Sometimes I’m not entirely sure whether the people around are a bit screwed up or it’s just me that is so off any normal reasoning. But I’m not sure exactly when going online to watch the same videos that you have on your local mediaserver has become easier than goddamn click the media folder and open the same clips. Yep, being independent of internet access, not having buffer problems and using your own decoding settings that fit your own computer should be a plan B to streaming flv files off internet. Much like having already cooked food at home, but always keeping it as a plan B to eating out every evening. Seems legit, right?
Trouble is, I fail to see even the slightest advantage. Does it take fewer clicks to go online? No … actually it may take even more (guaranteed more if you actually export the folder to local playlist, one right click). Is it better quality? No, never, actually it’s always lower quality (re-coding avi to flv to make it compatible to the flash player or to mp4 to make it compatible to the HTML5 player always loses quality … not to mention that the HD is actually fake). Is it faster? Hmmmm … that’s a pickle (not): streaming over an internet connection simultaneously used for browsing, downloading and gaming (plus the local traffic) vs using (at most) a gigabit lan connection. Are there any other advantages? Not really, mostly annoyances as you can’t even choose your subtitle, you’re stuck with whatever is provided to you. You want a different language? No can do. Is the subtitle bad? You can’t change it.
Sure, it would make sense if it was about unavailable content. In that case it would be the less than 3 minute it takes to download vs the few seconds it takes to start the stream. Even then I would still prefer the download (after all, streaming is also a kind of download, just that at the end I don’t get to keep it), but at least I would understand why some people would prefer it.
So maybe I should just get down with the flow. Sell my mediaservers and hard drives and simply buy a long HDMI cable (although VGA will also do just fine, since there’s no HD content to speak of) and pray that there are no hiccups in streaming or that the people making the subtitles don’t use Google Translate.
(and the answer to the title question is yes)