Friday, April 10, 2009

Is there really nothing on TV Tonight?

TV guides are going to be an increasingly important part of the media scene.

When you go on holiday you actually might want to record TV programmes for when you return but that is really just the tip of the iceberg…

TV listings are now so complex that we need something that is driven by our personal tastes and what we can access (by geographic limitations and what we’ve paid for) – this then needs to drive our recording/storage device- so it could go and burrow away on the Internet access BT Vision (or Itunes for example) and any other subscription services that are available. For me I’d want it to drive my Satellite receiver/positioner (for the satellites I can view and the services that are FTA) and digital terrestrial.

Do you want to keep a watch on certain topics on YouTube and the iplayer too?

Do the services have subtitles – is it a service that updates if programme times need to be adjusted due to late running live events?

Once programmes have been captured you then want to know what you have available for your 'a la carte' viewing.

So are we anywhere near this solution? Probably not but I think there are some projects that are addressing this

For example (let me know if you have more details)
Radio Times
European TV Listings

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The BBC are looking for partners....

Now forgive me for being cynical but at a time when the BBC are under both the microscope and attack by its opponents is it a coincidence that it starts multiple dialogues all which have about them an element of 'open''co-operation' and 'sharing'?

Kerstin Mogull, the BBC's Future Media & Technology Chief Operating Officer (Swedish) was a late substitute for the Director of BBC Future Media and Technology Erik Huggers (Dutch) at the IET's Appleton lecture (sadly nothing to do with those All Saints sisters) and seemed in her presentation to be very keen to follow the Beeb's line on how it wants to both keep competition and plurality but is driven by a desire to share technological advances.

As well as potentially bailing out ITV in the regional news space it's happy to share iPlayer, Canvas and its production expertise- some say that really it'll share pretty much anything as long as it's not the licence fee - but with the UK's Parliamentarians ignoring the Culture secretary's steer this might still be on the cards and the idea of 'top slicing' would almost certainly sbe omething that an incoming Tory government would take a closer look at.

(why is it that Public services feel the need to continue to ape the commercial sector in their job titles?)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Gardeners' delights

We've been having a fine English spring and I have been lucky enough to be able to visit some horticultural treasures over the last week - Just click on the named links to see my photo's

1) Beth Chatto's Gardens in North Essex - you'll find great examples of woodland planting and what Beth achieved with a former car parking area is impressive. Beth Chatto although in her 80's is still going strong - find out about her here.

2) Kew Gardens - Entry now is a bit expensive (perhaps worth becoming friends as we have) now and there seem to be some questionable (to me) additions but the Tree Walk is fun and provides an experience that kids'll love.

3) Ham House a fine example of what the National Trust excel in - splendidly historic and an oasis of peace in London's back yard (apart from the noise of the planes)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hulu Hulu (what's going on 'ere then?)

It's easy for us UK types to think that Telly begins and ends with us and that it's only the UK Networks that have the challenge of attracting younger viewers who feel more at home with a PC than a TV.

In fact the USA networks have come together to provide PC catch up TV with a single site and it's called Hulu.

Now at the moment it's only available to those people on the other side of the big pond but a rumour is going around that it will launch in Europe - also if you're desperate to experience the buzz of being the first to see some of those hot US TV shows you might like to try Hotspot to spoof your address.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Hold the Plasma .. I want 3D

Around the corner from your standard Blu-Ray and large screen Plasmas another mugger wants to hijack your wallet and it's called 3D TV.

Sky are already committing resources to the next big thing in subscription TV and it may well be well be a must have in about 5 years time.

Remember those silly glasses (one red one green) and 1950's people staring at a screen -well with new generation polarised screens it wont be exactly like that but the need for polarising glasses to decrypt the extra information will mean that TV viewing will be an event once again.

How much actual TV will go this way (as opposed to showing expensive Hollywood films) remains to be seen.