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August 30, 2014

Yule Log 2008: A review

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 9th 2008 10:09AM
It's approaching midnight, it's in the single digits outside, and I really don't feel like watching regular TV right now. I feel like having something on while I get under the covers and read. Time for the Yule Log!

This season (Jay reviewed one a couple of years ago), Comcast, Cox, Time-Warner, and Bright House all have the Yule Log on their On Demand service (via iN Demand). It's that scene of a crackling fireplace to get you in the Christmas mood. It's especially good if you don't have a fireplace of your own (duh), and it's in HD! I have Comcast digital, and to access it, go to your On Demand menu, then scroll down to HD On Demand, then go to TV Entertainment. You'll see a "Yule Log & More" category (not sure how to get to the section on other cable systems - maybe it's the same?).

But wait, there's more...

There are seven scenes to choose from. Here's a quick rundown of each one:

Christmas HD: This one shows the scene inside a really nice house. There's a Christmas tree, a fireplace where three stockings are hung, and several presents under the tree. The presents are enormous. I think everyone in this family is getting a new bike or HDTV this year. Speaking of the family, where are they? They're either asleep, out for the night (though I doubt they'd leave the tree lights on and a fire going), or they've vanished somehow. Sorta looks like closed-circuit footage from inside someone's living room. Nice Christmas carols in the background, though. Rating (on a scale of 1-10): 7.5.

Fireplace HD: This one shows a fireplace (of course). A closeup of one log burning, so it looks like you have a fireplace in your home (or your TV is on fire). Be careful of the volume on this one. No music, but lots of loud crackling and flame sounds. Rating: 8

Holiday Yule Log HD: This one is more soothing because the fire sounds aren't as loud, and you get some holiday music too. But the fire doesn't look real. Looks more like a fireplace you'd see in a video game where you shoot zombies in the head. And the various camera angles are weird. Doesn't look like a real fireplace when they do that. Still, the Rating: 8

Snowman HD: Close-up of the head (including a carrot nose, hat, scarf) and chest of a snowman out in a yard, while Christmas music plays in the background. In between songs, you can hear the howling wind blow. Not very exciting, but good if you live some place where they don't have snow, I guess. Rating: 6.5.

Winter1 HD: This one shows a river flowing, with snow on the banks and trees. The river kinda ruins it as a Christmas scene, I think. Looks more like a Coors commercial. Rating: 3.

Winter2 HD: This is similar to Winter1 HD, only it's not snowing, just some snow falling off of the trees. Seems like the snow is melting. No music. Ho-ho-ho hum. Rating: 2.5.

Winter Green HD: This one shows a close-up of pine trees, with snow falling in front of them. Looks like the opening of a TV special or TV movie, but not in a bad way. Christmas music plays in the background, and that howling wind is back. It would have been better if the snow actually accumulated on the trees as you watch, but that doesn't happen. Rating: 4

You have 24 hours total to watch each scene, but you can stop and start whenever you want. It's all free.

(WGN is doing it this year too, on Christmas Eve starting at 9pm, with old radio Christmas shows as the soundtrack; WPIX will have one on Christmas Day.)

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Scot

I just spent the afternoon reviewing all of the offerings with my wife and we're both VERY disappointed. We'll have to make do, but frankly...these suck.

Living in the Bay Area, I remember with GREAT fondness having TV-20 air multiple hours of the yule log. It was never zoomed in and out, never panned around, and they stoked the fire occasionally, adding new logs even. It was PERFECT. How friggin hard is that to do On-Demand?!?

December 14 2008 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn

I am all kinds of bummed now, Cox in Tulsa seems to be missing this and I was just thinking man it would be nice to see a fire right now.

December 09 2008 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

When I go home for christmas the CW network has one with Christmas music in the morning. Which works out since my mom's house has no fireplace.

December 09 2008 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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