Archives For TV Shows

I have to admit, I haven’t paid much attention to TV listings since I started using a DVR about 5 years ago. But if you’re the sort of person who likes to know what’s on TV at a specific time, TV Guide has launched an official Android app. It provides listings for most US TV markets, broken down by broadcast, satellite, and cable providers.

The TV Guide app doesn’t just provide you with a program listing grid. You can also search for shows, add channels or specific programs to a favorites list, and read the latest news from TV Guide. Read the rest of this entry »

As with Battlestar Galactica, I wanted to stop watching Lost over the years but just couldn’t pull myself entirely away and (mostly) stuck it out until the unsatisfying end. And these two journeys have reinforced my preference for movies over episodic TV. With the former, they’ve generally got the entire story arc nailed down before filming and the cast doesn’t generally bail along the way due to legal issues or puberty. Plus, there’s no network to artificially extend a story while milking additional advertising revenue.

Having said that, like BSG, we made up for Lost plot craziness with much MST3k enjoyment during the last season. To leave this post largerly spoiler free (we’re the DVR crowd), I’ll just offer you two innocous finale tweets I fired off as Lost concluded:

Wait, where are the Cylons and is this Earth? #

What a letdown. Seriously, no singing Ewoks?? #

OK, maybe one more – dedicated to Sayed: If you can’t love the one you want, love the one you’re with.

So have at it in the poll below. Which was the lesser of finales, BSG or LOST? And please sound off in the comments if you feel I’m off my rocker, that Lost provided a satisfying wrap.

Thanks to Twitter pal Feech1 for the poll suggestion. Stay tuned for the Lost Island Reunion Show in 2011!

Although it’s fashionable to consider DRM evil (Note: I was a major proponent when Amazon MP3 debuted DRM-free music), the fact is that without content protection, there’s no way the TV Everywhere movement will ever get off the ground. Along those lines, news surfaced earlier this week that Netflix will go a step beyond standard DRM and selectively add on Irdeto’s Cloakware technology for delivery of Watch Instantly content. Cloakware, as Jeff Baumgartner explains, is designed to hide encryption keys for an extra level of content security. Irdeto acquired the Cloakware platform back in 2007 and acquired further cryptology patents for Cloakware just last December.

The Netflix win is a big deal, but it’s not the end of Irdeto’s emergence party. Today the company announced an alliance with Adobe to support Flash Access 2.0, which is due out in May. That’s important because, iPad or not, Flash still dominates the online video space. According to Irdeto, the alliance makes it the only company able to support Windows DRM, Silverlight/Play Ready, and Adobe Flash in its latest incarnation. Since content companies can never get enough content protection, that seems like a pretty compelling proposition. And hey, if it gets my TV shows faster to every device I use, then I’m all for a little extra security too.

Okay, so I’m a little behind on my FiOS TV widgets. In the last few weeks Verizon has introduced two new ones, bringing MLB and Yelp into the FiOS fold. The new widgets do pretty much what you’d expect. MLB brings you news, scores, stats, and player updates, and if you’re an Extra Innings subscriber you can also get customized alerts for up to ten different teams. Meanwhile the Yelp widget offers a local business directory with customer ratings, and details on venue pricing, parking, etc.

The big question here: do users want this stuff on their TVs? I’ve generally been a fan of Verizon’s widget work in the past, but TV widgets are now in direct competition with ever-present apps on smartphones, smartbooks, and (smart?) slates or tablets. Users may not always have a mobile or computing device nearby, but when they do, it’s often going to be the better choice for looking up specific information or engaging in social interaction. Think about it. Are you more likely to tweet on your TV or from your phone? Continue Reading…

The Future of TV… is TV

Dave Zatz —  April 13, 2010 — 8 Comments

As a follow up to the failure of CableCARD and customer service post, I’m back in business. Cox Communications reps continued to reach out yesterday, but I was frustrated and beat down – and not interested in providing any more explanations of the issue or facilitating additional troubleshooting. So they went about resolving the situation on their end. Not sure what was done, but my entire channel lineup is now available on the TiVo Premiere (with it’s own set of issues that we’ll get to). Which dovetails nicely with the question of cutting the cord…

As attractive as it may seem to dump the cable co, it’s not really an option in our household. We enjoy our premium TV. And we enjoy the (usual) simplicity of our setup. There’s no question that over-the-top video is now everywhere. And expanding. Yet, the selection remains unpredictable. As does the quality of content and delivery. (Low-res Alf reruns on Hulu entertain for all of ten minutes. OK, maybe 20, Mr. Shumway.) However, there are options… for tech enthusiasts like us. But for most folks, beyond STBs with integrated Netflix or YouTube streaming, Internet-sourced content in a lean-back environment is a mystery. Continue Reading…