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Show HN: findthin.gs - Find where to watch tv series & movies (RailsRumble) (findthin.gs)
22 points by suttol 1440 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite

Hey guys - Our team made findthin.gs in 48 hours last weekend for this years Rails Rumble (http://railsrumble.com/). We built it because we're from Australia and sick of finding online services that are region restricted or don't carry what we want.

Thus, we wanted to make it super simple to find where you can legitimately watch tv series and movies online by taking the hard work out of finding where it's viewable.

Our current version only searches Hulu, Netflix (in the US - If anyone has advice on international API's for them, I'd love to know) as well as iTunes. We're planning to support a bunch more services (in the US, Canada, Great Britain and Australia) in the next few weeks.

Also, it's a bit buggy (due to time constraints) and I'm not sure how well it works in non-WebKit browsers, but we'd love to know what you think.

You may want to draw inspiration from http://www.sidereel.com/. Their interface is not that great. If you guys could improve on that, you may be on to something. Good luck.

Oh, and suggestions for other countries with decent streaming services would rock!

Wow, that is a beautiful design :)

I wrote something similar for http://giby.tv, though it's not really a core feature for me and it doesn't recognize geographical restrictions, which seems to be a primary motivation for you guys.

You guys make it look easy, but I think there are a lot of subtle gotchas that others might not realize about this sort of TV data, for example:

Different sources of data (Netflix, Wikipedia, Network sites, iTunes, etc) often disagree about what's correct, and there isn't really an easily accessible canonical source. Sometimes an episode will release weeks earlier in one country than another (e.x. Fox recently delayed a new episode of House, despite it airing weeks earlier on another network in another country). Sometimes iTunes will just give completely incorrect information about dates.

Lots of series names are reused by remakes. String matching by series name will often lead to mismatching, for example, the 1961 series of 'The Defenders' with the 2010 series of the same name. Or the US version of The Office with the UK. Sometimes sources will disambiguate for you and append something like (US) or (UK) at the end. Sometimes they only carry one version and don't bother.

Sometimes a series will rename itself after airing a few episodes/seasons, like 'Gold Rush Alaska' -> 'Gold Rush' after the first season. Not all content providers will have the new name.

And episode titles are even worse. If you thought an episode had a single name that everyone always agreed on, you would be sorely mistaken.

Anyway, if you're interested in this sort of thing you might also be interested in tracking new episodes of tv shows at http://giby.tv, or finding links for specific episodes i.e. http://giby.tv/series/House or http://giby.tv/series/The%20Office%20(US) :)

Thanks gibybo - Our motivation for region issues is mostly due to being Australia based and constantly hitting issues with finding content (Our TV networks have a pretty bad rep, to the point where we're often one of the top pirating nations for shows - e.g. http://delimiter.com.au/2012/05/22/australia-top-game-of-thr...). giby.tv looks very cool by the way.

It's indeed quiet a hard problem to solve - and I think it's going to be one of the biggest issues going forward for exactly the reasons you mention. Another one on top of that (another fun one: different punctuation in names, inc. in the year and region suffixes).

There are a bunch of data sources we tap into / plan on tapping into the near future that we hope will help solve these issues even more.

(The two of us developers work on music stuff which face very similar issues - the annoyance of dealing with album, track and artist names across services is a constant frustration).

I was thinking about trying to make a similar tool. I got the idea when I was trying to decide in which format I wanted to buy the complete series of The Wire. I found it too hard to compare prices between all the different sources, including DVD. Google's Shopping results are only for the DVD format. I would incorporate prices to make it more useful. Moki.tv was a good app that was pretty similar. http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/17/moki-tv-is-the-ultimate-per...

I'm from germany so i cant say nothing about the service itself, but i love the coverimage-animation. It works great in this context!

Also you have a small code-glitch above the logo? or is it intentional? you never know these days

If it's an ruby hash, that's unintentional. I changed one of the I18n paths in the app at 5am (the competition finished at 8am for us) and changed it in most places around the site. I missed the home page (since it uses image replacement) but in some configurations (e.g. I think Retina MBPs in Chrome) it shows up still.

We can't modify code until post-judging, so it has to wait until then to be fixed. And thanks, the cover animation was the work of our wonderful designer, @levibuzolic on twitter.

I can't see the highlight on the dropdown when trying to change where I'm from - it flickers very fast and then just looks like white on white. (Chrome 21/linux/crappy ATI card, could easily be their drivers).

Ah I didn't have a chance to test the site on Linux -- once the Rails Rumble comp is over I'll be sure to see what I can do to fix it. :)

I love the design. Did you guys use any framework for the design, or is it all you guys?

No framework. As Sutto said, we used SASS and Compass to make cross browser attributes faster to write, but that's about it.

We used compass and sass to make certain things (e.g. CSS3 cross browser) a little simpler, but the rest was coded from scratch I believe.

Check out http://theat.me/. Something very similar and 'designy'. And they also index movies on crackle etc. A lot of free to watch sources. (usually only if you are in the US though ...)

Is that 3d scrolling thing WebGL?

Just CSS3 3d transforms. Should be hardware accelerated on most browsers / platforms.

I believe it's all CSS3 stuff.

Is that only me that felt bad when i see that i have to pay to watch?

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