The death of TechTV
A couple of years ago, I loved the TechTV channel. It was a good channel for people who knew computers, and weren’t mental zeroes when it comes to operating theirs. They had a few fluff pieces, but overall, it was a good channel. It was founded by Paul Allen, one of the founders of Microsoft. I loved this channel. There were plenty of good shows. The Screen Savers, Tech Live, Extended Play (later named XPlay), Fresh Gear (Come back Sumi Das!), Cybercrime, Unscrewed (mostly for Laura Swisher, not Martin). There were lots of individual people there I liked. Leo Laporte, Megan Morrone, Sumi Das, Cat Schwartz, Morgan Webb, Adam Sessler, Becky Worley, Chris Leary, Laura Swisher, Stephanie Siemiller.. There’s a ton more, this is all I can think of right now.
Anyway, a year or so ago, Comacast bought the network, and merged it with their own game network, G4. It’s now G4/TechTV, and has been for some time now. The problem is that since the merger, all the good programs and hosts have been slowly bleeding away. Most of the stuff from the G4 side of things I never watched, there really was only one show I thought was worthwhile from G4, and that’s Icons. But other than that, the only shows brought over from TechTV that I watched were Screen Savers, XPlay, & Fresh Gear. Screen Savers immediately took a dive into the toilet. It’s a shell of what it used to be. It’s not very good anymore.
Xplay is mostly the same as it used to be, the only difference being that it’s got a new set. But it’s still watchable, probably because it was a game oriented show before the merger. Fresh Gear is still on, but they haven’t made any new episodes in about a year, it seems. So Xplay & Icons are really the only shows there I watch, which is a shame, as I used to love TechTV. I hate G4/TechTV – they might as well drop the old name, I doubt there’s anyone from the TechTV days who watches a lot of G4 crap.
That brings me to my point for this entry. I ran across this blog entry from a former G4/TechTV employee. It’s quite amazing what it’s like now over there. Makes me even more sad at what TechTV used to be. If you liked the old TechTV or you watch any of the new G4 stuff, read that article. It was quite amazing.
Also, in researching this blog entry, I ran across this interview with one of my old TechTV favorites, Becky Worley. It too is a good read.
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Yup. I’m the same way. Pretty much the only show on TechTV that I can tolerate is Icons these days…The new folks on The Screen Savers look more like Gap models than computer nerds.
I miss folks like Patrick Norton, who I felt could answer absolutely any computer question tossed at him. These days I feel that way about Kevin Rose on TSS but it even seems like they keep trying to push him farther and farther off-screen each day.
OT: Good to hear that the kid is doing good!
Actually, to be totally correct, the network began as ZDTV, owned by Ziff-Davis Publishing. Then Vulcan Ventures bought it when ZD decided TV wasn’t right for them, and renamed it TechTV. He improved the network, then realized no one watches all day Tech news, and shortly after 9.11 proved what people watch(when TTV became essentially a rebroadcast of CNN), they dropped the TechLive all day format. That began the slide into the sewer it now resides in.
I knew about the ZD origins, I just forgot about it. :)