Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The March of Progress

Been taking some time this evening to burn some episodes from the "Star Trek Alternate Realities Collective" to disk so that I can carry them around in my iPhone. (Thanks, Andy, for the advice in iPhone Fully Loaded!)

It's a depressing sign of progress that I can generally identify the episodes in Handbrake even though the order of the episodes on the disk doesn't actually match the order listed on the DVDs or on the cover art, and Handbrake doesn't actually give an episode name, just a track number and file length in minutes and seconds.

If the episode is in excess of 50 minutes in running time, it's an original series episode (ST:TOS).

If the episode is just over 45 minutes in running time, it's a Next Generation episode (ST:TNG).

If the episode is just under 44 minutes in running time, it's either a Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) or Voyager episode (ST:VOY).

If the episode is under 43 minutes in running time, it's an Enterprise episode (ST:ENT).

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, anything that isn't running time is advertising time, at least during the original broadcast of the episodes in question. Sadly, it's not just a broadcast TV problem: episodes of my favorite series at the moment, Leverage, run about 43 minutes (for a one-hour broadcast time slot) or 57 minutes (for a two-hour broadcast time slot).

One more among the many good reasons to skip the broadcast and just go straight for the DVD. If the networks can only stay in business by shrinking the content we actually want to watch, then they should go away and be replaced by something that meets viewers' needs better.

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