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     Home »  General Discussions »  g4/tech tv
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    g4/tech tv Views: 2301
     Friday, April 14 2006 @ 10:13 PM EDT
    Louis, I was very interested in your views of G4 on the last podshock.I have myself noticed the decline in the channel over the last year to two years, but I really wanted your insight. You sound much more informed than I am on the matter. Why did Leo leave? was it voluntary or an executive decision? I remember that a couple or 3 years ago when I first discovered the channel, it was focused on tech and it's applications, problemsolving, etc, with some gaming coverage thrown in the mix. Now it is 5 hour marathons of X-Play. Also, when Attack of the Show was called The Screen Savers, it featured news on hardware and really cool programs and downloads that you probably would never hear about. Now it is more of a pop culture roundup for the video game crowd. Feel free to rant, I just want your opinion.

    Heath Holland
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 03:28 AM EDT

    Oh wow... It is a bit of a long story. It originally started out as ZD TV back in the beginning when it launched in 1998. It as part of Ziff Davis enterprises (that is where the ZD cames from), Ziff Davis was responsible for publishing various tech magazines.. it was the first television station based on tech. It was later bought out by Vulcan, Inc. which is the company owned by Paul Allen (cofounder of Microsoft). It was around this time that ZD TV transformed into TechTV. The channel was taking off, albeit slowly, it was building its audience. With a vast amount of tech-related programming. With popular shows such as Call for Help, The Screensavers, and TechTV Live... The channel hit its first real stumbling block after the whole tech bubble burst in 2000. But it still prevailed and continued to gain momentum. It could be seen on a vast number of cable television networks and the two big national satellite networks, DirecTV and Dish Network.

    Meanwhile, one cable company, Comcast decided it wanted to start a channel solely dedicated to video gamming. It created the G4 channel. The trouble was even though Comcast has tons of money to develop this channel it could not get the channel to be carried by other cable channels and satellite networks... after all Comcast was their competition and rival. It could not get their audience... So if you can't beat them, they decided to simply buy their way in. Hence they bought out TechTV and fired everyone! If anyone wanted to keep their job, they would have to be re-hired and re-interviewed for it!

    Did they have an interest in tech? No. They had interest in the market which TechTV had... they no longer had to fight to get their channel on the satellite networks and rival cable companies because they simply bought the existing TechTV channel which already was being carried by the aforementioned networks. The put forth this whole ruse they were not replacing TechTV with G4, but rather merging the two. But it was only a ruse... they slowly began dropping all the TechTV programming in favour of their G4 programming... for awhile they even merged the names for the channel... Gaming was taking precedence over tech and computer-related programming on the channel... until eventually it was all gaming, all the time. They even went back to their name "G4"

    Now after a couple years trying to be a video game channel, they have concluded that it was not working. So now they have changed direction and is trying to become another Spike channel. Hence they reason why are showing Star Trek on it (of course they are doing a number on Trek as well by calling it "Star Trek 2.0" and putting it in a smaller window on your screen with B.S. crap (text messages, and other nonsense) all over the rest of the screen).

    So after six years of building the first truly innovative television channel dedicated to tech... called TechTV, it was stumped out by Comcast/G4. Whereas I used to watch it all the time when it was ZD TV and later TechTV, now I don't even waste my time with it.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 06:29 AM EDT
    That is a shame.

    Curse you Comcast!

    Most planets have a North!
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 08:43 AM EDT
    yeah, that make's me really upset with comcast. They are the only provider for my area, and they have no competition, so we are getting reamed with their rates. Do you know if Leo is still out there? What he is up to?

    Heath Holland
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     Saturday, April 15 2006 @ 12:46 PM EDT

    Leo is doing fine. He is very busy doing several tech-related podcasts (the most popular of them being TWiT (This Week in Tech)), he is still employed doing his radio show on KFI (Tech Guy) which he does a 3 hour tech show on Saturday and Sundays. And then there is the Canadian G4 channel (which is only partially owned by Comcast, and the rest of it owned by enlightened Canadians) which still produces the "Call for Help" TV show (originally created on ZDTV/TechTV) that airs daily in Canada. So he flies between California and I believe Toronto to tape his shows up north. He also does the geek cruises as well.

    Check out the TWiT site to get a slice of some of his tech podcasts. Of course, there is always his Leoville web site which will give you the lowdown on what he is up to today as well (including the geek cruises and his books). He is very prolific. He carried over the spirit of "The Screensavers" show (the lively tech discussions) into the TWiT podcast. With that and MacBreak, the Daily GizWiz, Security Now, etc... he is bringing what he did on ZD TV/TechTV to the internet bypassing "the suits" found in television networks.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 01:16 AM EDT
    Leo is the man when it comes to tech. I'm subscribed to so many of the podcasts under the TWIT TV banner it isn't funny! They're of very high calibur, and they keep adding to their line up.

    I often listen to the KFI weekend shows in my classroom during my planning period. Those are on iTunes and I find it more relaxing to listen to that than music.

    Of course, my favorite podcast is a little thing called Doctor Who Podshock, but after that is TWIT.

    -Brian Big Grin

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     Sunday, April 16 2006 @ 01:59 AM EDT

    Good man, Brian!


    Yeah, I subscribe to TWiT, KFI's Tech Guy (his radio show), MacBreak, and the Daily GizWiz podcasts. Leo has been in my home (via TV on ZDTV and TechTV... and even G4 when they showed the Canadian "Call for Help" show for a short time) and has been in my car on my commute both altogether now for a good seven years, that he almost feels like a family member.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Monday, April 17 2006 @ 06:56 PM EDT
    I used to like Tech TV. But when I changed my package I lost it. Tech TV used to show the "Max Headroom" shows. That's probably in my Top 5 all time favorite TV shows (behind Doctor Who of course).

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     Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 01:02 PM EDT
    Well, I have to stick my foot in the door here and have my two cents. I too was intrigued by Louis' comments in Podshock about G4 and I totally agree. The worst thing about it is that not only do you have to watch the station decline slowly, day after day getting worse and worse, there's nothing you can do about it. Complaints on their forums or even questions about the direction the channel is moving in are deleted and there's basically no outlet for people to voice their concerns. The hosts don't seem to care either, which is a shame, 'cause some of them (Casey in particular) are quite awesome. It's very sad though - I've been watching for ages now and every time (like this week) they say they're changing their format, I end up rolling my eyes wondering, "what now? how much worse could it get?"

    Well, it can get worse. The recent events are the replacement of Brendan and Sarah with Olivia Munn, easily the stupidest woman in the history of broadcasting. Not only can she not work alongside Kevin, she's unfriendly, boring, and can't talk in full sentences. There was that contest they did for a co-host which basically came to nothing. Then this week they hired a woman to read The Feed and she doesn't look much better than Olivia Munn. And The Feed? What happened to The Feed? It used to be tech news, but in the past month it's all become movie sales, sports news, and bikini shots.

    When they take out the tech and fill the channel with nothing but tit, there's not much of a reason left to call it a tech channel, never mind a videogame channel. That said, even if they were going to talk about videogames, they never give enough time to PC games (because of course, it's only consoles that matter I guess). This week, for example, they're going down to cover E3. I'll bet dollars to donuts they talk for days about Metal Gear Solid 4, but any news about PC titles like Gothic 3? Nope. Not a sausage.

    Anyway. I had to rant. There's nowhere left to rant about the downward spiral of this once great channel.

    WAH!!

    chown -R me ./inferno && cat season3 | grep gunfighters > /dev/null
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     Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 01:23 PM EDT
    They used to have a fun version of the Thunderbirds also. My wife, who doesn't watch much science fiction, loved that. It went away when Comcast took over also. Cry

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     Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 02:30 PM EDT
    Teshia, do you know what happened to most of the old screen savers/attack of the show correspondants? I would watch it a couple of times a week, then miss some days, then the next time I watched, someone would be gone. This pattern repeated itself every few months. What happened to Kevin number one? What became of Sarah? Where are they going, to other programs or just fired? They used to have like 8 people on the show with different segments, now it's like TWO!
    Now when G4 covers the comic convention, whenever that is, you will hear no complaints from me. I am allowed to be a hypocrite when it comes to my comics. g4 should talk about tech almost all the time, games maybe a couple of hours a day. And comics whenever they want to. just kidding.

    Heath Holland
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     Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 03:05 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  teshia] ...
    Well, it can get worse. The recent events are the replacement of Brendan and Sarah with Olivia Munn, easily the stupidest woman in the history of broadcasting. Not only can she not work alongside Kevin, she's unfriendly, boring, and can't talk in full sentences. There was that contest they did for a co-host which basically came to nothing. Then this week they hired a woman to read The Feed and she doesn't look much better than Olivia Munn. And The Feed? What happened to The Feed? It used to be tech news, but in the past month it's all become movie sales, sports news, and bikini shots.

    ...


    Oh, did Sarah finally leave? She was the last hold-out from TechTV still on the channel (well, technically Brendan as well, though he started at the tail end of TechTV before G4 got their nasty hands on it).

    Good for Sarah. I hope she finds something that she can prosper in...

    TechTV stopped being TechTV almost immediately after the G4/Comcast buyout. They only continued the ruse that they were still a tech channel to keep the markets that TechTV had already established themselves in.

    The the current owners have no love for tech, or for that matter even video-gaming (G4's original format)... The only reason they decided to create a video-gaming channel was simply because of the amount of money that the video-game industry sees every year had surpassed that of the movie industry... and it was felt that was where the money is... The whole channel is completely guided by where they feel the money is... nothing else. So they will emulate MTV or Spike TV or whatever... it doesn't matter... They will alienate whatever audience they have amassed in the process.

    Now granted all companies are money orientated otherwise they would not be in business.. they would be non-profit corporations... But still most companies stay in their related fields... and stay within their marketed audiences.. for the most part.

    Thankfully, so many of the people that made TechTV the success it was, can now be found in other media doing similar programming such as Leo LaPorte, Patrick Norton, John D'vorak, Kevin Rose, etc. Much of them are can be heard via podcasting today. Cutting out the suites and doing the programming themselves without people looking over their shoulder.

    That is what makes podcasting such as successful medium. That is what makes Doctor Who: Podshock and other similar shows possible... if we had to market the show to commercial radio... it would probably not see the light of day.

    We can speak directly to our audience. This is what the veterans of TechTV is doing today... going directly to their audience. People like Leo LaPorte are spearheading it over the internet instead of the traditional broadcast mediums such as terrestrial television, cable and satellite.

    It's what we are doing with our podcast as well.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Thursday, May 11 2006 @ 04:23 PM EDT
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] Teshia, do you know what happened to most of the old screen savers/attack of the show correspondants? I would watch it a couple of times a week, then miss some days, then the next time I watched, someone would be gone. This pattern repeated itself every few months. What happened to Kevin number one? What became of Sarah? Where are they going, to other programs or just fired? They used to have like 8 people on the show with different segments, now it's like TWO!
    Now when G4 covers the comic convention, whenever that is, you will hear no complaints from me. I am allowed to be a hypocrite when it comes to my comics. g4 should talk about tech almost all the time, games maybe a couple of hours a day. And comics whenever they want to. just kidding.


    I don't know whereabouts and whatabouts most of them are doing but you can catch Patrick Norton twice weekly on DigitalifeTV over at http://digitallifetv.com and if memory serves me right the first Kevin was Kevin Rose and you can catch him on Diggnation or Systm or TheBroken at http://revision3.com/ and Kevin is also the big cheese behind www.digg.com the big social tech news website.

    John C, Dvorak can be found being rude and obnoxious to and about Apple MAC users on just about any street corner... okay well seriously John's over at http://dvorak.org/blog and he also does Crankygeeks every Thursday at http://crankygeeks.com a interesting show which allows him to be rude and upset as many people as he likes while being as cranky as he possibly can be... no I'm just kidding - John is maybe cranky, but about tech he's got the habit of being very accurate.

    Leo Laporte is a one man podcast machine and you can get at his stuff over at http://www.thisweekintech.com/ to check it all out - he also does Call For Help, but unfortunatly that isn't broadcast in the USA so you'll either have to head north for that place called Canada or get a boat and paddle over to Australia or *cough* bitorrent *cough* from http://cfhtracker.info/

    You are rogue elements... You are incompatible... You will be... Deleted!
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     Monday, May 15 2006 @ 11:08 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  Delete!]or *cough* bitorrent *cough* from http://cfhtracker.info/

    No need for coughing! Remember people, BitTorrent is a file sharing protocol, NOT a piracy program. There are plenty of people (hello, Linux anyone?) who share perfectly legal files over the internet, such as freeware operating systems, music, and podcasts. Don't believe the hype, it's not the protocol you use, it's what you send over it. I'm so tired of my ISP throttling my BitTorrent connection at home down to 2 Mb/sec - totally unfair. Anyway, I rant, I rant.

    [Quote  by:  Louis]Oh, did Sarah finally leave? ... Good for Sarah. I hope she finds something that she can prosper in...

    Well you'll get a good laugh out of this. In Sarah's grand tradition of sleeping with the other hosts, she decided to marry Brendan a few weeks back and they're travelling around the world together to "find themselves". I kid you not.

    chown -R me ./inferno && cat season3 | grep gunfighters > /dev/null
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     Monday, May 15 2006 @ 11:49 AM EDT
    [Quote  by:  teshia]
    Well you'll get a good laugh out of this. In Sarah's grand tradition of sleeping with the other hosts, she decided to marry Brendan a few weeks back and they're travelling around the world together to "find themselves". I kid you not.


    What! Eek! I never even knew she broke up with Kevin (Rose)! Wow.

    And Brendan is all over any guest on the show that has breasts... I can't imagine him "settling down" so to speak.

    Yep, I have been away for a while now.

    Thanks for the update.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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