Choice is supposed to be a good thing, right? Aren't they supposed to be making things easier for us? So why am I so damned confused?
Netflix launched in New Zealand with much fanfare this week, with the TV streaming service adding its global heft to an already overheated on-demand market that includes Spark's Lightbox, Sky TV's Neon, Quickflix and Ezyflix.
The concept of TV-on-demand is a great thing for consumers. Watch what you want, where you want, when you want. But in New Zealand it's still just that - a concept. Like a mirage shimmering faintly in the distance.
The addition of Netflix hasn't made things easier for TV fans - it's only made it more confusing. Do you choose Lightbox, with Better Call Saul and Outlander? Do you choose Netflix, with its own shows like Bloodline and Orange is the New Black?
Or do you choose Neon, with its catalogue including Fargo, The Fall and Game of Thrones? Actually, no, from the sounds of things, Neon doesn't sound like much of an option at all.
When you add TVNZ's OnDemand, TV3's 3Now, Quickflix and Ezyflix into the mix, it all adds up to one big mess, like someone's grabbed a giant collection of DVD box sets, thrown them into a pile, put on a blindfold, and randomly split them into different selections.
It's too much admin. I don't want to catch up on Agents of Shield on OnDemand on a laptop, then switch on the Playstation 4 to watch the new episode of Better Call Saul using the Lightbox app, then swap to the iPad, fire up the Netflix app, send it to the Apple TV and binge-watch Orange is the New Black.
Just re-read that sentence. It's ridiculous. That's an average night's viewing with about 20 minutes of mucking around with devices. When did something as simple as watching television get so complicated?
House of Cards' third season is the perfect example of how crazy the competition between services has become. It's Netflix's biggest show, but it's not on Netflix. It's not on Lightbox. It hasn't screened on Soho or TV3. No one seems to know who has the rights to it.
The only way to watch it on-demand in New Zealand right now is illegally. Can you really blame fans for turning to the internet to get their fix? I've been doing it for years - all it took was five minutes of research and a few clicks of the mouse button. I can see what I want, when I want, on whatever device I like. And it's still an easier process than all of those legal on-demand services. As long as it has already aired somewhere in the world, I can probably find it.
Yes, I'm a dirty TV pirate. And until this whole mess is sorted out, I'm not about to stop.
Because here's the thing: like most people, I'm a TV fan. I don't care which company has the streaming rights to which show. I don't want to have to spend hours researching who has what. I want one service that gives me everything, including current faves like The Last Man on Earth, Broad City, The Jinx, The Walking Dead, Girls and Portlandia.
I'm happy to pay for it. Hell, I'd contribute to a Kickstarter fund, buy shares in it, even help design the logo. I'd probably make out with whoever is responsible for it, just because it would make me so happy.
But until that happens, I'm remaining a dodgy, desperate TV downloader. Hate me if you want to. But at the moment, it's the only true on-demand service on the market right now.
• The writer of this column chose to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from his internet provider.
• Where do you source the majority of your TV shows? Which on-demand service have you chosen? Join the conversation below
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