I had been drifting downward in my network TV watching over the last few years. With the rise of the reality show, I’m out. There is not one reality show I give a shit about, and every single new one that’s been announced in the last year just makes me cringe and/or throw up a little in my mouth. Every time I think they’ve hit bottom, they find a new bottom and then they feed on it. What the current spate of programming is doing is motivating me to get a MythTV box set up and work out the system to make vlogs easily viewable on my TV. Either that, or convince me to take the time to figure out a good distro to flash onto my underutilized Sharp Zaurus to watch videos on it.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father. Member of the Podcast Hall of Fame class of 2022.

9 thoughts on “(Un)Reality”

  1. gray says:

    Amen. They take away Arrested Development and give us America’s Got Talent.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

  2. Eddie Dickey says:

    Oh man, I agree. The reality shows bite. I can’t understand why people watch them. MythTV sounds interesting and that would be a great way to watch vlogs..

  3. J Wynia says:

    I’ve got satellite Tivos (one in the home theater and one in each home office) and will never go back to watching scheduled TV again.

    I’ve also got an HTPC that handles all non-satellite video, music, podcasts, etc. It’s running Windows and MediaPortal and not MythTV. Because my TV recording is handled by the Tivo’s, I was more interested in the other functionality, which MediaPortal does fairly well.

    Most of the HTPC software is currently focusing on recording cable TV, etc., which isn’t what I was after. It sounds like it’s not what you’re after either (looking for videoblogs instead of broadcast TV).

    I’ve actually got the “TV” functionality entirely disabled in MediaPortal and still use it a lot. It’s set up with DVI output to my HDTV, so I can watch razor sharp video and am really happy with it. I only spent $300 at Dell for a refurb and threw a wireless keyboard on it.

  4. Ken Nelson says:

    After being suckered into the first season of “Big Brother”, I left the “reality TV” bandwagon. What I find at least as galling as the shows themselves is the obsession with so-called news outlets to report on these shows as though it is important to the whole world who got kicked off the island last episode. Bleah.


  5. braincell says:

    I refuse to pay for tv and I only get one over the air station here. I do miss a few shows on Comedy Central, Discovery, History and PBS and I am toying with the idea of getting a slingbox and setting it up at my parents house so I can watch their cable over the internet. I subscribed to the MSNBC and Discovery Channel podcasts and hearing just the audio makes it seem even more idiotic than it was on tv. I will unsubscribe now.

  6. Ken Kennedy says:

    From what I know about the Zaurus, Dave, you ought to be able to watch videos on it now. What version do you have? You might need to do some occasional transcoding to make sure the formats are supported, but that should be doable.

    (Disclaimer: I don’t have a Zaurus, but I do have both an iPAQ and an Nokia 770 that I do watch quite a bit of video on. Some straight downloads, some encoded/transcoded. I also use a MythTV box [rocks!], but I don’t yet grab online video feeds with it [though I’ve been thinking about that as well].)

  7. David Jacobs says:

    The only tv I watch anymore is reality tv. It’s like smoking pot for others. I know it’s not good for me and it makes me stupid, but it’s not as bad as other things and I just kind of like it. I only watch the good shows anyway; Last Comic Standing, Top Chef, Project Runway. Bravo has the best stuff by far. How many versions of CSI and Law and Order does the world need anyway?

  8. dave says:

    Ken K, I know it is possible, it’s just a case of making it work. When I flash to OpenZaurus 3.5.4, lots of stuff just plain doesn’t work. Trying to install the codecs makes it freeze up. Working with OpenZaurus has been a lot like that for me to where I’m thinking about reverting to the Sharp ROM just to be able to do something, anything.

    David, do what you enjoy but any show with the structure that involves voting someone off for whatever selection criteria are all the same to me, whether that’s cooking or their acumen in doing product placement on NBC primetime, or whatever. I just don’t care in the entirety of the genre. The sameness across CSI and L&O is indeed a problem, but the reality TV genre has the sameness problem cubed, IMO.

  9. PJ Cabrera says:

    I don’t care about any of the reality shows either. The whole genre has me totally uninterested.

    I don’t have a PVR, I grab network shows I care about from the torrents. I like that because they’re usually encoded from HDTV satellite feeds. Free HDTV rocks.

    But hour per hour, the grand majority of what I read, watch or listen to, is citizen media, not network/media conglomerate crap. My radio listening is effectively less than an hour in any given month, if that — and only if my iPod battery goes while I’m driving, and I don’t want to stop the car or risk my neck to hunt down the car charger in the glove compartment.

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