It's a potentially great development for the print medium. The player in EW is interactive, meaning that as you press on the page it's embedded in it responds. Click on The Big Bang Theory and you'll see the preview of the new season on that show. All those people who abandoned print for the interactive experience online can now get that in their favorite magazines as well.
The technology is a brilliant way for an advertisement to reach out to an even wider audience. These little players can be stuck just about anywhere, and loaded with 40 minutes or so of playback. Imagine picking up that DVD set of a TV show you've heard about and being able to watch clips of it right there.
So what technology business does Steve Jobs have next on his "To Dominate" list? Why TV, of course. What did you think I was going to say? Toasters? Did you not read the name of this blog?
A financial analyst with the Piper Jaffray investment banking firm speculated that the company is eying at taking a stab at TV technology by releasing its own high definition television by 2011.
Speaking of time, this is about the worst time to try and thrust new television and film technology on consumers. Aren't we still in the middle of this transition to digital broadcasts, HDTV and Blu-Ray? Now you're telling us we should buy new HDTVs and new Blu-Ray players that support 3D technology? Oh, and we'll need those cool 3D glasses, too.
There's a few problems with this. 3D was going to revolutionize the movies in the '80s. It didn't happen. It's supposed to be "going to revolutionize" movies right now, but it's not happening.
But then comes that feeling of sheer dread when your hand, reaching as far as your arm will allow, grabs nothing but air. Your eyes dart around the room, first scanning the immediate area that doesn't require you to get up from the contoured indent left by your ever-expanding ass. Finally, you find it ... clear across the room. You have discovered the remote control's one and only modern flaw.
Don't fret. Scientists across the globe have been putting their swine flu vaccine and obesity epidemic research projects aside and working on improving TV remote technology. That idea for a miracle virus cure never materialized but, thankfully, they've perfected the remote control.
If I may go off on a rant here for a moment, I actually investigated getting FiOS installed in my house. Verizon didn't even have a fiber optic cable anywhere near me that they could run to my building. And I live only a few miles from Manhattan.
Despite that, by offering a set fee for both FiOS and cell phone service, Verizon is providing something that cable competitors can't duplicate. It's a smart move on the part of the company. Since I already have Verizon Wireless, I can only wish that they got off their lazy asses and laid some more fiber optic around my neighborhood.
In the meanwhile, I'm stuck with my sadly deficient cable company (satellite isn't an option due to the nature of my condominium). For those who have FiOS, how is it? Would you be excited about packaging that with your cell phone service?
Apparently, the lack of an analog signal means that somewhere out there, an alien race that mankind has yet to discover will not know the winner of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
An astronomer from the SETI Institute has speculated that undiscovered alien races or other forms of intelligent life in the universe won't be able to watch Earth's television because of the switchover.
Then came the VCR, and everything changed. Only $1000! (Full-sized ad here.) Notice the fine print at the bottom: "Caution: The unauthorized recording of television programs and other materials may infringe the rights of others."
The most impressive aspects of gadgetry are how much you can customize them to fit your taste and personality. Just a few years ago, having a Dilbert screen saver that didn't send your hard drive into an epileptic fit was the epitome of "personal" computing.
Now you can change the way it looks from every angle, the way it thinks, and even the way it talks. TomTom unveiled a new voice skin for their GPS devices. Now Homer Simpson, the actual voice of Homer Simpson voiced by Dan Castellanetta, can guide you to locations and it doesn't have to be a dispensery of donuts.
Nielsen is reporting that 2.5 million homes still haven't switched to a digital TV or bought a converter box, even though that original switch date was extended to last Friday. I'm wondering why these people haven't switched yet. I'm not talking about people who have a TV but really don't watch it because they read books (as if you can't do both, but that's another rant). I'm talking about people who watch TV a lot and haven't made the switch yet.
It was intended as a way of being able to watch television during high school (and to show how dated the set is, the screen is black and white). It does actually still work, if the purpose of the set is to produce a screen of snow.
Here are some ideas that I could now use the set for:
- As a TV (all I need to do is crack it open and hook up a digital converter, which kind of ruins the portability aspect of the device)
- Target practice
- Handy object to throw at my oppressors (if I ever have any oppressors)
- Tree ornament
- Abstract art
- Flashlight (if I turn off the sound)
- Fencing practice (the antenna is pretty long)
- Prop replica of a Sony Watchman
- Brick replacement
Lately, I've given up the pursuit. I realized it was a wasteful, greedy, and (worst of all) selfish reason to want anything, just to look better than someone on a material level. I also realized that someone else out there would have a TV that would be 200 times better than mine would ever be.
That realization came to me when I found this 103-inch plasma TV set that runs for $110,000.
Nevertheless, a publicly traded company hopes to turn a humble syndicated network into the world's first fully three-dimensional channel.
You may not have realized it after coming off of your President's Day Booze and Beef BBQ, but February 17th was the voluntary day for television stations to turn off those piddly analog signals and crank up their digital ones. Other than one guy shooting his television over the conversion, the switchover of about a quarter of the 1800 television stations in the U.S. went off fairly smoothly. Course, this was just the dress rehearsal. The real performance will be on June 12th, which has become the new 'no change' cut over date.
Being a proud citizen of the United States, I thought I'd take your pulse once again and find out if any stations in your viewing area cut over on Tuesday. If they did, and you were one of those remaining folks without a cable hookup, did you encounter any problems with your new digital converter box? Also, just out of curiosity, was there one major market station that remained in analog mode while the others jumped into the digital pool?
Come on, Americans! Let your voice ring out on this matter.
Well, not the TV itself. It's not as if Toshiba made a tiny metal and plastic television and you shove it in your eye, but researchers at the Future Laboratory (which will probably be a new show on CBS this fall, right after Criminal Minds) say that the future of television lies in contact lenses. That's right, television you watch via a contact lens on your eye, powered by body heat and maybe a wave of your hand to change the channels. According to the people at FL, like a real contact lens, you'll put it on in the morning and take it out before you go to bed. Unless, of course, you're like a lot of people and you watch TV in bed. If you fall asleep in these, are the dreams more awesome?
Seriously, though, will it matter if the transition date is February, June, or sometime in Obama's second administration? At this point, even the most casual observer has figured out that the transition hasn't been communicated very well to the American public. People who have cable or satellite still think that they need to buy a new HDTV or upgrade to digital cable in order to be compliant with the conversion, people who got discount coupons for converters early on have found that the coupons have expired and they can't get more, and the people who have converted are being surprised that some weak stations won't come in due to the "digital cliff effect."
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