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