Where is the TV you’ve been waiting for?

As many know, back in the early to mid 2000’s I worked on the development of 4G. Back then the basic requirement was for a 20Mb download and 20Mb upload to any base unit or moreover – a handheld device. We increased this to 25Mb and at a time when there was a lull in the computer industry, we were working on some pretty cool and what was often called “over the edge” technology. Since then the benchmark has gone literally through the roof.

But the problems regarding bandwidth, power, mobile, fixed line accounts and billing aside – the real problem was that there wasn’t an end user device that could handle this in the mobile field. This gave birth to the requirement of advanced PC levels of power in a handheld device which (and this is still an issue) wouldn’t melt the head of the user. But more over, this system for the most part wouldn’t require video compression, that’s right – complete real-time video! In this, I looked to the future and realised very quickly that this would probably be the end of terrestrial/cable/satellite TV.  The future of TV would be simply Web-based and cut the massive costs of powering and building the millions of transmitters that exist today.

A few years later I was observing a discussion on Joseph Mallozzi’s blog; who was then the executive producer of the MGM Stargate Atlantis franchise about the stunning number of DVD sales worldwide for their show, yet cable and channel subscriptions appeared low. In a conversation I mentioned that most people I knew around the world who watched the show – watched it the following day on the web and that it was highly likely that it was these people buying the DVD’s. As it turned out, MGM sold the show badly around the world to expensive pay channels or in some cases – highly obscure channels. This, coupled with highly inaccurate method of gathering viewing figures proved that the industry as a whole is not in step in any way with the technology to hand and were grossly over concerned with “Piracy/copyright” than acknowledging that this system (because of the show’s popularity) was actually making them more money… The bottom line is people want to watch shows when THEY want to watch them and if a company can’t see the alternative method of generating revenue then there is a real problem with that company.

But you must also remember that Piracy is not theft! Theft is when something tangible is “taken” from you, but copyright infringement is the actual problem. Also what about all of us who come across things on the web (think YouTube as an example) and end up watching things you didn’t search for? For most they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to buy, pay for or even consider watching or listening ordinarily – and here lays many problems and issues of which there are too many to list here, but the promotional attributes are limitless. Yet this again shows a complete initial lack of awareness by the mainstream entertainment industry of the technology they’re prepared to use for profit in a totally unsecure manner. In effect, a rod for their own back. In turn, while they cry foul, a few years ago these modern formats allowing them to make billions more in profits simply didn’t exist.

At the same time true innovators of web media and web shows like Andrew Baron owner and creator of Rocketboom and frankly an authority on the subject, has understood the direction of web TV for a very long time. There are several web based shows; Robert Llewellyn’s “Carpool” and “Fully Charged” and a great many more now exist – so where is mainstream web TV? Strange things happen, take for instance Amanda Tapping’s “Sanctuary”. This show was always designed to be web based. They used little more than green/blue screens in order to put any and every location background they liked to the show. The initial run of “Webisodes” was put together at minimal cost and used many of Amanda’s close acting and directing friends to see if it would be popular. It was, and strange as it might be – the show got picked up for mainstream TV. So the power of TV designed for the web is powerful enough to make the TV Studios sit up and appropriately beg.

The problems are several fold but it basically comes down to the TV companies and cash… I can go to the BBC’s iPlayer to watch their shows, CBS website (if I’m in the States) and watch their shows – along with Fox and everyone else’s websites. But you have to bounce from site to site all the time and then wonder if the “Geolock” will prevent you from watching what you want – this really does have to stop… it’s not good for business, it thwarts overall growth and is a shockingly bad business model!

The future of Global TV will rest in the palm of the people, company or person who can achieve what is seemingly impossible; to sit down and work out, negotiate and then generate one of a handful of sites that does it all. A site that will have to decide to pay for itself via advertising, pay per view or all possible methods together. A site where you can watch what you want, when you want. But the reality is that copyright and other royalties are the very things that stand in the way of this happening.

Web TV in the format of YouTube and commercial business sites is an entertainment and subculture all of its own already and has been for years. If you want to know if a product is good rather than get mugged by TV shopping channels – go and see what people who already own the product say about them on YouTube. You’ll soon learn the truth and probably save money – especially if you need to repair something! Lets say you need to fix your laptop, replace the broken screen on your smart phone, anything practical you don’t know how to do – someone somewhere has made a video of how to do it. And what about skill learning? Want to learn Photoshop? go to the simply vast library of videos on the Adobe website to learn just what you need too. The list is endless.

But what of the technology for the home? What are the overall bandwidth and usage requirements which, in reality, have to be limitless. Thankfully newer home entertainment, LCD/LED TV’s all come with web connectivity now. But there are other issues on a global scale which need to be sorted out like; age of the viewer and/or in some more religious cultures; censorship or more edited programmes and movies. But as a technical issue most people will be aware that terrestrial TV (certainly here in the UK) is swapping over from Analogue to Digital. This raised many questions from viewers to why they should go out and buy a set-top-box to place on their old TV to see this new digital medium. Well the answer is quite simple; For a lot of people who may not know, analogue and digital signals are both very different and even look different. A digital signal is basically a signal of “On and Offs” which is basically binary and would look something like this:

Analogue signals are far more complicated and looks sort of like this:

The difference  for the most part is that the digital signal is predictable and can therefore can be repaired by your TV, computer or set-top box with either an On or Off and an Analogue signal simply can’t – because there is no reference to what was damaged. Here are the same two images with sections deleted; you can easily work out the digital repair – but not the analogue.

VS Analogue

So the digital is better, but more importantly – it also means it can be sent across the web with complete and total ease.

The future is Web based, but what about the redundancy of normal TV? Will it just become a persistent “Day Time” schedule mixed with News and Current Affairs? Probably! Or will we use the infrastructure that transmits it as the base for 4, 5 or 6G bandwidths? TV IS destined for the web, it’s been there for years – just no one has organised it yet, can you imagine the accuracy of the viewing figures? I strongly doubt Firefly would have been cancelled that’s for sure. In fact one of the reasons the original Stargate franchise was cancelled was simply that they make the same money in advertising revenue from re-runs as they did from a new show/season. Thus what was the point after 10 seasons in spending the money to make more?

It’s a massive subject that needs to be sorted out, the pitfalls and mountains to climb are obvious – but the moment one person lays the road ahead out clearly – all others will follow. So, stop messing about with strange apps, and let’s get on and get this minefield navigated so we can stop the witch hunting across the Web and get to a place where we can all watch and listen to the media we want, when we want it – in a way that everyone is happy with.

As many of you may know, I don’t own a TV and haven’t done since 1998, all my entertainment, news and 99% of my communications comes through the internet medium. If I stay in a hotel I do switch the TV on, but tend to select a 24hr news channel like the BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera or CNN. Irrespective of how scattered the entertainment on the Web is, there is an abundance of it, it just needs work. Until then, you can watch “The” daily internet culture show at www.rocketboom.com and for the Car Pool interview chat show and “fully charged” the complete inside real information on the future of electric cars – go to  www.llewtube.com.  And so much more…

A return that’s never wasted

It was in the freezing January of 2010 when I ventured out of my way while heading up from Devon to visit my mother in Oxfordshire…
The place I set upon was Cirencester in the heart of the Cotswolds. An outstandingly beautiful part of the UK and in the case of this town – a historic centre of Roman commerce.
The reason was that comedian, author and traveller Dom Joly simply could not stop raving about a local eatery by the name Made By Bob..
Let me put you in the picture a little;
Dom travels the world, eats in all sorts of places and tries everything, his knowledge when it comes to places to eat on a global stage is frankly encyclopaedic!
So when this guy says, it’s his favourite place to eat – I listen…

Back on that cold winter day, there was ice and snow everywhere as I headed off to find this place courtesy of Dom’s directions.. and I think you can read that story for your self HERE.

Roll on to just a few days ago and I’m showing this blogs hindrance and help, American blogger, marathon runner and of course Big Rig driver – @Gabsatrucker around a few bits of the UK during her busy schedule..
With fair warning to Dom to avoid the place and after getting names of great villages to show to Gabby from Robert Llewellyn – we headed to Made By Bob…

It was very busy as we waited for our seat, Bob suddenly looked over, smiling and acknowledging…
The food and service had not faltered one bit!! It was stunning…
Now between the present time and last time I visited my hair has grown into a shaggy mess – and I was having a bad hair day – yet here, 18 months later a with firm memory attached to the back of his eyes – Bob said hello and thanked me for my previous write up…
He went on to explain that they were about to start expanding the place and major alterations would begin in the coming days as they start to go straight through the wall and into the next place…

I was simply gobsmacked that all this time, nothing had faded, if anything it was better!
Hard work, dedication – almost to the point of exhaustion has made this place one of the most (if not THE most) outstanding places to have lunch in the UK today!
Even with the place busy the welcome was outstanding and the food brilliant…

Now roll on a couple of days and imagine sitting in a Café Rouge in Windsor… Where we suffered terrible service, very poor quality food and waited, oh boy did we wait for our food… almost to the point of leaving!!
And then paying a LOT more for the pleasure…

No, I could mention many places to eat, not as much as Dom – But I have to concur, there is probably no better place to eat in Great Britain at lunchtime than at Made By Bob in Cirencester…

If you haven’t been, GO!! But be fair to yourself – eat somewhere the day before and somewhere the day after – you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Heck we went to one old favourite place to eat, The Rose Revived in Oxfordshire and never even got to eat… A place I’ll never ever return to…

So to Bob, his better half and his team, thank you for the great food and outstanding hospitality… If I ran approval ratings, this place would score full marks and then some… (there’s a thought)

Thanks also to Robert Llewellyn and Dom Joly without whom the day simply would not have been so awesome…



Published in: on 7 October, 2011 at 23:11  Comments (1)  
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Ugly Car? no…really?!

I’ve been having a bit of a chuckle at the ‘Ugliest cars of the last 50 years’ list on the Bloomberg.com ‘Business Week’ section. There are infact a few surprises and with most – not so much.  But some have at least come out with this rating 32 out of 50 – Sorry Robert Llew, but it’s just the way it is LOL

Published in: on 2 December, 2009 at 16:38  Comments (2)  
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What pool? oh, Carpool!

I really do hope you guys have been watching Robert Llewellyn’s ‘Carpool’ – the link is over there in the righthand column. What is interesting is just how much this thing is improving all the time. Before I dig a bottomless pit for myself here, I don800px-CarpoolUK’t mean it was crappy in the first place because it simply wasn’t.
What I do mean to say is the overall quality feel and interviews just keep improving all the time.
Robert (as far as I’m aware) funds all this himself and is passionate about it in a good way. Do take a look, and if you don’t recognise the person he’s interviewing, watch it any way, because you’ll probably know of them or there work at some point.

Published in: on 10 November, 2009 at 00:08  Comments (2)  
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Carpool at it’s best – Professor Brian Cox

When Robert Llewellyn interviewed Charlotte Reather – I was gobsmaked at how he captured this ladies spirit. Then an awesome Carpool from Tesla last week that answered just so many questions about electric cars and in turn – there impact. This week, Robert has not only an outstanding guest, but does what I believe is one of the best Carpools yet.


Published in: on 25 July, 2009 at 01:47  Comments (2)  
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The Banks and how Rob Llewellyn feels on the subject

I’m posting this because while I agree about his sentiments about the about the bank – it just had me laughing. Like all of Robs W/L vids, I understand his points but do not necessarily agree with them. He has a good old rant here and touches on a subject that people who know me will know my experience in, on the subject of large companies inability to move with the times.

Published in: on 11 July, 2009 at 19:43  Leave a Comment  
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Carpool is a kinda Vblog where actor Robert Llewellyn from Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge fame, interviews interesting and sometimes famous people while driving kryten_228x309in his car. Most of the time he is simply giving  them a lift across London, or he travels to interesting locations – like a video he just posted talking to Michael Eavis  during the preparations for this years Glastonbury Festival.Scrapheap
The great thing about these interviews is they’re extremely candid, open and for want of a better phrase ‘gonzo’. What I mean to say, is that they’re completely ad-hoc. As such they’re brilliant. Further to this Robert’s amiable personality and humour both disarm and relax the interviewees, making for no awkward moments and make the viewer feel like they’re actually there.
It is extremely entertaining, the actors and comedians are without make up, they openly swear and talk normally – it’s very open and real. As such, I have becoCarpool Stephen Fryme totally addicted and wonder why people who I also follow on the web have not done the same. He does an awesome interview with Stephen Fry as well.
I can fully recommend this site and furthermore he often tests new hybrid cars during them. Links are in in the photos above, in bold text, in the Blogroll and HERE

Oh, and he loves the Tesla, Which I will be writing about in the not too distant future, or more accurately, I’ll be writing about the Tesla S, a large roomy car with a 300 mile range and almost affordable. Here is a picture of it until then.

Tesla S



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