Mar. 15th, 2017

mtbc: maze K (white-green)
Our Wii is American. We use it for watching television shows streamed over the Internet. This works fine for services like Netflix: after we moved to Scotland I guess that they noticed that our IP address was now in the UK instead of the US and they adjusted the selection of offered shows accordingly.

In having subscribed to Amazon Prime the experience has been disappointing. First, although our IP address remains in the UK, Amazon's app will sync to only a US Amazon account so we now have fast, free shipping for a country we no longer live in. Further, this means that the selection of shows appears to be rather inconvenient: that unavailable shows are instead available from some other American channel is of no use to us.

So, while being fine for Amazon original series such as The Man in the High Castle (2015), our Prime subscription is turning out to be rather less use for shows available via UK Amazon accounts such as The Americans (2013), Le Bureau des Légendes (2015) and Mr. Robot (2015).

I find it rather absurd that Amazon are basing the television show selection on that our Wii is American. People move around, some of us rather more frequently than we replace all our electronics and media. We already have to manage stupid region-coding restrictions for everything from movies on DVD to Nintendo 3DS games. In the US we had various UK hardware* and fortunately our electrical transformers work both ways around so I now have 110V US power strips both upstairs and downstairs and, for instance, our television at home is our decade-old American one.

*incidentally, in pre-HDMI days SCART cables were difficult to buy in the US; at least I no longer need my PAL↔NTSC converter

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Mark T. B. Carroll

July 2017

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