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The personal blog of Michael Ashby

Tag / television

Absolute Brilliance – Old Spice Personalized Commercials

It’s Friday and you don’t want to work and you’re looking for a distraction? Well, look no further! OldSpice has done a series of personalized commercials and posted them on YouTube. Simply go to this link and prepare to be amazed. Very funny, very clever and I have no doubt that I’ll be buying an […]

My Thoughts Exactly

I just read a great article on Gizmodo by Peter Serafinowicz regarding the various reasons he chooses to pirate music and video entitled “Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I’m In. It’s a pretty funny read, but it’s also very much on the nose for why I too sometimes download content through illegal means. I […]

John Mese On “CSI” Tonight

John F**kin' MeseBe sure to tune your televisions to CBS this evening to watch “CSI“. My good buddy, John Mese will be appearing as Gordon Wallace in tonight’s episode Spellbound. I’ve seen a few previews for the show and you can clearly, albeit quickly, see John being interrogated. I don’t know if this means he’s playing the “bad guy” or not, but he’s sure to get plenty of face time, which is fantastic.

John’s been having a great run over the past year or so. He was on “Law and Order” in the episode Acid, which then lead to a role on “Bones” in The Superhero In The Alley. Before all that, he was on “Medium” in the episode Suspicions And Certainties, which was a brilliant role. It was very dark but VERY funny.

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To North Carolina

An open envelopeSince I met my wife over 18 years ago (gawd that makes me sound old), we’ve always celebrated her birthday by trying to make it special. Since it falls on the 19th of December, just 6 days before Christmas, it makes it a bit of a challenge since it’s easy to lump the two events together. So we found that by taking a small trip somewhere, we can help make it more unique. This year we decided to drive to North Carolina and explore High Point and Willimington.

The plan was to leave the night of Thursday the 15th to get a head start on all the driving. High Point is an 8 hour drive, so instead of eating up all of Friday driving, we could break it up over two days and have most of Friday to browse the acres of furniture that High Point is known for. I also had to do my radio show for Computer Outlook that evening, and the day itself was crazy as ever with having to visit several client sites, shop for Holly, etc. Suffice to say that it I had a very busy day planned.

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Mashby’s Top 10 Television Shows (part 2)

The other day I wrote about the first five of my top ten favorite television shows. It’s now time to cover the second half of my top ten. If you missed the first part, you can find it at this link. So without any further ado, my favorite shows from 6 to 10 are as follows.

06. “Lost” (ABC)
LostMy wife and I missed catching the first few episodes of Lost when it first began airing last year. It wasn’t until the Season 1 DVD came out that we were able to catch up and see what all the buzz was about. After the second episode we were hooked and now we never miss an episode and thanks to iTunes, I don’t have to.

“Lost” is the story about the survivors of a plane crash, who find themselves on an island. The real adventure begins once they discover that the island holds many mysteries and so do the survivors themselves. The hook that pulls you in and won’t let go is the way the story slowly draws you into the mysteries. Instead of big stunning revelations, the viewer peels away one layer at a time, much like layers on a onion. For this reason though, it’s really best to watch it from the beginning. Coming into the middle of Season 2 isn’t the best way to ease your way into the series. There’s a lot of strange things that occur and it’s best to experience them for yourself and not by word-of-mouth.

If you’re new to the series, be sure and watch the Season 1 DVD, or download the last season on iTunes for $34. It’s worth the effort.

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Mashby’s Top 10 Television Shows

With all the talk this week about the mechanics of receiving television this week, I thought it was high time to talk about the shows themselves. I’m a confirmed TV junkie who can’t seem to get enough. When I stumbled upon Broadcatching, my addiction got the best of me, but over the summer I pulled myself together and got my habit under control. So here’s my top 10 list of the creme de la creme of what’s out there on the boob tube. I’m listing them in my order of preference, so you don’t have to wait until tomorrow for the top-rated shows. Bon appétit!

01. “Firefly” (FOX)
FireflyThis series was canceled in 2002, but to this day it stands out as my favorite television show. Created by Oscar and Emmy nominated writer Joss Whedon, who had created two blockbuster hits for FX with “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and “Angel“, was asked to create one more show for them. What he came up with was “Firefly“. The network eagerly bought the show and then didn’t know what to do with it. They decided not to air the pilot, then dumped it into a crappy time slot and in the end canceled it. Idiots.

Lucky for us, the fan base for the show was legion and they were vocal. After the show was canceled, they started up a grass roots campaign to drive the sales of the DVD for the series and that got Universal’s attention who decided to continue the story with the first of hopefully 3 movies called Serenity. The series is great, the movie is great and it’s all shiny.

“So what’s the story about?” It doesn’t matter. Go buy the DVD and watch it. “But isn’t it Sci-Fi?” It is and it isn’t. It’s unlike any show that’s out there, so go buy it and watch it. “Yeah, but I’ve heard it’s a western too” It doesn’t matter. Go buy the DVD and watch it.

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On-Demand Deal Doesn’t Really Meet Consumer Demands

A man scratching his headI didn’t really mean to make the topic of downloadable TV, or TV On-Demand, a theme for the week, but after reading a few announcements today I felt a few words were in order. Today CBS and NBC made two big announcements regarding providing content from their network in an On-Demand model. This of course comes on the heals of the ABC deal with iTunes, but it differs from that arrangement pretty significantly. Instead of just jumping on the bandwagon and signing up with iTunes, CBS and NBC are both using a model of using a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) to receive their programming. So instead of using your computer, you use a DVR directly connected to your television.

So how is this different? Well, with this model, you would have a dedicated device connected to your television that would then communicate with your television provider to receive the content. Once received and purchased, you could then hit a button on your remote and watch the program. With the iTunes model, you can easily download the content, but you have the hurdle of getting it to your television. With a DVR that hurdle doesn’t exist. Sounds like an easier solution then, right? Well, it is and it isn’t.

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The Future Of Download TV Looks Very Bright

A flat-screen television with sunglasses onI’ve written in the past how much I enjoy Broadcatching, but since that article it’s become harder and harder to use BitTorrent to successfully download content. On the other hand, it could also be that broadcatching has the same hurdles it always had, but I’m just now finding it tedious. Whatver the case, downloading TV isn’t what it use to be back in the day – like 9 months ago. Of course, I’ve also been a big proponet of the broadcasters selling their content online via download. In fact, for the record, I wrote about the viability of this content distribution channel back in May 2005. So you can imagine my elation and sense of validation when Apple announced that they were now distributing television via iTunes.

In case you missed the announcement, Apple released its next generation iPods and one of the new features was the ability to play videos. In addition, they announced that they were now making available for sale music videos and select television content from ABC and Disney. This was HUGE news, because it was the first step in what will probably become an avalanche of content. For now though, there’s only 3 shows from ABC (Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Night Stalker) and 2 from Disney (That’s So Raven, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody), but with those two large networks signed up, it’s only a matter of time before other broadcasters belly up to the bar.

Now I could lose myself in the possibilities and the excitement of what’s to come, but given that the menu that is currently available for TV is fairly small, I think I’ll refrain. Why? Because it’s clear that the powers that be want to make sure that this model is viable. By releasing only three shows a piece, the broadcasters clearly want some proof before they go whole hog and provide more content. I was expecting to have to wait six months before the results came out, but Apple announced on October 10th that they had sold over 1 Million videos in 20 days. Whaaa?!? :O

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