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 / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, May 27

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Awkward Conversations" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marty and Courtney are navigating the pregnancy news and what it all means for their future, while Malcolm is dealing with his own workplace relationship.

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Other Butlers" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Calvin and Tina are looking to remodel their home when they uncover discriminatory processes with their bank’s appraiser. Meanwhile, Marty asks Trey for fatherly advice on co-parenting with Courtney.

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television

M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In the two-hour special, M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television, join the men and women who made M*A*S*H as they celebrate one of the most beloved, enduringly popular, often quoted and influential comedies ever created. As the definitive look at the 14-time Emmy-winning television classic, the special centers around new interviews with original cast members Alan Alda (Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce), Gary Burghoff (Cpl. Walter "Radar" O'Reilly), William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy), Jamie Farr (Cpl./Sgt. Maxwell Q. "Max" Klinger), Mike Farrell (Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt), Wayne Rogers (Capt. "Trapper" John McIntyre) and Loretta Swit (Maj. Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan) and series executive producers Gene Reynolds and Burt Metcalfe. In these intimate, highly personal remembrances, the creation and evolution of the show's iconic characters are revealed, alongside rare and never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, photos and stories.

Writer/producer Larry Gelbart, as well as additional series stars Larry Linville (Maj. Frank Burns), Harry Morgan (Col. Sherman T. Potter), McLean Stevenson (Lt. Col. Henry Blake) and David Ogden Stiers (Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III) are remembered through a vibrant collection of clips from the series as well as in rarely-seen archival interviews. With unique experiences, observations and memories from 11 seasons of M*A*S*H, this special will make audiences laugh, touch their heartstrings, and leave them on a nostalgic high while celebrating the sustained brilliance of the iconic sitcom.

The M*A*S*H two-and-a-half-hour series finale that first aired on CBS in 1983 remains the highest rated telecast in television history, delivering an incredible 77 audience share and 60.2 rating. To-date, the show has never left the air, continuously running in syndication, on basic cable and now streaming on Hulu. The series was produced by 20th Television. M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television is directed by John Scheinfeld (Reinventing Elvis: The '68 Comeback, The U.S. vs. John Lennon and What The Hell Happened To Blood, Sweat & Tears?) with Scheinfeld and Andy Kaplan as Executive Producers. Viewers can watch M*A*S*H: The Comedy That Changed Television next day on Hulu, Fox.com, On Demand and FOX Entertainment's streaming platform, Tubi. On Demand is available for customers of Cox Contour TV, DIRECTV, DISH, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon FiOS, XFINITY, YouTube TV and many more.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 27)

Monday, May 27

  • Carol Burnett (Palm Royale/Mad About You/Mama's Family) - Watch Carol on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jon Glaser (Girls/Parks and Recreation) - Jon is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Harry Hamlin (Movie Stars) - Harry sits down with Kelly and Mark to chat about his new series In the Kitchen With Harry Hamlin on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm/Blockbuster/The Millers/Bent/'Til Death) - J.B. talks about Curb Your Enthusiasm on Live with Kelly and Mark, so check your listings.
  • Bobby Cannavale (Angie Tribeca/Will & Grace) - Bobby talks about Ezra on NBC's Today some time between 7-9am.
  • Wendell Pierce (The Odd Couple/The Michael J. Fox Show/The Weber/The Brian Benben Show/The Gregory Hines Show) - Wendell is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand) - Liza appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Father Knows Best - The Complete Series Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series

12/05 - Father Knows Best - The Complete Series
12/05 - The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
12/12 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
12/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 2 (Blu-ray)
12/12 - That Girl - The Complete Series
12/15 - Letterkenny - Season 11
12/19 - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series
12/22 - Three's Company - The Official 40th Anniversary Collection (includes The Ropers and Three's a Crowd)
01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One

The Odd Couple - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) That Girl - The Complete Series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet - The Official Restored Complete Series

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