Should we kill TV but keep the shows?

So I was almost done with my RSS aggregator for the night when I read Jon's entry titled I Watch Shows, Not Tv. As I was reading through, I was in total agreement with Jon. Some choice quotes which made me laugh.

The medium had become totally uninteresting to me. Reality Tv was everywhere, sitcoms sucked, and ads were worse.

Enter Bittorrent, Hd rips, and RSS. Ever since I set up my system, not only do I watched more shows, but I watch a LOT of shows. I probably have at least 10 shows I watch weekly without missing a beat. But not only do I get to watch them at my own convenience

The only television I watch is the television I watch. That makes sense, I swear. When I’m done with a show. That’s it. I don’t flip to the next channel to see what else is on. I finish and move onto another project. Just sitting in front of your Tv leads to watching Hugh Hefner’s Whores jumping around pretending they have enough content to constitute television. I’d rather sit down catch 42 minutes of Lost or 28 minutes of Curb and be happy.

Totally! I have a very simlar setup to Jon, xbox media centre and all. And he's so right, me and Sarah watch a lot of shows including Lost series 2, Prison Break, Daily Show, etc, etc. When I was in hospital recently, the lovely nurse asked if I wanted the TV on, and without thinking I replied “No, I don't watch TV.” Bang just like that without thinking about it, then I realised what I just said. Honestly me and Sarah turn on the TV for the BBC news 10min update at about 8am in the morning then we turn off and listen to the slashdot review podcast if there is time. When we get back in the evening, we may turn on Channel4 news for 1 hour and maybe once in a while leave it on and watch grand designs or something like that afterwards. But usually we turn off have dinner together and maybe put on a show or listen to a podcast while we catch up with news, emails, etc. Even with the daily show on more4 every day now, Sarah's not interested because shes use to timeshifting it. She does'nt like the idea of turning on the daily show at 8:30pm every day and sitting in front of the TV.
Hey and why would we? With TV RSS we can store them and watch a whole load together with friends on a weekend or watch it the week after if we choose to.

Moving on, I read the related link and found the tons of comments mainly in agreement.

But I say all this and I know something doesnt quite fit.
I've heard about studies in the BBC which went down this route of the show being more important that the channel and TV its self. But these studies say when that is the case, people look for brands they can trust. Channels are a odd thing, if you live in the UK, you may think of BBC one as generally massmarket but higher class than ITV (my view not the BBC's view), BBC two more documentary's and nature programmes but still some comedies and mass market contnet. BBC Three, for people 35 and younger, somewhat like BBC two but with lots of comedies and reality tv. BBC four, highbrow documentary's and some news.
People use these types of thoughts to decide what channel they should wait on or check out. Remove the channel and people try and cling on to many other things like brand to tell them more about the programmes and there expected audience.

So although I'm with you Jon, I need to err on the side of caution because people need to make money without killing the distribution method (as they do now). Itunes video is a good move away from tv and towards shows and programmes.

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Torrents and the long tail

So today I finally found the pirate bay's RSS feeds. They must have just launched them, because I've looked hard before. There quite plain RSS2 feeds but enabled across all the different genres of the site. You can all access everything via rss.php which delivers all the newest torrents regardless of category. I cant seem to find a way to get the Top 100 yet, but I'm sure its coming. Ben Metcalfe has told me RSS has been enabled for quite some time. So with that information I checkout the news page and he was right. Seems to be enabled since at least June. Oh well at least its been blogged now.

On another branch, I was looking through my Torrent RSS feeds and saw “Pump up the volume.” Some of you will instantly think about that film with the same name and Christian Slater. But no no, i'm talking about a Pump up the volume: A History of House. Its a documentary on Dance and House music by Channel 4. See i've been meaning to show Sarah it for years as shes American and lived in small Citys during her teenage years. So has little concept of what Dance music is and where it came from.
If Channel4 had made this available via DVD to buy, I would have bought it at some point. But its too late now, because its here on UKnova. One word for Channel4, Longtail. Maybe they could have done something simlar to PBS with there NerdTV? I'm hoping the BBC take the PBS NerdTV example as a good way to serve the longtail.

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IPTV stuff I have been watching recently

The TV is certainly a dead medium in my house, but me and Sarah do watch mainstream shows like Extras, Catherine Tate, Daily Show, etc like everyone else. But video content is growing online and with free services like youtube, ourmedia, bittorrent and TVRSS making distribution easy. Its easy to see why more of my TV watching time is used up watching content you dont see in the mainstream.

I kept meaning to write something about all the IPTV/vidcasts I have been watching recently. Then today on Digg I found this entry titled Top 15 Tech Shows

This is a list of the best free downloadable tech shows currently available on the Internet. These shows are also referred to as vidcasts, VODcasts, videozines, and IPTV

The once I watch myself are,
Diggnation, my current fav. Two people from TechTV (krose and alex) talk about the top 10 stories on Digg every week. Simlar to Slashdot review but in video form.
Digital Life TV, downloaded the videos but not actually checked this one out yet.
Systm, very polished and professional mainstream hacking show, perfect for airing on a TV network.
The Broken, the first decent hacking show to appear on the web as a vidcast. Kevin rose again and techtv people but all good fun.
From The Shadows, very good hacking and modding show. Quite professional but full of interesting hacks. Well worth checking out there recent Defcon coverage.
The Scene, a slightly geeky but somewhat lame soap about the movie scene. Entertainment value is not bad, when I was sitting on the crowded train.
Hack Point Five, is pretty funny and doesnt take its self so seriously like from the shadows etc.
Channel 9, as it tends to have previews and quite interesting interviews with people behind Microsoft products. It can be hit and miss however.
Rocketboom, because amanda congdon is a geek goddess and this show is as somewhat like the jon stewart's daily show but for internet culture. Think of it as BoingboingTV crossed with the daily show and your close.

I'm going to check out the others soon, maybe you should give them a try? I only wished they all supported TVRSS, but I'm working on ways to get them all into one feed a bit like how Jon did for Systm and Diggnation.

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Skype opens up


Just as google talk hits the news, Skype unleashes a response which answers a few of the questions about Skype and its openness.

Skype has a present to give back to the internet for all of the amazing support we have received from the internet community. We are announcing two new initiatives that make Skype and the Web a little more interesting and open up new possibilities for the developer and partner community. After all � sharing is good

The full text is here. Theres also a developers area and a official skype blog. Which is weird because I kinda of assumed Skype Journal was almost it. Skype is also tipping its hat to the community efforts through there extras gallery, which is really a large directory of links.

For those wondering about Google Talk vs Skype, check out this good summary of the difference from a normal user point of view.

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