Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Feb 2012 21:59 UTC
Multimedia, AV An interesting anecdote at MinimalMac about television being broken. The author's young daughter, who is growing up in a Netflix/Hulu/iTunes/etc. household, was confronted with actual TV for the first time, and wonders why she can't pick what to watch, why the shows are being interrupted all the time, and so on. Clearly - TV is broken.
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OT: The Universe
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 26th Feb 2012 00:35 UTC
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OT: The Universe

Thom, if you're fan of "The Universe," then I'd highly recommend a youTube series called "Cosmic Journeys" (speaking as a hopeless junkie for space documentaries). It covers much of the same subject matter, but without all of the pointless fluff that annoys me whenever I watch "The Universe" - no "whoosh" transitions, no over-dramatic narrator, no attempts to cram the word "alien" into every description, etc etc etc.

If I were to try to draw some larger point from that (and drag this post somewhat back on topic), it seems that we're finally reaching the point where freely-available online video content has caught up to (if not surpassed) the quality of what you can find on television - at least for some types of content. And the business model of the traditional TV content industry is starting to put it at a disadvantage to video content that's freely-available online, partly because (IMO) the primary customers of most TV are commercial sponsors, not the viewers - which leads to various compromises in quality.

I suspect that the difference in style between The Universe and Cosmic Journeys is largely due to creators of the latter having much more control over their content. They probably don't have a corporate beancounter/TV exec looking over their shoulders and offering helpful input like "The camera work needs to be more dynamic, you won't hold the viewer's attention if we're not constantly zooming in and out. The narrator should sound like the voiceover on trailers for summer blockbusters, otherwise how's the viewer supposed to know they're watching something dramatic? Oh, and make sure to spend 5 minutes explaining even the most basic scientific concept, our sponsors are worried about alienating the junior-high-dropout demographic."

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