through a partnership with Vimeo OTT (the same platform that we’re building the Gizmoplex site on top of), but there are definite limits to how much we can customize the interface or content of those apps.
Right now, our top priorities are to make sure that the apps are able to:
Stream any episodes you’ve bought from the Gizmoplex Video Store.
Stream any episodes you’ve gotten as Kickstarter rewards.
Browse, rent/buy and stream more content from the Video Store.
Download those episodes on phones/tablets for offline viewing.
Stream the livestream events and premieres we host each month.
Stream the monthly Gizmoplex Pass “featured selection” episodes.
In order to add more advanced features to the MOBILE AND TV APPS — like watch parties, navigation around a virtual theater, chat and message boards, etc — we’d have to dedicate a much larger budget to developing and maintaining completely custom apps. Again: we’re still aiming to launch those features in the web-based version, but as of now, have no way to include them in the stand-alone apps.
While we’re definitely interested in exploring all of those features — and more! — in the future, our immediate goal is to make sure that we deliver what we promised during the Kickstarter: the ability to access all of your Gizmoplex content on device-specific apps.
Thanks Ivan for taking the time to make a thorough and in depth response. I really appreciate your, and the rest of the MST3K team, efforts! Keep up the good work.
I was specifically referring to it being available on a wide variety of TVs, and I think I was also bringing in a bit of baggage from the digital copies having been distributed through VHX since season 11, and that platform not being ideal. I think your response has very adequately addressed that, and provided quite a bit more confidence that the MST3K crew will get it right.
The thing is, there are no bugs. The VHX platform used for these early-release episodes is built for downloading, not streaming.
The Gizmoplex will be built for streaming, but isn’t ready yet. No reason to worry about bugs.
I should probably check into how easy/hard it is to get vhx on my semi-smart tv. Then I could plan a strategy for going forward.
Hopefully, the Gizmoplex app will be friendly enough to interface with my tv or bluRay player. If not there’s always the connect the notebook thing (I think there’s a spare port or 2) or while not ideal, downloading the episodes and putting them on my streaming box.
Keeping my fingers crossed for easy interface access. I do want to be able to really enjoy the Gizmoplex!