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Nick_Jinn
August 9th, 2010, 08:09 AM
Ive never really used the public airwaves. I have always either had cable or nothing. Right now I have nothing, only internet.

How would you rate the quality of the public airwaves since they went digital? Has the quality improved? The quality of the programming itself?

Via the net I have access to TONS of movies. There are a few series I miss, like Adult Swim stuff and Breaking Bad (see other thread). I get them 'by the series' but its a lot less convenient. I still have tons of burned digital entertainment though.


So I hear there are more channels now...sub channels and stuff. More community channel access. I am a big supporter of community television, even though it sometimes sucks. I think its important for people to be able to get their perspectives out without being billionaires. Whats it like having more channels or sub channels now?

I guess if you have HD you get the most HD programming for FREE with the public airwaves. I guess this costs extra with cable.

How would you rate your overall experience with the public airwaves? What do you prefer about cable or satalite?


And what options are there for internet television? Are these options compatible with MythTV?

NCLI
August 9th, 2010, 08:12 AM
I find everything I want to see via the Internet now. Easier, better quality, and no ads :p

Nick_Jinn
August 9th, 2010, 08:28 AM
Do you just download your favorite shows via torrent?

I am debating whether I should get the expanded cable instead of basic, or a converter box, or if I should instead find a way to access television through the web...Like if I was to see Breaking Bad or House streaming through my PC to my TV in real time as its airing, how do I do that?

t0p
August 9th, 2010, 08:43 AM
In the UK we are in the process of switching over to digital tv. There are loads of free-to-air digital channels, and the vast majority of what they show is garbage. So many repeats.... and shopping channels... But I suppose Americans with their squillions of channels are used to that already.

Bachstelze
August 9th, 2010, 09:18 AM
I almost stopped watching TV long ago. Nowadays I pretty much only watch soccer and tennis games. If I want to watch a movie or a series, I buy the DVDs/Blu-rays if they exist.

handy
August 9th, 2010, 10:53 AM
We haven't had TV in our house for over 2 decades. Didn't use it for some time before that either.

TV sucks the peace out of a household, amongst other things.

aeiah
August 9th, 2010, 10:57 AM
TV in the uk has seen a marked downturn in quality since digital tv kicked off.. there are 5 times as many channels, and the quality is spread out very very thinly now. plus, most of the less popular channels have rather high video compression and at times it looks like you're watching youtube.

this is all from glancing at other people's TV though, of course. i havent had TV of my own for the last 10 years or so. i have an HDTV but its never seen a TV signal, only xbox 360 and my computer

aeiah
August 9th, 2010, 10:58 AM
oh, and we should probably avoid talking about where to download tv shows from in this thread. it'll only get locked.

sqrooup
August 9th, 2010, 11:05 AM
When it comes to TV I seem to only watch BBC1 (for Doctor Who and Sherlock) and Dave (for QI, Argumental, Mock the Week and Top Gear); IMHO ITV is now (word deleted), and Sky is rubbish (Since they replaced Richard Hammond with Vic Reeves on Brainiac, I stopped watching).

And if I miss a program on BBC, there is always the iPlayer!

aeiah
August 9th, 2010, 11:07 AM
channel 4 and bbc 4 have some great documentaries, but there are more convenient ways of watching them than waiting for a specific time of the week to occur.

schreber
August 9th, 2010, 12:00 PM
I would say it all depends on what you like to watch (via the internet). For someone on the other side of the pond the quality of night time programs (read: to the extent that most things are becoming reality tv based) is really making the old saying "idiot box" (referring to the television if you're unfamiliar with the saying) more and more a fact and not a myth.

If you're into public broadcasting (PBS (http://www.pbs.org) - not sure what the equivalent is for Europeans) it can be rather entertaining/informative depending on what your likes/dislikes are. As for cable programming I think it's more a gamble since you're exposed to more adult themed programming/language and may not be something you're entirely interested in.

In terms of picture quality (at least where I am) you get the feeling that things aren't really there yet. You still get the odd "scramble", "distortion", or "broken" picture one sees when watching satellite programming during bad weather.

There are more channels being offered these days but more doesn't necessarily mean better. If you're constantly bombarded with crappy programming (my opinion) more of the same seems to follow regardless of channel/programming intent. I've noticed that (at least in my area) that there are duplicate channels being offered (a "digital" and a "HD" channel), as for the point behind this is well beyond my comprehension since they, the cable provider, could offer alternative programming that may not normally be seen instead of flooding the airwaves with the same thing.

To be frank I've given up on television in general. What I end up watching these days is stuff generally not shown in my area/country (like Doctor Who (I prefer to watch it when it airs instead of weeks/months after), Sherlock, and various Asian programming that will never be shown).

This isn't meant to dissuade you (or anyone else) from getting cable/satellite programming now or in the future but simply an opinion about the current state of programming/quality of programming being currently offered.

NCLI
August 9th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Do you just download your favorite shows via torrent?

I am debating whether I should get the expanded cable instead of basic, or a converter box, or if I should instead find a way to access television through the web...Like if I was to see Breaking Bad or House streaming through my PC to my TV in real time as its airing, how do I do that?

I get my favorite shows via the Internet. This is possible through both legitimate and illegitimate ways. Netflix is a good legitimate way if you live in the US, but sadly, there aren't many really good sites like it for us Europeans, due to copyright difficulties, so some find themselves forced to do illegal things to watch the latest episodes of US shows.

samalex
August 9th, 2010, 04:17 PM
When you say public television, are you referring to broadcast TV in general, or Public Television stations like PBS?

When we moved into our new house about 3 months ago we went without cable TV and Internet for about 3 weeks while Time Warner wired the neighborhood. The two biggest reasons we went back to cable TV was because of the DVR and because our local PBS station shut down last month, so the local cable providers picked-up a PBS station from a neighboring market which we can't pick up using an OTA antenna. PBS is my fave channel, so cable TV was the only way to get it.

Using an OTA antenna we get the standards ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, Fox, plus a couple of weather channels and like 4 Spanish speaking channels and two religious channels, none of these are of value to us. If the networks would come together and create a common medium online to pipe their content to people, even if it's Hulu Plus, I'd subscribe and drop Cable TV. But for now it's too cumbersome going through the various network channel websites to find the content you want then port that to the TV.

Sam

mojo risin
August 9th, 2010, 05:41 PM
Mine (german) is good, is has a lot of documentaries which arent full of bull poodoo.
which are well funded, (researched) well directed and with good commentary. I don't like sensational kind of "documentaries" which go about how you best agitate a crocodile. (with a lot of short sentences and words like 'suddenly' in it)

I also like the regional programmes as well :). and local reprts :) they also show good films especially arte (a bilateral channel) or 3 sat, . one of the benefits is that they don't have advertising as this really puts me of watching a film .
I am using digital satelite by the way, and all are in a good quality :)

beercz
August 9th, 2010, 07:36 PM
In my opinion you can't beat the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk)!

Fantastic value for about 145 per year (12-13 per month) - 9 TV channels, 11 national radio stations, loads of local radio stations, superb website, 2nd to none news service, superb on-line tv player (iPlayer) and no commercials.

We in the UK are very lucky! Most people I know who live outside the UK are very envious of he BBC - especially in the USA.

samalex
August 9th, 2010, 08:27 PM
We in the UK are very lucky! Most people I know who live outside the UK are very envious of he BBC - especially in the USA.

Like me :) I wish there were some way to legally get BBC in the US, heck I'd pay for it if that were an option.

Sam

quids
August 9th, 2010, 09:52 PM
BBC - Total rip off for 145 a year
I have Sky and as a result never watch a single thing on BBC or their fake HD channel

I was forced down the route of getting Sky after the digital switchover caused me to loose all channels.
Its good TV, but now Im thinking why do I want Live TV at all... I could watch everything I want on-demand.

At least I won't have to pay the BBC tax anymore :)

Dustin2128
August 9th, 2010, 10:03 PM
meh, I used to watch public tv before I got a satellite box in my room (7 years ago). There are a few good shows (very good shows) like nova, but they're exceedingly rare. Besides, public TV can be watched online legally, in HD, with none of that huge signal loss.

Spice Weasel
August 9th, 2010, 11:16 PM
I only really watch the occasional documentary now, mostly I just obtain my TV show fix with *ahem* alternative methods. :p

Nick_Jinn
August 10th, 2010, 12:41 AM
meh, I used to watch public tv before I got a satellite box in my room (7 years ago). There are a few good shows (very good shows) like nova, but they're exceedingly rare. Besides, public TV can be watched online legally, in HD, with none of that huge signal loss.


How do you watch it online legally? Where do people go to watch say, House or the Simpsons, at the time that its playing for everyone else?


FYI, I do prefer the darker and more adult themed shows that get a pass on cable that wouldnt fly on the public airwaves. I wish there were a few more adult themed (I dont mean porn) channels that are at least as bold as AMC and Adult Swim. I wish that instead of these handful of channels being allowed to expand their monopoly into sub-channels, I think those sub channels should be 'real' channels, perhaps renting them out to channels that were on different wavelengths (VHF?) or to channels that are currently cable or satellite only.....and maybe leave a few open for pirate television.

It would be cool if there was a protocol for using a combination of 'free' wavelengths to produce a television signal....so people really could produce short wave pirate television.


While I already have most of the Adult Swim cartoons, I kind of like having them mix it up for me. Often its more fun and 'festive' maybe to watch something when everyone else is watching it rather than putting conscious effort into seeing it....like I will still choose to watch movies I have, but if somethings on I will be more likely to accept the suggestion than i would be to have chosen to watch that show....It might have sounded ho hum until it was actually on.

Anyway. So how do I watch regular TV through cable internet while its happening? How do I watch cable channels like AMC and Adult Swim through the internet?

Nick_Jinn
August 10th, 2010, 12:43 AM
I was considering getting a 'cable/rabit ears' to USB to decode the digital signal then play it on my TV with S-video out, hooking it up to MythTV......but there are sites I can go to that make that unnecessary>?

Dustin2128
August 10th, 2010, 01:14 AM
How do you watch it online legally? Where do people go to watch say, House or the Simpsons, at the time that its playing for everyone else?

Well the major shows don't have an archive of course, but you can usually watch the latest few episodes on hulu or the site of the show's network (advertisements involved unfortunatley). I was talking about real public TV though, PBS and the like.

Old_Grey_Wolf
August 10th, 2010, 01:25 AM
I tried Digital over-the-air briefly; however, I gave up on using it. I am all Internet now. With Digital over-the-air, if the signal is week the channel doesn't work unlike Analog where the picture is less than optimum. Yes, there are a lot of channels; however, after getting rid of the infomercial channels, channels in languages I don't understand, low signal channels, and duplicate channels, there wasn't a lot left that I wasn't getting before the switch to Digital.

I just gave up, installed Windows on a spare PC so we could watch DRM'ed content, such as NetFlix streaming. If Linux gets something that can watch the DRM'ed NetFlix streaming content; then, the Windows box gets paved and reloaded with Linux.

Many of the major networks have on-line content. It is not usually the current weeks broadcasts. If you are in the UK Goolge BBC, if in the US Google CNN, CBS, NBC, etc., if in another country try Googling the major networks in you country.

Nick_Jinn
August 10th, 2010, 03:35 AM
I posted a video of someone who got netflicks movies working in Ubuntu....it looked like it took some doing though. Try searching for it in Google videos.

I usually obtain my videos via torrents (legal movies from the public domain only of course....yes, they do exist).

Hulu is usually a few episodes behind the networks, but its not the worst way to watch a show. Unless you are used to watching it on network you probably wont know the difference.



I heard there was a way to watch Satalite channels through the web.....they said it was totally legal though it looked a little sketch. Anyone know anything about that?

Old_Grey_Wolf
August 10th, 2010, 04:07 AM
I posted a video of someone who got netflicks movies working in Ubuntu....it looked like it took some doing though. Try searching for it in Google videos.

I found the video. That is actually very easy; however, it really isn't playing NetFlix natively on a Linux box. What it shows is playing NetFlix in a Windows operating system in Oracle/Sun VirtualBox. You still need a Microsoft Windows operating system license key to run it according to Microsoft's End User License Agreement.

Nick_Jinn
August 10th, 2010, 04:10 AM
Yeah, but its a lot better than having to log off and dividing your hard drive and splitting up your work.

You might also be able to use ReactOS as a virtual machine (A more realistic use for them as a virtual machine rather than a serious competitor for Linux), even though they are a bunch of *snip* At least its open source.

mamamia88
August 10th, 2010, 04:19 AM
really depends how far you live from the broadcasting location pretty sure. i live near chicago so it comes in pretty well via attenna upstairs where i don't have cable. all my tvs downstairs have cable though

Spr0k3t
August 10th, 2010, 04:22 AM
One thing to take into consideration. Television is referred to as a medium as it is often never done well.

I don't watch TV. I don't read advertisements. I don't purchase products from any company associated with spamming. I eat telemarketing companies for lunch with legal proceedings miles long. I read my news without ads. For visual recreation, I go by the recommendations of others for movies to watch or shows to catch. Some shows I've never heard of until at least 3rd or 4th season... if they are on cable, it takes forever. Word of mouth is possibly the best form of advertising and personally should stay that way.

How well is the quality of television (public, cable, or sat)... I can quite honestly say it sucks the last few times I've been subjected to it... and it just keeps getting worse. Only two shows out of an entire year have really been worth it to me... that's including the stuff on cable. One show that I had been following fell flat on its face and I haven't looked back.

What we need to do to solve this problem... let's round up all the writers of television shows and force feed them low dosages of LSD. That would solve the current rut of reality crap and might even weed out a few of those who can't write their way out of a paper bag.

lisati
August 10th, 2010, 04:24 AM
Here in New Zealand, we're in a "betwixt and between" state, with a number of analog channels, Sky (http://www.skytv.co.nz/) (which has a monthly subscription), and Freeview (http://freeviewnz.tv/). Some areas also have a cable service. On the particular Freeview box we have in the Lisati household, which runs through rabbits ears (we're too broke to get a proper aerial installed but it does work), we can get something like 12 TV stations (one of which is one of the other stations delayed by an hour) and 3 radio stations. This doesn't include a HD demo channel. Some parts of New Zealand have an extra local station, and there are a couple of stations available on the satellite dish version that aren't available on the HD version.

We originally purchased the Freeview box because no matter what we did, we couldn't get a clear signal for some of the analog stations with rabbit's ears.

One of the TV stations broadcasts some shows and movies with 5.1 sound on Freeview, which is pretty neat.

Long gone are the days of one TV station broadcasting in black-and-white!

KiwiNZ
August 10th, 2010, 04:29 AM
@ lisati Sky and Freeview are Digital services offering both HD and SD broadcast

The later Freeview SD is via Satellite and the HD is via terrestrial towers. Ski Digital is all via Satellite.

Nick_Jinn
August 10th, 2010, 04:32 AM
Does anyone know if this particular device should be linux compatible?

http://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-TV-USBHD-Digital-Capture-Pendrive/dp/B000VKU33S/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1281396495&sr=8-2-fkmr0

Old_Grey_Wolf
August 10th, 2010, 04:42 AM
Yeah, but its a lot better than having to log off and dividing your hard drive and splitting up your work.

I agree with that statement. That is why I run Xen, KVM, VMware, or VirtualBox hypervisors on five of my computers. I leave one computer Windows only for the Multimedia machine. That is what works for me and my family. :)


You might also be able to use ReactOS as a virtual machine (A more realistic use for them as a virtual machine rather than a serious competitor for Linux), even though they are a bunch of *snip* At least its open source.

Do you have ReactOS working with NetFlix in a VM?

Khakilang
August 10th, 2010, 05:12 AM
TV is the last form of entertainment for me. Only follow some good show like V, Fringe and Glee. Other than that is the net.

drawkcab
August 11th, 2010, 06:06 AM
The nice thing about moving away from cable is that my television watching is both more entertaining and informative. I can watch a series from the first episode all the way through. I also tend to select better films, television shows and documentaries than those I would get watch just sitting in front of cable. My biggest complaint about cable is that I can sit and flip the channels for four hours and come away with little or nothing.

I torrent almost everything I watch. Otherwise I get my news from alternative broadcasts like democracynow.org. Sometimes I use Hulu or some related service.

I am not much of a sports watcher, but that is the biggest thing that most people will miss. Even so, I have a few go-to websites for watching sporting events through p2p steaming. Otherwise, I grab some friends and go out to the bar to watch the game or fight which is more fun anyway.

Last but not least, I save $30-70/month so my little HTPC has already paid for itself.

Nick_Jinn
August 11th, 2010, 10:23 AM
That is what works for me and my family. :)


Nope. Your wrong. Windows is bad and you are bad for using them....lol. Just kidding. Its a joke, dont infract me!

Yeah, sometimes its easy to use what is more familiar for a family station, though I had a pretty cool settup with Linux....I could drag and drop media to a parallel screen so it was an extension of my moniter....I never did that in Windows. I could only get a copy of the same screen, which meant I couldnt work on the PC or have two different screens for two different projects.....maybe you can, but I never set it up that way.



Anyone know about the hardware I linked to above?

Johnsie
August 11th, 2010, 10:44 AM
I have mixed views on the BBC. They did have a good website until the recent update and I'd be happy enough with that. Unfortunately they do most of their recruiting through adverts in the Guardian newspaper and are considered by many to report news with a left wing bias.

The BBC Iplayer is great. I think the BBC should scrap the TV channels except the News Channel and just put everything in the IPlayer.

During the morning and the day the BBC TV channels are awful... There are too many DIY and Antique shows. It improves at night but on Saturday nights there seems to be a major dumbing down.

The One Show is one of the most dumbed down TV shows I can think of. It's like watching Blue Peter with some rude jokes thrown in.

A bit off topic but I really don't like how big the BBC is. They are the only corportation in the UK that has so many national tv channels and radio stations without adverts. This makes it harder for other stations to compete and it means that the general public in the UK get their 'education' about things going on around the world from just one company. People can turn over to sky news but they know if they do they will have to endure adverts. So the BBC news service is a little too powerful in my opinion. I think the BBC should be made smaller and made into an optional service like sky that people only have to pay for if they want to.

Nick_Jinn
August 11th, 2010, 10:49 AM
This is a semi-related topic, having to do with web media broadcasts.

Are there any media aggregates that will have a little youtube like gadget on your desktop that will import the latest videos from your choice of sources? Like Indymedia and some of the lesser known ones?