February 17, 2009 (125 days from this post) full-power analog TV will be no more. If your still enjoying OTA analog signals, see the above video for how to get a digital TV converter. I found the video pretty amusing.
For most people who use cable or satellite nothing is involved. For those who still use OTA TV, they may need a converter if their TV can’t handle it. For broadcasters it does however have some complexities.
Southpark last week featured an internet outage as a plot. Pretty clever though I was disappointed to not see 1 reference to the series of tubes. I’m not sure if the reference to Linksys (Cisco) being responsible for the Internet being down was a complement or an insult. Though those Linksys boxes are infamous with just dying like that until you power cycle. Any other brand seems to have figured out how to not have that issue. Linux firmware on a Linksys also seems to remedy it. References to “Independence Day” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” were clever.
You can watch it online by clicking on the screen grab.
Not sure how many noticed it, but the Family Guy 100th episode special contained a scene from the upcoming episode (aired directly after). Described by Fox in the press release as:
The FAMILY GUY tribute special celebrates the side-splitting irreverent humor of this fan-favorite animated series by taking a look back at some of the funniest moments, satirical spoofs and music numbers of the past 100 episodes.
You see the Kool-Aid Man breaking down the wall in the courtroom, then slowly backing out realizing the situation. Then, when the 100th episode (Stewie Kills Lois) actually airs, sure enough, this is in there.
I guess this was an obscure joke making fun of special episodes, since the entire thing was somewhat of a spoof considering the interviews with panel participants. Very funny.
I don’t think this was a glitch since Fox put out the press release nearly a month ago (October 8 ) mentioning the order of those episodes. So the order was planned. I think they would have had more than enough time to edit had that not originally been slated to be episode #100.
Anyway, the special was OK, but I’ve never been a fan of those recap, best of, funniest moments, or anniversary episodes on any show. Stewie Kills Lois of course is looking to become a classic (damn cliff hangers).
Robert Adler, inventor of the Wireless TV Remote as passed away. A hero among men. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be all that we are today. We’d likely be a few pounds lighter. His work changed the way we live.
A 21 click salute in his honor will be performed by overweight TV viewers everywhere.
Even during the NY Times ad I would have never imagined a TV ad campaign running for an open source web browser. Yet somehow it managed to happen. It’s To bad the campaign so far is limited to only Boston/San Francisco. Hopefully New York and other cities in the US (and perhaps even abroad) will eventually be included. Despite that it is still very cool. Congrats to everyone who made that happen.
I noticed this the other day. The Yahoo! TV redesign is aweful (my personal opinion, maybe some like/love it). And yes, we all know I’m a TV addict. Once upon a time I was a TVGuide.com user, but switched because it was to slow and cumbersome. Now once again I may be hunting for something better. Here are some of the problems I feel are pushing me away:
- Need To Sign In To Get Correct Listings – Before I didn’t need to be signed in, it just saved a cookie with my prefs. This keeps my account more secure (separate sign-in) and still lets me quickly glance at my listings. I noticed for the past month or two even that wasn’t working very well. It seemed to forget my settings. Now I need to login or stay logged in (or get generic listings).
- URL’s Should Be Forever – If they live short of that, use a redirect. The listings used to be
http://tv.yahoo.com/listing. Breaking bookmarks is taboo on the web. Especially big pages like that which are very bookmarkable.
- Abuse Of AJAX – It feels as if ajax was used only because it looks cool and trendy. It’s unnecessary. They should load the whole grid at once. Each section of the grid seems to be 8 -10 channels long. And one request for each section. The ajax response isn’t slim either, it’s raw html (likely inserted with innerHTML for performance reasons as DOM is typically slower). Now to scroll to channel 63, I need several of these requests. It’s slows things down despite being ajax and technically asynchronous.
- Hard To Tune Navigation – The time navigation is hard to accurately pinpoint, making the old pulldown list of times in :30 intervals much easier to use. This is driving me nuts. I want 8:30!
- More Clicking, Less TV Watching – Clicking on a link does this drop down effect. Only then can you get full show info (unless you open in new tab/window). 2 clicks where it used to be only 1.
- “Info” Page Is Like A Splash Page – That info page is also very slow, unlike the old one which was very lean and fast. Rather than have upcoming episodes of the show listed as well as credits (good for seeing guest stars on The Simpsons), it’s filled with a lot of useless info (show ratings, reviews, link to buy DVD, promo photo’s, news related to the show). To get the good stuff (detailed info on show, credits, upcoming episodes)… yea all separated onto individual pages now. Lots of clicking.
I also hear of browser issues (Safari), but haven’t tested myself so I won’t go into that.
Now this doesn’t make much sense. They presumably went to ajax to make common tasks require less pageloads and increase usability and fluency of the site (click show title for more info), but instead I think it causes users to load more pages to view info they are accustomed to. The side effect on all this is that it’s slower for users who want some info on what’s on. I understand the need to monetize the pages, but at least make it worth clicking on.
Apparently they are working on things, and even addressing feedback and they deserve serious credit for that. It would be wrong to not credit them for this effort.
By the way: I wouldn’t mind turning off the “Record To TiVo” buttons. I don’t own a TiVo. Perhaps ask for the users pref when getting their TV listing info? Maybe that’s just me.
Needless to say, as a web developer and a TV addict, this redesign was very interesting from my perspective. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.
Disclaimer: Obviously, this post is my opinion only and does not in any way reflect the opinions of my employer.
If you haven’t been following, you should start. Looks like SpreadFirefox is trying to outdo itself.
Perhaps the next SpreadFirefox campaign for 1.1 should be a TV ad? Run a 30 second spot during a decent timeframe. Just the publicity of the organization is significant press for Firefox, and will help generate some buzz for 1.1. The actual ad itself would be extra.
A CBS Monday night ad for example could prove rather effective. With Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond (last season ends pretty soon), CSI Miami are all very well watched shows. Even if were not at the peak (9:00 – 10:00), there’s still a decent viewership during the time period. That would be my #1 choice. It’s not the most watched period, so it won’t be as expensive, but still gets quite a solid fanbase.
Another great period to investigate would be Fox on Sunday. The Simpsons have a large cult following, you can bet that’s got quite a large geek following in there as well. That might be a great group to target. Teens, young adults, etc. That would be another sport to consider. Between 8:00 and 9:00 would work rather well.
Obviously putting all names in it isn’t possible, so a tag “this advertisement is paid for by Spreadfirefox.com members” could be put at the end. Perhaps even a “I’m Firefox, and I approve this message” voiceover could be added (just kidding).