Category Archives: TV

Currently Watching

Transitioning through a romantic (comedy) movie phase – hopefully this is pre-temporal compensation for crazy testosterone fueled Iron Man 2.  Still haven’t figured out how to find people to watch Avatar – I should do that before it’s off all the 3D theaters.  Currently plowing through “How I Met Your Mother” – not really so much about meeting the mother, it would seem,  but it’s definitely a solid rom-com-slash-sit-com.  Doing a lot of wrestling with the digital software acquisition – actually,  starting to seriously contemplate “monthly rental systems”.   Paying a fixed amount per month for “more candy than I can eat” is starting to sound very interesting.

Still working through my feelings about “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond,  and of course the mixed bag of movies I plowed through…We’ll see what happens about “regular blog updates” – probably about on  par with the “regular piano practice for my sister’s wedding”.  And then there’s going to be random travelling to Toronto…

Future of TV…is now

The “holy grail” in my mind of home television program delivery is true video-on-demand:  being able to watch any episode of any show at any time.  None of the “wait till it comes on” business,  or “oops I missed last week’s episode”,  and being able to get what you want to watch no slower than switching channels on TV.

I figured we were years and years away from something like this working.  Looks like the technology is already here, and already working.

What’s really made this possible is the existence of video content hosting services, like YouTube.  They showed us that low quality video can be delivered, with minimal lag.  We’re still a ways from DVD quality, but don’t scoff at the ability to watch something seconds after clicking on a link.   And the thing is, these sites tend to be so huge that all sorts of content gets lost in there.

What exists now is sites like TV Links. These take links to all sorts of video providers, and sort by categories like TV shows, movies, documentaries, anime … Sure, the quality sometimes is pretty low (but I’ve run into medium-quality anime in DivX format),  but you can be watching anything in seconds.  This makes it possible to grab previews of movies or shows you’re not sure you want to watch…

In my opinion, this is where cable technology should be headed…or really,  it should be there already.  People are worried about pirating, etc…I’m perfectly happy to sit through bits of commercial in the middle of my video if I’m getting the first bit “on-demand” – they ought to think of the first bit before the commercial break as a “preview”.  And piracy – really,  the cable company should hit the niche occupied by the library – offer everything.  Every episode, every season…if the quantity of data you’re offering is vastly more than anyone can store,  then they won’t be able to store it.  You could even impose a maximum bandwidth (say…twice as fast as a human can watch…) for video downloads. Stealing video seems kind of silly in this case – cable companies right now aren’t worried about people videotaping shows and passing them to friends. They worry about people stealing the physical cable connection.

This would easily beat out renting movies…or even buying movies.  If the connection is reliable,  why would you bother keeping hard copies if it’s just as fast to grab it off the network…and no need to hunt through your shelves?  Store a “personal collection” for every video box – basically, “bookmarks”…

I think the future has the HD version in the works, when we have ridiculously high bandwidth available.  But even now, I’m surprised we don’t have a “youtube quality” version…someone ought to grab the licenses for some big company’s ginormous video collection, and offer it at low quality for a cheap monthly subscription rate.


Wow…I’d put off watching more Heroes (the TV series). Apparently, this was a good idea, because I think I’m hooked. All those who’ve been plugging that it’s on the awesome side of awesome…you’re absolutely right. Boy am I glad season 1 is over, so I can watch the whole plot in a row.

It’s not really X-men action blockbuster kind of superhero action, but more of the Scully and Mulder bits of investigation/off-time mixed with some bang-on exciting superpower sequences.  It captures how amazing it is to bend or break the rules of reality nicely,  so that you get a feel of wonder at the use of the powers,  and the continuing repercussions remind you that nothing comes without a price.