Star Trek

Where No Network Has Gone Before

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I remember first seeing Star Trek the Original Series (TOS) as reruns on cable tv as a very young kid while at my grandmother's house. I've been hooked ever since. So when CBS announced that after a 12-year drought Star Trek was once again coming back to tv I was thrilled. Except it wasn't really coming back to tv. Instead, it was being released behind a pay wall. Lock it is a prison for all I care, I'll find a way in...anything to get my Star Trek fix. Except will everyone go to that extreme? Let's run some basic math...

After the pilot of Star Trek Discovery airs on CBS proper, all follow-on episodes can only be viewed if you buy a subscription to CBS All Access (at least here in the US and also in Canada). Season 1 of Star Trek Discover is set to be 13 episodes with 1 new episode released each week. So in order to watch all 13 episode you are going to have to subscribe to 4 months of CBS All Access. CBS has announce that is going to charge $5.99 per month. Seems very reasonable. Until you realize that each episode has 12-minutes of commercials with it. So for $23.96 you get to view the new Star Trek series with commercials. As you can imagine that didn't go over too well. After a bit of public outcry CBS decided to add a "commercial free" subscription option. Now for $9.99 a month you too can watch Star Trek commercial free. So over 4 months this will cost you $39.96.

At first blush $40 doesn't seem so bad, except at the end of those 4 months when you cancel the subscription you lose access to those 13 episodes. I cut the cable many years ago and have been buying almost all of my tv shows by the season through iTunes. Even the most expensive tv season in iTunes only run $40-$50 and guess what...when you are done watching the season YOU OWN THEM.

For me, a die hard Star Trek fan, the pricing really won't matter. I will pay it and move on. But how many other people will do the same? Will we get multiple seasons of Star Trek under this model? It seems like more and more services are moving towards subscriptions and at some point the average consumer is going to be saturated with subscriptions. I find it ironic that a television series about the future where money is no longer needed is the tv series that CBS chose to use to prop up their new subscription service. Let's just hope CBS gets the pricing and this service right, otherwise we all might have to wait to watch the next Star Trek series on our PADD in the very distant future, because it will be a lot longer than a 12 year wait if this series fails.

Last Minute Tech Gift Ideas

Looking for a last minute gift idea for a tech loving geek in your life, well here you go:

  1. Lego-Compatible Coffee Mug: It a plastic coffee mug and the outside of the mug is compatible with Lego bricks and mini-figures so you can customize your mug just the way you like it (no Legos included)
  2. Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit: This ingenious kit turn a regular paper airplane into an electric propellor driven airplane!
  3. Grill Daddy Steam Powered Grill Brush: Yes your read that right, it's a steam powered grill grate cleaning brush. Who wouldn't want one of these?
  4. Star Trek Bat'leth Letter Opener: Every Trek fan needs something to open up mail with, right?
  5. Monoprice 3000 mAh iPhone/iPad external battery pack: You can't beat this price on this external battery for iOS devices and Monoprice makes great products!
  6. Back to the Future Lego DeLorean Set: I have this set and it's awesome!
  7. Kano Built it Yourself Computer: A build it yourself computer design specifically for kids to build, customize and code on. I want one!!!
  8. Sky Viper Quadcopter: Why get a remote controlled helicopter with just one rotor when you can have four?
  9. Coin Digital Credit Card: Replace all of your credit cards and rewards cards with just one credit card! It digitally stores up to 8 cards and has an e-ink display that allows you to select which credit card to use for the payment. Works just like a regular credit card. Automatically deactivated once it is taken outside a certain radius of your phone for a set amount of time. Notifies you immediately once your card has been swiped and how tells you many times it was swiped. A must have for any self-respecting geek. The link I provide is a referral link that gets me $5 off of my already pre-ordered coin, so thank you in advance if you choose to buy one and use my link!
  10. Kiva Digital Loan: Give the gift of a Kiva loan gift card. Kiva is a non-profit group that allows people to loan other people all around the world some money for their business in very small amounts. If you give someone a Kiva gift card they get to choose who they want to loan the money on the gift card to. They then get updates on how that person's business is going and a status on how much of their loan has been paid back to date. When you get your loaned amount paid back to you choose another person in need to help. This is awesome for people that really want to see where their money is going and how it is helping others!

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