It won’t be long before another Glastonbury is upon us. I have neither the means, health or desire to hike to the west country for the exclusive pleasure of potentially camping in mud glorious mud but as an armchair music listener I often watch the BBC coverage even though it means suffering the inane presenter punditry. It’s all got very corporate over the years and the more interesting stages on the periphery are seldom suitable for much beyond blink-and-you’ll-miss-it coverage. Too niche. Too homespun. Not mainstream enough. Coldplay are hardly a prime representation of a counter culture are they now? Or maybe they are to the middle class crowd Glasto attracts these days?
This year the Beeb is perhaps pointing to the future of television for some events in that they will be providing multiple Internet streams rather than (or as well as?) trying to crowbar coverage across three TV channels and the now severely pruned red button service. The Olympics was the last huge undertaking but that offered up 24 temporary TV channels on free-to-air satellite in a deal cut with Sky. Aunty doesn’t have that kind of moolah these days. They’ve already scaled back the red button service which is slowly being redefined via Internet connected streams instead as a way of doing more for less money.
But even a multi stream coverage of Glasto may not yield total coverage. Already this year’s headline act, The Rolling Stones are still negotiating with the broadcaster to limit coverage of their set to a few opening numbers. Apparently they’re worried that rain and performing to a lass than 100% partisan crowd might turn in a performance they wouldn’t want to see recorded for posterity ala Led Zeppelin at Live Aid way back when.
Other artists have excluded TV coverage of their Glastonbury set over the years. Elvis Costello springs to mind as does Joe Strummer’s petulant attack on a cameraman during his set. The Stone Roses are the most recent blockers of broadcasting their live gurglings just last year. Mind you some may argue that Ian Brown’s live vocals are best reserved for true fans anyway.
Of course these days artists have to contend with a sea of amateur coverage at their gigs as they look out at into the crowd to see arms outstretched not in adoration but in the act of holding a camera phone aloft to somehow capture forever their own experience of the performance.Or at least their own experience of experiencing the gig via a camera. There are even web sites where gig attenders agree in advance which songs in a set they will record so the whole gig is eventually edited together from the various angles (and footage qualities). Resourceful but not quite surrendering yourself to experiencing the live experience. Recently artists have been requesting that their fans leave their phones in their pockets. Fat bloody chance. How about a ban on Flags at Glastonbury?
Anyway I look forward to breaking my Internet data limits chasing the various Glastonbury Internet streams. At least I’ll have a greater choice in watching what I want when I want. That is if said precious artist will allow me to.
Image by MojoBaron under this creative commons licence
It’s been a long time since ITV got serious about weekday comedy. Vicious has seemed to divide opinion. It feels old fashioned in many ways. Some are uncomfortable with Derek Jacobi’s decision to play it screamingly camp and there was in the very first episode a very poorly judged gag about being raped uttered by Francis de la Tour’s character.
That aside it’s a campy bit of fun with two very well known actors, Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, who also happen to be gay playing a long term gay couple with bitchy lines for laughs. It’s a series of very fixed scenes. Very much like watching a play. So it’s old fashioned in that sense but why blow the budget on elaborate exterior scenes when it’s all about the verbal wordplay between two people.
Shame about the call on the rape line.That really was out of order for me. But so far it’s way better than the lamentable The Wright Way, Ben Elton’s latest offering over on the Beeb which really does smell of old mothballs (sorry Mr E- time to collaborate perhaps?).
Just identified the most obscure TV ‘fictional crime solver’ on #pointless with Banacek. I win the saddo of the week award.
In an age of high definition digital TV it’s still momentarily fascinating to linger a while at the rolling ceefax pages still being broadcast in the wee small hours when only insomniacs are channel hopping. The accompanying music deserves merit alone for evoking a sense of middle of the road muzak via mogadon.
Image by iambigred under this creative commons licence
Our neighbours recently turned 75 and has decided to have a TV for the first time in their lives now they don’t need to pay the TV licence (as those over 75 are exempt in the UK).
Their son bought him a nice Sony TV with freeview built in but they don’t have an outdoor aerial and freeview reception is a bit flakey.
Anyway the son has paid for a full Sky installation (I’d have gone with Freesat but hey it’s their choice). This was all fitted yesterday so he’s got a nice Sky HD box plugged into the telly.
I got a knock on the door today asking for help. It all worked yesterday but today they can’t get the picture up.
The trouble is, as it turned out, that the Sky HD box is connected to their telly with a single HDMI cable which is great for all that high definition picture stuff but not terrifically user friendly for non techie telly users as, unlike scart, HDMI is seldom auto detected. That means that turning the sky box on will not automatically switch the TV to the correct input on their TV. Add an additional connection via a scart cable and it will switch to the correct input automatically but you lose the full HD picture quality.
In this case I offered to add a scart cable and explained the somewhat complicated input selection process for HD via HDMI but they really he didn’t see anything wrong with the scart derived picture or really quite took in what the benefits of HD were.
You’d think a nice shiny new cable technology would have included all that auto sensing / handshaking stuff in its initial specifications to make sure it worked equally across all equipment but for many people it just doesn’t work unless they’re au fait with toggling on screen menus to arrive at the correct input. It’s all just a bit less user friendly.
Hell, I was never a fan of scart which had it’s problems with how many of the 21 pins were wired up and in what configuration but it was and is clearly more user friendly in operation than HDMI.
Original image by solenoide under this creative commons licence
The BBC unveil the revamped interface for the iPlayer on TV’s and set top boxes. Launching first on Sony’s PS3 it should filter through soon for compatible TV’s, set top boxes (Freesat?) and suitably equiped DVD and Blu Ray players.
Image via Wikipedia
When my paternal Grandad was alive and we had him up for the day my parents would put the telly on for him. If there was something on the box that he didn’t recognise he’d give a suspicious look before gruffly asking “Is it BBC1?”.
For my Grandad telly meant BBC1.Nothing else was tolerated.For him television was BBC1. The other two (yes there were only two) channels were just pretenders in his eyes. It’s what he knew and presumably what he trusted. Comfort in the familiar or an avoidance of confusing choices?