Suppose I could offer you a choice of two technologies for watching TV online. Behind Door Number One sits a free-to-watch service that uses off-the-shelf technology and that buffers just enough of each show to put the live stream on the Internet. Behind Door Number Two lies a subscription service that requires custom-designed hardware and makes dozens of copies of each show. Which sounds easier to build—and to use? More importantly, which is more likely to be legal?
If you went with Door Number One, then you are a sane person, untainted by the depravity of modern copyright law. But you are also wrong. The company behind Door Number One, iCraveTV, was enjoined out of existence a decade ago. The company behind Door Number Two, Aereo, just survived its first round in court and is still going strong.
Why Johnny can't stream: How video copyright went insane
by MeFi's own James Grimmelmann
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Aug 30, 2012 -
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report.
But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3
. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report
investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 20, 2012 -
The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2.
It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online
. (via hark, a vagrant)
It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen
, The Victorian Flower Garden
, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden
- and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley
, A Tudor Feast at Christmas
, Victorian Farm
, Victorian Farm Christmas
, Victorian Pharmacy
, and Edwardian Farm
. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex
on Feb 26, 2012 -
RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover.
"RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost."
posted by chunking express
on Feb 13, 2012 -
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network
... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game.
As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert
-- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly
venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon
Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE
system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire.
Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat."
But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back
with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s
, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple
, and All That
To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 25, 2011 -
After Kad & Olivier sign off and the Satisfaction production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Frenchman making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of... wait, *what*?!
That's right. The Late Late Show
's Craig Ferguson appears to have a not-so-secret French admirer
-- one who's not above ripping off both his opening titles and his signature dance sequences
(including the iconic animal puppets
by The Jackson 5, "Flashdance"
by Irene Cara, "On the Floor"
by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, "Waka Waka"
by Shakira, "Men in Black"
by Will Smith, "Let's All Chant"
by the Michael Zager Band, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
by Wham!, "It's Raining Men"
by The Weather Girls, and "Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells)"
by Tino Rossi.
Luckily, Ferguson's sense of showmanship is more prodigious than litigious
-- he responded to Arthur's "homáge
" by booking a pair of translatlantic crossover shows, with Arthur visiting LA that week and Ferguson flying out to Paris just last month. Video of both shows (plus lots more) inside! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jul 11, 2011 -
Years after its final broadcast, the award-winning, pond-hopping, cult comedy hit Whose Line is it Anyway?
is returning to television! Sort of! Tonight in just a few minutes, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza
, sample segment
) makes its debut on GSN, reuniting Carey with popular "Whosers" Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, and many more
. Though the show will air every weekday, you don't have to wait around for new episodes to get your improv fix -- in spite of the lack of DVD box sets, there's a veritable treasure trove of past content available free from multiple online sources, including the complete run of the American Whose Line on both YouTube
and fansite WatchWLIIA
along with every episode of the original UK run from Channel4's official YouTube channel
and their streaming video site 4oD
. Too much content? Look inside for selections of the show's most hilarious moments as sampled from the show's burgeoning TVTropes entry
. See also: Fan guide
- American episode guide
) - List of game types [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 11, 2011 -
Ten years ago today, Cartoon Network aired a very special episode of The Powerpuff Girls
. Though nominally a harmless kids series about three adorable kindergarten superheroes, creator Craig McCracken
attracted an unexpectedly diverse audience (50% male, 25% adult) by sneaking in a surprising amount of violence
and adult in-jokes
-- and on that last point, this particular episode was king. Broadcast on the 37th anniversary of their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show
, "Meet the Beat-Alls"
was an extended and sophisticated metaphor for the rise and fall of The Beatles, cramming more than forty song references
and dozens of visual jokes into only ten minutes of animated allegory. Catch the original episode here
or read the transcript
, but for the full
effect, watch this remarkable YouTube mash-up
that splices the referenced song clips directly into the audio track and plasters the screen with helpful annotations. Want more PPG goodness? You can start with the special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!!!"
), a sly, hyperkinetic celebration of the show's tenth anniversary directed by McCracken himself that features every character (and totally subverts an important one). But as far as weirdness goes, it's hard to top Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi
, a long-running fan-made webcomic which stars the trio alongside Dexter, Samurai Jack, Invader Zim, and tons of other network icons
in an unusually dark manga adventure. Oh, and don't forget your plate of beans
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 9, 2011 -
"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman
(Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,
) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain
, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment
acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "
" totally bowdlerize
the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets
. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,)
and the first 19 episodes of the show,
all available on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 28, 2011 -
"The Japanese Tradition" was a series of nine short, parody "How To" videos that gently mocked the formality of Japanese culture, from comedy duo Rahmens
) and Japan Culture Lab. They're available on DVD,
but nearly all of them can be seen on YouTube, including Sushi
(tea). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 25, 2010 -
"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library
. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom
and I Am an American
, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously
). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council
, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history
, including Rosie the Riveter
, Smokey the Bear
, McGruff the Crime Dog
, and the Crash Test Dummies
. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective
PSAs on everything from student invention
to global warming
to arts education
to community service
Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns
- Campaigns organized by category
- Award-winning campaigns
- PSA Central
: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd)
- An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF]
- YouTube channel
- Vimeo channel
- Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi
on Sep 11, 2009 -
New York City PBS affiliate WNET have digitized 9 episodes of Soul!
, a early 1970's live music program, providing a groovy video interface with chapters to break down each hour long episode. [more inside]
posted by myopicman
on Apr 23, 2009 -
To celebrate its 40th birthday, PBS has loaded - and continues to load - tons of content into its new, slick, Coverflow-ish on-demand site
. Full episodes of American Experience
, American Masters
, Great Performances
, Masterpiece Theater
, the NewsHour
and a bunch more
are now online.
posted by jbickers
on Apr 22, 2009 -
While Adult Swim
is generally regarded as the pioneer of irreverent short-form animation
-- especially for 'toons
-- it wasn't always the king. In fact, the late-night programming block arguably found its birth in a series
of short toons
that ran in the heyday of its daytime alter ego, the venerable Cartoon Network. The brainchild of C.N. Creative Director Michael Ouweleen and Hanna-Barbera chief Fred Seibert, these cartoons reinterpreted the network's properties through stock footage, indie music, and original animation in a wide variety of styles, as well as introducing prototypes of characters that would become some of the most famous in the history of American animation. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 30, 2008 -