Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Films & TV

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

Well, another app that does exactly what its name says, although if we were being pedantic it should be called “Films, TV & Videos” because although this app is primarily for downloading and watching films/TV that you’ve purchased via the Store App, it also serves as a player for any videos you might have on your computer.

Note: In some countries, like USA, this app is called Movies & TV.

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

Well, this isn’t going to be easy to determine because I’ve yet to purchase anything from the Store to watch. Some films and TV are reasonably priced but I’ve various other legal outlets to go to watch such things which I’m already paying for, so I’m only rarely going to purchase from the Store. As soon as I do, I’ll update this review, but for now I’m left to concentrate on the only free part of this app, video.

I think, from memory, that by default the app will look at your videos folder. Thus anything you have under that folder will appear under the video tab of the app like shown below:

Oh, what a nice big white background huh? Well, don’t worry, because you can change that to black if you like, along with only a few other limited options under the settings menu:

It’s pretty basic settings and very much oriented towards videos you’ve purchased from the store. Your own personal videos come a distant second to Microsoft but at least they’ve allowed us to list and watch them in this app.

Playing videos works well enough no matter what the size of the window, although once again, there’s limited knobs and buttons available to tinker with as you watch a video:

As you can see above along the bottom line of the window there are six “buttons”; cast to device, change aspect ratio (seems to toggle between just two), play/pause, volume control, fill screen and ‘toggle repeat’ (which if suppressed will simply repeat the video once it reaches the end). 

This is all rather limited and basic when you compare it to sophisticated 3rd party video players but at the very least suffices the basics of video playing, minus perhaps subtitles, which I feel should be there somewhere too.

What’s the alternative?

Praise be, Windows Media Player is still available within Windows 10 and will undoubtedly be the first option for most after they’ve played with the Films & TV app. Personally, I’m drawn to the free VLC Player software, of which there is also an app in the store but it’s a dumbed down version of the actual windows version.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Maybe; bypassing the fact that I'm not able to review the actual purchasing, downloading and playing of Microsoft Store Films or TV, for a video player this app does what it needs to do. With a few more customisation settings, like renaming filenames, editing a file's metadata and subtitles availability whilst playing, the app could be even more respectable. It’s unlikely though it’ll become much more sophisticated than it is now.

No comments:

Post a Comment