One great thing while in London was being able to watch BBC for real (not the sanitized version called BBC America). Among other things such as Alan Carr's Celebrity Ding Dong (Episode 1 p.1, 2, 3, 4) and live uncensored stand up comedy was a documentary about Factory Records called Factory: Manchester from Joy Division to Happy Mondays.
Link to Google Video. (I'm afraid this will probably disappear soon so catch it while you can)
Presented for your amusement, samples of the same program. One tuned by the Miglia TVMini HD as digital and one as RF analog via the Formac Studio TVR, with appologies to Mrs. Slocombe. Click the images for the full size view.
While in California, we picked up the Miglia TVMini HD. It's a USB ATSC tuner that is capable of picking up digital television signals from terrestrial antennas and from cable (assuming they are “Clear QAM” which means unencrypted). The included antenna is more of a toy than anything else. It's much to small to receive more than one channel in this area. The old fashioned yagi antenna should do much better.
Much to my delight we discovered that Comcast broadcasts quite a few channels as Clear QAM including all of the local channels and a few nationwide ones as well, even with the basic channel package (the one that's around $10/mo. that they don't advertise at all).
The picture quality is terrific– gone are the fuzzies, snow and interference of analog tv, especially when you receive a picture as 1080i. The unit retails for $199 but can be had for around $170.
Here is a short glossary so you won't spend the time looking up these terms like I did.
ATSC: Advanced Television Systems Committee. Just like NTSC of yesteryear, this is a set of standards that describes how video is sent and received. Also includes the standard of NTSC. The FCC will soon require all TV sets to include an ATSC tuner.
Clear QAM: Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, the method most cable companies have adopted to send digital television over their network. There is no FCC requirement for TV sets to include a QAM tuner, although some do. Clear means unencrypted. Obviously, encrypted QAM would be used to send premium channels such as HBO and Discovery.
1080i: 1080 lines of vertical resolution that is interlaced (i). Part of the ATSC standard.
Two QVC hosts delicately handle a testimonial call from a gentleman from Dover, DE that claims he uses his brand new Dell PC for pr0n, mostly. It's slightly suspicious in that there is an ABC watermark in the corner and there's audience laughter over it– a late night talk show prank perhaps?
Link. Thanks, Russ!
Here's a collection of some of the official ABC (read: Disney) sites for the series Lost.
Official ABC Primetime Site
Oceanic Flight 815
The Hanso Foundation
There seems to be a never ending search for answers to the television series “Lost.” Even more so, the meaning of the mysterious numbers. Someone has plunked the numbers into Google maps, adjusting a couple of decimals around and came up with this. You decide.