Saturday, November 05, 2011

Digital Digest: Has Internet TV Been Worth the Hype?

Welcome to the weekend, and welcome to Digital Digest! The pace has slowed down here tremendously this week, but we are here nonetheless with your news and a feature story about where Internet TV (specifically Google TV) has been so far, and where it may be going. Let's get started!

DIGITAL NEWS

DVD announcements have been very slow this week (and with the holiday season approaching, and those DVDs already having been announced, we expect things to be this way for a while), but we do have one announcement. Meet the Browns - Season Four is set for a January 24 release. The three disc set will contain episodes 61-80 of the Tyler Perry series.

Netflix and ABC Studios have announced a deal to extend their licensing agreement to stream series from the studio on the service. Though details of the deal were not disclosed, current seasons of ABC series will be available on the service thirty days following the final episode of the season, and it will also bring new content to the service, including the complete run of the series Alias.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (November 8) doesn't bring much to DVD, except for one really big set (which we aren't going to be covering), Law & Order - The Complete Series. It comes at a $699.99 MSRP, and even with discounts, expect to pay about $500.


BLOG FEATURE STORY

Has Internet TV Been Worth the Hype?

Over a year ago, we told you all about the then "upcoming" Google TV, which was purported to change the way that we view TV. The idea appeared to be innovative and cutting-edge, but a year after this product has debuted, it seems that we haven't really been hearing much about it anymore, and we don't hear about anybody saying that they are using this. So what exactly is going on here?

It appears that this new and innovative technology, as nice as it is, has had some major hurdles that essentially have made the technology useless. Not even months after the service debuted, all four major broadcast networks--ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC--essentially decided to block their programming from being streamed on the service out of fears that allowing the service to be used would affect advertising revenue. Even Hulu can't be streamed on the service, meaning that much of the service is limited to Netflix and YouTube. Many of the networks allowed their programming to be streamed on the service initially, which may have enticed some consumers, but that didn't last too long. Other prominent content providers were blocking the service as well, and all of this culminated in this deeply embarrassing story about sales of the product: basically, returns were outpacing sales on the device!

Google's fight to make Google TV succeed isn't over, but even the latest attempts to make the product succeed are falling flat. A new version of the service has a nicer interface, but is still plagued with bugs and isn't bringing any new content. So is it possible that this service can ever succeed with these problems?

It seems that it may be an uphill battle that may be difficult to fight. While in theory, Google had a great idea with Google TV, the reality is that without cooperation from content providers, the device is essentially just going to be a sleek way of watching YouTube videos and Netflix on your TV. This is a problem, though, considering that you can already do this with many Blu-ray players, video game systems, and devices such as Apple TV (which is not even considered a major product for Apple, yet seems to be more successful than Google TV).

Most of this seems to be a battle over advertising revenue, and how the networks can manage to be profitable while allowing their program to be streamed on the device. Unfortunately, even though this is indeed a serious issue that must be resolved in some fashion, this is the one thing that is keeping us truly attached to our standard antenna/cable TV viewing habits. At some point in the future, internet TV will probably become more prominent and useful. But in the short term, it appears that any such offerings will have limitations that are going to be very difficult to overcome in a world where everybody wants a piece of the revenue, since such technology requires cooperation from multiple parties.


CLICK OF THE WEEK

Tim's TV Showcase (http://timstvshowcase.com) - We often like to feature some of the "original" TV websites out there as our Click of the Week, and Tim's TV Showcase is one of the oldest sites out there, and still one of the better ones out there. When you go to the main page of the site, you will find several "channels" to choose from to get started. These well-organized channels will help you get to the content that you are looking for in an easy fashion. Channel 1, for example, brings you a page for all of the series, and you'll find a total of 955 of them listed here, along with a little bit of information about each one.

On Channel 2, you'll find a lot of the "special features." The best part of the content that can be found here are the classic TV commercials. Here, you can take a look back at some classic commercials from the past of television. There is some other content here as well, but the commercials are undeniably the best part. On Channel 3, you can find links to all of the networks. Of course, these are not hard to find elsewhere, but here we have them all on one page. Channel 4 will give you links to other TV websites out there. Unfortunately, the Channel 4 page hasn't been updated in a very long time, so it won't necessarily give you all of the latest pages that are out there. By and large, a lot of the content on this website can be found if you do a lot of Google searches, but what is great about this website is that you get it all easily on one well-organized site with virtually no hassle.

That's all for this week. Until next time, keep it digital!


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Wednesday, October 17

The Goldbergs - "Hersheypark" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Adam discovers Beverly has been manipulating him with guilt letters when he tells his mother he doesn’t want her to chaperone the school trip to Hersheypark. Meanwhile, after attending Career Night, Geoff realizes he doesn’t want to be an eye doctor like his father.

American Housewife - "Enemies: An Otto Story" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Anna-Kat runs for the Green Chair position in the school election against Chloe Brown Mueller’s daughter, which results in Katie and Chloe turning their kids’ election into a feud of their own. Meanwhile, Greg becomes concerned that Taylor’s new friend Pierce (Milo Manheim) is trying to steal her away from Trip, causing Greg to intervene and scheme to prevent it.

Modern Family - "Torn Between Two Lovers" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Haley can’t seem to choose between her past and present relationships and is forced to make a decision. Meanwhile, Manny returns to college and dorm life while his girlfriend, Sherry, continues to stay at Jay and Gloria’s, and might be overstaying her welcome.

Single Parents - "Beyoncé Circa Lemonade" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
After scolding Miggy for not being able to sleep-train baby Jack, Angie and Douglas engage in a competition to see who can sleep-train the baby in one night. While Angie and Douglas have the baby, Miggy takes over babysitting Graham, Rory, Sophie, Emma and Amy, which results in an impromptu kids’ party. Meanwhile, Poppy teaches Will how to take out his anger on the volleyball court.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Does a Clip Show" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
With nothing to do while their phones update to the latest software, the gang decides to reminisce on old times; as everyone misremembers events from their past, the gang's current reality becomes altered.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 15)

Wednesday, October 17

  • Busy Philipps (Vice Principals/Cougar Town) - Watch Busy on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Molly Shannon (Divorce/Kath & Kim/Cracking Up) - Molly is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) - Constance appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens/Anything But Love/Operation Petticoat) - Jamie Lee visits The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Michael Fishman and Lecy Goranson (The Conners/Roseanne) - Michael and Lecy chat with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. Michael, Lecy and Maya Lynne Robinson will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • John Goodman (The Conners/Roseanne/The Trouble in Normal, Ohio) - John stops by LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Maya Rudolph (Forever/Up All Night) - Maya is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Romeo Miller (Romeo!) - Romeo appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Geoffrey Owens (The Cosby Show) - Geoffrey drops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood/The Last O.G./The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) and Tichina Arnold (The Neighborhood/Survivor's Remorse/Happily Divorced/Everybody Hates Chris/Martin) - Cedric and Tichina are guests on Access Live, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (September/October)

The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season Step by Step - The Complete Second Season Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season

09/04 - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - The Complete Season 12
09/04 - Mom - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Fifth Season
09/04 - Superstore - Season Three
09/04 - Young Sheldon - The Complete First Season
09/11 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Eleventh Season (Blu-ray)
09/11 - The Middle - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - Modern Family - The Complete Ninth Season
09/11 - People of Earth - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - Community - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
09/18 - Step by Step - The Complete Second Season
09/18 - You're the Worst - The Complete Fourth Season
09/25 - Blondie - The Complete 1957 Television Series
09/25 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fifth Season
10/02 - The Beverly Hillbillies - The Official Fifth Season
10/02 - The Love Boat - Season Four - Volume One / Volume Two
10/02 - Saved by the Bell - The Complete Collection
10/16 - Police Squad! - TV and Movie Collection
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