24 November 2010

Hey PTC, thanks for stating the obvious

The Associated Press reports:

NEW YORK -- Mainstream online video destinations don't do enough to keep explicit content from kids, the Parents Television Council said in a report released Wednesday.

The advocacy group, which monitors decency issues, evaluated the child appropriateness of four online video portals: Hulu, Comcast's Fancast, AOL's Slashcontrol and AT&T's U-verse. None received a better grade than a D.

The study looked at home pages and 602 videos over a three-week period. The council found that standards are more lenient online than on broadcast television, that content ratings were vague and that content that may be unsuitable for children under 14 could be watched by young children.

The president of the Parents Television Council, Tim Winter, said the report proved that the four websites "are failing to protect kids on the Web."

"The content ratings and parental control devices (media corporations) tout as a solution to indecent material on television are not being applied to similarly indecent material on their websites," Winter said.

Well, one wonders...are those sites aimed towards children in the first place?

AOL disputed some of the report's findings. A spokeswoman for the company said that parental controls can be put in place for Slashcontrol and that it's a site with a primarily adult audience.

"Slashcontrol is not a kids and teens site and is not promoted to kids and teens," AOL said in a statement.

The report is called Untangling the Web of Internet Video. It's 25 pages long, and if you're really curious how much sleaze is in those TV shows that those evil, evil media conglomerates are splashing prominently online in the grand conspiracy to corrupt American children, check out the charts from page 19.

I browsed through the "Animation and Cartoons" section of Hulu and discover that programmes like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving are included alongside more adult-oriented content like Archer and Japanese anime series Naruto Shippuden. While the AP quoted AOL stating that Slashcontrol is not targeted towards children, it is possible to access Kids' WB programming through Slashcontrol; Kids WB has its own site KidsWB.com through which users can watch full episodes of WB-distributed kids shows too.

It's been common knowledge throughout the past decade at least that the Internet ain't a safe place for children to navigate unattended. PTC just enforces this message through super-detailed studies with such exposing details. I mean wow, I didn't know that a teenager could see 15 instances of partial nudity and 25 instances of erotic dancing/strip clubs watching raunchy shows on Slashcontrol (page 19)! PTC must've been hunting real hard to find 'em! Why PTC won't specify which shows contained all that sex and drugs and violence and cussing, I start questioning.

Parents, shouldn't it be very clear that a site that's displaying Glee and Jimmy Kimmel Live on its homepage (Hulu in this case, I'm looking at it right now) is not family-friendly territory?

18 November 2010

Channel 6=the only existing American analog TV channel

My dad bought a new flatscreen TV today and was tuning channels. Channel 6 displayed a fuzzy analogue picture displaying "need guidance?" and the logo of Christian contemporary music radio station K-Love.

The blog Radio Survivor reports: "Channel 6 'radio' stations could be silent by 2012":

Currently the FCC is accepting comments on a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the low-power television service [PDF]. Unlike full-power TV, LPTV is still analog. Now the FCC is considering a timeline for closing that gap.

The fact that LPTV is still analog is why some stations on channel 6 have been able effectively to operate like radio stations, due to the fact that their audio program sits just left of the FM broadcast dial, receivable at 87.7 FM. It’s a little corner of radio broadcasting I’ve been covering for over a year now.

As I predicted back in March, the FCC is now set to close this loophole by requiring LPTV stations to go digital, which would make their audio channels inaccessible to FM radios. The only question is when this will happen. The Commission has suggested that the transition might be completed sometime in 2012–so, in less than 2 years. However, it is also seeking comment on how realistic it will be for stations to meet that timeframe. At the same time the Commission notes that a 2012 deadline would be three years after the full-power transition. The Commission argues that LPTV stations should be well aware that a digital transition was imminent, and also points out that Congress created a special fund to assist low-power stations convert to digital.

Interesting. I remember tuning into channel 6 in the past...despite the fact that no channel 6 TV station exists in the San Francisco Bay Area...and seeing/hearing only static with legible audio cutting in and out. Only recently did I learn that TV channel 6 equaled 87.7 FM. When I visited San Diego in 2004 for a piano convention, I could hear XETV channel 6 (then a Fox station; now a CW station since 2008) on 87.7. (The call letter begins with X as the station is based in nearby

Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico.)The K-Love website lists 3 FM frequencies that reach the city of San Jose: 91.9, KBKF-LP 87.7, and KLVS 107.3. Radio-locator identifies 91.9 as K220BV with a transmitter in the remote southern hills of Los Gatos right next to Alamaden Air Force Station. Googling KBKF led me to this page suggesting that KBKF is transmitting from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Google Maps found a transmitter at this address:
Ben Lomond, CA 95005