A week without cable

Well, I survived, more of less. When I was in Hong Kong, there were basically only a few channels of English programming. BBC World, CNN International, DW (English and German), the English Premier League soccer channel and ATV, which showed reruns of 24 and a few other tv shows. In fact, while I was over there I started watching the ‘Drew Carey’ show simply because it was on (and later, because it actually was quite funny at times). That last little bit is kind of funny. After the cable was ‘cut’ the TV turned to static. I then connected the wires and whatnot and ran the auto-tune on the TV to find the channels. When it has finished it stopped on the ‘ION’ Channel which is a DC-based repeat channel, and believe it or not the opening credits for the Drew Carey Show were playing on the TV. Talk about a weird flashback. It hasn’t actually been total, as we’ve been able to get some digital feeds from over the air and through other means, so TV hasn’t been totally ‘gone’. But on those few occasions when I flip on the TV (which now runs through the computer, btw, rather than through the TV tuner) I’ve pretty quickly been able to ascertain ‘there is nothing on worth watching at this moment’ pretty quickly. I’m sure I probably could have seen Notre Dame’s horrible loss in hockey last night, or a better movie than the one I watched last night had I still had all the movie channels and the on demand library, but I don’t think I’ve missed all that much. I’ve been doing a lot of TIVO’ing off of the over the air signals and integrating with Boxee, Hulu and Front Row on the Mac. There is a pretty cool media interface set up now where we can flip between all the content we’ve recorded and even more that is online (note to apple: Boxee will kill you unless you expand Front Row to include online content). We’ve grabbed a large number of Thomas the Tank Engines (to replace the ‘on demand’ feature we had before) and also a couple of MI-5 episodes and Mystery, a show we like to watch when relaxing. We’ve watched two DVDs this week and, perhaps thankfully, I spent two nights going to bed about 8 pm with the kids (so that I could be more functional at 5 am when they awoke looking for their trains). One week down, many many more to go.]]>

Real Networks gunning for Boxee?

Saw an interesting job opportunity with Real Networks in Seattle. They’re looking for an embedded LINUX specialist for work on a new content / media system that has previously been in ’stealth’ mode in Seattle. Seems they are developing an ‘all in one’ system that could handle audio, video, etc in a small device (kind of like the PenguinRadio I was working on for so many years).

Interesting that Codling has been mentioned now for almost 18 months. Wonder when they will get out a product that can compete with the Boxee system that is running ripshod through the media center crowd?

(At least they are using LINUX which is a nice plug for open source. Real dove into the open source community with the HELIX project to get their formatted music playing on other devices, but they remain under pressure from streaming mp3 and aac which is gaining more followers (the BBC is starting some AAC streams this week)).

Job Title: Sr. Linux Embedded Engineer

Position Type (FT or PT): Full Time – Regular

Area of Interest: Software Development

Location: Seattle (Headquarters)

Description: RealNetworks, Inc. is a rapidly growing, web based, digital music, online gaming and streaming company headquartered in Seattle, Washington, that provides the universal platform for the delivery of any digital media, from any point of origin, across virtually any network, to any person on any Internet-enabled device, anywhere in the world.

RealNetworks Inc., based in Seattle, WA, has recently formed a new consumer media platform team whose charter is to deliver “Codling”, a game-changing home entertainment system. Formed as a stealth startup within RealNetworks, the Codling team is being led by one of the founders of RealNetworks, Phil Barrett, and has already attracted executives from Amazon.com, Microsoft, Disney and Intel, and RealNetworks. The Codling team is creating a rich set of consumer media experiences that will make the industry stand up and take notice.

From the ground up, we are building a technology platform and content distribution ecosystem that will support a vast array of yet-to-be-announced content distribution models. Hollywood, NYC, Silicon Valley, and consumer electronics manufacturers *will* be knocking on our doors once we announce.

Would you like to work with high-tech and media legends? Do you enjoy the rush of working in an agile, consumer-focused environment? Are you passionate about digital video and consumer electronic devices? Do you want to touch the daily lives of millions of consumers around the world?

If you do, then the RealNetworks recruiting team wants to talk to you!