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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Daytime Soap Operas— No Life Support

We knew it was far too "fantasy-like" to be true. Some new company with bold vision and a bright red cape saving "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" and airing them both on the web. All of us here at UPBEAT Entertainment News Syndicate learned 3 to 4 months ago that Prospect Park began to feel the "sting" of budget demands and that their web plans were beginning to wane. Talks with SAG and AFTRA weren't going exactly as planned and ABC Daytime and the Evil Dr. Brian Frons was happily planning his "I'd Rather Kill Myself Than Watch This Crap" show line-up to replace the soap operas he didn't really care for as he never bothered to promote them.

Five months ago, independent production firm Prospect Park acquired the rights to the two long-running ABC melodramas with the hopes of turning them into widely watched web series. But on Wednesday, the company announced that it was abandoning its efforts after failing to make financially viable deals with brand-name online distributors, such as Hulu or Google, and after failing to get cost-cutting concessions from Hollywood's powerful talent guilds. The company had hoped the unions would accept lower wages for their members, as the shows were moving from TV to the Internet. But the two sides could not come to terms, Prospect Park said. Advertisers also were skeptical that enough viewers, particularly the ALWAYS loyal over-50 crowd, would watch online. Really?

So why the smoke and mirrors? Why manipulate a rather large audience into believing they sincerely would have the "option" to watch their beloved shows online? And why not just announce the inevitable fate/demise of "General Hospital"... and pull the Band-Aid off quickly? In case you haven't been paying close attention... all of the afternoon slots have been filled on ABC, including the "General Hospital" time slot. If you check out the morning slots, they too are filled. So when and where is "General Hospital" going to air? Good question. We sadly believe that GH will also be cancelled. This leaves 3 soap operas... "The Young and The Restless", "The Bold and The Beautiful" and "Days of Our Lives". If "The Young and The Restless" is cancelled... "The Bold and The Beautiful" will also be cancelled. As for "Days of Our Lives", well, I wouldn't give it more than a 15% shot of making it through another year... and I'm being generous. If these 3 remain, it will be nothing short of a miracle. But changes HAVE TO be made.

So who is REALLY responsible for this massive slaughter of a genre that once stood tall and proud and boasted guest stars like Elizabeth Taylor? Truth? They [the soap operas] NEVER EVER made a natural evolution/transition into the decades which followed the 80's. Producers were fired. But then they were simply re-hired by another soap. It was exactly the same with all of the writers. A group of writers would find themselves jobless on Friday... only to find themselves in another soap opera studio on Monday. Daytime Soap Operas became the most INCESTUOUS group of Producers, Directors, Writers and Editors EVER to remain on television.

What does all of this translate into? God-awful OVER-recycled writing, bad production and two decades of musical chairs with the exact same people running the shows. Okay, how many people have you known to fake a pregnancy and actually get away with it? With the amount of technology that we now have that storyline made us all cringe. Why did it continue to take 6 to 12 months to get to the meat of any story? And think about the rest of the stories. Oh Dear God... they were so unbelievably absurd that at some point I found myself wondering how any of these fictional people made it as far as they did without being killed or swindled much sooner. And we all KNOW the soap opera rules: No body, possibly still alive. Girl loses guy, girl becomes psychotic, either attempts to kill someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol... or heads for a mental hospital in another town. Rich men never go to jail no matter how many federal or state laws they break. There is ALWAYS an abandoned cabin for a couple on the run and it's always furnished and filled with food. The list of absurdities just goes on and on... and on... I'm 900% certain that each of you has a Soap Opera plot device that irritates you beyond understanding.

The audience literally became far too advanced for this stuff. Yes romance is wonderful, but at what cost? Most of the people I know aren't willing to allow their intelligence to be destroyed, stepped on and insulted. Sure, a lot of the stuff I mentioned used to be fun to watch, but then... it got old. It never stopped. Most of the writers kept right on pulling out the old stand-bys. Can you imagine what it would be like if film actors used the exact same methods of acting as they did in the early 40's and 50's? It might be really really funny at first... but then we'd all start asking ourselves, "Why are they talking like that?"... "Make them stop!"

Anyway, as we all know, the "Guiding Light" Otalia storyline [played to perfection by Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia] came to a grinding halt when the "suits" at P&G decided that two women should not be given a love scene or be able to display affection in the same manner as heterosexual couples have for years. What was even more interesting was that the two characters were not necessarily "gay" as much as they were perhaps bisexual or just two people of the same sex who fell in love. No matter how it was defined by the writers, the actresses or the viewers, the story was never given the proper ending causing fans all over the world to be outraged. And rightfully so as the story itself became a worldwide phenomenon. WHY? Because it was DIFFERENT! It wasn't the same old stories simply being recycled. It was original.

But you see, originality was and still is frowned upon by the producers, directors and writers who have had to either slip into a coma or die to be replaced. You see, this doesn't happen on Prime-Time Network Television [although the shows are becoming cloned every season... how many CSI cities are there now?]. This also doesn't happen in films, at least not the films that are worth watching and thankfully enough... there are still some left.

Also, why oh why was their never ever enough sexual, cultural, religious, ethnic and racial diversity? Soap Operas RARELY took risks with anyone who could have stepped up and gave us all lessons in embracing diversity. Sure there were moments, here and there... but 80% to 90% of the time these stories were backdrops for the stories we'd been watching over and over again to the point of nausea. Otalia was thrust into the forefront/spotlight because of the actresses and the writers who weren't afraid to take risks. But then, who would be afraid to take a risk knowing cancellation was bearing down upon them? And if you are going to be cancelled anyway, take it ALL THE WAY! Why stop it with words and caresses? Why not go for it? What did they have to lose? THEY WERE CANCELLED! Who would they have hurt? No... they were all too afraid that God watching, waiting to dole out stock hits to the old guys. What a rip-off.

And what was the "OFFICIAL" word on the deal that could have brought a few soaps to the web? The bull shit statement that was filled with nothing more than a gargantuan PR cover up. These people never cared. The fans cared, but corporate suits? Oh please... they were all looking for a quick bargain with no flavor. Here it comes: "We always knew it would be an uphill battle to create something historical, and unfortunately we couldn't ultimately secure the backing and clear all the hurdles in time," Prospect Park partners Rich Frank and Jeffrey Kwatinetz said in a statement. "We believe we exhausted all reasonable options apparent to us, but despite enormous personal, as well as financial cost to ourselves, we failed to find a solution."

The move was another gut-punch for soap opera fans who have been in mourning since ABC announced earlier this year that it was canceling the two soaps due to financial pressures. The two programs, created by the doyenne of the genre, Agnes Nixon, had been on the air for more than 40 years each. "All My Children" made a household name out of Susan Lucci. "One Life to Live" helped launch the careers for Tommy Lee Jones, Laurence Fishburne and Marcia Cross. Daytime drama viewers were hopeful that Prospect Park would transform the fading TV genre into a thriving niche on the Internet. Soap-opera fans aren't the only ones disheartened by Prospect Park's decision not to revive "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" online. The Writers Guild of America, West is expressing its dismay too. "We were disappointed to learn that Prospect Park's financing fell through," the WGAW said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "Prior to the end of last week, we were close to a fair deal for the writers."

Fair deal? For writers who have been penning the same tired, crappy storylines for the past two decades? Okay, not ALL of the writers were bad... but they refused to swing the bat and hit it all out of the park. As a creative person, you have to be willing to sacrifice it all for the sake of the art. If you can't... I'm sorry but the word "hack" comes to mind. Where were the Asian storylines? Where were the cultural explorations? What about the LGBT storylines, with full blown love scenes? I'm Italian and Lebanese and have "yet" to see a soap opera go there. Diversity. It is a word that we MUST fight for a word we MUST embrace and hold... or we are all part of a hypocrisy that will continue to destroy the entertainment we love. My heart goes out to all soap opera fans. You were cheated, lied to and taken for granted. Oh and Brian Frons... this guy is still whistling Disney tunes. I would tell all of you to keep on fighting if I believed it would make a difference.... sadly, I don't feel that it would.

I don't have a clear cut answer for you. But I do know this: that the web is destroying the "control" the networks and studios used to have on its viewers... and that my friends... is a GREAT thing!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Star Fox 64 3D for Nintendo 3DSi— AMAZING!

It's been fourteen years since the original Star Fox 64, and now its time to barrel roll again in this remake for the 3DS. But is it worth it to buy this remake? To say the least YES! Star Fox 64 3D does an amazing job of recapturing the fun and gameplay of the original version with revamped graphics and new ways to control your vehicle. Its a must buy for the 3DS with only one problem to the game which is no WIFI, but that will be discussed later in the review. The story of Star Fox is set in the fictional Lylat System. The evil scientist Andross goes insane and nearly destroys his home planet of Corneria. Then General Pepper exiles him to the desolate planet of Venom. Five yerars later Corneria discovers mysterious activities coming from Venom. General Pepper deploys the Star Fox team (consisting of James McCloud, Peppy Hare, and Pigma Dengar) to investigate. Pigma betrays his team, and allows them to be captured. Peppy manages to escape, but James doesn't and dies.

This is where the game picks up, years later Andross tries to again capture the Lylat system, and this time General Pepper hires the new Star Fox team (Fox McCloud, Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi, and Slippy Toad). The game revolves around their efforts to get to Venom and ultimately destroy Andross once and for all.

Like the original game, Star Fox 64 3D consists of different paths that you can enter and exit during the story. Unlike the original, you have a choice to choose which path you want to go  down (depending on what you did in the previous mission), making it easier to make the story unfold the way you want it to. During the game you go through six different worlds with different challenges and strategic bosses, before you go the seventh world where you find Andross. There are three different vehicles that you use. The Arwing (titular vehicle, used for most missions), the Land Master (a large mobile tank used for land based maps) and the Blue Marine (a submarine for underwater based maps). There are two ways of controlling your vehicle— using the 3DS gyroscope and circle pad to move, or using the original N64 controls. I preferred the original controllers over the 3DS ones, simply because of the fact that you can control your vehicle more fluidly with the circle pad instead of tilting the 3DS in the direction you wanna move. Also tilting the 3DS blurs the 3D effect so you would have to turn the 3D off just to enjoy the game.

The graphics are simply beautiful, having undergone a complete overhaul of the whole game, not missing a single detail. No more polygonal shapes, the developers made full use of the 3DS advanced hardware and revamped everything, just showing the power of the 3DS. Having the 3D on does not slow this game down, so you can enjoy this game in full 3D, having asteroids, lasers, and even the boost off of Fox's Arwing come at you. The added depth only adds to the brilliance of the redesigned graphics. There are only few downsides to this game, its primary flaw is a lack of ultra cool multiplayer modes. The gameplay of the multiplayer mode is not a massive problem, because essentially, it's the same as the original, and also has three different battle modes and power ups to use.

The different battle modes consist of points match, survival, and time battle. There's also the an intriguing feature which lets you see your opponents face during the match. The problem is rooted in the absence of WIFI, with the game being download play only. This makes the replay of the game a bit remiss, especially if you're like me and don't live in a area with many people who own a 3DS. Playing by yourself in this mode, is fun at first, but later on it gets repetitive and boring. But, the story itself, and the occasional multiplayer match with someone else... more than makes up for this flaw.

What can I say? Star Fox 64 3D is an awesome remake of the original game and is well worth the $40 price tag. The gameplay is simply superb, and the graphics are stunning. This remake does a incredible job of improving on the original but not taking away from the fun of it. The only downside I can see is the absence of online play, and for some... the shortness of the main story. But when it's all said and done, Star Fox 64 3D is a really cool game that you should add to your 3DS collection.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Breaking Dawn: Part 1— Breaking Records

After storming the box office this weekend, Summit’s newest “Twilight” movie looks on track to gross nearly $300 million domestically. Richie Fay, Summit’s distribution chief, told the press over the weekend that he expects “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn– Part 1” to end up taking in about the same amount as “New Moon” grossed in 2009. He said it was too soon to give a definitive projection. After this weekend, when box-office watchers can evaluate the drop between opening weekend audiences and second-week audiences, better estimates will be available. For now, though, one executive at a rival studio commented that "Breaking Dawn" is "certainly on track to do $285 million perhaps more" domestically. Also read: 'Twilight' Money: How Summit Plans to Make $1.2B Off 'Breaking Dawn' “New Moon,” the second in the “Twilight” franchise, grossed $296.6 million domestically and $413.2 internationally.

Both "Twilight" movies opened on the same weekend— “New Moon” opened November 20th, 2009 and “Breaking Dawn” opened on November 18th— and both opened to similar box office figures. “Breaking Dawn” had a $139.5 million opening weekend compared to “New Moon’s” $142.8 million. But CinemaScore, the moviegoer surveying firm, said audiences liked “New Moon” better than they liked “Breaking Dawn.”

“New Moon” had a score of “A-,” while “Breaking Dawn” received a middling “B+.” Among the core audience of females, however, “Breaking Dawn” scored an “A-.” In between those movies, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” opened on June 30th, 2010 to $157.6 million. But because it opened on a Wednesday, it had a 5-day opening weekend, rather than a 3-day one. It went on to gross $300.5 million domestically and $397.9 million internationally.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Willie Nelson Speaks Out on Canine Profiling

Legendary singer/songwriter Willie Nelson knows a thing or two about outlaws, but he fights for the rights of those who undeservingly end up on the wrong side of the law. Nelson is using his famous voice to speak out in support of the “favorable and quick” passage of Ohio House Bill 14, legislation that would remove canine profiling from Ohio’s books. The bill already has passed the Ohio House of Representatives and is up for consideration by the Senate. Ohio is the only state in the country that automatically declares a type of dog vicious based solely on appearance, rather than behavior. Any pit bull terrier-type dog, or any dog resembling a pit bull, falls under this discriminatory law. HB 14 would remove this breed-specific designation and strengthen the state’s dangerous dog laws to target reckless owners and dangerous dogs instead of innocent pets.

Nelson, who speaks out on animal welfare issues for Best Friends Animal Society, encourages Ohio residents to contact their senators and the committee members and urge them to support HB 14. 

More information and simple ways to take action are available here:

Nelson’s letter, sent “on behalf of dog lovers everywhere,” asks senators vote to overturn the statewide discrimination “against dogs who all share a cluster of physical characteristics by classifying this group as ‘vicious’ without any regard to individual dog behavior. These dogs are considered ‘vicious’ at birth, even though there are countless dogs of unknown heritage who are deemed ‘pit bulls’ and are wonderful family pets.”

His letter goes on to say: “Dogs, much like people, are individuals and should each be judged on his/her own merits. The simple truth is that breed is not a factor in bites, and HB 14 is an important public safety measure that will protect individuals from any dangerous dog, no matter what the dog’s appearance or heritage.” 

In addition to the high-profile support of Nelson, actress and activist Maggie Q also urges passage of HB 14 through a YouTube video:

A petition at has already collected more than 10,500 signatures in support of the bill. Breed-discriminatory laws are expensive and have been proven ineffective in protecting the public. According to economic research firm John Dunham and Associates, it costs Ohioans more than $17 million a year to enforce the existing law. Best Friends Animal Society, the Ohio County Dog Wardens, the County Commissioners' Association of Ohio and the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates all support HB 14. HB 14 which would essentially allow all dogs to be evaluated and treated as individuals and permit local jurisdictions the authority to hold any/all reckless owners accountable for the behavior of their dogs.

Best Friends Animal Society works to help pit bulls through its national pit bull initiatives, which battle everything from these dogs’ sensationalized reputation to legislation designed to bring about their extinction. The initiatives’ goal is to end discrimination against all dogs— because they are individuals and should be treated as such. As part of its ongoing national outreach, Best Friends works with humane groups all across the country to bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets®. 

Follow Best Friends Animal Society on Facebook go to: 

Follow Best Friends on Twitter:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deepak Chopra's Leela for Gamers

Deepak Chopra, the internationally renowned author and expert on mind— body wellness, brings his extraordinary creativity, insight and philosophies to an entirely new medium today: video game consoles. “There are just so many people who practice yoga and meditation who have video game systems in their homes, but they rarely use them— but these are very powerful devices, capable of creating wonderful experiences. I hope anyone who explores Leela will feel enriched by what we’ve created.” Deepak Chopra’s Leela, published by THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI), is a truly groundbreaking journey of both the body and mind, combining ancient wisdom and traditions with technology on interactive gaming consoles.

Leela is a one-of-a-kind experience that invokes full-body movement with meditation and breathing techniques, designed to unwind body tension and offer more focus for mind and spirit. “Leela” meant “play” in ancient languages— a concept vital to mind— body wellness. “The medium of interactive video games is enormously rich and filled with creative opportunity that has barely been tapped,” says Chopra, who, along with Curious Pictures, spent more than two years conceptualizing Leela. “There are many people who practice yoga and meditation who have video— game systems in their homes, but they rarely use them— but these are powerful devices, capable of creating absolutely wonderful experiences. I hope anyone who explores Leela will feel completely enriched by what we’ve created.”

Leela is based on the concept of the Seven Chakras, which are energy centers inside every human being. Through seven movements, Leela helps us connect with the Chakras— each movement focuses on a different part of the body. There is no winning or losing in Leela— Leela moves at an individual’s pace. The goal is to instill an inner sense of harmony, rejuvenation and balance. For the first time ever, with Kinect for Xbox 360, players can see and measure their breath in real time on-screen. Leela also offers gentle feedback and encouragement to enhance the meditative breathing practice.

Each person who experiences Leela will also have an opportunity to create a personalized “mandala,” or visual representation of the inner self. No two can possibly be alike, and each one reflects the beauty, nature, senses and imagination of the individual. Players will be able to create and share their personal mandalas with friends and family on Facebook. Whether experienced for two minutes or two hours at a time, Leela offers an utterly unique means of relaxing and finding balance. To learn more about Deepak Chopra’s Leela, visit

Kurt Cobain by Bridget Petrella on the Behance Network

Kurt Cobain by Bridget Petrella on the Behance Network

Hard-Fi— Approaching The Apex

Hard-Fi are approaching a dramatic new apex in their career. Critically acclaimed, commercially successful and tower block tall, the West London four-piece continue to reinvigorate music with raw, category-defying sounds and instant, merciless beats. Neither bound by musical restriction or industry expectation, they follow their blazing, genre-defining Number 1 U.K. debut ‘Stars of CCTV’ with the eagerly anticipated ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’, September 11th3rd. In short, Hard-Fi are the sound of now. Written by frontman Richard Archer and co-produced by Richard with Wolsey White, it’s a landmark LP of scopic, wide-eyed, unrepressed tracks. Mixed by Spike Stent (U2, Bjork & Madonna), it’s their second studio album and their most cohesive, definitive release to date. Boasting 12 killer anthems, including the blistering new single ‘Suburban Knights’, August 20th, it’s truly hard to beat.

Born from the kitchen sink fatalism of Staines in 2002, Hard-Fi— Richard Archer (vocals), Ross Phillips (guitar), Kai Stephens (bass) and Steven Kemp (drums)— have emerged from suburbia triumphant. After recording their dazzling debut in the ultimate broke down palace— a dilapidated taxi rank that cost £300 in rent— it matured into a DIY triumph that propelled them into the A-list. Selling nearly 1 million UK copies and then quickly soaring to Number 1, it spurned the radio mainstay hit singles: ‘Cash Machine’, ‘Hard To Beat’ & ‘Living For The Weekend’.

“I lost my dad 5 years ago and he was the one who’d always tell me to pursue my dream. He’d been working for other people his entire life and wouldn’t let the bastards get him down. He inspired me to get out there and kick some arse…When we were first signed, the major labels didn’t want to know,” says Richard. “They mistook variety for being inconsistent— they obviously hadn’t ever listened to the Clash” Nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize and Best British Group at the 2006 BRITs, their defiance paid off. In a matter of months Hard-Fi had shapeshifted into one of Britain’s biggest bands. Their first major tour sold out in a record 15 minutes and saw them play London's Brixton Academy for 5 consecutive nights— making them one of the few bands to actually do so alongside such legends as The Clash, Bob Dylan &The Prodigy— plus the only act to do it with their debut album.

“Whenever I think of a great British band— The Rolling Stones, The Specials, Massive Attack— they're not just a rock band," Richard explains. "At the end of the day we're a rock'n'roll band but we listen to hip-hop, we listen to house music, we listen to dub and reggae and we're not afraid to introduce that.” Now, following a white-hot headline set at Glastonbury in support of Love Music Hate Racism, they return to the fray with their eagerly awaited new LP. “We’ve learnedt a lot in the making of this record. People say that debut albums are always the best because you have a lifetime of experience to pour into them, but that’s all just a bunch of bullshit. The last three years have been like 20 years compressed.”

“Before we started the LP, I wanted to make something that sounded dark, atmospheric with elements of the Clash and Stones— and we’ve really fucking nailed that. CCTV was put it on and turn it up, this is sharper, more tactical and raw.”

“We were tempted to fuck off and record it abroad, but it didn’t seem appropriate,” says Richard. “We looked around at other UK studios, but decided that everyone else records there…and we definitely didn’t want to sound like everyone else. Ultimately, nothing really made us feel comfortable but, saying that, recording in Staines was anything but comfortable— we returned to our converted taxi office, which didn’t have running water until halfway through. It was more the fact that we could do what we wanted. We used bigger studios to mix, but conceived it in our natural environment.”

“The first album came together in stages— track, EP, mini album then album— so this felt like the first time we truly made a record,” he adds. “It’s like anything we do, it’s never contrived. It’s just what comes out. There are still elements of CCTV-style social commentary, but it’s more subtle and integrated. The 12 tracks are simply the best ones written, and they just happened to mean something.”

“We were on tour and watching ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ while on the bus. Ultimately, that title reflected the theme of the album— these are stories from our west, West London”.

Standout tracks include the 70’s SKA-inspired ‘We Need Love’, and ‘Tonight’. “The latter is a big piano-driven number— it had a few incarnations before it became what it is, but it’s about the possibility of night time. History is made at night.” Meanwhile, the former harks back to the Specials and was inspired by Billy Bragg’s acclaimed novella ‘The Progressive Patriot’. Other highlights include the rousing R&B swagger of ‘Can’t Get Along’ with its stomping Motown lilt, the stark fragility of ‘Help Me Please’— a track written about the death of Richard’s mother— plus, ‘I Shall Overcome’ which echoes an early Clash while remaining truly, unmistakably Hard-Fi, and the lead single ‘Suburban Knights’.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Future of Broadcast Television Summit

Television broadcasting executives, technologists and engineers gathering this week in China agreed that a global approach to the future of terrestrial TV broadcasting is the ideal method to avoid competing standards, overlap, and inefficient deployment of new services. At 11:11 a.m. local time on 11/11/11, more than 200 delegates to the Future of Broadcast Television Summit officially expressed unified support for a joint declaration signed by technical executives from 13 broadcast organizations from around the world that calls for global cooperation to define new requirements, unify various standards, and promote sharing of all technologies to benefit developed and under-developed countries and conserve resources.

A common theme running throughout the entire summit was... that broadcasting— the transmission of information to an unlimited number of listeners and viewers— is the most spectrum-efficient means for wireless delivery of popular real-time and file-based content. The signatories of the declaration believe that the broadcasting and TV industries will continue to evolve and play a critical role in bringing both information and entertainment to everyone.

While television has prospered, it has not been possible for the world to take full advantage of the convenience and economies of scale of a single broadcast standard. Even in the digital age, splintering of different standards and methods of broadcast TV transmission makes it difficult to share information and entertainment globally.

As a result of the Future of Broadcast Television (FoBTV) Summit, supporters for the declaration agree to three major global initiatives:

1. Define the requirements of future terrestrial broadcast systems. "The collaboration between broadcast television and Internet content will play a vital role in providing attractive services. The broadcast industry is committed to developing necessary technologies to create and deliver new media and information services by taking advantage of future broadcast systems. We also know the critical role played by broadcasting in times of emergency," notes the declaration.

2. Explore unified terrestrial broadcast standards. "We aim to promote cooperation among broadcasters, communications companies and manufacturers of broadcast equipment and all types of receiving devices. We all seek to maximize proper and efficient use of spectrum resources, as well as exchanges and cooperation between communication systems and broadcasting on both a technological and business level," says the declaration.

3. Promote global technology sharing. "A flexible future broadcast ecosystem, with collaboration between different areas and among broadcasters, research institutes, and industries, will foster new broadcast technological innovation. We all commit to the elimination of broadcasting technological gaps. We realize that advances in broadcasting technologies should benefit both developed and developing countries," the declaration states.

"Today, technological innovation may be able to break down many of the long-standing barriers that have prevented common systems," according to the joint declaration announced today.

"This would enable us to remove the major gaps between the different television signal formats and transmission systems used around the world. Digitization has really opened the door for a vast global broadcasting renaissance."

"We need to explore new ways of cooperation, seek the progressive unification of standards, and realize technology sharing so that the efficiency and convenience enabled by digitization will be realized— not reduced by system fragmentation. The 21st Century is an era of integration of broadcasting, Internet, and communications, all of which have evolved in parallel. Consumers are calling for more convenient and user-friendly services. The development of digital technology opens the possibility of cooperation among all the different networks and transmission systems," the joint declaration states.

The declaration— is being signed by technical executives of:
Tthe Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC), Communications Research Center (CRC), Digital Video Broadcast Project (DVB), The European Broadcast Union (EBU), Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Globo TV Network, IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, The  National Association of Broadcasters, The National Engineering Research Center of Digital TV of China, NHK Science and Technical Research Laboratories, Public Broadcasting Service and the Brazilian Society of Television Engineers (SET).

Info can be accessed at the following link:

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Silent Connective Truth

Stars shine like jewels strewn across the blackness of space. For centuries, people looked up at the night sky in awe. Believing the planets, stars and moons were not merely distant lights shining in the firmament... but rather the eternal source of order in the universe. That if we could hear the music of the spheres, we could act in accordance with that order. Rather than struggle uselessly against it. Now, the lights of cities outshine those in the heavens... and the only stars most of us watch are the kind in films, television and the web. But a silent truth remains... That we are all human... and we are all connected to the infinite. And that we ignore that connection...