Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Watch
A South African Forensic Files fan tweeted me last week to say he couldn’t watch the show in his country anymore.
CBS Reality, a network that broadcasts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, had stopped airing the shows in South Africa.
Deprived of Forensic Files? Now there’s a crime.
I can relate. My access to the show seemed severely limited after I cut the cord about a year ago.
Along with the monthly cable bill of $125.51 to $172.59 (depending on whatever deal Time Warner was offering or yanking away), I also had to say farewell to the HLN TV network — the Forensic Files motherlode.
HLN has daily Forensic Files marathons anywhere from 4 to 12 hours long.
If you have basic cable in the U.S., chances are you can bask in all the chromatography and rifling impressions patterns you like via HLN’s generous schedule of FF‘s. I miss HLN.
Fortunately, there are also many other sources of the show.
Netflix streaming offers Forensic Files organized into nine collections of 40 to 48 episodes each, for a total of 374. (Show producer Medstar made 404 episodes in all, and I’m not sure which 30 are missing or why.)
I pay $9.99 a month for my stream-only Netflix subscription. For $1 extra a month, you can give someone else access to your account at any time, so your brother in Pittsburgh can binge-watch Sons of Anarchy at the same time you’re doing a Forensic Files marathon in New York.
Hulu and Amazon Prime, too, stream at least some episodes of Forensic Files.
You can also find many of the episodes on the internet. Just enter “Forensic Files” and the name of the episode or even just the name of the perpetrator, and the right one should materialize.
The producers made a deal to distribute the show on YouTube via a company called FilmRise. So if you see “FilmRise,” you’re watching a legally procured episode.
I’m not sure how the picture quality on YouTube rates next to what you see on TV or a streaming service, but I’m happy with it.
Of course, you’ll need a broadband or otherwise expensive internet subscription to watch online. I use Spectrum, which used to be Time Warner Cable. I have nothing nice to say about either of them. Right now, I’m paying $50.88 a month.
The least expensive way to enjoy Forensic Files is via an over-the-air TV station — the kind you get for free, no cable subscription required.
An over-the-air TV station called Escape (Channel No. 68.40 in New York and available in other cities) broadcasts a couple Forensic Files episodes a day.
All you need is an antenna. I use a $29.99 RCA digital one.
It gives pretty much crystal clear reception on Escape and all the other free stations, including the major networks. It was a surprise.
I was expecting the same kind of static and the other types of interference from the old days of rabbit ears.
Most of my quest for Forensic Files has taken place in NYC. If anyone has advice or experience to share about finding Forensic Files elsewhere or via another route, please leave a reader comment and share the wealth.
Someone in the world is sure to appreciate any clues you have to offer.
Until next week, cheers. — RR