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October 6, 2015


TV 101: Why Leo Laporte represents the future of TV (kinda) - VIDEO

by Jay Black, posted Jan 7th 2009 1:03PM
Man of the future? Or just well-produced nonsense-ary?Seeing as this is the new year and all, I figured today's column would concentrate on the future. My original plan was to write extensively about what television will become following the detonation of the Yellowstone supervolcano -- who's ready for static?! -- but in the spirit of Hope (tm), I scratched that in favor of something a bit more positive.

My guess is that the numbers break down this way: 90% of you have no idea at all who Leo Laporte is, 7% kinda sorta remember him from the ill-fated ZDNET cable channel, and 2% of you are TWitTs like me. (The other one percent? Spambots worried about my "girth").

It's time to get to know Leo, because over the last year he has single-handedly created a brand-new paradigm for how TV is going to be viewed on the net ... kinda.

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It's true! Henry Spencer really doesn't have as many Facebook friends as Shawn

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 15th 2008 9:04AM

Guess who has the most friends on FacebookThere was a time during the early days of television where what happened on a scripted show remained within the confines of the small screen. Then came the wonderful world of the Internet and the amazing potential that it had. Soon enough, reality and imagination began to merge. Now, it's a near given that a TV show will utilize the Internet to maximize its viewing potential.

Take Psych for example. In a conversation that took place during last week's episode Shawn made reference to the fact that his father Henry was angry because he didn't have as many friends on Facebook as his son. Of course, that signaled the purveyors of the World Wide Superhighwaynet to take a look to see if it was true. Turns out, Shawn was correct: he has more friends than his father does. Henry only has two friends -- Shawn Spencer and Shawn Spencer. Poor Henry! Meanwhile, Shawn has a total of 50 friends over two different profiles.

However, neither of them can compare to one Burton "Gus" Guster. When it comes to friends on Facebook good ole Gus has a total of 108 on two profiles. Now we really know who everyone loves on Psych!

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America loves television!

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 8th 2008 3:01PM

retro tvIf I were to sit down and think about it, I would guess that I've watched five or six hours of television every single day since 1970.

Now, that might seem like an outlandish number to many people. After all, didn't I go to school and later work? Yes I did. But I can honestly say that when I got home from school I watched TV until 11 at night, every single night, and a lot more during the summer (and I even found time to go outside to play baseball!). Today I have the TV on from approximately 8 AM until well after midnight. That's a lot of TV watching over the years.

I thought of that when I read this article that says Americans are watching more television than ever.

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Fancast scores full length Daily Show, Colbert Report, South Park episodes

by Brad Linder, posted May 21st 2008 5:23PM


Comcast-owned internet media portal Fancast is expanding its content library through a partnership with Viacom. The upshot is that for the first time, you'll be able to catch full length episodes of two of Comedy Central's most popular shows: The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. While you can currently find clips of each show on the program's website, there's no way to watch a single episode from start to finish over the web.

Fancast will also be adding South Park and select content from other Viacom properties including MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, and BET Networks. You can already find a wide range of TV shows and movies on Fancast thanks to partnerships with CBS and Hulu.

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Controlling a TiVo with an iPhone the easy/complicated way

by Brad Linder, posted May 2nd 2008 12:09PM

A little while back, TiVo teamed up with home automation software maker Crestron to allow TiVo users to control their light switches, thermostat, and other information through their Series3 and TiVo HD set top boxes. But it appears that a side effect is that anyone can now connect to their TiVo units via telnet, and blogger Dave Zatz figured out that means you can use simple command line codes to replicate TiVo remote control functions from pretty much any internet connected device. In other words, you can use an iPhone as a TiVo remote control.

The easy part is that all you have to do is figure out your TiVo's IP address, use Port 31339, and you can start entering commands. The complicated part is that you have to type out commands like "ircode pause," and "ircode thumbsup," instead of, you know, using your TiVo remote control and just pressing those buttons.

But now that we know this is possible, it's probably just a matter of time before we see third party developers writing TiVo remote control applications with pretty interfaces for the iPhone, Windows Mobile devices, and other internet connected gizmos.

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Lost: Two minutes of "what's" - VIDEO

by Jay Black, posted Apr 14th 2008 9:01AM
What?God, I love living in the early 21st century. We are at an unprecedented nexus of high-powered video-editing software, an amazing distribution medium for amateur videos, and the highest virgin nerd numbers since Oxford's math department circa 1885. You put all these factors together and you wind up with videos like the one that follows after the jump.

What is it? Just as the title tells you, it's two minutes of all the "what's" ever uttered on Lost. Maybe the writers of Lost rely too heavily on that particular interrogative or maybe any show deep into its fourth season will have accumulated that many "what's", but either way the video you're about to see is strangely entertaining. I use the word "strangely" because it's not really funny, or clever, or, actually, you know, entertaining, but you still enjoy watching it anyway. Check it out for yourself...

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The Simpsons quick-moving intro shown in full

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 9th 2008 3:02PM

It's The Simpsons intro, in all it's panoramic glory.For years now fans of The Simpsons have broken the pause buttons on their DVD and, back in the olden days, VCR players in order to get a glimpse of the intro to that long-running program. Particularly the section between Marge and Maggie driving home from the supermarket, and Homer pulling into the garage, which seems to just whip by in a blur. We've been able to catch glimpses of what actions are taking place, but we never got the full panoramic picture.

Until now, that is. Thanks to an apparently anonymous source, this entire scene has been made into a panorama showing everything that goes on.

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The Office: Launch Party

by Jay Black, posted Oct 12th 2007 1:41AM
Another day at the office... another kidnapping?(S04E03) You know, I really don't know what to say about tonight's Office that isn't going to sound like the same old song that I've been singing since the start of this season. As I was watching the second half of the show tonight, I was actually worried about what I was going to say in my review. On the one hand, I feel the need to be honest. But, on the other hand, I'm much happier when I don't have an inbox filled with comments telling me how much I suck.

It's quite the moral dilemma. Of course, you'll have to follow me over the jump to see which decision I made...

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Joost to stream live TV over the internet

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 10th 2007 11:00AM
Joost 1.0
There's one big difference between internet TV platforms like Joost, Vuze, Babelgum and VeohTV and live television. Internet TV is almost never live. And it's delivered over the internet. OK, I guess that's two things.

But Joost plans to test a system that will let you watch TV shows as they air live. PaidContent:UK reports that Joost will be offering live streaming television to US customers during the first quarter of 2008.

Programs that are transmitted live will also be available on demand after the live transmission is finished. For example, if you want to watch a sporting event, you can either sit down and watch the game as it happens or "catch up" with a game you missed. You'll be able to use Joost widgets to keep track of scores, bookmark favorite moments in a game, or share links with your friends.

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Blinkx targets Joost

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 29th 2007 12:16PM
BBTVIt's not even clear yet that there's a market for full-screen applications for watching internet video without a web browser. But companies are coming out of the woodwork to take on internet TV platform Joost. I guess nobody wants to see Joost become the next YouTube when they could have had a chance to get in on the craze at its outset.

Blinkx is the latest online video site to announce a full-screen video player, no web browser required. BetaNews gota sneak peak at Blinkx's upcoming BBTV the other night.

Blinkx is best known right now for its video search engine. BBTV will utilize the same video indexing features as the web service, allowing you to search for specific text in a speech track. This will also help Blinkx to integrate a contextual advertisements.

BBTV will deliver video using a peer-to-peer system, much like Joost.

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Jericho may be coming back

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 5th 2007 4:15PM
JerichoMaybe Jericho's fans aren't nuts after all.

After the serialized apocalypse-themed program was canceled by CBS, its rabid fans sent the network thousands of pounds of nuts, egged on by a well-organized internet campaign to save the show. Now, the ever-tuned-in Mike Ausiello is reporting that the network brass is listening, and is in talks to bring back the show for eight episodes, to possibly air at mid-season.

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Michael Cera's new Web series is now online

by Adam Finley, posted May 24th 2007 9:03AM

clark and michaelLast November, Brett told you that Michael Cera (Arrested Development) would be starring in a new Web series with his pal, actor Clark Duke. The series would be called The Good Life, and it would be available for viewing on the CBS innertube broadband site.

Well, two things have changed, apparently: the new series is now called Clark and Michael, and it's not on innertube, it's at ClarkAnd Michael.com, so go check it out.

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Fuse renews Whitest Kids U Know

by Adam Finley, posted May 11th 2007 5:22PM

whitest kids u knowFuse has given its musical sketch comedy series The Whitest Kids You Know a second season. The series, which originated as a series of Web videos back in 2000, first hit Fuse last March. Before coming to Fuse, the team of Trevor Moore, Sam Brown, Zach Cregger, Timmy Williams, and Darren Trumeter made a name for themselves around New York City's various comedy venues.

Variety does not specify when the second season will begin, although it does mention the possibility of a DVD release.

If you're like me and don't have Fuse on your cable lineup, you can watch some of the sketches on YouTube, which has a collection of some of their old Web stuff and possibly a few clips from the actual series. The Fuse site used to have clips, too, but those are gone. I watched a few of them not too long ago and found them amusing, but right now I have to say MTV's Human Giant is the better sketch comedy series.

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Vudu set to take on the AppleTV this summer

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 28th 2007 5:08PM
VuduGizmodo has the scoop on an upcoming product that's designed to make the AppleTV look like a Betamax player.

Vudu is set to launch this summer with a video store that will sell several thousand movies from seven major studios as well as independent filmmakers.

The other central component to the Vudu system is a small box that plugs into your television set. No computer required. You can purchase and download movies directly from the set-top-box.

The box will handle MPEG-4 video upscaled to high definition. It includes HDMI, composite, and S-video ports. No WiFi here. You'll have to connect to your high speed internet connection over ethernet.

No final word on pricing or hard drive size yet, but Vudu has the AppleTV clearly in its sites, so expect competitive features and pricing.

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Slingbox Classic for $70 - Deal of the Day

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 28th 2007 8:30AM
Slingbox ClassicThere was a Woot-Off yesterday, and while there were a few great deals on items like video cards and TV tuners, it's not worth posting about them while the Woot-Off is still going on, because the items could sell out before we hit publish.

But today Woot is selling a Slingbox Classic for just $70. While it's a bit outdated by today's standards, that's still a box that can take your TV, TiVo, or other A/V sources and send them out into the internets in tiny little digital bits for your remote viewing pleasure.

In other words, $70 is a pretty good price. These are still selling for upwards up $120 at most stores that have them in stock.

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