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TIME OFF: An Antidote to NCIS, All the Time

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I’m married to a charming, accomplished woman, who manages to balance a strenuous, full-time job with a fair amount of community activity and, because she works closer to home, keeping our lives going. But she’s got this weird personality quirk: She ignores popular culture until something strikes her fancy. And then it becomes an obsession. Big-time.

So it is with NCIS. Please, someone, take it off the air. Or at least, take reruns off the air. My wife is obsessed. She likes to relax at night by channel surfing, and there seems to be a problem with that series of shows. (I confess I don’t know how many there are; I’m trying to shield myself.) It’s as though the “channel” button on the remote gets sticky and won’t let us see anything else. I vaguely remember NYC’s resident curmudgeon Fran Leibowitz saying something to the effect that her idea of a perfect day is to lie on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of  Law and Order. (Presumably, Leibowitz would get off the couch every now and then to guest-star as a judge.)

She ain’t got nothing on my better half.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago, Time-Warner Cable supplied an antidote in the form of an iPad app. Subscribers with a wi fi connection get to connect to their service, anywhere in the house, and watch high-def TV shows. After a rocky start–I had to create yet another login, and there were initial hiccups, the app worked flawlessly. Channels are limited, but T-W promises more soon (though show producers and channels are reportedly not amused, and are threatening to sue). There’s a neat transparency effect, as the channels show up on the left, and you flick your finger up and down to select the show you want–they’re in real-time, showing the same time as they would on your TV.

Did I use this for work, and check out all the cable news channels online? Uh, no. I need my downtime, too, so I surfed over to HGTV to check out House Hunters International, for episode showing a couple buying a house in my maternal grandparents’ town in Sicily, now a chic beach resort, and the episode of Jersey Shore that I missed. (Please, someone tell Sammi and Ron to just shut the [bleep] up.)

Written by almipad

March 28, 2011 at 11:00 am

Posted in Apps, Entertainment, Media

Wired!

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And now, we take a recreational break. I’ve found a great way to waste way too much time. It’s all down to a cable, specifically, an Apple composite AV cable. Find it at an Apple Store, either bricks and mortar or here. It’s $40, and it allows you to connect the iPad to a TV set of fairly recent (the past decade) vintage, whether flat-screen or not.

Next, if you haven’t already, download the Netflix app and sign up, if you aren’t already a member. Basic, streaming (non-DVD) membership is $8 a month. The selection is pretty decent, although a lot of movies are DVD-only. But the quality is good; I have a cable home Internet connection and picture quality is flawless, and there were no hiccups. I happily watched a couple of adaptations of the Stieg Larsson “The Girl Who…” trilogy (simplified story lines, but still gripping), the documentary of the recording of The Rolling Stones’ “Exile on Main Street” album, and bits and pieces of other movies.

The cable works with iPods and iPhones, too, so if you take videos with your phone, you can see them on the big screen.

Written by almipad

February 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm