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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2617

post #78481 of 93668
All the Titanic talk reminds me of the previous hype after the release of Cameron's film around '96. My wife and I were living in the Twin Cities, and we went to see the traveling Titanic exhibit in downtown St. Paul. They had recovered the ship's steam whistle, and were going to sound it for the first time...only they didn't want to risk damage, so they used compressed air instead of steam.

So a few hundred of us are standing in the streets as they made their speeches. The resulting sound was so anemic as it echoed off the buildings. There was a smattering of applause, and I couldn't stop laughing. (All this, after having been told we might want to cover our ears.)

I would have liked to have heard it with actual steam. It could have been impressive!
post #78482 of 93668
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
8PM - Once Upon A Time
(R - Feb. 19)
9PM - Mini-Series: Titanic (2012, Part 4 of 4)
10PM - GCB

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The Amazing Race
9PM - The Good Wife
10PM - NYC 22 (Series Premiere)

NBC:
7PM - Dateline NBC
8PM - Harry's Law
9PM - The Celebrity Apprentice (120 min.)

FOX:
7PM - The Simpsons
(R - Feb. 12)
7:30PM - The Cleveland Show
(R - Feb. 12)
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy
(R - Nov. 13)
9:30PM - The Cleveland Show

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Angela Buchdahl; Rick Warren; Yasir Qadhi
9PM - Masterpiece Classic: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (120 min.)

UNIVISION:
7PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
8PM - Nuestra Belleza Latina (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Pa'Lante con Cristine
8PM - Movie: Selena (1997)
post #78483 of 93668
TV Review
NYC 22 Has Fresh Characters in a Stale Package
By Matt Zoller Seitz, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog - Apr. 14, 2012

I'm not convinced that the world really needs another hour-long drama about rookie cops on patrol, but if it does, NYC 22 (CBS Sunday 10 p.m.) will suffice. Created by novelist-screenwriter Richard Price (Clockers, Sea of Love, The Wire), the show follows a team of blue-uniformed younglings as they learn to police America's biggest city.

The pilot introduces the main cast of greenhorns and growly veterans with a sprightly, hip-hop-scored going-to-work montage, then fills in their family history and reveals what led them to police work. The best thing about this series is the way it delivers exposition and fleshes out characters without feeling as though it's handing the audience a succession of annotated index cards. The dramaturgy is old-school, strictly third person limited: no dream sequences, no narration, no documentary-style onscreen titles, nada, just people doing and saying things while the camera looks on. The worst thing about it is the tediously flat yet glossy photography (a persistent problem on CBS dramas), and its intrusive and mediocre underscoring, which sometimes makes a good (if familiar) series insufferable. During the first couple of episodes, there were points at which the cast was acting its collective ass off in an intense yet fundamentally believable scene, and the music was working so hard to sell the horror, pathos, or poignancy of the moment that the moment's finer qualities were suffocated.

The actors compensate, but only up to a point. As Jennifer White House Perry, a war veteran, Leelee Sobieski has an intriguingly blank, Barbie-doll-who-can-kill-you intensity. Harold House Moore plays her partner, Jason Jackpot Toney, an ex-NBA star whose promising career was sidelined by a bum knee. Jackpot has deep local roots. His community seems to adore and resent him at the same time, for representing both their dreams of success and their pessimistic certainty of failure. (Perry and Jason have palpable chemistry, and they and everyone around them knows it; sexual tension between a handsome black man and a gorgeous blonde white woman isn't something you see on conservative-friendly CBS every day.)

Stark Sands is Kenny McClaren, a legacy cop who seems more comfortable on the beat than any of his young counterparts. His partner is Ahmad Khan (Tom Reed), a rare cop-show character that we haven't seen before: a native Afghani whose uniformed presence symbolizes all kinds of unresolved cultural tensions. (I was skeptical that the older cops would nickname him Kite Runner, which doesn't seem like the kind of reference that beat patrolmen would casually make.) There's a terrific scene in the pilot where Kenny and Ahmad defuse a fight between a couple of hotheaded drivers, and Ahmad speaks to the taxi driver in his native tongue. Later, the cabbie marvels at the Khan nameplate on the young cop's chest, and we may be reminded that such a moment has recurred throughout history. There was probably a similar exchange in 1900 between an Irish pushcart vendor and a cop with O'Leary on his badge.

Judy Marte plays Tony Sanchez, a tough Latina from a crime-afflicted family who seems to have become a cop to work through some childhood resentments (a familiar motivation). Her partner Ray Harper (Adam Goldberg) is the oldest rookie on the force, so old that he's nicknamed Lazarus and had to threaten to sue the department to make the academy accept him. We find out early in the pilot that Ray turned to police work after he got downsized from his job as a beat reporter at a big daily newspaper, and that he has better sources than some of the detectives. Like Ahmad's tightly wound, half-assimilated Afghani, this is a character type we've never seen on a cop show before. Goldberg is the right guy to play him. He radiates a somewhat dour kind of intelligence. Price sells the character with realistic details, such as the way Ray compulsively takes notes in a reporter's notebook even when he doesn't have to, a vestigial tic from his previous life. Terry Kinney rounds out the cast as a veteran nicknamed Yoda, which is really all you need to know about him.

NYC 22 isn't the best or worst show you'll ever see. It's solid and smart and never embarrasses itself, but its style is just a couple of notches up from CBS's house standard, by which I mean it's dull as dirt, and by the second episode, which revolves around a firebombing at a neighborhood drug dealer's house, it already feels a bit too typical for its own good, lively characterizations notwithstanding. Another problem, for me at least, is that TNT's Southland is already telling a very similar story in a much rougher and more compelling way. If the two series end up on the air at the same time, I can't imagine watching both of them.

http://www.vulture.com/2012/04/tv-review-nyc-22.html
post #78484 of 93668
TV Review
HBO's 'Girls' brilliantly channels Lena Dunham's comic voice
A smart, hilarious look at the lives of four New York friends
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com

Our first impression of Hannah Horvath, the heroine of HBO's new comedy "Girls" (Sunday at 10:30 p.m.), isn't an incredibly positive one. We first see her as she's shoveling pasta into her mouth with the gusto of someone who eats more than she should, but also doesn't eat this well except when her parents are picking up the check. And as her parents tell her that, two years after graduating college, they're going to stop subsidizing her life as a would-be writer in Brooklyn, Hannah grows hilariously indignant, telling them "I could be a drug addict! Do you realize how lucky you are?" before announcing that she won't have time to see them again on her trip because "I am busy trying to become who I am!"

Your average television show cares very much about making a good first impression. It wants you to like its main characters, to show you why they're awesome before it even allows for the tiniest possibility that they might have flaws you'll learn to accept because you've already come to love them. But "Girls" is not your average television show it may, in fact, be the best new HBO comedy since "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and it takes the exact opposite approach. It introduces you to Hannah and her friends by focusing on how annoying, selfish, myopic and clumsy they can be, and then it makes you love them in spite of all that.

It's a trick not many veteran TV show creators could pull off, but 25-year-old Lena Dunham does it on her first time out.

Dunham not only serves as the series' chief writer and director, but plays Hannah. She achieved a similar hat trick with her indie film debut "Tiny Furniture," which was also about a young New York woman struggling with bad jobs, bad sex and a general lack of direction post-college. The movie established Dunham as an appealing performer and a filmmaker with a distinctive voice, but it ultimately suffers from a kind of shapelessness. With "Girls," Dunham has teamed up with comedy mogul Judd Apatow and writer Jenni Konner (who started out with Apatow on FOX's brilliant-but-canceled "Undeclared"), and they polish up the rough comic gem that Dunham was in "Tiny Furniture." The series has more form, more bite, more laughs and even more emotion than the film, but it all feels clearly the product of this young woman who knows herself and her world incredibly well, and has the eye, ear and voice to tell her story in such entertaining, surprising fashion.

One thing Dunham doesn't suffer from is vanity, whether physical or emotional. Hannah is on the big side for a female lead, and the show never hides that extra weight, how it makes her feel, and how it makes others notably her sex buddy Adam (Adam Driver), a muscular cretin who makes an art out of saying the most emotionally deflating things to Hannah treat her.

More important than the weight, though, is how Dunham is unafraid to make Hannah and, to a lesser extent, her friends Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) into the bad guy of any particular scene. Marnie is slowly coming to hate her perfectly nice, sensitive boyfriend precisely because he's so nice and sensitive. Jessa is the kind of insufferably worldly character who will deflect Marnie's concern that Hannah is too stoned to go out by insisting, "I'd like you to see a real high person" or who'll say that she doesn't go on dates "because they're for lesbians." And Shoshanna has built an entire mental database out of how relationships should work from bad reality shows and self-help books with titles like "Listen Ladies: A Tough Love Approach to Love."

But it's Hannah who most frequently tends to be her own worst enemy, whether she's torpedoing a job interview because she doesn't know what's appropriate to say in an office setting or offending her new gynecologist by admitting that she sees some advantages to getting AIDS.

"You could not pay me to be 24 again," the doctor sighs.

"Well," Hannah shrugs, "they're not paying me at all."

And it's that wry sense of humor, and perseverance, that makes Hannah so likable even when you factor in all the stupid things she does and says. She has no useful skills in the worst economy of her lifetime after her parents cut her off, she says, "I calculated, and I can last in New York for three and a half more days. Maybe seven if I don't eat lunch." she has terrible sex with a guy who treats her like a prop (at best), but she keeps trying. She has a knack for saying the worst possible thing in a situation, but can just as easily say the smartest, funniest, most tension-breaking thing.

When the other friends all go to a clinic to be supportive of Jessa when she needs an abortion, only for the flighty Jessa to run late, high-strung Marnie is on the verge of blowing her stack when Hannah disarms her by quipping, "How could she ruin the beautiful abortion that you threw?"

The landmark cable series of the last decade-plus have tended to be built around male characters who are simultaneously horrible and charismatic your Tony Sopranos, your Don Drapers, your Larry Davids and are forgiven for the former because of the latter. Shows built around flawed women have been fewer and less successfully-executed, but Showtime had a triumph in the fall with Claire Danes' bug-nuts CIA agent on "Homeland," and now we thankfully have Dunham as Hannah.

There's enough sex, and bluntness about sex, that "Girls" will inevitably be compared to "Sex and the City." Dunham does her best to get out in front of that by having Shoshanna, the broadest and least worldly "Girls" character, be obsessed with the show, boasting to Jessa, "I'm definitely a Carrie at heart, but sometimes... Samantha comes out."

But the differences are obvious from the start. Not only are these women much younger and poorer than Carrie and friends, but "Girls" is more matter-of-fact about its frankness. "Sex and the City" too often suffered from a need to pat itself on the back for dealing with such taboo subject matter. When Hannah and her friends are dealing with abortion, STDs and a lot of sex (nearly all of it awkward and unsatisfying), there's never that sense of self-congratulation. (Nor, mercifully, are there puns.) It's funny when Hannah and Shoshanna discuss the proper etiquette that comes with being diagnosed with HPV, but it never feels like Dunham and Mamet want to pause in the middle of the scene to take a bow for their daring. It's just something these two would talk about, presented in an amusing fashion.

Later in the series premiere, Hannah gets high on opium tea and makes a last-ditch plea to her parents to keep the money tap on. She shows them pages from her uncompleted book, then boasts, "I don't want to freak you out, but I think that I may be the voice of my generation" before immediately realizing how this sounds and adding, "Or, at least, a voice of a generation."

That's a bold statement for a show to make in its first episode, even if the context in which it's presented is meant to keep you from taking it all that seriously. As I'm neither a woman nor in my early 20s anymore, I can't speak to how well "Girls" captures that generation of women. But I can tell you that it definitely has a voice, and it's a great one: witty and wise and warm and not exactly like anything you've heard before.

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...ms-comic-voice
post #78485 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Redbox does better than expected in first quarter
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Apr. 12, 2012

Until something better comes along, probably a good stock to buy. I'm going to look into it.
post #78486 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Sony Chief Unveils Plans to Revive Company
By Hiroko Tabuchi and Bettina Wassener, The New York Times - Apr. 13, 2012


Once the epitome of Japanese innovation and technological prowess as the maker of Walkman music players and Trinitron televisions Sony has rapidly lost ground to American stalwarts like Apple and electronics manufacturers from South Korea and China.

Sony now makes a wide-ranging lineup of devices, from camcorders to car stereos.

This is surprising - and yet inevitable and some ways.
post #78487 of 93668
SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media INsight's Blog
post #78488 of 93668
TV Sports
Universal Sports to Debut 'Countdown to London' on April 18
By Mike Reynolds, Multichannel News - Apr. 14, 2012

With the Summer Olympics just months away, Universal Sports Network will begin providing a weekly look at the upcoming action in London via a studio news show.

Debuting April 18 a 8 p.m. (ET) -- 100 days from the start of the opening ceremony -- Countdown to London will take a comprehensive look at the most compelling stories leading up to the Games. The debut show will be 90 minutes, with each subsequent episode running for 60 minutes on Wednesdays. The show will anchor Universal Sports Network's exclusive coverage of Olympic qualifying and trials events over the next three months. The network supplied significant news and promotional support for NBCUniversal's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver.

Hosted by Craig Hummer, who has served as a play-by-play announcer for NBC's Olympics coverage, and Amy Bender, veteran studio host and reporter, the show will also feature a mix of analysts, including three-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines, four-time Olympic medalist sprinter Ato Bolden, bronze medalist in beach volleyball Holly McPeak and Olympic gold medalist gymnast Tim Daggett, along with a number of other studio guests.

Universal Sports, a joint venture of NBC Sports Group and Leo Hindery's InterMedia Partners, has transitioned from a multicast service to a cable network that is currently carried by DirecTV, Dish Network and a host of cable and other video distributors.

Countdown to London will feature a weekly rundown of all the most important Olympic qualifying and trials events taking place in the U.S. and internationally, including extensive highlights footage. The program will also showcase Olympic athletes through interviews and profiles, with scheduled guests including two-time Olympic gold medalists in volleyball Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, Olympic gold medalist gymnast Nastia Liukin, four-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Janet Evans, two-time bronze medalist sprinter Walter Dix, reigning Olympic gold medalist in decathlon Bryan Clay, world champion sprinter Carmelita Jeter and world champion hurdler Jason Richardson.

The show will feature a variety of recurring segments, including:

"The Countdown Conversation with Fred Roggin presented by Budweiser": Guest segment hosted by Fred Roggin as he sits down with Olympians of the past and present, beginning with 1972 Olympic gold medalist marathoner Frank Shorter;
"Reliving the Glory presented by Panasonic": Flashbacks to great moments in Olympic history with the airing of archived short films by legendary Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan.
"On the Web presented by Dow": A social media roundup of what Olympic athletes are talking about across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and blog sites.
" Inside the Research Room": A check-in with the NBC Olympics production team to see what stories they areworking on heading into the Games.
Additional content will include event previews, breaking news coverage and a weekly update from a journalist from London.

"Countdown to London will capture the excitement and anticipation of the lead up to London as the world's best athletes prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games," said David Sternberg, CEO of Universal Sports, in announcing the program. "Universal Sports airs the most Olympic sports programming of any network year in and year out, so no one is better positioned than we are to deliver all the news about the London Games in the next 100 days."

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...n_April_18.php
post #78489 of 93668
Technology Notes
How the Tech Parade Passed Sony By
By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times - Apr. 15, 2012

TOKYO.- The lights dimmed. The crowd hushed. The teleprompters flickered.

Kazuo Hirai stepped up and flashed a winning smile: it was show time. The scene was oddly upbeat inside the Sony Corporation last Thursday as Mr. Hirai, the company’s new chief executive, faced the cameras. He outlined a strategy that, he vowed, would return the troubled electronics giant to profit.

“The time for Sony to change is now,” said Mr. Hirai, who formally took up the C.E.O. post on April 1. He posed for the cameras, one finger held high in a No. 1 sign. “I believe Sony can change,” he said.

Outside Sony — and inside it, too — not everyone is quite so sure.

That is because Sony, which once defined Japan’s technological prowess, wowed the world with the Walkman and the Trinitron TV and shocked Hollywood with bold acquisitions like Columbia Pictures, is now in the fight of its life.

In fact, it is in a fight for its life — a development that exemplifies the stunning decline of Japan’s industrialized economy. Once upon a time, Japan Inc., not to mention Sony itself, seemed invulnerable. Today, Sony and many other Japanese manufacturers are pressed on all sides: by rising Asian rivals, a punishingly strong Japanese yen and, in Sony’s case, an astonishing lack of ideas.

No one was terribly surprised last week when Sony announced that its losses this year would be worse than it had expected. Sony, after all, hasn’t turned a profit since 2008. It now expects to lose $6.4 billion this year. The reason is plain: Sony hasn’t had a hit product in years.

The verdict of the stock market has been swift and brutal. Sony’s share price closed at 1,444 yen ($17.83) on Friday, a quarter of its value a decade ago and roughly where it stood in the mid-1980s, when the Walkman ruled. Sony’s market value is now one-ninth that of Samsung Electronics, and just one-thirtieth of Apple’s.

Even in Japan, where many consumers remain loyal to the brand, some people seem to be giving up on the company.

“It’s almost game over at Sony,” said Yoshiaki Sakito, a former Sony executive who has worked for Walt Disney, Bain & Company, Apple and a start-up focused on innovation training. “I don’t see how Sony’s going to bounce back now.”

* * * *

What went wrong is a tale of lost opportunities and disastrous infighting. It is also the story of a proud company that was unwilling or unable to adapt to realities of the global marketplace.

Sony’s gravest mistake was that it failed to ride some of the biggest waves of technological innovation in recent decades: digitalization, a shift toward software and the importance of the Internet.

One by one, every sphere where the company competed — from hardware to software to communications to content — was turned topsy-turvy by disruptive new technology and unforeseen rivals. And these changes only highlighted the conflicts and divisions within Sony.

With its catalog of music and foundation in electronics, Sony had the tools to create a version of the iPod long before Apple introduced it in 2001. The Sony co-founder, Akio Morita, envisioned as early as the 1980s marrying digital technology with media content for a completely new user experience.

It didn’t happen. Initially, Sony engineers resisted the power of the company’s media divisions. Then Sony wrestled with how to build devices that let consumers download and copy music without undermining music sales or agreements with its artists. The company went its own way: its early digital music players, for instance, used proprietary files and were incompatible with the fast-growing MP3 format.

By the time the different divisions had been corralled into cooperating, Sony had lost its foothold in two crucial product categories: televisions and portable music devices. It was late to flat-panel displays, as well as to digital music players like the iPod.

After disappointing sales, Sony pulled the plug on its answer to Apple’s iTunes, the Sony Connect online store, after just three years. It has not been able to offer up a comprehensive alternative since.

Lower-cost manufacturers from South Korea, China and elsewhere, meanwhile, are increasingly undercutting Sony and other high-end electronics makers. As Sony’s brand started losing much of its luster, the company found that it had a harder time charging a premium for its products.

“At this point, Sony just needs some strategy, any strategy, because that is better than no strategy at all,” said Sea-Jin Chang, chairman for business policy at the National University of Singapore and author of “Sony vs. Samsung: The Inside Story of the Electronics Giants’ Battle for Global Supremacy.”

* * * *

An area where Sony has found success — and perhaps one that most crystallizes the transition from stand-alone consumer electronics into a digital, Internet-centered world — is video games. Sony marketed its PlayStation 3 console, for example as an integrated entertainment system that serves as a hub in the living room, connecting the Internet and television.

But Sony’s obsession with hardware has marred that strategy. A delay in developing the console’s Blu-ray DVD player forced Sony to push back its release. Sales suffered because the PlayStation 3 cost much more than rival models from Nintendo and Microsoft. Sony was also slow to move into the world of online games, giving Microsoft a head start.

Sony’s woes mirror a wider decline in Japanese electronics. Though executives here are quick to blame a strong yen, which hurts exports, a deeper issue is that once-innovative companies seem to have run out of ideas. And when a nation can no longer compete on abundant labor or cheap capital, ideas and innovation are paramount.

Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers “have lost their technology leadership in many areas,” Steve Durose, head of Asia Pacific telecommunications, media and technology ratings at Fitch Ratings, said in a recent industry commentary.

“Ten years ago, these companies were major technology innovators, the creators or leading developers of many electronic products and trendsetting devices such as televisions, digital cameras, portable music players and games consoles,” Mr. Durose said. “Today, however, the number of products remaining where they can boast undisputed global leadership has narrowed significantly, having being usurped or equaled by the likes of Apple and Samsung Electronics.”

Both publicly and privately, Sony’s top management shows a deep understanding of many of these fundamental challenges: the need for different sections of the company to work better together, for a more unified user experience, for innovation.

But Sony’s recent leaders have had trouble wielding authority over the sprawling company. Sony remains dominated by proud, territorial engineers who often shun cooperation. For many of them, cost-cutting is the enemy of creativity — a legacy of Sony’s co-founders, Mr. Morita and Masaru Ibuka, who tried to foster a culture of independence. But the founders had more success than recent executives in exerting control over division managers.

Executives complain privately of recalcitrant managers who refuse to share information or work with other divisions. One executive said he was startled to discover that a manager whose position had been eliminated had been rehired under a different title. (“Or maybe he never really left,” said this executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of angering his bosses.)

In 2005, such challenges prompted Sony to select Howard Stringer, a British-born American businessman, as C.E.O., rather than Ken Kutaragi, the brains behind PlayStation. Mr. Stringer had a record as an agent of change: as head of Sony in the United States, he oversaw music, movies and electronics there and eliminated 9,000 of 30,000 jobs.

At his first news conference as C.E.O., Mr. Stringer declared that he would “accelerate cross-company collaboration, thereby revitalizing the company and promoting creativity.”

But not even Mr. Stringer, who has stepped aside for Mr. Hirai but will remain as chairman, could break down all the silos at Sony.

The company still makes a confusing catalog of gadgets that overlap or even cannibalize one another. It has also continued to let its product lines mushroom: 10 different consumer-level camcorders and almost 30 different TVs, for instance, crowd and confuse consumers.

“Sony makes too many models, and for none of them can they say, ‘This contains our best, most cutting-edge technology,’ ” Mr. Sakito said. “Apple, on the other hand, makes one amazing phone in just two colors and says, ‘This is the best.’ ”

Sony’s online strategy is problematic as well. The company has yet to come up with an integrated common platform to deliver music, movies and games, each of which, until recently, had its own network, with other platforms like the PlayMemories photo- and video-sharing services to boot.

Now, these disjointed services, developed by far-flung units, are being forced into the Sony Entertainment Network, which Sony says will be its overarching content delivery platform.

The services “have different looks, feels and user-experiences” and are “super-disjointed,” said a former Sony executive who left in frustration. He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he did not want to hurt relations with his former employer. “Sony has been talking networks for so long, but there’s really nothing very tangible,” he said.

Sony’s woes hurt not just Sony, but also Japan. In the United States, new technologies are often developed by young companies not held back by their past. These upstarts eventually replace slow-to-adapt giants. But in Japan, no major electronics manufacturer has joined the industry’s top ranks for over a half-century. And, though struggling, companies like Sony continue to lure some of the country’s top talent.

Still, the creative destruction of global capitalism is a touchy subject in Japan, where public opinion still sides with established names. When Tomoko Namba, founder of the successful mobile games company DeNA, remarked in 2010 that companies like Nintendo and Sony “had reached retirement age” and that she hoped DeNA would be the first new Japanese tech company in decades to go global, she set off a firestorm in the Japanese blogosphere.

* * * *

Where will Sony go from here? Experts say it will have to start exiting some product lines. It has already spun off a chemicals business, for instance, and some analysts wonder about its money-losing TV business.

Mr. Hirai, the new C.E.O., has said that the company will focus on three businesses: mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets; cameras and camcorders; and games. But he says Sony will not retreat in TVs. “It’s at the center of every home,” he said last week. “It is part of Sony’s DNA”

Some analysts wonder if Mr. Hirai — who previously ran the money-losing games and TV businesses — is the right man to lead Sony. A protégé of Mr. Stringer, he appears to have been appointed as much for his ease in English as his management skills, analysts say.

“The bottom line is: if you want to be perceived as a creator of cool tech, you have to create cool tech. The challenge for Sony is that those examples have not been there, and they haven’t been there now for a number of years,” said Steve Beck, founder and managing partner at cg42, a management consulting firm that focuses on brand vulnerabilities at top tech companies. “The tarnish on their brand has definitely begun.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/te...ref=technology
post #78490 of 93668
Business Notes
Movie tickets: Charge more for hits, less for flops, analyst urges
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog

It's time for studios and the cinema industry to stop charging the same price to see any movie any day of the week, a media industry analyst said in a strongly worded research note Friday.

"Movie exhibitors are operating with the largest amount of excess capacity of any industry we could find in the free world," wrote Todd Juenger, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research. Nearly 93% of theater seats go unfilled, he said, including 99% between Monday and Thursday.

Over the years, many industry players and observers have called for "variable pricing" for movies. The basic idea is that the more popular films should cost more to see, while those that don't pack theaters would get a discount. But theater owners and studios have resisted, in large part because they are concerned about the negative perceptions that would come from some new offerings costing less to see than others.

Currently, the only variable pricing at cinemas typically occurs for matinees and evening shows, as well as children or senior citizens' tickets versus adults. On occasion, exhibitors quietly and without fanfare offer discounts for showings during the week, but virtually never as a matter of an advertised policy.

Juenger noted that everything from airplane tickets to hotel rooms and even DVDs at Wal-Mart have some degree of variable pricing. "The only industry we could think of that is remotely similar to movies in terms of flat pricing with big spikes in utilization is fast-food," he observed.

The analyst claimed that with higher pricing "The Hunger Games" could have grossed $250 million worldwide on its opening weekend, compared withthe $219 million that the Lionsgate release actually collected. "I also submit that [the costly flop] 'John Carter' could have eked out more total revenue, especially post-opening weekend, by lowering prices," he added.

Of course, with domestic box office receipts up 20% so far this year, providing a bright spot at a time when DVD revenue continues to fall, it's doubtful that Hollywood is looking to shake things up in the near term.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ente...t-pricing.html
post #78491 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

The TV Guide listing online and on my TWC system only show Gotye as tonight's "SNL" musical guest; if Kimbra is appearing it's not being highlighted as a guest, which means officially it'd be a cameo/background back-up musical guests.

Yep she was there....surprised she wasnt listed since shes officially credited on the single.

Speaking of SNL eli manning will be the host on kentucky derby night.

Hopefully hes a united way volunteer just like his brother.
post #78492 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Movie tickets: Charge more for hits, less for flops, analyst urges
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog

It's time for studios and the cinema industry to stop charging the same price to see any movie any day of the week, a media industry analyst said in a strongly worded research note Friday.

"Movie exhibitors are operating with the largest amount of excess capacity of any industry we could find in the free world," wrote Todd Juenger, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research. Nearly 93% of theater seats go unfilled, he said, including 99% between Monday and Thursday.

Over the years, many industry players and observers have called for "variable pricing" for movies. The basic idea is that the more popular films should cost more to see, while those that don't pack theaters would get a discount. But theater owners and studios have resisted, in large part because they are concerned about the negative perceptions that would come from some new offerings costing less to see than others.

Currently, the only variable pricing at cinemas typically occurs for matinees and evening shows, as well as children or senior citizens' tickets versus adults. On occasion, exhibitors quietly and without fanfare offer discounts for showings during the week, but virtually never as a matter of an advertised policy.

Juenger noted that everything from airplane tickets to hotel rooms and even DVDs at Wal-Mart have some degree of variable pricing. "The only industry we could think of that is remotely similar to movies in terms of flat pricing with big spikes in utilization is fast-food," he observed.

The analyst claimed that with higher pricing "The Hunger Games" could have grossed $250 million worldwide on its opening weekend, compared withthe $219 million that the Lionsgate release actually collected. "I also submit that [the costly flop] 'John Carter' could have eked out more total revenue, especially post-opening weekend, by lowering prices," he added.

Of course, with domestic box office receipts up 20% so far this year, providing a bright spot at a time when DVD revenue continues to fall, it's doubtful that Hollywood is looking to shake things up in the near term.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ente...t-pricing.html

That might actually lure me back to the theater occasionally. Interesting idea to say the least.
post #78493 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGoldberg View Post

That might actually lure me back to the theater occasionally. Interesting idea to say the least.

I would actually return to a theater for a discount Tuesday 10am showing!

[BTW, golf courses suffer from the same malady as theaters. Prime 8am tee times cost no more than less popular 2pm times. Some courses offer a late-day "twilight" discount.]
post #78494 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Universal Sports to Debut 'Countdown to London' on April 18
By Mike Reynolds, Multichannel News - Apr. 14, 2012

With the Summer Olympics just months away, Universal Sports Network will begin providing a weekly look at the upcoming action in London via a studio news show.

Still no word on HD, which was supposed to show up in January.
post #78495 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Movie tickets: Charge more for hits, less for flops, analyst urges
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog

Well, I think this is a bad idea. My wife and I already only see a handful of movies at the theater a year and the occasional animated movie with my daughter because of the price of tickets. The ones we go see are typically the big summer blockbusters so, if they raise the price for those movies even more we'd probably never go. Much cheaper to wait a few months for the BD.
post #78496 of 93668
TV Notes
Female TV cops are everywhere now, but it was Angie Dickinson who started it all
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Apr. 15, 2012

When Angie Dickinson is clicking through TV channels these days and she sees Kyra Sedgwick playing Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on TNT’s “The Closer,” she smiles.

“It feels like seeing one of my children,” Dickinson says.

Okay, as it happens, Sedgwick recently had Henry Louis Gates trace her ancestry on PBS’ “Finding Your Roots.” Angie Dickinson didn’t show up anywhere.

But there’s a direct line from Brenda Leigh Johnson back to Sgt. Suzanne (Pepper) Anderson, the cop that Dickinson played on “Police Woman” from 1974 to 1978.

“Police Woman” broke a lot of TV ground. It proved, for the first time, that a woman could carry the lead in a successful prime-time network drama.

It also showed a woman could play a cop — which, prior to “Police Woman,” the men in the TV biz considered about as likely as a golden retriever playing “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Dickinson, who is 80, doesn’t frame Pepper in the vanguard of modern feminism. In 1987 the Los Angeles Police Department gave her an “honorary doctorate” for her groundbreaking role and she joked in her acceptance speech that this meant she could now be addressed as Doctor Pepper.

Still, she says, “I’m proud of what we did,” and there’s no denying that of all the traditional male TV bastions that women have infiltrated, police departments are among the most visible.

They’re almost as visible as news anchor seats, and the actresses who play cops say it can be a lot more fun.

“I do as many of the physical stunts as I can,” says Piper Perabo, who plays undercover operator Annie Walker on USA’s “Covert Affairs.” “I end up with a lot of bruises, but it’s very satisfying. It definitely keeps me in shape.”

“I was on the range yesterday learning to shoot a gun,” says Elisabeth Moss, who plays the gentle Peggy Olson on “Mad Men” and is now in New Zealand filming “Top of the Lake,” a miniseries in which she plays Detective Robin Griffin. “I love being able to stretch out and do something totally different like this.”

She wouldn’t have had that chance in the olden days. Sixty years ago, when a Quaker pacifist played by Grace Kelly picked up a gun and killed the black-hearted villain who was aiming to shoot her husband in “High Noon,” it was so shocking every heart in the theater stopped.

Today, it’s almost impossible to turn on prime-time television and not see a dame packing a piece.

From Poppy Montgomery on “Unforgettable” to Angie Harmon on “Rizzoli and Isles,” Robin Tunney on “The Mentalist” or Sarah Jones of “Alcatraz,” bad guys do not relax because the good guy coming after them is a woman.

Cop ensemble shows from “Law & Order” to “NYPD Blue” always remember to include women, and the newest is no exception. The CBS drama “NYC 22,” which launches Sunday night, features Leelee Sobieski’s Jennifer Perry and Judy Marte’s Tonya Sanchez.

Now sure, there may be some element here of a quota system, like the way TV shows fill racial diversity quotas by finding the white star a black “best friend.”

Showrunners also find female cops useful because they put romance and sex on the table.

The famous “will they or won’t they” dance with Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis on “Moonlighting” flowed into Kim Delaney marrying Jimmy Smits on “NYPD Blue.” It continues today with romantic-tension shows from “The Mentalist,” “Unforgettable” and “In Plain Sight” up to the crown jewel, “Castle.”

Whole episodes of “Castle” have revolved around Stana Katic’s Kate Beckett fretting that she has blown her chance with Nathan Fillion’s Richard Castle.

Wild guess: She hasn’t.

Katic also personifies another truth about female TV cops. Since beautiful people sell on TV, a good number of female TV cops, detectives and other law enforcement agents look like they walked right off the fashion runway. Harmon’s Jane Rizzoli and Maggie Q’s Nikita are among those who come to mind.

But Mireille Enos, who plays the brooding and fashion-indifferent Detective Sarah Linden on AMC’s dark “The Killing,” says she thinks female characters open up police dramas in ways that go beyond sexual attraction.

“I just think women react to situations differently,” she says. “It allows the show to explore other perspectives.”

Real-life police departments, for what it’s worth, may agree there’s some value in that notion.

In 1970, about 2% of real-life law enforcement officers were women. While firm numbers are hard to come by, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated in 2008 that the figure was 15%-20%.

Anecdotally, it was widely reported that there was a huge jump in female police applications soon after “Police Woman” went on the air.

Whatever the numbers, a woman with a uniform and a gun shouldn’t startle anybody these days, in real life or on television.

And who knows, maybe it adds a little extra dimension of satisfaction for the good guys and TV viewers if the cop who busts or shoots a murderer, child molester, rapist or other lowlife happens to be a woman.

All you have to do is the math to know that sooner or later, at least on television, that is going to happen.

“I certainly won’t take all the credit,” says Angie Dickinson. But she can’t resist recalling a scene in the movie “Atlantic City,” when Burt Lancaster has killed the bad guys who were after Susan Sarandon and declares, “I did this.”

“I feel a little bit like that,” she says, “when I see Kyra Sedgwick.”

Even if they aren’t blood kin.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.1060525
post #78497 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

I would actually return to a theater for a discount Tuesday 10am showing!

[BTW, golf courses suffer from the same malady as theaters. Prime 8am tee times cost no more than less popular 2pm times. Some courses offer a late-day "twilight" discount.]

Here the AMC chain discounts shows before 12 noon to only $6. This is typically the only time we see the movies. But during this time of year they only have the morning shows on Saturdays and Sundays. But I think in the Summer they expand to some of the week days.

They have been doing this for several years around here. My GF and I very rarely see a night movie. It's almost exclusively a show before noon for $6 a ticket.
post #78498 of 93668
The only time I have been to a movie in the last few years is when I was on vacation in Florida and to beat the heat of the day we started going to matinees. Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds was out. The last one before that was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers which I received a free ticket from buying the collectors edition.

It is too expensive and other people typically make the experience less than enjoyable. Plus, with a 60" screen and BD why go to the theater?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Here the AMC chain discounts shows before 12 noon to only $6. This is typically the only time we see the movies. But during this time of year they only have the morning shows on Saturdays and Sundays. But I think in the Summer they expand to some of the week days.

They have been doing this for several years around here. My GF and I very rarely see a night movie. It's almost exclusively a show before noon for $6 a ticket.
post #78499 of 93668
Love the seinfeld ep "the movie" where they go see "Checkmate" but end up seeing "Rochelle, Rochelle" a young girl's strange erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
Jerry keeps missing his set at a comedy club, Elaine has seat holding, popcorn, soda problems, Kramer wants a papaye king hotdog & George keeps losing his ticket stub + Jerrys friend has a great bit about famous people stuck in traffic.

Its a good one.


edit:
per Jim Nantz the NFL 2012 schedule will be released as was expected on Tuesday April 17 @ 7:00pm....NFLN & ESPN will both have LIVE shows !!!!!!!!
post #78500 of 93668
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Dancing with the Stars (120 min.)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Zac Efron; Krysten Ritter; Noel Gallagher performs)

CBS:
8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - Two Broke Girls
9PM - Two and a Half Men
9:31PM - Mike & Molly
10PM - Hawaii Five-0
(R - Oct. 31)
* * * *
12:05AM - Late Show with David Letterman (Jon Hamm; comic Ted Alexandro; White Rabbits perform)
(R - Mar. 1)
1:07AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kathy Griffin)

NBC:
8PM - The Voice (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Smash
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Drew Barrymore; singer Blake Shelton)
(R - Feb. 2)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Julianna Margulies; Seann William Scott; Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform)
(R - Feb. 27)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (DJ Deadmau5; musical group Jamestown Revival; Walk the Moon performs)
(R - Feb. 15)

FOX:
8PM - Bones
9PM - House

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Atlanta
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Providence, RI
(R - May. 8, 2006)
10PM - America Revealed: Food Machine
(R - Apr. 11)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Una Familia Con Suerte
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No PodÃ*a Amar

THE CW:
8PM - Gossip Girl
9PM - Hart of Dixie

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Relaciones Peligrosas

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Anthropologist Jane Goodall)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Singer Bonnie Raitt)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Kevin Hart; Brittany Snow; First Aid Kit performs)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Shannen Doherty; comic Ali Wong; comic Sarah Colonna; TV personality Ross Mathews)
post #78501 of 93668
TV Notes
Monday's TV Highlights: 'Smash' on NBC
By Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Apr. 15, 2012

[ALL TIMES LISTED ARE PACIFIC TIME]

UMA THURMAN channels her inner Marilyn Monroe on a new episode of the drama “Smash” at 10 p.m. on NBC.

SERIES

Top Gear:
This auto-centric series from across the Pond rev's up for another season (5 and 8 p.m. BBC America).

Warren Jeffs: Fallen Prophet: The convicted leader of a radical polygamous sect is profiled (6 and 10 p.m. Biography).

Richard Hammond's Crash Course: A star of “Top Gear” tries his hand at driving tanks and other oversized vehicles in this new series (7 and 10 p.m. BBC America).

The Substitute: Unsuspecting students get the chance to win serious cash in this new quiz show (7 p.m. MTV).

Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour: Inspirational speakers Deepak Chopra, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tony Robbins and Iyanla Vanzant take part in a live event in Toronto (8 p.m. OWN).

Hart of Dixie: “Smallville's” Justin Hartley guest stars in this new episode of the Rachel Bilson drama (9 p.m. KTLA).

Eureka: The sci-fi series about a small town filled with super geniuses is back for another season (9 p.m. Syfy).

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Your host is in Kansas City for some barbecue and a meet-up with indie rockers the Black Keys in this new installment (9 p.m. Travel).

Where Are They Now: This new installment gets you caught up with the cast of the hit sitcom “Full House” (9 p.m. TV Guide).

Castle: Guest star Adam Baldwin reunites with his former “Firefly” and “Serenity” costar Nathan Fillion on a new episode of the mystery-drama (10:01 p.m. ABC).


[CLICK LINK BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL MONDAY PROGRAMMING]

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...hlights16.html
post #78502 of 93668
Technology Notes
Do you need a box for digital cable?
By Rob Pegoraro, USA Today

Question: Comcast is converting my cable TV to all-digital. They say I'll need to get a cable box, but what if I only want to watch the local stations?

Answer: Like many other cable operators, Comcast has been upgrading its local systems from analog to digital over the past few years. This transition unrelated to the switch to digital over-the-air broadcasts that we finally made in 2009 should free up an enormous amount of bandwidth on its systems for faster Internet access and a wider range of channels.

The "cable-ready" tuners on some analog TVs can't read the stream of ones and zeroes that make up a digital cable feed. If you've been using one to watch standard cable fare like ESPN or the Weather Channel without a box, you'll need a digital-cable adapter a much smaller add-on than a regular cable box, in many cases free from Comcast for that set.

But if you own a digital TV and only want to watch local broadcast stations (or public, educational and government channels, but not anything else), you don't need a box or an adapter.

Your DTV should almost certainly include a QAM ("quadrature amplitude modulation") tuner that will allow it to receive those minimum-service channels just by plugging your TV into the nearest cable jack.

Getting entry-level cable this way can be a chore, as I've found. Without the benefit of the usual program-guide interface, those channels can appear in a long, apparently randomly-sorted list and then, as readers have reported, they may also move around on that list. You also can't get anything beyond those basic channels, because cable operators usually scramble everything else.

Yet QAM tuning does work, even if the occasional service rep may tell you otherwise.

That's not guaranteed to be the case in the future. Following a successful trial by Time Warner Cable in New York, the cable industry has been lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for permission to encrypt these channels as they do the rest of their lineup. QAM tuners, unlike digital-cable adapters or boxes, can't decode scrambled transmissions; in return, cable operators say they could activate service remotely instead of sending a truck to a new subscriber's house.

(Disclosures: One of my freelance clients, the Consumer Electronics Association, has qualms about this proposal. Another, Discovery Communications, owns a few cable channels.)

One possible outcome to this debate, as I noted in a post for CEA, would be to trade QAM encryption for a commitment to support an FCC proposal for box-free TV tuning, called AllVid, that would work with cable and satellite systems alike. That would be terrific. But it would also be years away.

For now, if you want to watch a full set of cable channels without a box and don't want to have to worry about future QAM encryption or its current hassles you have basically one option. That's to get a TiVo digital video recorder or one of the handful of other devices to support CableCard reception.

Tip: Don't watch SD versions of your HD channels

If you've paid for an HDTV and a high-def TV package, why put up with a standard-definition version of a channel you already get in much better quality? But that can easily happen when cable or satellite program guides list an SD copy of a channel first, with its HD flavor somewhere up in the 300s, 400s or 800s on the guide.

Some TV providers have realized this problem. Cablevision's HD boxes, for example, tune in HD versions of network channels even if you select the single-digit numbers traditionally reserved for their SD identities. DirecTV provides a "hide SD duplicates" setting among its program-guide options. And Comcast's latest guide features a "Watch in HD" button that should alert you when a program is available in high-def on another channel.

In other cases, you'll have to hide SD channels from your program guide (such as on AT&T's U-Verse) or set up a favorites list of HD channels that excludes their low-resolution siblings (for instance, on Verizon's Fios TV).

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/product...ble/54262372/1
post #78503 of 93668
Technology Notes
NAB 2012: London Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies to be Shot in 8K Resolution
By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter - Apr. 15, 2012

LAS VEGAS--The opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics as well as portions of events including track and field, swimming and basketball will be captured in 8K resolution, which is 16 times that of HD.

Japan's NHK has been developing an Ultra-HDTV system called Super High Vision (SHV), and through a joint project between NHK, BBC, and Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS), this system will be tested at the 2012 Olympics.

Yoshiaki Shishikui, head of advanced TV systems research division, NHK Research, outlined testing plans, Sunday at the NAB Show's Technology Summit on Cinema, co-produced with the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. As part of the presentation, he explained a test delivery system that will be used to transmit the 8K images to public viewing events in London and Japan.

NHK has been developing a complete SHV system, including cameras and recording devices, and plans to begin experimental broadcasts in Japan during 2012.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...olution-312288
post #78504 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Love the seinfeld ep "the movie" where they go see "Checkmate" but end up seeing "Rochelle, Rochelle" a young girl's strange erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
Jerry keeps missing his set at a comedy club, Elaine has seat holding, popcorn, soda problems, Kramer wants a papaye king hotdog & George keeps losing his ticket stub + Jerrys friend has a great bit about famous people stuck in traffic.

It's amazing how dated Seinfeld has become. Sure the dialog is still funny but nearly every plot and situation they find themselves in wouldn't work today. Cell phones mean that all the miscommunication, missed appointments and losing each other along the way wouldn't work.
post #78505 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

It's amazing how dated Seinfeld has become. Sure the dialog is still funny but nearly every plot and situation they find themselves in wouldn't work today. Cell phones mean that all the miscommunication, missed appointments and losing each other along the way wouldn't work.

cellphones were around then.
Although I didn't get my first cell phone until 1994.
post #78506 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

ABC:
8PM - Dancing with the Stars (120 min.)
10:01PM - Castle

So, what is on between 10:00 and 10:01?
post #78507 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

cellphones were around then.
Although I didn't get my first cell phone until 1994.

You know what I mean. They were not cheap or ubiquitous as they are now.
post #78508 of 93668
Quote:


Originally Posted by dad1153
Business Notes
Movie tickets: Charge more for hits, less for flops, analyst urges
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog

It's time for studios and the cinema industry to stop charging the same price to see any movie any day of the week, a media industry analyst said in a strongly worded research note Friday.

with this the price of popcorn will go through the roof.
post #78509 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Love the seinfeld ep "the movie" where they go see "Checkmate" but end up seeing "Rochelle, Rochelle" a young girl's strange erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
Jerry keeps missing his set at a comedy club, Elaine has seat holding, popcorn, soda problems, Kramer wants a papaye king hotdog & George keeps losing his ticket stub + Jerrys friend has a great bit about famous people stuck in traffic.

Its a good one.


edit:
per Jim Nantz the NFL 2012 schedule will be released as was expected on Tuesday April 17 @ 7:00pm....NFLN & ESPN will both have LIVE shows !!!!!!!!

Used to really like Seinfield - from day one - in fact I still do - watched it all the time - including re runs - then the Michael Richards thing happened a few years ago and I had to stop watching anything he was in - too bad cause I always enjoyed his character on the show - to each his own I guess.
post #78510 of 93668
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Technology Notes
Do you need a box for digital cable?
By Rob Pegoraro, USA Today

Question: Comcast is converting my cable TV to all-digital. They say I'll need to get a cable box, but what if I only want to watch the local stations?

Answer: Like many other cable operators, Comcast has been upgrading its local systems from analog to digital over the past few years. This transition unrelated to the switch to digital over-the-air broadcasts that we finally made in 2009 should free up an enormous amount of bandwidth on its systems for faster Internet access and a wider range of channels.

The "cable-ready" tuners on some analog TVs can't read the stream of ones and zeroes that make up a digital cable feed. If you've been using one to watch standard cable fare like ESPN or the Weather Channel without a box, you'll need a digital-cable adapter a much smaller add-on than a regular cable box, in many cases free from Comcast for that set.

But if you own a digital TV and only want to watch local broadcast stations (or public, educational and government channels, but not anything else), you don't need a box or an adapter.

Your DTV should almost certainly include a QAM ("quadrature amplitude modulation") tuner that will allow it to receive those minimum-service channels just by plugging your TV into the nearest cable jack.

Getting entry-level cable this way can be a chore, as I've found. Without the benefit of the usual program-guide interface, those channels can appear in a long, apparently randomly-sorted list and then, as readers have reported, they may also move around on that list. You also can't get anything beyond those basic channels, because cable operators usually scramble everything else.

Yet QAM tuning does work, even if the occasional service rep may tell you otherwise.

That's not guaranteed to be the case in the future. Following a successful trial by Time Warner Cable in New York, the cable industry has been lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for permission to encrypt these channels as they do the rest of their lineup. QAM tuners, unlike digital-cable adapters or boxes, can't decode scrambled transmissions; in return, cable operators say they could activate service remotely instead of sending a truck to a new subscriber's house.

(Disclosures: One of my freelance clients, the Consumer Electronics Association, has qualms about this proposal. Another, Discovery Communications, owns a few cable channels.)

One possible outcome to this debate, as I noted in a post for CEA, would be to trade QAM encryption for a commitment to support an FCC proposal for box-free TV tuning, called AllVid, that would work with cable and satellite systems alike. That would be terrific. But it would also be years away.

For now, if you want to watch a full set of cable channels without a box and don't want to have to worry about future QAM encryption or its current hassles you have basically one option. That's to get a TiVo digital video recorder or one of the handful of other devices to support CableCard reception.

Tip: Don't watch SD versions of your HD channels

If you've paid for an HDTV and a high-def TV package, why put up with a standard-definition version of a channel you already get in much better quality? But that can easily happen when cable or satellite program guides list an SD copy of a channel first, with its HD flavor somewhere up in the 300s, 400s or 800s on the guide.

Some TV providers have realized this problem. Cablevision's HD boxes, for example, tune in HD versions of network channels even if you select the single-digit numbers traditionally reserved for their SD identities. DirecTV provides a "hide SD duplicates" setting among its program-guide options. And Comcast's latest guide features a "Watch in HD" button that should alert you when a program is available in high-def on another channel.

In other cases, you'll have to hide SD channels from your program guide (such as on AT&T's U-Verse) or set up a favorites list of HD channels that excludes their low-resolution siblings (for instance, on Verizon's Fios TV).

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/product...ble/54262372/1

FIOS also has the "Watch in HD" button.
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