What Do You Think About ZDTV / TechTV / G4?

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Every single day, someone asks me “what do you think about G4 and TechTV?”. I always say “TechTV is no longer around, but I am”.

The bottom line is that we don’t need TechTV. TechTV needed us. By “us”, I mean people and the community. G4 isn’t so much about community, as it is about entertainment. If you want entertainment, then by all means – watch it.

Even though G4 has run some of my favorite movies, I have never watched them on G4. I’ve never watched a single thing on G4. I have no issue with G4 necessarily. But it’s as much like TechTV as the crust in my underwear is. TechTV is no longer around. Why not move on from it?

Those of us from TechTV have moved on, and most of us are doing far better things than we did back then. There will never be another TechTV. It’s just not going to ever happen again. There will likely not be a tech channel on television that is 24/7, and that is honestly a good thing.

With the Internet, who needs TechTV? The community has a chance to play along together and have new voices be heard. Different kinds of discoveries can be shared amongst ourselves. We shouldn’t look to TechTV or even G4, but to the memory of what TechTV was as we move forward.

I asked some of my friends what they thought on the matter, as well.

I really miss Tech TV. G4 is for no-life suckas! – Helen Sventitsky

I miss ZDTV and Tech TV. Was all over those before I even realized ow geeky I was. – The Amber

I never got to see TechTV even tho I lived in the Bay Area. They didn’t offer it on my cable system at the time. I don’t like G4 TV these days. – PC Easy

I loved it. Thought it was the best of tech and kept everyone up to date with great commentary. Then they switched the format so many times, it just died out with the suits trying to take advantage of the Internet bubble. Remember when they did Headline news style during the day for awhile with tickers? Loved Silicon Spin and The Screen Savers. – Eric @ CS Techcast

I enjoyed ZDTV, and subsequently TechTV as well. G4 pisses me off. A lot. They just destroyed everything that made that channel good. And now they’re going the MTV route and putting on a ton of shows that have nothing to do with the purpose of the channel to begin with. Pretty soon we’re going to get G4-2, with the promise that we really WILL get all those gaming and tech shows back…only to have it too overtaken by crap reality shows and cartoons in a few years’ time. – Amanda H.

I use to watch ZDTV and later Tech TV and think Oh wow! I need to check out this freebsd thing, or cool linux command line switches… Now its like oh, nice single entendre. I guess if I was still in my teens, or had absolutely no idea what that station used to be like I could watch some of the shows. – J. Abdul-Qahhar

The only thing on G4 that I watch is Code Monkeys, and even then it’s just because of the JoCo connection mroe than anything else. Oh, and Clarence. I loves me some Clarence. 😀 – Amanda H.

I remember scrolling through channels and when I saw the name Tech TV I had a nerdgasam. I started looking over all the shows they had and was hooked to a pathetic level. G4 lost my interest very quickly and now it is just plain annoying. Zero interest. Bring back the tech and I might pretend to care. – MarkCarras

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19 thoughts on “What Do You Think About ZDTV / TechTV / G4?”

  1. TechTV was the only channel I watched from the time I found out about it until it became G4 (only a little hyperbolic). It was a niche channel. Niche cable channels don’t get great ratings. Now I listen/watch podcasts created by the hosts of my favorite shows (Tekzilla, Systm, TWiT, etc.). So it goes…

  2. I loved TechTV, and worked for them. But, like Chris, I’ve moved on to bigger and better things. The one thing I miss most is contact with all the people. That too has kind of died down. If it weren’t for TechTV I’d never have met Chris! I’d never have gotten interested in Computers at all and therefore never learned a thing about them other than how to call a tech (like ME now) to fix things I broke!

    Call for Help and Screen Savers were my favs, but the 24 Hour HelpAThon will always stand out as my bestest memory!!! …….Priceless piece of equipment…. CRASH!!!

  3. TechTv rocked. I use to always watch the Screensavers (since it was after school) and tried to catch CallForHelp when I could. I really like the anime shows they had on there at one point, like Crest of the Stars & Betterman. When TechTv turned into G4 and everyone started leaving, though, everything just spiraled downhill. Everything started being game centric which was a huge turnoff and big reason for me not to watch. Plus it didn’t make any sense there already was a gaming channel, why another?

  4. TechTV was the height of awesomeness: great shows, knowledgeable hosts and guests, interesting topics, much geekiness.

    G4 is so bad it is not even classifiable, save for X-Play (which is actually TechTV’s show, so that doesnt count): abysmally insipid shows (Cops or Banzuke anyone?? How about that idiotic Japanese show that I cannot remember the name of right now??), host who are just a pretty face or a set of big hooters, much for the brain-deficient crowd.

    Oh well……..

  5. I agree with you about G4, we don’t need it. I can get the content and many of the host from websites, like yours. The new format is better, more interactive.

    TechTV served it time, before you had broadband, it was way to get some geekyness. Now, just stream it, and leave the TV off all together.

  6. I was a huge fan of TechTV. I rarely missed an episode of Call for Help & The Screen Savers. When it became G4, they lost me. I don’t think I’ve tuned in for 5+ years.

  7. I loved TechTV and miss it. Yes, Leo, Chris and all the lab rats have moved on and some may even be more “successful,” but I enjoyed what they produced as a group for TV.

  8. I mixx ZDTV and TechTV; G4 is for time wasting and gamers. I feel that computers are not game specific but you know how children are. I like the ability to multitask with a computer and to access information.

  9. I miss TechTV. Leo Laporte and all the funny wonderful people. I keep trying to watch G4 but there is nothing worth watching.

  10. I thought you looked familiar Chris, I saw you on techtv. Anyway, I was just watching G4 a few minutes ago and thinking how different (and bad in my opinion) it is compared to techtv. I used to watch the show screensavers a lot. I really enjoyed that. It was informative and the people on it were great. Anyway, I really miss the old techtv. Too bad it couldn ‘t last. A lot of the people from it have gone on to better things anyway.

  11. I miss ZDTV/TechTV very much. I started watching it in 2001. I miss several of the shows (Call for Help and Screen Savers most). I watched them whenever I could until G4 got rid of them. I didn’t like G4 and haven’t watched since it took over.

    I miss Leo and Chris and others and the information they gave. I set up computers and bought stuff from their information and reviews. They inspired me and as an old guy who’s been using computers since the mid 1980s I went back to college and got another degree, this time in Computer Information Systems in 2003.

    I do see Erica Hill on the news currently.

    Please bring these type of shows back somewhere.


  12. I’m bewildered how there can be a 24×7 show for cooking but not for technology – perhaps an indication of why we’re loosing our position in the world but increasing our waistlines [or was that waste of time?]….

  13. I started watching ZDTV in the summer of 2000. It was informative, entertaining and just plain fun for this slightly over-the-hill geek to watch. I do miss the format, especially since my TV watching skills blow away my typing skills :).

    The overall problem I have seen with “cable” channels I see in not jusr G4, but TV Land, MTV, VH1, etc. They start out as “niche” channels”, great at what they do. Then in an attempt to attract more viewers, they “branch out” with stuff like movies, “reality” shows and stuff that just doesn’t attract their niche markets.

    It seems that for every new viewer they attract, they lose two. You think by now the powers that be who program these channels would have learned a lesson.

  14. I think TechTV was the best thing there was — INTELLIGENT TELEVISION! It was the only place to find 24/7 technology talk, information, entertainment. I thought Big Thinkers was awesome – where else could you see interviews with the top tech people of the day? No one aired shows like it. I see Chris that you believe we should all move on, but I don’t know what became of all the people and shows from TechTV, or how to find them today. G4 is pathetic — waste of time. I only watched it long enough to check out the show list – UGH. Even gamers I know don’t bother with it. I think we should try to bring back a TechTV-style channel. If I had the bucks, I’d do it for sure.

  15. When I first watched ZDTV I said to myself, this is not going to last, it is too good. The format was the best, it ws not broken, but they fixed it anyway, and that was the down fall.

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