Review of the Year

1 01 2008

Well this is the start of a long and arduous post covering the last 12 months in British TV. Twas a fine morn on the 1st January 2006 when I settled down to watch Superman 2: Electric Boogaloo and came upon Celebrity Big Brother promos… Oooo, I wonder if that lovable rogue Jade Goody will be in it this year I said to myself

I have no business reviewing the year in Television when there is absolutely nothing I can add to Charlie Brookers commentary. Watch the Screenwipe recap of 2007 in three parts here, here aaaaand finally here. Even if you find him patronising and can’t stomach someone telling you about your own TV habits, settle down with a bovril and give it 28 minutes of your time… just this once.

Oh and check out the tribute to Ronnie Hazlehurst at the end of the show after the jump. The composer died earlier this year, if you grew up on British Telly in the 80’s, you know his work. This is the guy from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The IT Crowd covering the theme tune to Ronnie Corbett’s Sorry. And if that last sentence was too much of a mouthful for you… thats what she said. Merry New Year everyone!

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Germans v Television

31 12 2007

As a side effect of my job, I get into many conversations about TV, whether I want to or not. One topic that always pops up is the subject of linear television and it’s future.

Without taking a stance on the matter, people are quick to let me know that scheduled TV isn’t going anywhere, whatever new fangled technology the interweb can deliver. This defence is always put to me in the face of evidence to the contrary. Today I read a report that highlights a wind of change blowing through Germany, Europe’s second largest TV market.

In news that will make even the most hardened channel manager choke on his latte and muffin, Germans spent less time last year watching TV than in 2006. Among the young, the news is even worse.

Still, at an average of 208 minutes per day of telly box watching for Germans, it will be a long time before the decline allows me to fight back in the “scheduled TV is doomed” argument.

Click here to read the full story.





Top 10 TV show downloads of 2007

30 12 2007

Hello, tis me again, still slightly full of festive cheer. The end of year lists have started, and I found one today worthy of passing on to my readers. This is the list of TV shows that were downloaded the most illegally in the year that is coming to a close.

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Extras Christmas special

28 12 2007

I just finished watching the final episode of Extras, the feature length Christmas special. I know it’s been on the internet for the last 11 days but I thought I would watch it at the same time as the rest of the UK. Alright, that’s actually a lie. I didn’t know it had been on HBO already until I went looking to find out when it was airing in Britain, and then proceeded to download an HD copy veerrry sloooowly yesterday. In fact by the time it arrived, I realised that I wouldn’t be watching it until this evening when my better half arrived home, in which case I might as well watch it on BBC HD in a slightly higher quality!

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4oD, iPlayer, ITV.com all working on Vista

1 10 2007

Today’s adventure involved trying to get different UK networks online offerings working with Vista. And I am happy to report that I managed to get ITV.com, 4oD and the BBC’s iplayer believing that I was using a machine running Windows XP, and successfully download and watch programming. It involved downloading a utility to make your IE7 browser (eeurgh) report itself to certain websites as IE6. If anybody wants to know more, leave a message in the comments and I will send you in the right direction.





The Simpsons S19E01 – He Loves to Fly and He D’oh’s

24 09 2007

I don’t know if it’s my lowered expectations, or the fact that I’m still relieved the movie wasn’t terrible, but I just watched the 19th season premiere of The Simpsons and in my opinion it was hilarious. As always, the plot was recycled and amalgamated from ten’s of episodes of the past, but there were enough one-liners, sight gags and reveals to recall the writing of old. There was a also a funny cameo from Lionel Richie that I think will be showing up on the front page of Youtube and Digg over the next view days. A good start to the season, don’t let the quality dip now, you’ve raised my hopes! Watch the post-movie intro after the jump..

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Video of the Week – Lost plane crash remixed

17 06 2007

This weeks top video is from Lost. A Youtube user has re-edited the plane crash that started it all, but with all the perspectives we currently know about. So we have Jack and Rose in their seats, Desmond on a mission to “Push the Button”, and the others at their book club meeting. Enjoy it after the jump.

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Youtube Mobile launches for everyone

17 06 2007

Regular readers will know I’m not the biggest fan of mobile video. Especially grainy, mobile streamed video. So you will be surprised to know that I am pleased at the announcement that after exclusivity deals with Verizon in the US and Vodafone in the UK, Youtube mobile has launched for anyone with a semi decent mobile phone. You no longer have describe all those time-wasting videos to everyone when you are sitting in the pub, you can show them. Because they will love that.

A quick glance at the site at m.youtube.com tells me that not everything is available, and they are probably converting videos to .3gp as we speak on the basis of popularity or some such. In the spirit of the new Transformers movie, I was trying to look for this video. What? Its just me and my mates on a night out!

In related news Google, having conceded defeat in the video sharing space and bought Youtube, completed the transformation of Google Video into a search engine last week. The site now aggregates video from all over the web including Yahoo, Myspace and Veoh, along with their own Youtube. Useful.





UK broadcasters unite to create video on demand solution

14 06 2007

It is almost as if they read my post yesterday and took immediate action. UK broadcasters have today decided to work together to create a joint offering that allows viewers to download copies of their favourite shows to their PC’s. With a working title of Project Kangaroo, it is not yet known how this application will work alongside the existing download services available from the UK networks.

although initially a broadband proposition, the application would one day be installed in freeview boxes, and work much in the same way as BT Vision does today, delivering content over the the old copper wire, and maybe one day fibre optics if BT get their act together. Stay tuned for more developments… or maybe this is a knee-jerk reaction to a loss of viewers to Bittorrent, Youtube and the internet in general, and nothing will come of it. Only time will tell.





Flight of the Conchords

14 06 2007

HBO haven’t taken the iTunes plunge, and I don’t think they will. If people could get their favourite Home Box Office shows “A la Carte” so to speak, I can imagine their core business of paid monthly subscription would dwindle significantly.

what they have been experimenting with however, is select episodes of new shows, available to stream direct from their website. One such example is a new comedy called Flight of the Conchords. I would give you background, but why read when you can watch right? Click here for the magic.





The Future of Acquired Programming

13 06 2007

There is a great article about the future of acquired programming in Australia, with Bittorrent gaining more users every day. If you are a familiar with the situation, there will be a lot in there that you already know. What you couldn’t possibly have known is that Australia (according to the article) has the most profitable TV industry in the world, or that Aussies are now the greatest Bittorrent thieves downloaders per capita in the world. Read the full (quite long) article here.

In related news, TorrentFreak are reporting that Mininova had its 2 billionth torrent download today, only 7 months after hitting the 1 billion barrier.

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The Sopranos S06E21 – Made in America

11 06 2007

Judging by the reaction of the internet, I am in the absolute minority, but on second and third viewing, the end met my expectations and played out very much like the rest of the final season, or even the whole series. If you are peeved, and want an explanation of the final scene, read a succinct recapping below. No fuss no muss, what it really meant. SPOILERS BELOW>>>
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Emily Parr videoclip

8 06 2007

I missed it last night, but here is a videoclip of the incident that has got nobody talking. Big Brother gained almost a million viewers from the previous night, according to Mediaguardian. OfCom predictably received over 100 complaints, from people that knew what they were getting themselves into when they tuned in, and were still offended when they heard it.

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