By now mostly everyone has heard that analog over-the-air TV stations are going to be shut off after Febuary 17th. Despite a proposed delay the transition is going down as scheduled. This puts us on the doorstep to an analog TV genocide. Well, what the hell does that mean to “Joe the Plumber”?
For any Joe with cable, or satellite it means nothing. For those getting their tube over the airwaves using bunny ears or an antenna you’ll need a converter box if your TV doesnt have a ATSC tuner built in which pretty much all of them have if you’ve bought it in the past few years.
The reason I’m bringing this shit up is because after I moved to my new apartment we ended up using an antenna for awhile before we could get cable installed. I have a sort of vested interest in this stuff now as a result of my limited time using over-the-air stuff. With the economy in shambles I think I may shed my cable TV bill and return to an antenna laiden world of wireless television. With the transition afoot I was wondering if there would be additional channels going up and from what I can tell from antennaweb it looks like i’ll be getting like 10 more digital channels (most of which will be HD) after the transition. I still will be able to get FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS so thats something! Plus, like Nico Bellec I’ll be saving up the monies [cousin]!
For all of you out there that may not remember– the Sci-Fi series Battlestar Galactica returns this Friday for the series final push before it is officially concluded. This is one of my favorite shows, so I’m psyched to see it return. My friend Rob told me about some webisodes that I’ll need to check out before the Season 5 part 2 premiere. If you haven’t started watching Battlestar yet you totally should. Its a great series.
Vizio, as far as budget TVs go, are among the best. I have had a model VU42LF for about 9 months now and its been fantastic. My one complaint with it was that I sometimes noticed what looked like flickering in some kinds of scenes. I couldn’t figure out what was going on so I tried adjusting the back-light and it didn’t help. I decided a few weeks ago to look through some of the advanced picture settings and I turned off all of the dynamic stuff. It fixed it. I guess it was trying to dynamically adjust brightness and in certain mid light scenes it would switch back and fourth. Anyway, now I’m pretty damn pleased, though I wish I had figured this out while we were watching Planet Earth on Blu-ray.
On gizmodo today they posted a link to this program called PlayOn. What it does is allows you to stream youtube, hulu, netflix (soon) and other channels programming to the PS3. I just tested it out and it seemed to work just great. Even for HD content. The picture quality isn’t pristeen but for streaming its pretty decent.
PlayOn is in beta (read: free) and the trial period is 60 days after which you’ll be able to purchase it for $30. Which I am considering, depending on how well netflix’s works on it. I hope netflix ramps up the number of their streaming movies as well.
Unfortunately, the program only runs on PC for now.
Avatar: The Last Airbender, in case you don’t know, is a neo-anime made by Americans. It’s series finale aired last weekend and it totally rocked. The show has a knack for knowing when to be serious and when to be silly, much like One Piece (Japanese version, as the USA one is garbage thanks to editing). My thoughts on the ending are going to be pretty spoiler heavy so instead of having a big pink blob of spoiler text I’m just going to put it after the jump.
Continue reading →