Robot Wars Coming Back to TV

Remember Robot Wars a decade ago? Well, BBC is bringing back the popular series. From BBC:

The iconic entertainment show will return as a 6×60’ series and will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before.

The new series includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title.

Insignia 40 Inch TV

I headed over to Best Buy on the Thanksgiving Day at around 6pm. It was one hour after the store opened. The line was long, which made me hesitate at first, but but it was moving, so I decided to stay. Thirty minutes later, I was inside the store. I was looking for a great deal on a 40 inch TV. My first choice was already gone. I ended up with an Insignia 40 inch 1080p TV for $159. Here’s the link from Best Buy. It’s an LED TV running at 60Hz. It has two HDMI ports, and a USB port. I thought I got myself a great deal.

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Netflix: Unlimited Movies and DVDs for $10

The other day, I received an important note from Netflix, stating that my monthly subscription has increased by $1. The monthly will jump from $8.99 to $9.99. For an additional $1 dollar, Netflix will now show unlimited movies and TV episodes on my computer, as well as unlimited DVDs by mail. I bolded the words unlimited in case you haven’t noticed. It’s actually a great deal.

Here’s the actual note from Netflix:

Why the changes? Our selection of TV episodes and movies available to stream has grown dramatically, and as a result most members want us to deliver unlimited movies and TV episodes two ways: streaming instantly over the internet plus DVDs by mail. The price change will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly.

In addition, Netflix is also offering unlimited TV episodes and movies online for just $7.99. This plan does not include unlimited DVDs by mail.

I saw a little disclaimer saying:

All the titles you can watch instantly on your current plan are also available on this new plan, and as a reminder, not all titles on DVD are available to watch instantly.

In any case, for $9.99, this plan is a great. Just to be sure, I logged in to Netflix’s website, and saw that all movies seem to be available for online play, and that includes the most recent films. There’s one more thing on my wish list. I just wished Netflix will play on my Linux desktop. I can watch Netflix on the Xbox 360, a Windows XP desktop, my Windows XP netbook, but not on my Linux desktop. Bummer.

Hulu Plus vs Netflix

Which is better? For the same amount of $9.99, you can watch Hulu Plus and Netflix online. Hulu offers the current TV shows from ABC, NBC and Fox sans CBS. Meanwhile, Netflix offers an extensive list of movies and TV shows. Over 20,000 movies available for streaming. Hulu offers 2,000 TV shows available for streaming.

One advantage Neflix has over Hulu is, Netflix will run on Playstation 3, XBox and the Wii. However, Hulu will stream on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch. Netflix has no commercials. Hulu does. In terms of high definition, Hulu seems to have a higher resolution.

If you are movie hoard, you can subscribe to both. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

Analog TV is no more

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If you’re old school and you turned on your TV this morning and all you got was this black and white static screen, well, you’ve probably been hiding in a cave or just woke up from a long sleep. Today marks the day TV stations across the United States have turned off all their analog signals. Despite the long warning and a delay of the switch, originally it was set for February 17, still a million households across the United States do not have digital converters. Neilsen says the figure is closer to 5.8 million. The government has been giving away digital converters for free, but some areas have run out. The government is still accepting coupon requests and offering technical support at 1-888-CALL-FCC. One thing about digital signal, it either on or off. Either you get it or you don’t. You won’t get the ghostly images you saw on analog TVs like in the old days when the signal is weak. So, who benefits from this switch? The government does to a tune of $19.6 billion. I didn’t know the US government was in the electronics business.