After dropping out of their contract with Apple to sell TV episodes on iTunes, NBC’s own site, NBC Direct, is finally up. It’s NBC’s version of a TV show download site, and as Engadget reports, it seems to work, with a few caveats:
1) Shows are free, but only available for seven days.
2) Once you download one, you only have 48 hours to watch it before it disappears.
3) There’s no Mac support.
4) The installation is complicated and involves NBC’s own app, Windows Media Player, and “all sorts of hoop jumping.”
5) There’s no mobile device intergration at all–no iPods, iPhone, Windows-compatible portable media players, or other cell phones. You can only watch these episodes on the computer you installed everything on. (Before the episodes disappear, that is.)
6) In fact, Engadget said there’s no reason to choose the downloaded episodes over just watching them online before they disappear off the site.
7) Pay downloads–which don’t include the ads–aren’t available yet for reasons that remain mysterious.
Other than that, hey, it’s just as good as iTunes.