Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

Why does the government want to kill Community TV?

It takes a special kind of cunning to first nobble the National Broadband Network, that if fully implemented might have been able to reliably deliver realtime high-definition video into homes... ...and then cancel community television licences, and demand those stations go online instead. This seems like a bad idea in many ways, not the least of which is that many of the disenfranchised


Bye bye to analogue TV

Analogue TV has been shut off in most parts of Australia in the last few months. Sydney was yesterday morning, and one enterprising bloke managed to record the last moments of all five stations. Have a watch, it's great. Note Channel 7 (top right) which actually marked it by playing an old animation. The others just went blank as if in some horror movie: Channel 7 also made an effort whe


Mad As Hell episode synopses getting pretty weird (here’s all of them for this year so far)

Those who have been paying attention might have noticed that the episode synopses for Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell (seen for instance in the Electronic Programme Guide on most TVs) have been getting weirder and weirder. Courtesy of the ABC TV web site, here's a summary of them this year so far (including the next couple of weeks'): Episode 01: Shaun Micallef is BACK and he's MADDER than H


Not live, from studio 13 at Gordon Street

A little while ago I bought myself the Collected Shaun Micallef -- a box set of numerous shows of his, including The Micallef P(r)ogram(me). The kids and I have been watching our way through it. I remembered that I had gone to a recording of the show, but had no idea which episode it was. The other night it became very obvious that it had been the final episode of season 2 -- in a sketch parody


Every bomb you make / Every job you take

I'd forgotten this. A version of The Police's stalker song Every Breath You Take -- with new lyrics written by the Spitting Image team and sung by Sting. (Don't be put off by Youtube's preview frame -- it's not just a credits roll.) There is some good stuff loosely in this genre these days, but I'm not sure we've got the level of no-holds-barred satire that Spitting Image and even our own G


Current earworm: The Professionals theme

Who remembers The Professionals? I for one was hooked on this as a teenager, despite it being, as Martin Shaw described it, a one-dimensional show. It was a major inspiration for the amateur action video series "STRIKE" which I helped on in high school. It's amusing to look back on the original Professionals title sequence now -- perhaps the frame rate or other artefacts in Youtube make it l

Film, TV

DVD vs Blu-Ray picture quality

I never quite believed I'd see much of the difference between DVD and Blu-Ray on an 80cm (32 inch) TV. But with brand-name Blu-Ray players now below $100, and releases such as the complete set of Star Wars movies out on Blu-Ray, this past Christmas seemed like the right time to jump in and try it. One of the presents I got was the Blu-Ray of Tron: Legacy, which also included the original Tron m

Geek, TV

How to get ABC iView on your Samsung television

I'd heard ages ago that there was a Samsung ABC iView app in the works. It's now out, but some kind of screw-up means it's visible to newer (2011) Samsung television owners, but not owners of last year's models. Thanks to wiser people than me on the ABC iView forums, here's how you do it, by changing the TV's country and thus getting it to re-install the default apps: (Note: take care here;


What does WTFN stand for? (Keep it clean)

When their logo pops up on the telly at the end of some production, I often wonder what, if anything, WTFN stands for. Their offices in Hawthorn East have the logo above the entrance. Any suggestions welcome. But keep it clean. (If the photo looks distorted, it's because I took it from the tram zooming past. The original picture looks even more skewed, proving that my new phone may be