Tag Archives: HD

Independence USA Reality Show



Do world events have you rattled? Ever thought of learning to live off the grid?

Follow Frank Belcastro as he attempts to drag his family (sometimes kicking and screaming) toward his goal of being able to live completely on their own, off the grid.

“Independence USA” premieres on January 18, 2012 exclusively on GBTV.Com, Glenn Beck’s new streaming Internet-based television network. “Independence USA” is produced by GBTV and The WorkShop, L.L.C. whose team has produced shows for History, ESPN, ESPN Classic, Animal Planet, HGTV, trutv, Travel Channel, Lifetime, Discovery Channel, TLC, The Golf Channel, and Broadcast Syndication. The show will air weekly on Wednesdays.

The “Independence USA” trailer has hit reality show written all over it. In my opinion this is going to be a real game-changer for the concept of streaming video and new media. This is the first professional-quality TV series aimed at a mainstream reality TV audience produced exclusively for an Internet-based television network. Though networks have played around for years with streaming re-purposed television shows and movies, this is the first time a network is being built from the ground up, one module at a time to create a pay TV network for exclusive distribution on the Internet.

Will people subscribe to an Internet-only high definition TV network? The answer is, yes they absolutely will subscribe provided that the content is there. It’s highly likely that the addition of the “Independence USA” reality TV series will get many people over the hump and cause them to pay.

People already in the new media/streaming media space should welcome GBTV, because it is going to be a game-changer. It’s success will likely cause a bit of a land rush towards streaming. Devices such as the Roku are in a great position to reap those land rush benefits. The presence of professional level TV networks on the Roku will potentially have a bit of a “halo effect” for existing new media creators.


Video’s Streaming Future



Many people are likely familiar with the radio/television on-air personality Glenn Beck. His television career included both CNN and the Fox News Channel. On Fox News, Glenn Beck had the most-watched nightly show of any of the cable TV news networks.

Recently, Glenn Beck left Fox News to form his own online streaming television network, GBTV, available at .

About a month ago, after viewing a few of the free Glenn Beck highlight clips from his two-hour nightly streaming television show, I took the plunge and subscribed.

I am very impressed with the production quality. GBTV, LLC currently has 120 employees. This is a genuine, highly-professional high definition television network that has a spectacular set and world-class production facilities that is just as good if not better than anything that Fox, CNN, etc. are capable of doing. Like any genuine television network, live streaming shows start and end right on time and incorporate a number of regular breaks. GBTV is creating genuine television programming that is broadcast directly to the Internet as opposed to satellite or cable distribution. As such, it removes the filter between the content creators and the end viewers, yet high broadcast standard production values are maintained throughout which lends what GBTV is doing an aura of genuine excitement. Real multi-camera live HD broadcasts can be sent directly to subscribers, thus eliminating the cable/satellite middleman.

There are a variety of subscription plans, including monthly and yearly plans. One can subscribe for $4.95 per month, or $49.95 per year. I subscribed to “GBTV Plus” for $99.95 per year, which includes the 6 camera HD shoot of the daily Glenn Beck Radio Show along with other streaming television programs that are coming onto the streaming service. GBTV is in the process of becoming a full-fledged streaming television network that has ultra high production values along with impressive content. Subscription plans include a 14-day free trial.

GBTV currently can of course be viewed on a computer. Other devices include the Roku, as well as iPad and iPod/iPhone apps. All programs remain available for streaming any time for a period of 30 days before dropping off.

I cut the satellite cord more than a year ago, because I felt I wasn’t getting $100 dollars per month worth of value out of my satellite programming. I am more than willing to pay for good content, but I want it on my terms, on a variety of devices, and on my schedule. GBTV offers a tantalizing glimpse at the future of high production value TV content.


DirecTV HD UI Coming November 1st?



directv logo

Rumors are circulating that the new HD user interface will start rolling out to DirecTV subscribers beginning November 1st.  It’s been quite a while since DirecTV has done a complete revamping of their UI.  For the past several years we have only seen minor tweaks and updates.  Now, users of the HR20 and newer boxes, including the HR21, which is the most widely used version, are about to get a whole new experience.

DirecTV describes the new features as a “dazzling new look and feel, lightning fast scrolling, visual browsing experience, and personalized recommendations”.  You can read about each feature by visiting DirecTV.  They have also released a video tour of the new UI, which should really get subscribers excited.

Given that DirecTV has posted an official page showing off the UI and even posted a video tour, it seems safe to assume that a release is very close.  If not November 1st then it should be sometime right around then.  Likely it will be a gradual roll-out, so not all users will see it on day one, but once it begins, it should go quickly.  The video tour is posted below.


GNC #706 Netflix Debacle



No hiccups during tonight’s show, this one went off without a hitch. Plenty of tech content tonight and of course I have to talk about the big mess over at netflix. What an absolute mess they have made over these past couple of months and it is not going to get any better.

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Freeview HD Coverage Checker



As the UK slowly moves towards turning off the analogue terrestrial TV signal and switching to digital transmissions, it’s been overtaken by consumer demand for high definition (HD) broadcasting. The satellite and cable providers, namely Sky and Virgin Media, have been quick to offer HD on their subscription services, but the terrestrial digital broadcast system, Freeview, has been somewhat slower to offer HD. Some regions of the UK, e.g. Northern Ireland, will not have HD terrestrial broadcasts until 2012. Consequently, there’s been a great deal of uncertainty and misinformation.

So it’s fortunate that ConsumerChoices has added Freeview HD coverage to its HD Coverage Checker. By putting in your postcode and your house number, you’ll be presented with all the HD options available to you, including satellite, cable and terrestrial. In addition, for Freeview (terrestrial), the website will tell you which transmitter to use, how far away it is and the likely signal strength. If Freeview HD is not yet available in the area, it will give the expected date for it to be turned on.

With Freeview decoders now available in a range of products including set-top boxes and HD TVs, there’s often a small price premium to pay for the HD decoder over the standard definition. By using the HD Coverage Checker, you can make informed decision whether to go HD and pay more, or stick with the standard definition decoder.


TPN.TV CES 2011 Booth Tour



Esby Larsen and Andy McCaskey show the Tech Podcast Network interview booth at CES 2011 showing and talking about the video and computer equipment including the TriCaster HD.

Interview by Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com and Andy McCaskey of RV News Network.

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Dish Offering HD Satellite TV on the Road



Jeffrey chats with Marcel at the Dish Network about HD satellite TV for RVs and tailgate parties. With thousands of channels on offer, even in the wilderness you can still get your TV fix.  The new pay-as-you-go subscriptions also mean you only have to pay while you are travelling and not sign up to long-term contracts.

And with the latest Winegard aeriels, it’s even possible to watch HD while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers, keep your eyes on the road, please!

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast.

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