Tag Archives: tv

iPhone and iPod Video and Audio Cable for TV

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Whenever I want to show Ponzi something from YouTube, she complains that she doesn’t like watching it on the small screen of the iPhone. Well, now I can connect my iPhone or iPod directly to my 42″ Plasma tv!

Using the Apple Composite AV Cable, you can connect your iPod, iPhone, or Universal Dock via the 30-pin dock connector to your TV, home theater receiver, or stereo receiver via the composite video and red/white analog audio ports. The cable also features a USB connector that you can plug into a power source, such as a computer or the included USB Power Adapter.

With them connected, I simply click the YouTube button on the iPhone, which takes me directly to the site. Choose a video to watch, and a box pops up asking me if I want to view it on the iPhone or the television. Choose television… and there it is. I can even change the aspect ratio that displays on the tv by using the iPhone controls.

Pretty much any media file on (or obtained through) your iPhone or iPod can be viewed or listened to on a home stero or television. Now you can watch slide shows, listen to your music with your awesome surround sound, or check out the latest videos online… on bigger screens, and with better sounds.


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YouTube is Television

I already mentioned that when I picked up my copy of Leopard at Best Buy the other week, the checkout clerk clearly recognized me for my videos on YouTube. That was the first time I’d ever been “seen” as a YouTube publisher in public. Pretty nifty.

I got an email from fellow YouTube partner, Howard Pinsky. He was asking me what I thought about YouTube’s new advertising strategy. I really think they’re doing it wrong, FWIW. Howard responded:

People who do what you do on YouTube is the future, in my opinion. YouTube will eventually be a TV alternative where people can watch online shows by it’s community members. “Quality content providers”. Whether it be comedy, tech, etc, and the people who are providing this content should be paid like television content providers. I hope YouTube/Google can see down the road, realistically.

With YouTube’s reach, they can bring in millions of views for each episode they promote and with proper advertising, millions of dollars. Using their current ad system is stupid. Users block out the little ad in the corner and it drives in next to nothing.

We shall see where they take this.

I’d go as far as to say that YouTube is already TV – and it’s already better television, too. I’ve been quite aware of where advertising is headed, and I’ve been looking for smart sponsors all the while. Watching this video only strengthens my resolve:

Beauty and the Geek Video

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I don’t watch much TV, but I occasionally get drawn into a Reality series. This is very true of Beauty and the Geek. I can’t help it. I’m a Geek! Did you know that they wanted me to appear on the show… twice?

A couple of years ago, I got a phone call from someone who worked for the show, asking me if I’d like to appear as a contestant. Apparently, the person had seen some of the videos I had done, and thought I’d be good on the show. I thanked them, but let them know I was indeed married. It was a cool offer, though!

Fast forward to now. I received an email from a Producer of the show, saying he had seen my videos on YouTube, and again thought I’d be a great candidate for the show! It’s a different person than before, and a couple of years later. I was flattered, but couldn’t help laughing. I had to explain that I am now married to Ponzi, who is the epitome of “hot wife”. I live Beauty and the Geek on a daily basis, and even stream it live. The Producer laughed as well, then asked if I know of anyone else who may be interested in auditioning…

Hmmmmm the light bulb inside my brain went off! What about all of you out there? Have you considered auditioning? Here are the basic requirements for auditioning and/or being on the show:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age (I know I said 18 in the video, as I was writing this up, I found the correct information on their site)
  • You must be a US Citizen or permanent resident
  • You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one until at least one (1) year after the initial broadcast of the Program.
  • Neither you nor any member of your immediate family or anyone living in your household may be or may have been within the past two (2) years an employee, officer, director or agent of any show producers, networks that may air the program, sponsors of the program, or involved in show prodcution in any way.
  • You will need to be available to the production for approximately four weeks or possibly longer, and you must be willing to reside in a location to be designated by Producers.
  • If selected as a semi-finalist, you must be willing to submit medical information to the production and submit to a medical examination, psychological examination, and background checks.

So, if you feel you meet the above requirements, and are interested in being a contestant… leave me a follow-up VIDEO comment on the YouTube channel. I just may email the Producer back and recommend you!

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Letter from a Disgruntled TechTV/G4 Viewer

The following came to me (BCC) via Jason Matt Kibby. The good news is, the spirit of TechTV lives on in various sites and new communities. Here’s what Jason had to say to G4’s suits:

G4 Media:

I’m a father of four and have spent the last fifteen years as a local radio morning show host (Rock/Top 40) in Tennessee. My background is in computer science, and I used to spend more time on your channel back when it was Tech TV. Today I tuned in just to check it out, and saw your “420 Special” on “Attack of the Show.”

After watching for about 30 minutes, what I believe I was seeing was a half-hearted commercial for pot use.

I have interviewed Tommy Chong and find him fascinating, and can somewhat appreciate your partial attempt to provide reasonably useful information and facts within the program. It was easily understood by anyone with a pulse that such “information” was provided only as necessary cover.

Overall, the 420 Special on “Attack of the Show” was irresponsible promotion and glamorization of marijuana use. Tossing in classic PSA’s was almost as questionable as your various selection of advertisers. You’re so hip and cool. I was embarrassed for Tommy Chong to see him in such ignoble, squalid context.

Purposely, I went to www.tvfreexbox.com to see what hoops were necessary to jump prior to receiving a “free” XBox as advertised. (I knew the answer beforehand, as these scams are all over the place.) All the offer options were automatically selected “yes”, which only begins to hint at how irresponsible the offer really is. Then the “Earn $10,000 per month” ad came on, and I knew I was swimming in BS. This was before the “Best buzz for the buck” segment, my particular least favorite.

G4 is an unfocused mess filled with WB leftovers, suspicious content and dubious advertising. Sadly, I’m in the target demo and so are two of my sons. I don’t shelter my kids, but I can certainly direct them away from a network populated with misinformation and fishy marketing.

I’m neither a religious zealot nor interested in restricting your right to broadcast whatever you want. I’m mostly sad that you took an outstanding product and replaced it with a low grade pop-culture Cuisinart. The “420” episode simply encapsulates your race to the bottom.

G4 is simply a network for cheesy reruns, degenerate thugs and purveyors of snake oil. I know very well there are dollars to be had on the low road, and G4 seems to be taking it with abandon.

n case your programming staff missed a few of the words in my letter, I can summarize by simply stating “G4 sucks wretched ass.” Arrested Development is, however, one of the best shows of the last decade. I’ll end with that positive note, but I can get reruns anywhere.

You traded Chris Pirillo and John Dvorak for this?


Jason Matt Kibby

Again, I didn’t write this letter – but I attained permission from Jason to republish it here (if only because a boatload of ex-TechTV community members still watch what I’m up to). I can pretty much guarantee you’ll never, EVER see another type of TechTV network on traditional television again. Your best bet is to build bonds for the community online – leave the idiot box for the idiots.

Jeff Ubois is Archiving TV for the Future

Ponzi just so happened to have our recording equipment with her when she attended a party held by our friend, Dave Winer. One other guest happened to be none other than Jeff Ubois – who is working to archive every single broadcast, past and present, for our own future:

Television remains the most powerful medium in our culture, but we have almost no memory for it: it is a transient, ephemeral, and therefore unaccountable medium. This site exists to accelerate the transformation of television into a medium that has a history, one that is permanently preserved, searchable, and accessible.

Advances in computing and communications mean that we can cost-effectively store broadcast, and provide access to a video collections via the Internet to students and adults all over the world. By working with existing institutions and funding sources, and creating new ones, we can provide universal access to this portion of our culture within the current worldwide library budget, just as we have done that with other media.

BitTorrent for Windows Media Center is Coming!

There’s no code to look at right now, but I’m surprised this news hasn’t been picked up anywhere (that I can see)? The author says that there’s currently no download available, but it’s still an amazing application to look forward to – especially if it beats Ted. Here’s some of the features the dev is planning, per the Aufero blog:

  • Aufero uses about fifty sources for its information gathering, a lot of it is irrelevant but over time it gathers more relevant information about present and future. For instance it definitely is worth scheduling the download of “Magnum P.I. ‘trailer'” (scheduled for release sometime in ’07) already today.
  • Notification of relevant events through mail when you are not in front of your TV.
  • Automatic download of videos on your Wish List as Torrents becomes available (give it some hours to monitor activity after something is released)
  • Aufero is written completely from scratch with the sole purpose of being a Vista Media Center application.
  • Seemlessly play non-WMV (eg. XviD etc) on XBox360 using Aufero’s media library (requires TVersity)

Dude. This sounds awesome. Right now, my scheduled torrenting is somewhat of a kludge. I really should get my ol’ Media Center set up again, eh? Maybe I’ll try that beta of Windows Home Server and see if that works well enough…

Windows Vista TV Commercials


I’m sorry. I’m watching Comedy Central right now, with Windows Vista (apparently) sponsoring the hour of standup (even though Scrubs was scheduled to air). Instead of the regular din of commercials, the network is running nonsensical clips of some “old guy” teasing people to TheIAP.org – where you’re pointed to an even more confusing teaser link (Clearification.com). The “old guy” keeps talking about making life “clutter free” but I’ve never, ever, in my entire life felt more confused about what a commercial was trying to communicate to me. I understand the unspoken meaning behind “that not-so-fresh feeling” a woman has, but I’ll be damned if I can make heads or tails of this Windows Vista campaign.

Dude. Seriously. No. This isn’t happening. Don’t take these links as validation – I’m merely baffled at what a horrible waste of resources this was. Microsoft: you had a TREMENDOUS opportunity to blow people away with what you put in Windows Vista. Instead, you send them to Web sites that don’t make any sense (though Clearification.com sports an RSS feed that will likely die in a month).

My god, even the “PC” in Apple’s Get a Mac commercials does a better job at representing what your product does.

Wow. Seriously. Wow.

An UndoTV Update

In a matter of hours, DNS should be resolving for UndoTV.com. Before you rush the site (as I’m sure you will), please note that we’re only letting vetted talent in at first. Submit your email address to be added to the queue for invitation codes – which will start going out mid-November. You’ll see our temporary “about” page soon enough, but here’s what Leo and I have written:

Today, the idea of a tech-centric TV network has disappeared from the minds of Hollywood’s elite. Par for the course! Passionate communities are often kept an arm’s length away from their favorite broadcasted content in traditional media circles.

It’s time to undo that way of thinking, don’t you think?

TechTV alumni just wanted a place where we could all come together and funnel our independent efforts. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” keeps ringing through my head – not just our existing content, but NEW stuff (and NEW faces) as well. Leo Laporte and I have done our best to set the stage for UndoTV.

The blogger Steve Borsch commented in a previous thread: “So, who decides what gets ‘on’ UndoTV? Who the talent is? What emerges?” The UndoTV talent base is starting with the former ZDTV / TechTV staff, previous show guests, and vetted friends. Without a base of quality content, we’d be nothing more than a video portal clone.

Everybody is welcome here – and everybody retains 100% ownership of their own content.

The community (you) will determine the direction of our efforts. Certainly, some former TechTV talent has gone on to do fantastic productions far outside the realm of the tech industry. Everybody is welcome to help us undo the idea of television – helping reinvent the way community can influence the active development of a site, its content, and its superstars.

You are tomorrow’s network. You control the horizontal – and the vertical, too. As such, we only want to see your own creations here. If you want to upload someone else’s content, please do so elsewhere? It’s the community’s job to keep this community clean, cool, and collected. We hope you take that responsibility to heart.

Expect, in short time, new features and functionality, new ways to interact, and new ways to find a passionate audience for your own talents.

TechTV = UndoTV

TechTV was a television network that held within it so much promise, so much talent. We had an army of fanatics stationed all around the globe. The Internet-savvy did everything in their power to empower that very community – but many of those efforts fell victim to a traditional media mindset. We’re now on the cusp of a new media revolution, and I’ve begun to spearhead efforts to ressurect the ideals of TechTV.

When I seeded the idea about letting the community help us centralize, the response was overwhelming – both from TechTV alumni and our ever-present supporters. I’m here to tell you now: it’s going to happen. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but… that’s what makes it worth doing! The most difficult hurdle has already been overcome, in my opinion: we have an audience that is NOT being served effectively.

ZDTV/TechTV brought us all together, but that brand belongs to somebody else – to a completely different time and management style. It’s not the name that’s most important – it’s what we do with that name which will prove our validity and worth. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts!

Leo and I have discussed a few core values this impending structure must support, the most revolutionary of which is content producers owning 100% of their contributions. We want to enable former TechTV talent to upload new and existing content, and we want to bring new talent into the fold as well. Sales will also be an important part of this process, so we’d also like to help match sponsorship with these personalities.

The working (and likely final) name for this project is simple, poignant, and genre-neutral: UndoTV. I’ve registered UndoTV.com, Undo.tv, UndoTV.net, and UndoTV.org through GoDaddy. I believe that UndoTV.com will be the primary domain (with Undo.tv being a permanent redirect to it). It’s my hope to turn over UndoTV.net and UndoTV.org to the community, letting vetted leaders craft those sites with tools of their choosing. Perhaps one could hold within it a wiki, another could hold a customized version of MUWP (which I’m developing for Lockergnome.com anyway)? That’s completely up to you, my friends.

Why UndoTV? Several reasons:

  • Some former TechTV talent are no longer producing tech content.
  • We’re undoing TechTV’s untimely and unwarranted demise.
  • The television industry is changing, and we’re all helping “undo” it.
  • There are few preconceived notions with the word “undo.”
  • The CTRL+Z reference is geeky enough, but it doesn’t turn off non-geeks.
  • The appropriate domains were available.
  • Informal reactions to the “UndoTV” name were positive.
  • All TechTV/ZDTV fans will find us, no matter what we call it.

A good name is important, but not as important as what we make of that name. What did “Digg” mean before the community pushed it to a powerhouse? What’s more, we’re really trying to help people who are afraid of technology – and getting a technophobe to pay attention to “tech” anything is nothing short of impossible. Let me put it to you another way: how do normal people discover YouTube videos?

I’m confident that the timing for UndoTV is perfect. Leo and I have identified a potential platform to begin publishing through, but an actual launch date is still in the air. We have every element in line for success: an amazing community, a range of great talent, and a strong desire to push the media industry forward.

Could be the Peet’s talking, but… I’m excited. Next steps?

  • Draft a unique logo
  • Prep the site structure
  • Locate smart sponsors
  • Contact interested talent
  • Solicit community feedback
  • Identify organizational needs
  • Define necessary roles
  • Flesh out legal structure

Here we go. Let’s see if Dvorak likes the idea.

TechTV: Rebuilt by Community?

Looks like Leo may have let loose the flood gates: TechTV Reunion? It’s possible. I think it’s very possible. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that I want to help make it happen. I think we could make a good go of the idea on the ‘Net before taking it to a television studio – unless, of course, there’s a studio out there that understands just how much TechTV helped both technophiles and technophobes. That’s one idea.

I’m thinking we could do something a bit more permanent (at least, online). I believe the community can bring the idea of “TechTV” back to life. What we’ll need, of course, is YOUR HELP.

For starters, I’m looking for a centralized site where TechTV Alumni could log in, post a video via Flash controls, then have their recordings indexed (tagged? syndicated?) and streamed on-demand. There’s probably an open source app I’m not seeing at the moment, but if any of the TechTV faithful can help… we’re all ears. It could be a TechTV Variety video site – but can the community build it for us to use? We could likely do this through a video portal, but… I think a TechTV community-controlled (or directed) solution is the big win.

Until then, I’m going to knock on a few more doors to see if I can generate genuine interest – for sponsors and/or studios.