Perhaps this is CBS' attempt to boost ratings and skew to a younger audience, which was nudged along a couple of years ago when it re-launched the show with a colorful new widescreen set. According to Media Life, the show averaged a measly 2.52 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, putting it in third place among the network morning news programs.
But no, the technology that has me scratching my head is 3D television. That's right, the state-of-the-art, mind-blowing idea that you will be able to watch television in a way you never have before. Bigger than a big screen. Better than high definition. More powerful that a home theater sensurround experience.
Next weekend, if you have invested in a first generation 3D TV for about $2,500, you'll be able to watch the Masters Golf Tournament in 3D. And you had better spend on the glasses, too, because not all sets are sold with the spectacles that make the 3D possible in the first place. Funny, you would think that the glasses were included, but apparently not. It's like some computers that ship without a power cord. Are you kidding me?
There are other reasons to be concerned about One Life to Live. All My Children was the New York soap opera that ABC decided to move to Hollywood. It was also the show that was transitioned to HD. One Life was not only left behind in New York -- in AMC's old studio space -- but the plans for it to begin broadcasting in high-def was delayed. ...It doesn't take a Rhodes scholar to see that One Life to Live is vulnerable and the network is not doing much to alter that impression.
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.
The real hook for me is Ferguson's monologue. While everyone's doing, "Hey let's look at the news. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punch me in the face I can't take it anymore!," Ferguson is doing a short stand-up routine every night. It's smart, it's clever, and it all flows so much more nicely.
I've also enjoyed his constant rants about how terrible his show is, what a horrible host he is, and how incredibly cheap CBS is when it comes to anything to do with The Late Late Show. But now, long after all of his competitors got the upgrade, we're finally getting Craig Ferguson in HD starting August 31, 2009. So he'll have one less thing to bitch about, at least.
Last night I watched the commercial again (for the 4000th time) and I noticed that they've changed the ending. The FIOS guy used to say "I'm going to write down your credit card number which I memorized when I was looking..." I always thought that was an odd line, pretty much insinuating that a Verizon rep would take someone's credit card number like that. But they've now taken that line out and replaced it with something else (though the new line escapes me at the moment - anyone?). I wonder if Verizon complained?
In a weaker economy where even television programs get budget cuts, music videos are a great alternative to showing programming since the station doesn't pay for them. It's shameless advertising for the musician and a cheap way to put things in HD.
If so (you extremely shallow human being who will spend life alone until you die), then you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Jimmy Kimmel's first foray into high definition television was quite an improvement.
He even showed his viewers just how beautiful the difference was by making the switch live on the air during Tuesday night's episode.
The cable company has decided to pay ten dollars to each person who was "affected" by the showing of porn during the game. I have no idea how you're supposed to prove you saw it or even what "affected" means. Annoyed? Ticked off? Embarrassed for your family? Aroused? Did it make you want to strangle a puppy? Comcast, the nudity you showed on Super Bowl Sunday made me rethink my career path. I want my ten dollars!
Comcast is still investigating what exactly happened, but they're pretty sure it was done by someone on purpose. Only people who didn't watch the game in HD actually saw it, which is a great ad for HDTV. Not sure if the spokesperson for the company helps by using the words "aggressively pursue" and "come to a resolution" in the statement.
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...
This week, Hulu.com bulked up its free HD Gallery to include new episodes of Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock and all of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog in 720p high definition. I just streamed "It's Coming," last week's ep of Heroes, and it looked great on my 25-inch iMac. I'm no tech wiz, but I can easily see the difference in visual quality between the site's HD offerings and its regular streaming content. (Too bad HD can't work the same magic on Tim Kring's script.)
I don't have an HD TV. I usually watch my favorite shows on an out-of-date 20-inch box. So, from my perspective, Hulu's HD content looks pretty amazing. It's the greatest thing to happen to TV since last night's ep of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Yes, I have a short attention span.
So what's this mean to us as viewers? I'm having a hard time wrapping myself around this one. Sure, they mention some new-ish movies they will premiere, like The Bourne Ultimatum, Shrek the Third and The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. But to me, Cinemax is synonymous with B movies from a decade or so ago, one of those channels that you get for free in your cable TV movie package bbut never watch.
I know what you are thinking... your burning question that you are too embarrassed to ask...
Amazon Unbox is probably one of the simplest non-Apple services for renting and buying downloaded TV shows and movies on a PC. The service is also compatible with TiVo, but I know a few folks who refuse to pay for any video unless it comes in high definition. And so far, HD video has not been available via Amazon Unbox.
Bu it looks like that could be changing. TiVo Vice President Jim Denney tells TV Week that HD capabilities are coming to Amazon "in the not too distant future." And judging from the source, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that means you'll be able to download and watch HD video using a TiVo HD or TiVo Series. As MegaZone at Gizmo Lovers suggests, it's likely that Amazon will use the H.264 codec, which would let the company distribute high definition videos with relatively small file sizes (relative being the key word here).
[via Zatz Not Funny]
One of the things that I love about How I Met Your Mother -- there, I said it, I love the show -- is the mystery surrounding who "mother" is and whether we've already seen her on the show or is she still to be introduced. It's not just the Lost fans that are watching scene by scene, shot by shot, frame by frame to uncover clues. Take this very cool observation by a blogger at Seat42f.com.
If you look at the picture, the green boxes, you'll notice that the framed handwritten letter/poem/writing in the background of Stella's home (left), is the same as the framed letter/poem/writing behind the kids in the opening of the show. According to the blogger -- who has HD and studied the scenes closely, it's definitely the same artifact.
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