Posts about tv

CNN, with an accent and great hair

Gareth Cartman liveblogs the launch of France 24, the Gallic competitor to CNN, the BBC, and Al Jazeera, vying for a global crown: “9:06 – Over to the French channel now, and a fabulous wave of hair is reading the news. I mean, wow, this woman has HAIR. Really, you have to see this.” If only we could.

I turned down an invitation from the channel to fly over for the launch to blog it. Now you know the price of integrity — or stupidity.

Networks on YouTube: That’s the ticket

CBS is justifiably bragging about its decision to put up content onto YouTube, aka the network of the future. They uploaded 300 clips, which got 29.2 million views in a month, averaging 857,000 per day. They also note an increase in audience for shows that are doing well on YouTube: David Letterman up 200,000, Craig Ferguson up 100,000. Rafat Ali is unconvinced that these are necessarily connected; I’m not nearly as skeptical. I say this is, first, a brilliant marketing means and, next, the start of a new generation of distribution.

The damned Thanksgiving eve stories

This is one of those mornings when I want to throw the TV out the window. The lead story is that the roads and airports will be crowded this morning. Now that’s news! And it’s team coverage everywhere as correspondents stand in airports and on road reporting absolutely nothing there but providing mere atmospherics as they recite meaningless statistics from various agencies: “…more Americans than ever are on the move this Thanksgiving…” They are telling us absolutely nothing we don’t already know. This is journalism?

And then comes Friday, when they will give us the big news: Stores will be crowded.

It’s the no-shit season on TV news.

My video education

I’m trying to improve my video but I need to learn a lot more. So please teach me.

I bought a lighting kit for my house (obnoxious but true) and it greatly improved the image in the video I put up yesterday (versus this rushed job in Daylife‘s offices, in front of a very red wall). But if there’s more I should be doing, please tell me.

I also bought a new microphone for my MacBook Pro: the much-recommended Snowball. It improved the audio quality and reduced the background noise problems I’ve had before, but the levels were still low even though I pumped it up to the maximum. In yesterday’s video, I had to raise my levels and lower Brian Williams in the iMovie editing process, and it was still off. Suggestions? If you say I should buy something, what?

The video can still get choppy, with my voice getting out of sync with the image (even when I’m not talking a mile a minute). I recorded the video directly on my Mac in iMovie, which makes it very easy to cut the piece. Suggestions?

I tried various levels of quality for exporting and uploading the video in quicktime and MP4. Suggestions here, too? What standards should I use?

I then uploaded the video through a bunch of hosts. Still learning the pros and cons but here’s what I know so far, with links to each version of my video:

* is very good. Image quality appeared to beat YouTube’s. The player (embedded in the post below) couldn’t be cleaner: just a screen. I wish at the end of the video that it would give viewers some of the choices YouTube viewers get — especially to share or embed the video. I’ll also note that the traffic from Blip itself to the video is respectable — in the hundreds yesterday afternoon alone. I could see that on their very good stats report. And I was very happy to see that they even able podcasting feeds of the video (though I couldn’t get that to work for me).

* YouTube remains very easy but the quality was lower.

* Revver enables advertising and a revenue share. We like that.
So here’s the Revver player:

* Motionbox has a very nice new interface showing you a slider with thumbnails and the ability to select and link directly into any part of the video:

* I put it up on Veoh but don’t know much about it yet. Their player:

* I put the video up on Brightcove (where I serve on the advisory board) but I have to say it was a very complicated process: had to download a special encoding and uploading ap and go through many screens to figure out how to get a video attached to a player. There is a lot of power there — too much for most, I fear. Its player:

I didn’t even get around to putting it up on Google video or or putting it out as a torrent.

With all these options, it’s quite remarkable that any of us can broadcast to the world easily, instantly, with no cost and even with some revenue. This is what will fuel the revolution!

Oh, and if you have any suggestions on content — on substance over style — I’m happy to hear most of those, too.

: And after doing all this, I am sick of hearing and seeing myself. It finally happened.

The condescending interactivity of network news

When the networks try to interact with us, the result is too often condescending: They tell us to give them our news images (rather than just linking to us). They put on a ‘Free Speech’ segment but quickly tire of it. Or they read insipid letters from us and act is if they have heard the voice of the people — they haven’t. And they don’t even give us the respect to enter into a dialog. In my latest video experiment, I show you excerpts from the letters Brian Williams read last week on the NBC Nightly News and add my two cents: