In just a couple of weeks time, it will have been a year since my wife and I last received any kind of TV broadcast into our home. We don’t even own a TV since we moved to Canada.
That’s not to say we don’t watch TV shows, news and movies, it’s just that we’ve been using different technologies to do it. In this first post I will explore why we did it, how we made the transition away from broadcast TV, and what technologies we found to be useful. In part two I’ll look back at our experiences and assess the pros and cons of not having a TV, and discuss where this might lead, for us and for society as a whole. If you’d prefer a shorter version of this post, you can head on over here.
Watching TV at a time that you choose
So, why did we make the switch?Read More
It’s almost a year since we received any kind of TV broadcast into our home. That’s not to say we don’t watch TV shows, it’s just that we’ve been using different technologies to do it. Here’s a quick summary of the why, how and what. You can read a more detailed version of this post over here.
The BBC has just done something revolutionary… they’ve released all the source footage for an as yet unscreened documentary about the way technology is changing our lives, and are inviting the public to compete and edit/mashup the footage into something unique. Above is an inspiring example of what’s possible, by Barry Pilling. Here’s another by Cassetteboy.
The idea of allowing your work to be edited and improved by others was first encouraged by the Creative Commons. If you don’t already, make sure any photos you share on Flickr are released under Creative Commons, so others can do great things with them (without profiting or taking credit).
Another film in this vein that’s well worth a look is RIP: A Remix Manifesto, the story of Girl Talk’s rise to fame as a musician who plays no instrument but uses samples of others’ music. It too is freely editable and mash-up-able. There’s also a growing craze for “fake trailers”, the most famous being Shining. It’s so much easier these days now that people have a publishing house, editing studio and photo lab on their desktops.
Back before we left the UK, Mrs Alex and I (ok she did most of the work) digitized all our CDs and DVDs not to mention paperwork, recipes and all sorts of other documents to reduce the amount we had to take with us to Canada. Given we’ve also been living here in Canada without a TV for the last six months, we have accumulated plenty more downloaded movies & TV shows. We brought about 8 hard drives with us to Canada and our FreeNAS install media, and after 2 case upgrades, 2 additional green 1 Terabyte hard drives, 2 new 4 port PCI SATA cards and a beefier PSU, not to mention much consolidation of data from smaller, older IDE drives, I am pleased to announce our behemoth of a fileserver is alive.. Just short of 6 Terabytes of storage for our viewing and data storage pleasure! Hurrah! Now to get my Popcorn Hour media player which Alex bought me for my birthday working.. and then it’s HD projector time (which is handy as we have just painted the walls in the lounge of our new apartment white which is just the right colour for projecting onto)…Read More