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!


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.


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.


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.


Tim's TV Showcase ( - 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!

New on DVD/Blu-ray (October)

Bewitched - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) The Facts of Life - Season Seven My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection

10/06 - Bewitched - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Grace Under Fire - The Complete Collection
10/06 - Happyish - Season One
10/06 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/06 - Party Down - The Complete Series
10/06 - South Park - The Complete Eighteenth Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - C.P.O. Sharkey - Mr. Warmth: The Ultimate Don Rickles TV Collection
10/20 - The Facts of Life - Season Seven
10/20- King of the Hill - The Complete 13th Season (Blu-ray)
10/20 - My Favorite Martian - The Complete Series
10/20 - Nurse Jackie - Season Seven ((Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest

Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 13

The Muppets - "Pig Out" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The gang has an epic night out when they run into Ed Helms at Rowlf’s Tavern and they all perform their favorite karaoke jams, but Kermit is not pleased when no one shows up to work the next day. Meanwhile, Fozzie has an unfortunate accident during the show.

Fresh Off the Boat - "The Fall Ball" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
As Eddie’s first school dance approaches, Louis is determined to make the night as perfect as a John Hughes film. Meanwhile, Jessica spends the day with Grandma Huang in hopes of getting on her good side so she will invest in her new business venture.

Grandfathered - "Guys' Night" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Jimmy realizes that he doesn’t know much about Gerald, he decides to take him out for a night on the town. Meanwhile Annelise hires a new mixologist to spice things up at the restaurant.

The Grinder - "The Curious Disappearance of Mr. Donovan" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Convinced that the only explanation for Claire’s non-interest in him is that she’s a mole, Dean tells Stewart that Claire is sharing secrets with a rival firm. Although Stewart dismisses the accusation, Dean is set on proving his brother wrong. Meanwhile, Deb and Claire strike up a friendship, the gossipy nature of which propels Stewart to question whether Claire can be trusted after all.

Family Time - "Forbidden Fruits" (Bounce TV, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Tony gets a new client, who happens to be a very attractive woman; Lisa and Tony are struggling to complete a ten-day all juice diet.

Complete TV Listings

Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 12) (All times ET unless noted)

Tuesday, October 13

  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Catch Michael on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also talks about his new book on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Elijah Wood (Wilfred) - Elijah drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sophia Bush (Partners) - Sophia appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Josh Meyers (That '70s Show) - Josh stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) - Chris is a guest on a repeat of Conan at 11pm on TBS.
  • Scott Weinger (Fuller House/Full House) - Scott and the cast of Aladdin reunite on The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT. They will also be on the AOL Build Show at 1pm and HuffPost Live at 2pm..
  • Miles Brown (black-ish) - Miles appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Keshia Knight Pulliam (The Cosby Show/Tyler Perry's House of Payne) - Keshia talks about Will to Love on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. She will also be on HuffPost Live at 1pm.
  • Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe and Charlie Puth announce nominees in six categories for the 2015 American Music Awards on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Nick will be on FABLife, so check your local listings.
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Steve Carell (The Office) - Steve visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.