Ah, it has to be a sign that I watched an old episode of Sliders tonight, the pilot in fact.

Three years ago, I bought the first and second seasons of the show, and a year later, the third season.  Then I waited forever for the fourth season, but it seemed like it would never come.

Well, I sometimes like to read about series while I’m watching them, and went to the Wikipedia article on Sliders.  And what should I see when I get down to the DVD section?  That the fourth season is coming out on March 25th!  I know the fourth season is often said to be the beginning of the end for Sliders, but I don’t care, I want it.

Next month is going to sooo cool.  Stargate: The Ark of Truth is coming out on March 11th and Sliders Season 4 on the 25th.  Can’t wait!

I have a love and hate relationship with snow days.  It’s good to have classes canceled sometimes, but when you want to do other stuff and then can’t, it sucks.

For example, take today’s snow day.  I liked that I didn’t have to go to my one class today, but I also couldn’t set up for the game show.  I wasn’t able to get the contestant buzzers we use for the show.

So,  natural conclusion?  Cancel the show.  Now we’ll do the next one on March 8th, and perhaps make a second for the end of March, since we seem to have some popular demand for contestants this time around.

So, now I’m here this weekend, and hopefully I’ll have something to do.  Today I watched some movies with friends, and probably tomorrow I’ll do something with them as well. So, not a total loss this weekend.  I am a little mad, though, since this week was the postponed date from last week.  The reason I’m not doing it next week is that I don’t want to do it two weeks in a row.

So, I’ll have some fun this weekend, hopefully, and get back to work on the show next week.  Still, blasted snow days!

With a seeming end to the writer’s strike being imminent, things have played out more or less how I thought they would.  Two months ago I said in the last episode of Dymersion Video that the studios would eventually force themselves to cough up a decent deal in face of falling ratings, but that the writers would not get everything they wanted.

And so it seems that this is the case.  This source is perhaps a little out-of-date on an actual time basis, but I don’t think it’d be too out of date on a fact basis.  As you can see, by the end of 2007, NBC viewership dropped 11%, CBS 10% and ABC 5%.  I’m going to guess it’s gotten worse as series have stopped airing new episodes after pre-strike episodes have aired.  Remember that around the time that article was written, new episodes of series were either airing their final new episodes, or it didn’t matter anyway, since Christmas was a few days away.

Then Christmas came and went, and we went a whole month without new episodes.  Lost came back on the 31st, but that’s about it.  I’d be interested in seeing if ABC’s ratings have risen any, since judging by the article, they seem to have lost the least, and so probably gained the most by Lost coming back (which has been good so far).   Meanwhile, CBS and NBC are likely struggling.  I’m guessing all the ratings have come back up with the return of some other shows, but are probably not where the execs would like them to be.  It would help immensely if the anchors of these networks could come back.  Heroes on NBC, the CSIs on CBS, would help things a lot.

So, faced with lower ratings, the studios knew they needed to get back to making shows.  So, they were forced to concede more than they wanted, but not as much as the writers wanted.  So is the nature of negotiation; both sides have to give up concessions, or nothing gets done.  The writers seem to be content. anyway, lauding the deal.  It’s only for three years, but I’m hoping the Internet will have truly proved itself by then, in which case, the writers will have firepower at their disposal.

I’m happy that this thing seems set to end.  I know it will be some time before I can see CSI, Without a Trace, 24, and Heroes again, but I’m content in knowing that they’ll be back soon.

As I’ve surfed the Internet these past months, I’ve noticed a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding being spread about the switch to DTV. It’s really a shame, since the switch is government-ordered, yet they have barely taken the time to inform the public until very recently. So, to hopefully clear a few things up, I’ve decided to explain a few things. I’ll present it in FAQ style:

  • What is DTV?
    • DTV stands for Digital Television. There are several kinds of digital television, such as digital cable, but the switchover next year concerns the type that will be broadcast over-the-air. Over-the-air digital television is sent using digital signals rather than the traditional analog signals.
  • How will the switchover affect me?
    • That’s just it…it may not. The people who should pay the most attention are those still getting their TV over-the-air. Many people this day in age get their TV via cable or satellite service. They don’t need to worry (well, probably not, see below). Those who need to worry most are the people who are using a big ‘ol antennae on top of their house or rabbit ears connected to their TV.
  • Ok, so I’m one of those people. What do I need to do?
    • Well, it depends on when you got your current TV. If it was in the past couple years, you should be set. All TVs in the past couple years were legally required to have digital tuners built in. Check your TV’s manual to see if this is the case. If it does, you’re all set, ready to join the digital revolution. If this is not the case, your manual should notify you. In some cases, you’ll probably know your TV is pretty old.If this is the case, you will need to buy either a new TV, or a digital tuner box. Now, you can probably find a decent TV with a digital tuner, but they are becoming more rare, with the industry focus on HDTVs. You could also buy an HDTV, if you have the money. Otherwise, or if you don’t want to buy a new TV, you will need a digital tuner box. Basically, the box converts the digital signal coming into your antennae into an analog signal before it reaches your television. It’s essentially the external equivalent of what all new TVs have.Need help buying a converter box? This past January, the federal government started offering a coupon program. Go to the government’s DTV website for information on how to sign-up for the program.
  • So, will I get HDTV quality with this converter box thing?
    • Not necessarily. If it so happens you have an HDTV and are using it with DTV, that’ll be the case. However, I do believe that most people who have an HDTV will already have HD service through their cable or satellite provider. However, you’ll also be able to pick up DTV signals (with an antennae), and see them in HD. Standard definition televisions will get a better picture, because the DTV signal if all or nothing, with no grey, snowy area in between. However, you will not get HD quality.
  • You said earlier if I was on cable, I may need to pay attention. Why?
    • This is a possibility. Cable services are not mandated to go digital like over-the-air broadcasts are. However, some cable companies may take it upon themselves to go digital, in which case you’d probably need a converter box from that company. However, this is something you will need to check with them about. My guess is that most will probably keep their analog services, meaning that you’ll only need your trusty coax cables. Digital cable services are definitely getting more popular, but I don’t think they’ve reached the mainstream yet where cable companies are going to entirely abandon the old basic cable plans. However, don’t take my word for it. They’re the final say on this.

There. I hope I was a little bit helpful on this whole transition thing. If anybody has further questions, feel free to post it, and I’ll find out what answer I can, or redirect you to a more proper channel (no pun intended), if I cannot.

For all the information above, the DTV converter box sign-up, and more, visit http://www.dtv2009.gov

When I tuned in to O’Reilly last night, I caught the tail end of an interview with a guy making the case to O’Reilly that many of our nation’s veterans end up on the street after coming back from war.  O’Reilly seemed to disagree with this idea, telling the guy to call him up if he actually finds anybody “sleeping under a bridge.”  Now, this shocking lack of respect for the troops didn’t phase me then, because I didn’t actually notice the story much.  Since I tuned in toward the end of that segment, it didn’t impact me as much as it would if I’d seen the whole thing.  I was also running on 4 hours of sleep.

Then I watched Keith Olbermann tonight.  He had on a veteran, and a member of a group that tracks, and tries to help, homeless veterans.  I got to see some of the clips of the interview again, and thought it made O’Reilly look read bad, what he said about there not being very many homeless troops.

According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there are about 200,000 veterans homeless on any given night in this country, or about 1/3 of all homeless veterans.  Now, I understand that in relation to all the veterans in this country, that may not be a lot.  But, consider that this is about 23,000 more people than the amount of soldiers we have in Iraq right now, and 2/3 of what we had at the invasion.  That’s a lot of homeless veterans!

Notice that I gave a direct link to the VA’s website.  There can now be no arguing over sources, since the facts are coming from the horse’s mouth itself.  I know it says 195,000, but I’m guessing the number has been updated since then.  Regardless, it’s close enough for me to make my point.

Come on, O’Reilly.  Even you can’t deny that source.  I’m hoping what might have happened was that he assumed that the figures were specifically for people “sleeping under bridges”.  That’s be reasonable, if that were the case.  But, I don’t know.  O’Reilly has a pattern of vehemently disagreeing with people when he considers their opinions to be part of the “secular progressive” movement.  I think the representative from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America group thought right when he said he guessed O’Reilly was disputing the number of people under bridges.  I also agreed when he noted that some veterans are worse off, sometimes only having cardboard boxes to sleep under.

I’m surprised that nobody on his mail segment was featured calling him out on that.  Perhaps people did send in mail, but he didn’t choose it.  I hope that he sets the record, because for a man who pounces on people who disrespect the troops, saying what he said sounds pretty disrespectful.  It’s ironic, since today he had a whole segment blasting a New York Times story about veterans coming back from Iraq being more likely to commit murders.

Our veterans sacrifice a lot to fight for us, and the idea that they can go homeless when they come back from fighting is disgraceful.

Well, comedians such as David Letterman, Jay Leno, and Conan O’Brian are set to come back tonight, the latter two without their writers.

It’s been eight weeks, and although television seems to be holding on, thanks in large part due to reality shows, it could use a boost.  We’re now out of holiday hiatus, and I think the networks know that they need to get back to work.

It’ll be interesting to see how Letterman compares to Leno and O’Brien.  I think Letterman’s material will be stronger.   We’ll see.

Off to watch it now.

Coming to you once again in quasi-professional style from my school’s TV studio, in this week’s episode of Dymersion Video, I discuss the WGA strike, what might ultimately bring both sides back to negotiations, and what both sides might get out of it all.

P.S. Two days after I presented this editorial live on the air of the campus station, the writers announced they’re going back to the negotiating table. The last time I gave an editorial, about Congress and the President, the President vetoed the water projects bill a day afterward. I don’t know if it’s intuition that these things are going to happen soon that makes me write editorials about them, or what, haha.

Not that, according to some, he hasn’t already.

On his show tonight, he’s talking with who I believe is a psychologist (came in late, so not sure). His gripe this time is that two girls being chosen as cutest couple in some high school yearbook is inappropriate. The two girls are shown in a picture together, although the picture isn’t inappropriate in any way. They’re just facing the camera, with a one-armed hug.

The psychologist I think called him out on his true thoughts when she asked him whether he’d have a problem with a heterosexual couple doing the same thing. O’Reilly says that he have no problem with it, but does with this because it isn’t “socially accepted behavior.” Yet, O’Reilly also keeps saying that he thinks people should be keeping their sexual life behind closed doors. These two statements don’t match up. If he really thinks the latter thing, he should be saying that the school should abolish the cutest couple section altogether.

So, O’Reilly thinks that people should keep their sexual life private, but also has no problem with a heterosexual couple being picked as cutest couple, since it’s “socially accepted.” These statements, made within minutes of each other, don’t add up, O’Reilly!

Now, on the other hand, I have no problem with cutest couple sections, or who gets picked for them. It’s a non-issue, really. So, I don’t know why “Mr. I Don’t Have Problems with Homosexuals but Make Conflicting Statements” does.