Ep 228: How to Make it In America

Yes. We finally review How to Make it in America. “About bloody time,” you all shout in a wondrous chorus.

Also, John goes through why he chose Lynda Day for his choice to include in the list of Greatest TV Characters of All Time.

We had a lot of fun putting this one together. Probably more than you’ll have listening to it, but give it a go anyway.

Don’t forget to let us know about your list of the greatest TV characters of all time.

You can also SMS us on 0458 288 837 (0458 CUTTER).

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  1. murrayNE says:

    Wow, you mean I don't sound like Barry White?

    Brett: Andy and Helen Zaltzman are brother and sister. Andy did a guest spot on Answer Me This about two months back.

    John: Hepburn/Tracy is very apt re: Press Gang – Steven Moffat used to cite Moonlighting as a major influence also.
    Re: Doctor Who and Neil Gaiman – So his script is moving to “next year” lets hope that's not a Stephen Fry “next year” (he wrote a script that was moving to “next year” about four years ago).

    Josh: I don't think that the ABC is pre-serving Doctor Who any more.

  2. David Sheehy says:

    Would it hurt to do a modicum of research before you ramble on about a topic you don't understand? Wikipedia even has a handy diagram of how 3DTV broadcasts work here:


    In short, yes it takes up to double the bandwidth to broadcast the 3D images. Theoretically, it could be less than double the bandwidth, as the MPEG-4 compression applies to the pair of images which would be largely similar.

    No, it is not at half the frame rate (sports would look pretty horrible at 12.5 frames per second.

    No, they don't have to broadcast separate 2D and 3D streams. A standard 2D receiver will just decode one half of the images, much like Black and White TVs could receive a colour signal, but just decode the luminosity component.

  3. There are loads of theories about why 3D uptake is slow in all media, most of which blame the glasses or lack of content. It's all crap. This is the real reason: 3D already exists in everything that's broadcast. It's conveyed in perspective, parallax and other visual cues.

    Despite nutso industry claims, it's nothing at all like the switch to colour. Black & white television can't tell us what colour a woman's hair is, but 2D colour television can and does tell us where she's standing, without the need for additional broadcasting spectrum and silly glasses.

    Not only that, but active-shutter 3D television (the battery-powered-LCD-glasses type) is not even a new technology. In the '90s my shop stocked it for video games on PCs, but I don't think we sold a single unit. It was crap then and it's crap now. Samsung's doing an active shutter telly which looks so bad that it's actually worse than not having a television at all.

    Thanks to 3D television, Hey Hey it's Saturday and the iPad, 2010 will be remembered as the Year of Things that Don't Need to Exist.

  4. Also: John, how is it that you started liking Doctor Who at precisely the moment that I started hating it? This year has been uniformly dreadful.

  5. Isn't that pretty much what I said? Did I say it takes double the bandwidth? I think I did.

    Anyway, thanks for clarifying. The point is, the government opened up bandwidth for the 3D broadcast but are you saying they didn't have to?

    I have to say, I'm generally not technically minded in this respect and I prefer to focus on the business cases, government requirements and, most of all, audience enjoyment.

    If they only broadcast a 3D image and the 2D receiver decodes it, won't that mean the image is shifted to the left or the right slightly?

  6. Ooh, John has a theory about this but I'll let him explain it. We talked about it after the show. It's really interesting.

  7. David Sheehy says:

    Hi Josh, that was mostly aimed at Brett, with his comments about “half the frame rate”. It's painful to hear him casting about trying to explain things, and when he does, the explanation is usually quite a bit off, if not outright incorrect.

    I thought he was supposed to be the technical one? Your explanation was more to the point, and not as waffling.

  8. murrayNE says:

    One thing I've noticed is that they never miss an opportunity to assure us that the Doctor and Amy are not going to become a couple, and that Amy and her boyfriend will be together in the future. Maybe this is Mr Moffat and colleagues saying “the 'Doctor Who as romantic lead'/RTD days are over”.

    I've been enjoying the latest series. The only thing I found… oddly chosen… is the end of the first episode. I enjoyed it, I just found it weird that just like the first ep of Doctor 10, the first ep for Doctor 11 ended with The Doctor standing somewhere elevated and declaring that the earth was protected by him.
    Hmm… Actually, that's not the only thing – I found the dream episode a bit unsatisfying.

  9. Nelly Thomas says:

    Oooh, ooh, I have a mate who works in Antarctica! I'll get him to subscribe to BC (or someone he knows).

    As an interesting aside, his name is Wil and he is the husband of comedian Helen Thorn. She is also known as the sister of John Thorn (Spontaneous Broadway etc) who is married to Pastel Vesper, Bob Downe's stage partner.

    That's Melbourne!


  10. Ummm… I definitely opened up my contribution in the form of a question and I'm pretty sure each of the postulations was set out as that – “Maybe it's…” this and “Perhaps…” that. Josh brought the news item to the table and I was probing for more information which the article didn't have as it turned out.

    I can't see any cogent purpose for 3D TV for entertainment applications at all. As Adam wrote before me – though in a comment lower down – it's a thing that doesn't need to exist beyond media hardware companies selling more units to people that have a burning compulsion to keep up with the bleeding edge of tech. I'm not going to waste my time seeking out tech specs for something I'm not going to recommend to anyone. I followed a thread of curiosity in the moment from the perspective of man-in-the-street, foolishly thinking there might be something mentioned in the article.

    Is this why we've all been forced to shell out for new hardware to pick up a new transmission format – so some bullshit fad can take up double the airspace and Samsung can move more units? What a waste of time.

  11. Oops – had a couple more points…

    As I'm sure anyone who has heard a few eps of Boxcutters can tell, I'd rather drink the Jesus Juice than sit on a couch watching sports but, having spoken to a couple of people who have checked out the sports broadcasts in 3D, I'm informed the camera placement, focus, etc hasn't been changed at all to take any advantage of 3D delivery. The problem with that is that a large component of how sports are shot is with a wide shot from quite a high vantage point and that does nothing to emphasise the 3D aspect of the game. Just like channel 9's Australian Survivor, the execution by local networks is distinctly pissweak and they'll get away with it because there's not enough of a market to attract any serious competitors, giving consumers any option.

    If people want 3D sports, lift all the anti-siphoning regulation and let cable deliver the double bandwidth. Meanwhile, I'll be enjoying compelling, well crafted content that doesn't have to rely on cheap tricks to add colour and movement to fill the empty hours of my otherwise meaningless life.

    You want to impress me? Wake me up when the holograms arrive. (And I'm not talking about any lame ass Will.I.Am in a chroma-key tent, CNN!)

  12. So I'll bring it back around and make it a 6 degrees circle of Boxcutters…

    I knew John Thorn quite well back in the day when he was playing a lot of jazz with my buddies of the time Nick “The Bastard” Haywood, Scott Tinkler, Greg “Kookaburra” Ham, Scott Lambie and Greg “Miss Dorothy” Sealey who, these days, plays the odd gig as Miss Dorothy and his Fools in Love with longtime friend of Boxcutters, Wilbur Wild.

    BTW, Willy may or may not be currently considering buying a Cadillac and driving around Antarctica… or the USA – one of the two.

    Weird, huh?

  13. Brett, your point above (there's no reply button) reminds me of another problem with 3D, and why the B&W-colour transition is not comparable to the 2D-3D transition: depth of field. It's hard to explain what I mean but I'll try.

    2D images sometimes convey distance between objects with one object being in focus *against* other objects. In the following image (plz click link) the bird in the foreground is in focus but the building behind it is not:


    It's a technique used expressly to convey the displacement of objects in a 2D image. As you can see, it does a bloody brilliant job.

    3D allows the viewer to focus upon anything on the 3D plane, so using a shallow depth of field actively inhibits the viewer. For 3D to work, everything must be shot using a very tight aperture, ensuring that the entire image is in equally sharp focus.

    So, the two options available to a producer of 3D content are:

    1. Use depth of field techniques, and bugger up the image for people who see it in 3D
    2. Not use depth of field techniques at all, and reduce the impact upon people who see it in 2D

    Coloured objects (red hair, for example) can be represented in both B&W and colour without any fundamental change to the shot, but a shallow depth of field just looks stupid in 3D and can't be fixed.

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