Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Cord Cutting Is The Obvious Result Of A 70% Spike In Cable TV Prices Since 2000 (Tech Dirt)

May 10, 2018

Blame it on me and my kind. From Tech Dirt,

We’ve discussed time and time again how, when faced with an evolving video market, the broadcast and cable industry repeatedly decided to double down on bad ideas. While consumers increasingly lamented having to pay $130 per month for a massive channel bundles filled with sub-par content, the industry refused to offer serious a la carte options and then jacked up prices even further. When consumers began to complain about high costs and annoying ads, cable and broadcast executives responded by trying to stuff more ads into every viewing hour by speeding up or editing down programs.

So for anybody paying attention, the fact that cord cutting is expected to set records in 2018 shouldn’t be particularly surprising. And it’s equally unsurprising that a recent study by Kagan highlights how soaring cable TV prices are contributing to the cord cutting trend. The firm was quick to note how the average cable bill has increased in price by 74% since 2000, even adjusted for inflation.

Read the full article on Tech Dirt.

 

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Marjorie Prime

April 14, 2018

Marjorie Prime contains such a great premise: in the near future, an elderly woman struggling with dementia entertains a holographic computer program image of her late husband in his prime. I tuned into Marjorie Prime particularly for Lois Smith who stars as Marjorie. Lois is one of those iconic character actors who’s graced the screen from East of Eden (1955) to Five Easy Pieces (1970), to Resurrection (1980), to Dead Man Walking (1965), to  Minority Report (2002), to One Life to Live (2003), and to True Blood (2008). Sadly Marjorie Prime stumbles and stalls. Smith holds her own, but supporting actors Jon Hamm (as the holographic dead husband), Geena Davis (as her daughter), and Tim Robbins (as her son in-law) don’t seem to know what to do. It feels like there’s not enough direction for these actors to sink their teeth into their roles. Too bad because the idea is fascinating and Lois Smith deserves more leading roles in excellent films. 2.5 out of 5. Next.

Leaving Facebook

March 25, 2018

I’m deleting Facebook, which means Reel Charlie can no longer exist on its own at Facebook without a personal account attached to it. Thank you for following me through Facebook. Please consider going to my blog and signing up for email alerts to keep up with Reel Charlie.

reelcharlie.wordpress.com

The 2017 Cord-Cutter Awards (TechHive)

January 3, 2018

From TechHive,

2017 was a year of reckoning for traditional TV providers and networks, as people ditched their cable and satellite subscriptions in record numbers. And just as we’ve seen over the past few years, more cord-cutting means more new streaming services, along with better devices on which to watch.

Highlights include:

Best new streaming hardware: Roku Streaming Stick+
Best new streaming service: YouTube TV
Most-improved streaming service: FuboTV (attention sports fans!)
Cord-cutting MVP: Hulu

Read the full article at TechHive.

How to Cut the Cord on Cable (New York Times)

December 23, 2017

The New York Times is finally catching up to my 4-year strong library program, Cut the Cord. And they even talk about what kind of television watcher you are, just like how I open my program with a similar question. Hmmm. Of course with the power of the fake (joke) media behind them, NY Times comes up with cool graphics and great organization. Feast your eyes on their article/infographic from the NY Times,

What Kind of a Watcher Are You?

Here’s our quick take on the streaming services you will need to keep you entertained and whether eliminating cable is right for you.

Here’s where it all begins: You’re sick of paying an exorbitant cable or satellite bill, and you have a strong sense that if you just limited your spending to a few streaming subscription services, you’d be much more satisfied with your home entertainment experience. So let’s say that you’ve already got a good TV, a speedy internet connection and a set-top box. (If you don’t, we’ll get to that later.) Who gets your money?

Read the full article.

 

CES TVs preview: What to expect from the big screens of 2018 (CNET)

December 18, 2017

From CNET,

For those of us who care about new TV technology, Christmas comes in January.

CES 2018 in Las Vegas presages the coming year of TV tech with the latest in display innovations, and if previous shows are any indication, there’ll be plenty of massive, jaw-dropping screens to go around.

Read all about the new screens coming our way in 2018.

Series Novels That Would Make Great TV & Film Adaptations

October 23, 2017

I’ve read a number of series novels over the past few years I know would make great television. I got to thinking of that recently after hearing Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City is being picked up by Netflix for at least a ten-part installment of more than likely one or all of the final three Tales novels since Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are on board to reprise their Mary Ann and Anna roles respectively. Three of Richard Stephenson’s Donald Strachey Mysteries were adapted for HereTV about 10 years ago. And of course Barbara Wilson’s first Cassandra Reilly novel, Gaudi Afternoon turned into a Susan Seidelman spectacular romp through Barcelona. And we could sure use a sequel with an equally outstanding director and cast.

All of this got me thinking. If I had the power of the green light, which series would I produce? Here is my incomplete list of some of my literary favorites:

Michael Nava’s Henry Rios’ Mysteries’ produced perhaps the most sophisticated gay male sleuth ever. Henry’s actually a lawyer and a drunk and then in recovery. The seven books take us through the worse of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s to the final installment in 2001. Can’t say enough about this essential must-read series which would make for some outstanding television.

My second choice without a doubt goes to Greg Herren’s Scotty Bradley Mysteries. Herren’s lead character is adventurous, goofy, humpy, lives through Katrina in New Orleans, boasts a set of pot-smoking parents and not one but two emotionally monogamous boyfriends – a thrupple. Scotty is a former go-go boy who solves crimes with his retired FBI agent primary partner Frank and their mysterious international gun for hire third, Colin.

An even dozen novels comprise Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan Mysteries. Lippman’s books revolve around a former newspaper reporter who turns private eye. Many lists mention Tess Monaghan if you’re a fan of The Wire and crave more gritty Baltimore drama. Lippman delivers.

Years ago, I served grand jury duty in NYC. This was pre-smart phones, pre-ereaders. I found the first three Wraeththu books in one volume. Plopped the bible-sized book in my lap and proceeded to devour Storm Constantine’s magical world. Wraeththu are another species superior in many ways to humans with mostly male characteristics, but intersexed so they can reproduce. Fascinating reading especially in today’s world of transgender visibility. These books would make for a magically sexy adaptation. Think a Sense8 goes sci-fi pagan/wiccan sort of mystical reality.

If vampire movies ever come back in vogue again, and you know they will, Jourdan Lane’s Soul Mates series would make for some kick ass sexy gay male entertainment. Peter and Lucien would be the perfect other worldly follow-up to Queer as Folk‘s Justin and Brian.

Marshall Thorton’s Boystown series take place in 1980’s Chicago. The ten novels (as of 2017) are classic private eye with a twist. Nick Nowak is gay and unapologetic about it. He’s a man’s man character finding his way in a post-Stonewall world where his biological family has rejected him because of his sexuality. He is forced off the police force – a family business but refuses to leave Chicago. Nick becomes a private eye and solves cases like the best of them.

Jordan Castillo Price’s Mnevermind series follows Daniel Schroeder in the near future as he tinkers around as a memory specialist stalled in life until he meets the mysterious Elijah, a young man living on the spectrum. Outstanding romance future tech mash-up with great fleshed out characters. Price has an extremely popular 8-part PsyCop series, which I also enjoy but Mnevermind continues to be her series I return to with a smile.

‘Nathan Burgoine’s Triad Blood series involves “a vampire, wizard, and demon (who) form a bond in Ottawa, Canada that leaves them both a part of—and apart from—those in power in the supernatural world around them.” Burgoine’s addictive stories are begging to be adapted for the screen. Casting Anders the arrogant, sexy, demon would be the most fun.

So far I’ve only read the first book of Aleksandr Voinov’s Witches of London seriesLars which I absolutely adored. Voinov’s books are pagan romance stories which fascinate me to no end. “Lars Kendall is a solitary pagan on the Northern Path, loyal to the gods of the Norse pantheon.”
Rhys Turner hires Lars to renovate his house. Magic of all sorts ensue. Witches of London could easily be a very modern, sophisticated, more realistic Bewitched romance for the early 2020’s. Makes me imagine my own life taking off in an earth religion direction.

Also only read the first book of Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series, a (so far) 10-part novel series based in the future where humans and therians live side-by-side. THIRDS would make an outstanding LGBTQ super hero futuristic action film franchise which could easily turn the tired Hollywood super hero trope on its head. Fun, action, and a bit of romance.

And finally I vote for making the graphic novel Wuvable Oaf into a feature film or a bizarre, niche television series. Everyone I know who reads this novel falls in love with its crazy cast of characters. “Oaf is a large, hirsute, scary-looking ex-wrestler who lives in San Francisco with his adorable kitties and listens to a lot of Morrissey. The book follows Oaf’s search for love in the big city, especially his pursuit of Eiffel, the lead singer of the black metal/queercore/ progressive disco grindcore band Ejaculoid.”

I’m sure there’s more series out there. What would you like to see turned into a television show or film?

How to see everything you’ve ever watched on Netflix and Amazon (Engadget)

August 21, 2017
From Engadget,
Remember that obscure film title and help train those recommendations while you’re at it.

Streaming is a curious beast. One minute you’ll be enjoying the 80s vibe of Stranger Things (go watch it if you haven’t already) and the next you’ll be struggling to pick something from that overwhelming catalog. Sometimes, though, you’ll stumble on something that you’d normally never choose — a Netflix suggestion from a friend or a recent addition that had escaped your glance as you navigated Amazon Video’s curated menus.

However, once you’ve watched that movie or TV show and moved on, it may drop back into relative obscurity, reducing your chances of remembering and paying that recommendation forward many months later. You may also have watched something, hated it and want to make sure it doesn’t impact future recommendations. Luckily, both Netflix and Amazon keep a running list of the things you’ve watched (if they haven’t been removed from the catalog due to licensing agreements).

There are directions as well as one-click links to each list on Engadget.

How to stream the Mayweather-McGregor fight (CNET)

August 21, 2017

Back from my long weekend with family in Pennsylvania. It’s probably not PC of me to promote the Mayweather-McGregor fight since Floyd called Conor a faggot during the lead-up to the fight and never got called out by the boxing organization to apologize for using hate language. Ironic since together they already look like an interracial gay porn couple. But I recognize this fight is a big deal for boxing fans – set to the be the most watched fight in history, so I’ll use it as a platform to show how cord cutters are accessing premium sports events without cable or satellite. The fight is unique in that it’s pay-per-view at $99/device. From CNET,

Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are set to enter the ring on Saturday, August 26, at 9 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, Nevada for what’s expected to be the most watched fight… ever.

As usual, the fight is only available to those who pay the nearly $100 pay-per-view fee. However, breaking from the traditional means of purchasing directly from a cable or satellite provider, CBSrecently announced the fight will also be available to stream on the Showtime PPV website or iOS and Apple TV app. (Disclaimer: CBS is CNET’s parent company.)

 

Another option for streaming the fight is to purchase it directly from the UFC . The cost is the same, only instead of being limited to just streaming on a site or Apple devices, the UFC supports quite a few devices including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Roku, and Apple devices.

Read the full article on CNET.
For those of you who want a violence-free evening, consider checking out DVDs of BBC’s As Time Goes By from your local library or Netflix.

Huge transparent, flexible OLED display flows like water (CNET)

July 21, 2017

Fascinating article from CNET on the future of television here now. From CNET,

Think you have your head wrapped around flexible displays? Wait till you see through this.

LG Display is the purveyor of OLED, our favorite TV technology, and the Korean manufacturer has a crazy new concept display. Billed as the world’s first 77-inch transparent and flexible OLED display, it can look like water flowing over a shelf. But it’s a TV.

  • It’s 77-inches diagonal, but can be rolled up to a radius of just 80mm. That’s a diameter of just over 6 inches, a bit smaller than a volleyball.

  • It’s transparent. LG claims 40% transparency and judging from the image below, that’s basically a window. But with moving images.

The future is now!
Read the full article on CNET.


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