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Annoying on-screen graphics during television programming gets worse

By zorinlynx in Op-Ed
Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 06:34:41 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

So perhaps you tuned into TNN tonight to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation; maybe for the first time in years. Perhaps you noticed that they put a big black bar on the bottom of the screen through the entire show, with nothing but the station logo and the name of the show. TNN isn't the only one, of course; other stations are doing this too, though perhaps to a less annoying extent. And it will get worse.


There are those of us who have decided not to watch much, if any, television anymore because networks are starting to go too far in ruining the viewing experience. It just keeps getting worse.

As recently as the early 1990's, you hardly ever saw station logos on the screen during programming. Sometimes a local station would plaster their logo up for a few seconds to let you know who you're watching; this is not very annoying and is even required by FCC law.

Then it started with cable networks in the late 1990's. Networks started displaying their logos more often, especially immediately after and before commercial breaks. Nobody complained.

Then the logos came on all the time. Some people complained because their projection televisions were burned in, but not enough. The logos became semitransparent and stayed. Now all stations, from small local stations to the big national networks, have them.

Of course, these days it's not just static logos. The Earth in the Discovery Channel logo rotates slowly. Logos for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network morph periodically to advertise the networks' web sites. Logos sometimes morph into ads for other television programs. We may not see commercial ads during programming yet, but I wouldn't put it past the program directors to attempt this, especially if it's under the guise of "eliminating commercial breaks."

We all need to let the television networks know how we feel about this. If you have a favorite cable network that does this, you should dig up their contact information and drop them a note. Real, physical letters are more effective than E-mails. Phone calls work too, if you can get ahold of a real person.

Let's all try to do our part to keep television from becoming nothing but advertising twenty-four hours a day.

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Poll
Should there be legislation by the FCC or other government body to limit on-screen graphics during television programming?
o Yes, those blasted animated logos must go! 18%
o No, networks own their channels and should be able to do whatever they want. 41%
o There should a partial limitation, such as limiting it to a static transparent logo occupying no more than a certain percentage of the screen. 27%
o I don't care; leave me alone! 12%

Votes: 77
Results | Other Polls

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o Also by zorinlynx


Display: Sort:
Annoying on-screen graphics during television programming gets worse | 53 comments (43 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
Black lines not for ads (2.00 / 8) (#1)
by core10k on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:16:40 PM EST

Have you watched ANY TV ADS in the last three years? Half of them have black lines; they were filed for HD TV. It's not a conspiracy to annoy you, it's good business sense.

And your whining now will be replaced with smug superiority if you actually bought an HD TV and were able to experience these shows as they were meant to be experienced, of that I have no doubt.



HDTV (3.75 / 4) (#8)
by Refrag on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:39:58 PM EST

Whether or not these commercials were filmed for HDTV remains to be seen. I live in Charlotte, which is one of the best cities in the nation to live in for HDTV reception, and none of these adds are run in 16:9. They are all run in 4:3 with black bars on the sides. So, the ones you think/say were filmed for HDTV actually have black bars on the sides, top, and bottom. It's quite annoying -- no doubt.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches
[ Parent ]

excellent (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by bored on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:09:23 PM EST

Sounds like another way to automatically remove the commercials during a recording session. Just look for black bars starting the scan line. He he he..

[ Parent ]
Wow, you're so wrong (3.00 / 2) (#45)
by Pope on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 01:35:21 AM EST

You completely misunderstood the complaint. This has nothing to do with Letterboxing, a technique to display widescreen images on a 4:3 TV screen. That removes NONE of the image being shown. What e're objecting to is TNN diplaying a nice thick black line OVER the original TV images, cutting off the program.

As for the HDTV premise, I *really* doubt it was for good business sense. Commercials rarely run for very long as campaigns are usually seasonal. Any letterboxed commercials you see were made that way by the director and the ad agency. I doubt it's half.

"Turn your tails and run, In fear of the approaching years, in fear of the Ouch Monkeys" Julian Cope
[ Parent ]

AT&T (3.28 / 7) (#2)
by J'raxis on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:21:57 PM EST

AT&T Cable has banner-ad–like ads on their information and channel guide screens. Selecting the ad will bring up more information about it. As you try to scroll through the list of channels, it conveniently pauses on the banner ad below the list (every eighth scroll).

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

Comedy Central provides one historical example (3.57 / 7) (#3)
by cp on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:24:18 PM EST

Back when they were still airing MST3K, they decided one season to start plastering their logo over all programming (except commercials, of course). The problem was, MST3K's Crow T Robot occupies that lower-right-corner spot where the logo appeared, so an indispensible part of MST3K was completely obscured. After much outcry by fans, Comedy Central retreated and dropped the logo during MST3K episodes.

Comedy Central kept its logo for all other programming, and they eventually went on to stab MST3K fans in the back in other ways not worth mentioning here (*cough* reairing seasons one and two *cough*), eventually dropping the show outright. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't any programming left on Comedy Central that doesn't have the logo.

The moral is: if you vocally complain, then they will listen, briefly, and then they'll find some other way to screw you.

Ads during credits (4.35 / 14) (#4)
by J'raxis on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:25:21 PM EST

Then there’s the ads during the credits. Ever notice how they have crept from being one third of the screen, to half, to three quarters? In extreme cases, the now-illegible credits will be squashed down in one quadrant of the screen, and different ads playing in the other three.

For an industry so supposedly concerned about intellectual property, they certainly don’t have much of a problem obscuring the names of hundreds of people who played a part in their shows...

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

A thought (2.00 / 6) (#6)
by regeya on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:27:47 PM EST

If TNN picks up Voyager, and if Paramount gets their heads out of their asses and syndicates Enterprise, and my only option is something like TNN, then I'll put up with the banner.

But first I'll need either cable or a dish; I really don't watch TV enough to care about such stuff.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Not only logos... (3.50 / 6) (#7)
by Refrag on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 10:34:19 PM EST

...didn't anyone besides me notice how many annoying on screen graphics (OSG) were used during the recent terrorist attack coverage? Maybe they left 1/3 of the screen for actual video. One station would wrap CNN's coverage (with CNN's OSG) within their own OSG. It got to be ridiculous.

Refrag

Kuro5hin: ...and culture, from the trenches

Let's all do our part. (3.40 / 10) (#10)
by Speare on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 11:27:51 PM EST

Let's all try to do our part to keep television from becoming nothing but advertising twenty-four hours a day.

I'm already doing my part. I don't watch broadcast television. The few times I turn on a television, I turn on a VCR too.

If you feel so persecuted while you're watching the sheep-o-vision, then TURN IT OFF?
 
[ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ]

I am doing my part... (3.75 / 4) (#12)
by zorinlynx on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 11:53:55 PM EST

That's just it; I didn't watch it. I watched maybe the first 25 minutes, hoping it was a glitch. When I realized it wasn't, I turned it off. I just refuse to support them.

That doesn't change my desire to watch a show that's been somewhat of a favorite of mine for years.

There's still some good stuff on television. I hate seeing that good stuff tarnished by greedy corporate types; especially when they didn't even create it themselves.

[ Parent ]

I'm doing my part too (3.50 / 2) (#18)
by b1t r0t on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 02:21:54 AM EST

I'm already doing my part. I don't watch broadcast television. The few times I turn on a television, I turn on a VCR too.

Ditto that, except after my latest move to first time home ownership, I didn't get cable or satellite. (Previous location was an apartment with free cable TV.) Every now and then I channel-surf the five or so I can get with rabbit-ears, and then go back to watching downloaded japanese animation (current stuff, not stuff I can get/already have on DVD, which I also watch). I don't have time for the crap that passes for television programming these days. There were very few things I was watching when I did have cable, and about all I truly miss is Battlebots and The Daily Show.

I may eventually get satellite, and I've been wiring the house with six cat-5 and one RG-6 per drop, so I'll be ready if I do decide to go with satellite.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

Starship Troopers ? :) (2.00 / 3) (#22)
by dorsai on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 04:04:42 AM EST

...does this threat reek of "Starship Troopers" ? What next, little kids shooting their TV sets when an annoying ad comes on ?
Tempting, I know... I personally don't watch TV, but then again I don't listen to music much - I'm weird that way.

Dorsai the sigless


[ Parent ]
Computer (3.00 / 1) (#38)
by DarkZero on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:31:52 PM EST

Then I'm guessing that the answer to online advertising is to not use the internet anymore? And the answer to billboard advertising is to just gouge out my eyes?

I like television. I don't want advertising to make me hate it. It has uses, just like my computer and my drive down the road.

[ Parent ]
rating explanation (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by CrayDrygu on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 12:21:52 AM EST

I rated you a "1" just for using the phrase "sheep-o-vision." I'm getting sick of people who don't watch TV having this holier-than-thou attitude about it.

If you think all TV is crap, you need to take a look at PBS, the History channel, and various other networks that actually put out quality programming. (Sadly, PBS is the only broadcast one, and I don't get very good reception on the local affiliate.) Even the sitcoms can be good -- watch an episode of Malcolm in the Middle some time and if you don't find it entertaining (note that entertaining doesn't necessarily mean intellectually stimulating) then I'll admit defeat.

"Sheep-o-vision." As if the television were some higher power, leading its flock to and fro. You've got a remote; use it. I see you have, and it looks like your favorite button is "power." Great. Good for you.

Have a cookie.

[ Parent ]

re: annoying on screen graphics (3.80 / 5) (#11)
by odin on Mon Oct 01, 2001 at 11:32:08 PM EST

Actually, I don't find any of these on-air graphics annoying. I just moved, and I've found that rather than having to keep some guide next to me continually when watching T.V. the logos can tell me right away what station I'm watching. As for the bar at the bottom of the screen, I first noticed that during a movie. So many stations don't even tell you what movie is being shown when they break for a commercial, it's a welcome sight for a station to actually tell you what it is you're watching. Admittedly, when I watch t.v. I tend to flip channels a lot. But after a short period of time, I really did cease to notice the bar. For something where there is significant differences in the picture, I'd care. (I greatly prefer the letterbox format for classic movies), but let's face it, ST:TNG is not high art.

It will only get worse (3.00 / 1) (#19)
by bke on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 02:27:08 AM EST

ST:TNG may not be high art, but the thing is with this, as with almost everything, it starts out small and then it grows bigger. If people don't complain it will only become more prevalent, luckly for me we have almost nothing of this sort in Sweden where I live.


--
Read, think, spread!
http://www.toad.com/gnu/whatswrong.html
[ Parent ]

Re: re: annoying on screen graphics (none / 0) (#39)
by sqwudgy on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 02:49:37 PM EST

``So many stations don't even tell you what movie is being shown when they break for a commercial, it's a welcome sight for a station to actually tell you what it is you're watching.''

I've found it even worse than that. Not only do they not tell you about what movie they're showing, but the listing in the local TV guide that I receive in the Sunday paper is quite often incorrect as is the listing in the TV section of that day's newspaper. Apparently, the network doesn't think that we especially care what we're watching... as long as we're watching something and some eyeballs are exposed to the incessant advertising.



[ Parent ]

Hollywood (4.12 / 8) (#13)
by Bad Harmony on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:01:08 AM EST

The studios probably don't give a damn, as long as they get paid. I would like to see the unions, such as the DGA and SAG, insist that licensees maintain the integrity of the films that are shown on TV. The logos are annoying, esp. the new color versions. What really drives me nuts is the practice of squishing the credits to an unreadable fraction of the screen, running them by at warp speed, muting the soundtrack and inserting a cheesy promo for some other program. It makes want to get a baseball bat and "reeducate" some of the network executives.

5440' or Fight!

Credits (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by nurglich on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 02:39:04 AM EST

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to check out a composer or filming location or something like that, only to be thwarted by an ad for the new stupid sitcom that will be cancelled after three episodes. I'm sure I could look up most of that information online, but I usually just end up pissed at the network and vow never to watch the show just advertised, at which point I've forgotten what I wanted to find out anyway. I'll bring my baseball bat along too...

------------------------------------------
"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]
re:hollywood (none / 0) (#40)
by davecsd on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 03:48:18 PM EST

I believe the term for this practice is called 'squeeze and tease'.

[ Parent ]
hmm.. (3.28 / 7) (#14)
by rebelcool on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:10:21 AM EST

i dont mind tnn's thing. I actually like it. It's not all that intrusive and since im a channel flipper I like knowing what im watching.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

TV (3.76 / 13) (#15)
by egeland on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:29:26 AM EST

Television: a medium.
So called because it is neither rare nor well done.

--
Some interesting quotes
Tivo and like devices necessitate this (3.71 / 7) (#16)
by GusherJizmac on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 01:32:37 AM EST

A lot of shows have begun doing this, and some even intermix the advertisments in the show content in a much more obvious way than normal. For example, in WWF Smackdown, the comentators occasionally will make remarks about products or bands or something during matches, that are clearly scripted as "product placement" type ads. They mix it in with their "conversation" and it's pretty subversive. Since Tivo and other similar devices allow for skipping commercials, I think we'll see this becoming more prevalent.

On a somewhat related note, I've noticed that TV shows are begginning to start about 2-3 minutes after the hour/half-hour, which screws up my Tivo recordings, because the end of the show gets chopped off. I think there's a battle between digital recording and advertising.

Honestly, I could live with Tivo if it didn't have fast forward (or maybe you had to watch the show all the way through once before fast-forward was enabled), simply for the convienience. Especially if I could guarantee start times.
<sig> G u s h e r J i z m a c </sig>

Not a new occurance... (4.00 / 1) (#32)
by Elkor on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 10:18:23 AM EST

"Way back when" programs started a few minutes after the hour. This gave a break between the end of the previous program and the new one. It was probably to allow individuals an opportunity to switch from whatever they were watching to whatever they wanted to start watching without missing anything.

Then about 7-8 years ago they started piling the programs together, so it would move from the end credits of one program to the beginning credits of the next program.

Now they are apparently moving back the other direction.

Me, I have always started programmed my VCR to record a 5min buffer on either side of show in case the time was off. Fortunately my shows are back to back, so I have had to change the channel. :)

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
How does that work? (none / 0) (#41)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 07:08:26 PM EST

If all the programs start 2-3 minutes later, then don't they also end 2-3 minutes later? :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: How does this work? (5.00 / 1) (#49)
by LocalH on Sat Oct 06, 2001 at 03:42:51 PM EST

Well, 90% of all shows are slightly less than their allotted time (28:50 for a 30 min show, for example) to give the station operator a chance to swap tapes (if they have to use the same machine) and to fill out the full show. So, if the show started 2 after the hour, the end credits likely roll around 29-30 (or 59-60 for an hour show). Which means that the endbreak (which is usually around 1:10-1:40) hits at the top/bottom of the hour, and the next show hits about 2 in.

[ Parent ]
Set Your Times Right.... (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by DarkZero on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:29:21 PM EST

I'm not sure if Tivo allows this, but I've always set my VCR recordings a few minutes before and after the show... so I'd tape, say, an 8 o'clock show, from 7:56PM to 9:04PM. It's especially necessary if you watch anything on Cartoon Network.

[ Parent ]
Timeless (none / 0) (#53)
by vectro on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:49:03 AM EST

You can't set the time on a Tivo yourself. It can only be set by "phoning home".

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Kill Your Television (3.80 / 5) (#21)
by RobotSlave on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 03:34:36 AM EST

Yes, I know that people who eschew Television and want to remind you of it constantly are annoying. But would it kill you to do something else with some of your leisure time? If you only watch a few hours a week, the advertising is something interesting in its own right, rather than an endlessly repeated annoyance.

Maybe the slogan ought to be something more along the lines of "keep your television in its place," or "limit your television," or something catchier that I can't come up with at the moment.



slogan suggestion (3.33 / 3) (#24)
by bobsquatch on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 05:59:02 AM EST

Maybe the slogan ought to be something more along the lines of "keep your television in its place," or "limit your television," or something catchier that I can't come up with at the moment.
How 'bout "Stop doing things for fun that aren't fun?" Or would that be common sense?

If TV isn't entertaining you, try something else. Perhaps you could entertain yourself, instead of relying on Hollywood to entertain you? Failing that, how about DVD or VHS?

Reality check: Hollywood doesn't care about entertaining you. Hollywood wants to get paid. Entertaining you is just a means to that end, and as long as the entertainment is just good enough to keep you watching (and buying promotional fanboy dreck), there's no incentive for them to do better.

[ Parent ]

Tivo is Anti-American. (3.27 / 11) (#27)
by claudius on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 09:07:16 AM EST

Bah. Tivo is Anti-American, in that it allows citizens the option of skipping over commercials. How could they ever learn the merits of Colgate toothpaste over Crest if they do so? How could they learn that Tiger Woods likes Buicks and so should they? How could they become apprised of other exciting products and offers without commercials? Nay, I say unto you that we need more commercials. Jobs are at stake. Our very way of life is at stake. The President has charged us with a civic duty to go out and spend our money in the shopping malls, in the restaurants, in the car dealerships of America--how are we to do that without being told by the omniscient box what to spend our money on?

Far be it for me to sneer at something outside our national borders, but have you ever watched a World Cup footb^]^]^]^]^]soccer match? It's crazy, I tell you. They don't even stop the match for commercials! No wonder the rest of the world is in so much trouble. (Would you believe that most foreigners don't even speak English?!) Contrast that with our Super Bowl--TRUE football, I might add, where a foot makes contact with the ball five, sometimes six times per game: we discuss for days afterwards all the exciting commercials we saw. We wax philosophical over the nuances of Bud Bowl. We vote on favorite commercial, least-favorite commercial, funniest commercial. In short, we care. Permitting a few malcontents to skip commercials is, I submit, as un-American as letting them chatter away on a cell phone during the National Anthem, and I won't stand for it.

Don't be a communist. Don't buy a Tivo.

Excellent parody of the attitude that breeds this. (3.66 / 3) (#29)
by Mephron on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 09:40:36 AM EST

I congratulate you for your fine grasp on the psyche of Americans and their stupidities.

[ Parent ]
Stay home! It's safer... (none / 0) (#47)
by CaptainZapp on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 10:18:34 AM EST

Boy, this is a really interesting perspective, you're having here. Let me warn you of the horrors of modern Europe. Just that you are informed and can stay away from all the evils here.

Just imagine: The French and the German jointly operate a telly channel . They call it a "culture channel", which is completely ad free. They only show "culture" stuff, like old movies or documentaries. Nothing cool like Rambo IV, like real television. And worst of all: They are killing the European economy by not showing any ads. Of course this subversive entity is funded by tax money.

But it gets worse: When you go shopping in Europe, you don't have those convenient machines, like the ones you have in Safeways. You know, those plastic thingies that flip store coupons into your face. Coupons that entitle you to save 15 cents on a can of beans you never wanted in the first place, or 30 cents for the yummy cheese. The one that tastes like the plastic it's wrapped in. Just imagine all the great savings you miss out on in Europe; shudder...

Also (and although it gets more and more common) you will be missing out on those great Muzak-on-Hold(tm) switchboard systems. You know the ones where you get to listen to fine music, like Barry Manilow, or Mariah Carey or Britney Spears; only interupted by important announcements, like "your call is very important to us", or "are you aware of our new SuperDuper world wide calling plan for a low-low price".

Yeah, your post opened my eyes. We are surrounded by evil communists that have nothing better to do then wasting our tax Euros to make us consume less.

BASTARDS !

[ Parent ]

VH1 was one of the first (4.83 / 6) (#28)
by jbridges on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 09:28:22 AM EST

Many years ago, VH1 was one of the first with the always on logo (offset shadow, transparent).

I called them up, quite upset, here is what the marketing person told me (this was new enough I actually got to speak to someone about it):

Ratings to a large degree are done with diaries. In a world of multiple music video channels, people wouldn't remember what channel they were watching, and often couldn't even tell you what channel they are on. Few memorize the channel numbers, and when filling in their diary they often just write MTV or some other music video channel.

The primary reason for the bugs (the correct term for the station logos), at that time, was brand recognition for ratings purposes. All this is even truer now. Look at the Dish and DirecTV recievers, they don't even have a channel number display on the box. The only way you know what channel you are watching now (unless you memorize as you browse, or bother with the Info button) is by those annoying bugs.

As for the animation, and outright advertising... I assume it's a result of the lack of outrage. They keep pushing the envelope.



Bugs (none / 0) (#43)
by aonifer on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 02:40:47 PM EST

The primary reason for the bugs (the correct term for the station logos)...

Well, at least they're honest about it.

[ Parent ]

Cox Cable (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by abrasive on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:07:07 PM EST

Where I live (Rhode Island) the local cable monopoly actually did something I like, which is this: as you flip thru the channels, under the chanel number on the TV screen that the cable box generates, also appears a 4 digit alphanumeric code for the channel you are on. HBO = HBO, Comedy Central = CMDY, etc... It stays on for about 5 seconds then dissapears. Now then... IMHO, this is great, way better than having a giant "Fox" logo permanently onscreen obscuring various silicone body parts when I am watching "Blind Date." I think that if more cable companies did this, then perhaps we could get rid of the logofication of TV. --//-- abrasive --//--

Squash the Bugs (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by drivers on Tue Oct 02, 2001 at 12:12:22 PM EST

Here's an interesting site illustrating the problem in the UK.
http://www.squashthebugs.com/

I remember seeing the stuff quite a while back. It was linked to as an example of "people who have too much time on their hands." Not that they don't have a point.

A Summary: (none / 0) (#42)
by 2400n81 on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 02:05:23 PM EST

1. Television is crap, with or without bugs.

2. I hate having 300+ channels, particularly because most of them are targeted toward people other than myself. Telemundo (mexican immigrants), Lifetime (women over 30), Nickelodeon (kids), CMT (rednecks), etc.

3. I find having bugs is handy because I don't "plan" on watching television. I turn it on an flip through the stations, usually not knowing what station corresponds to which network.

4. Bugs assist in determining crappy networks and they don't take forever to figure out. I don't get digital cable because the "pictures, graphics, and info" downloaded and streamed takes like 3 secs. per channel.

5. It takes about a month of constant screen stasis to burn-in a monitor. If someone "burned in" their television, I would say that their problems are a little more severe than "bugs on the TV".

There is lots of crap aimed at me (none / 0) (#44)
by selkirk on Wed Oct 03, 2001 at 04:44:10 PM EST

I love getting 300+ Channels. I'm a documentary junkie. On my digital cable, I get:

PBS - Detroit, PBS - Ann Arbor, Canadian PBS, Discovery Channel, TLC, History Channel, History Channel International, Discovery Science Channel, Discovery Civilization, Discovery Wings, Discovery Health, TechTv, NASA Channel.

Other stuff I watch: MTV, Comedy Central, CNN, CNBC, SciFi, BBC America, Food.

If there is nothing on any of these, there is always one of the 30+ movie channels with no-commercials.

There is plenty of stuff targeted at me.

No, if anything my problem is that there is too much on tv.

I dare not get a Tivo.

[ Parent ]
favorite channels button. (none / 0) (#50)
by bored on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:57:11 PM EST

My TV has a 'favorite channel group' along with a pair of nice, next favorite, last favorite channel buttons. I have them set to the two local PBS channels, History channel, discovery, TLC, animal planet, food channel, travel channel, cnn headline news, sci-fi (recently added to see if its good), and the free HBO that comes with my package. I've gotten in the habit of _ONLY_ using the up/down favorites button, if I can't find something interesting I just turn it off. Lately, about the only thing I really watch is the PBS stations, the history channel and sometimes HBO (I like sex and the city, band of brothers, OZ and 6 feet under) . Discovery pisses me off because its become the 'forensic science and UFO rumors channel' while TLC has become the 'real life ER and ghost channel' both of which i find really boring. PBS just keeps getting better though, pretty soon I guess I'm going to actually have to start giving them a yearly contribution.

[ Parent ]
It's sorta worse in Canada (none / 0) (#46)
by Pope on Thu Oct 04, 2001 at 01:42:48 AM EST

The CRTC came up with their own ratings system to display at the start of shows or at the top of the hour on longer shows. The funniest part is when you catch a glimpse of the American ratings and the Canadian ones don't match! :)

However, the worst part of the ratings: they are MUCH bigger than the American ones, and are white on black instead of transparent! You cannot ignore them! It sucks so bad to see a character come on screen and not see them because there's a giant ratings logo in the upper left.

And quite frankly, if you're too stupid to remember what you were watching if you flipped during commercials, you're a fucking idiot.

Pope

"Turn your tails and run, In fear of the approaching years, in fear of the Ouch Monkeys" Julian Cope

Transparent ones are great... (none / 0) (#51)
by bored on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:05:45 PM EST

Easily removed and they indicate when the commercials come on.

I've been meaning to modify a TV capture card to remove the transparent ones for a while now. The real benefit is that they remove the logo during commercials!!!! Its perfect now, you just stop recording when the logo disappears! As soon as someone releases a product to do that of course they will stop showing the logo all the time. Then you just stop recording when there is a big change in the image and the logo disappears.



Annoying on-screen graphics during television programming gets worse | 53 comments (43 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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