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Review: Peacock TV (ad-free version)

Several days ago, NBCUniversal released its new streaming service, Peacock. The service has been highly anticipated, especially with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic where people are looking for new content to watch since many are still stuck indoors.

I have been testing the service over the last several days and it does have some pros and cons.

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To start with the pros, I do like that it puts pretty much all of the current NBC and NBCUniversal shows on one streaming platform. It could be the way how Hulu and Netflix end up losing content in the future from the network when it comes to previous seasons of current shows and older ones too, which would make it more competitive.

In addition to that, it has acquired other popular TV shows such as “Two and a Half Men,” “Dowton Abbey” and “George Lopez.” All of those shows have been ones that have needed streaming homes for a while, so it is good to see they all have that now.

I did watch the Peacock Original “Lost Speedways,” which stars famous NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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To be honest, if you’re a racing fan, then you need to check out this show. All of the episodes deal with a different track and they have a variety of guests on it as well.

The streaming service has other Originals too such as “Brand New World,” Intelligence” and many others.

I only watched one Peacock Original due to time constraints and the fact that none of the other Originals had any sort of interest to me. You can call me a picky TV watcher, but at the same time, I have not heard a lot of people talking highly about these new Originals. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is yet to be known.

However, “A.P. Bio” season three could be one to get people excited because of its humor from the first two seasons that previously aired on NBC. Season three is set to be released in September.

Other than those pros, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about it.

First things first, there is nothing I really want to watch. It never got a big-name TV series like “Doctor Who” or “Home Improvement.” Yes, it does have the long-running “Two and a Half Men,” but I don’t want to watch eight seasons of Charlie Sheen swooning over women or Ashton Kutcher being Ashton Kutcher unless he is playing Steve Jobs.

When it comes to the interface…what was NBC thinking?

During the first couple of days of its release, I did not see a place in the iPhone or iPad app where my watchlist was being saved. That is a huge problem if we’re comparing the service to others like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Prime Video.

I did find it a couple of days later after using it, but the fact that it was not available on launch day was not a good start.

I also don’t like the fact that when you start a new episode of one of the Peacock Originals, you get an ad from the service about other Originals on it. I understand that it is a way for the service to advertise the other Original programs it offers, but at the same time, this is the ad-free version, therefore, it should be just that. Prime Video does the same thing and it has always been annoying.

Another problem is there is no Picture-in-Picture or Split View support.

This is essential because of devices like the iPad where users are trying to do multiple tasks at once. With the iPad having that feature, Peacock should have it too. iOS 14 will bring it to the iPhone, making it even more crucail to have it.

There is no downloadable content for offline playback. Again, this goes back to iPad and iPhone users needing that for themselves or to keep the kids preoccupied.

I have additionally been irritated about a few shows that are not on the service where, even though they only ran for one season on NBC, I think they should be on it. Those shows include “A to Z,” “Go On” and the one-season Aaron Sorkin TV series “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” None of those TV shows are currently on the platform.

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Lastly, it has this Channels feature that is nice if you like watching clips of “The Office” or “Today,” but it feels more like a rip-off of Pluto TV.

All in all, I’m giving Peacock 1/4 stars. The service at this time does not have much to offer its users and has features that need to be there, should be there and that there is no excuse to have them not be there.

Peacock has a completely free tier with less content and more ads, a $4.99 tier with ads and $9.99 for the ad-free version. It is available to stream on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Apple TV and Mac.

Rating: 1/4 stars.

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