Binge On “Making a Murderer”

Have a little bit of extra downtime between now and the beginning of the year? Looking for a new show to binge on in the Netflix library? I highly recommend the documentary series “Making a Murderer.”

It’s the story of a man, Steven Avery, in rural Wisconsin who was wrongly convicted of rape, imprisoned for 18 years, and then released after DNA testing. He sued the county where he was arrested. There was a murder in his town and guess who was the first suspect. I’ll just leave it all there.

It’s a 10 part documentary series that’s very well done. It’s well paced. The end of each episode has something that makes you want to watch the next one.

The documentary shows where the criminal justice system can go terribly wrong, where justice isn’t done. It’s a true story. It’s crazy.

This series is definitely worth a watch. Here’s the trailer…


Watching TV After Its Been Aired

Both Lauren and I enjoy certain TV shows, as a way to unwind after a busy day. The fall has become a favorite time of year because that’s when the new shows come out.

But I was thinking about how we consume television. Last year when we lived in Las Vegas we opted to not get cable and so we watched everything online via Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video. It worked really well. Our lives were our lives and it often didn’t coincide with live TV schedules. We could watch tv on our terms.

Now living in St. Louis, it was actually cheaper to have cable TV plus Internet over just Internet. We still mostly watch tv after the fact, either through the DVR or the online video apps that I mentioned before.

Especially now that we have a kid, we usually get time to watch one tv show a night, after the kid’s evening rituals.  We’re then both zonked and ready to pass out. So we’re especially watching tv after the fact.

It’s disappointing to miss out on live TV though. TV networks have been really getting behind using Twitter. Tv shows have official hash tags for fans to talk about what’s happening. Plus the actual stars from the show jump into the mix. When you’re not watching the show when it aires, it feels like you’re missing out on something.

It’s interesting to see how out consumption patterns are changing. Despite what the networks throw out, I have the feeling that people will continue to move towards watching tv when it’s ideal for them.

How & when do you watch tv?

What time was that show on?

This spring Lauren and I were temporarily living in California while she was in 500 Startups. Instead of signing up for cable tv, we used our Internet access and a Roku box to get access to Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon for our television & movie fix.

It worked like a dream. We watched the tv shows we wanted, when we wanted to watch them. It was easy. The quality of the stream was fantastic.

It’s now funny to come back to a cable tv enabled house & the fall television season starting. My first inclination is “Oh that show is coming back.” Then I’m like, “when is it on?”

What does it matter when it’s on? Why am I holding myself to a broadcast schedule? I lived without it for 4 months.

Maybe it’s time we cut the cable in DC too.  It just seems like such an outdated model.

I wish the final the final holdout television networks would join the Internet era, like CBS and The Food Network.  I also wish there was a better solution for live news or programming online.  I want to be able to watch Morning Joe over our Roku box.

New Mac Mini = Justin Gets Rid of Comcast Cable… Finally!

So… everyone is talking about a potential new Mac Mini. This is definitely something that I’d love to see happen. This is a computer that hasn’t been updated by Apple in a long time.

I’d love to take a new Mac Mini, load it with something like Boxee, hook that up to my television, and once and for all DUMP COMCAST CABLE.

It’s kind of funny because a few months worth of my cable bill would pay for the Mac Mini, if it stays along it’s current pricing lines.

What do you guys think? Would you do it?

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Who Will Revolutionize Live TV News?

Last night I was at a New Year’s Eve party and struck up a conversation with some one who spent a lot of time working in the television news industry.  She seemed frustrated with the state of things and the extent to which tv news caters to our short attention spans with sound bites and not very much actual news.  She also mentioned that if you want to do actual in-depth tv news on a show like 60 minutes, you have to have a resume with 20+ years of experience to join the team.

Of course, this conversation sends my entrepreneurial brain into gear.  On Sunday, I asked the question, who’s going to revolutionize the local news scene?  Well I ask a similar question here… who’s going to revolutionize tv news?

Between things like Twitter, Qik, and UStream, why couldn’t you produce a similar product?

I really dig what Leo Laporte is doing with TWiT Live.  He sits at his command center and broadcasts live video.  From there he can cut to his friends live all over the world and talk about the world of technology.  He can do the lower thirds and split screens just like you’d see on mainstream tv news.

Why couldn’t you have an online TV news anchor who cuts to someone with a Qik camera that’s broadcasting live from a major news event or to a story that was filed by someone who shot it with a Flip camera and edited with iMovie?  This just doesn’t seem that crazy.

HBO on iTunes Will Get Me To Try the Sopranos, The Wire, and Rome

Yesterday, Apple announced the addition of HBO television programming to the iTunes store.  This is awesome and seems totally like a no-brainer for HBO.

For me (the consumer) it’s great too.  I have yet to really dive in and get into shows like the Sopranos, The Wire, and Rome (I know I’ve been living under a rock).  Now with them being on iTunes, its really easy for me to just buy an episode or two and slowly get addicted to the shows, rather then having to lay down the big investment.

Yes I know I could have added the TV shows to my Netflix que but that takes planning and fore thought.  This is so much more easy and instantly gratifying.

I guess the lesson here is… make it so easy for people to try your content… to get a taste that it’s easier for them to become hooked.

So are you going to try any of HBOs shows on iTunes?

Real Video On-Demand

On Friday, I was walking out the door on my way to work and I realized that I hadn’t seen this week’s episode of LOST yet.  I stopped what I was doing ran over to my computer, bought LOST on Apple iTunes, and waited 15 minutes as it downloaded.  I then put it on my iPhone and went about my merry way.

Seems like things just aren’t where they need to be.

I’d get a season pass to LOST on iTunes but I only use laptops and I’m always running out of space on my hard drives.

I want some type of easy media server type of solution that will hold all of my media but when I sync my laptop and my iPhone I can pull media off of the server and put it on my iPhone.

It’d also be nice if there was a way to buy TV shows on the fly from the iPhone so that while I was walking to the subway it could have been downloading.  It’d also be nice if my phone could pull TV shows off of my media server.  I know with current cellular technology this isn’t possible but it’d be nice.

So… what happened at CES this year?

I know the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was in Las Vegas this last week but I’m not really sure what happened there. I’m not excited about anything.  My friends aren’t buzzing about anything that came out.

Apparently, Gizmodo pulled some stupid stunt…  but who cares.

Sounds like CES unveiled a bunch of really cool displays which I can’t afford or may not be available for 5 years… but doesn’t that happen every year?

Heh… I think Apple’s announcement of their Mac Pro update was more memorable and bigger news.   So… I guess I’ll to wait for Apple’s MacWorld this week to find out what I should get really excited about as far as consumer electronics.

So I missed Sunday’s Iron Chef America…

So one of my favorite shows on TV is Food Network’s Iron Chef America…  I was excited for this week’s episode because it was the first for the new Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Unfortunately, I missed it.

So now what can I do? Iron Chef America is not on iTunes.  It’s not on Hulu.  They don’t make it available from the Food Network Web site.    I could sit around and hope I magically get it when it’s being re-run but that’s not an option. So what can I do?  I could get a boot-leg copy off of Bittorrent… but that just doesn’t seem right to me (call me crazy).

I’m saying that I’m willing to pay money via iTunes for it or I’m willing watch some ads and have it streamed online.  Why hasn’t every cable network (including Food Network) seen this reality and started implementing these options?  I can’t be the only one who wants this.