Category Archives: Home Entertainment

Michael Bay Produces New Pilot, “The Last Ship,” for TNT

Fans of post-apocalyptic thrillers are excited to hear that the cable network TNT has signed on with a new series, The Last Ship. The show is based on the popular William Brinkley novel of the same name, which tells the story of the crew of a naval destroyer. They are among the last people who are still alive after a global nuclear disaster wiped out most of the earth’s population.

Michael Bay, The Last Ship‘s executive producer, is bringing his considerable talents — honed on films such as Armageddon, The Rock, Pearl Harbor, and the Transfomers — to television. Joining Bay, with an array of gadgets behind the scenes, are his Platinum Dunes production house partners, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, who are no strangers to creating chilling stories, having previously worked on A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Hank Steinberg, know for his work on Without a Trace, and Steven Kane, known for The Closer, wrote the pilot script and are also co-executive producing.

The network has been releasing enthusiastic statements about the show. “We believe this show will take viewers on a thrilling ride and fits perfectly with TNT’s expanding line-up of original dramas,” Michael Wright, TNT’s president and head of programming said. “We look forward to working with Michael Bay and The Last Ship‘s outstanding production team.”

Wright described the book that the show is based on as a “gripping page-turner that has all the makings of a terrific television drama, including a great premise, memorable characters, intense situations and heart-racing action.”

Despite the network’s display of enthusiasm, TNT so far has only made a tentative commitment, ordering only the pilot and not yet setting an air date. That could all change on a dime, though. Blogger Reuben at TV Equals thinks that The Last Ship could get a boost from a show on ABC which has some similarities. “[S]hould this fall’s new ABC drama ‘Last Resort’ – which also focuses on a group of naval officers – succeed, TV viewers could see this show popping up on the screen,” she writes.

It appears that no cast members have been announced. The show, at this point, remains a concept, but an exciting one. The talent behind the cameras, with their backgrounds in action and horror films, know how to tell a story that grips an audience and doesn’t let go. The story could provide exactly the kind of escapist fun that so many people yearn for during these lean economic times. And TNT is a network that is committed to developing new original dramas, and it can bring a fresh enthusiasm to the project that larger, stodgier networks are no longer able to muster.

The story of a self-contained group isolated on a ship should offer many opportunities for action/adventure, romance and speculation, opening up the possibility of appealing to a variety of fan bases.

Author —  Annabella Clavette

Annabella is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor. She specializes in auto mechanics and the technology industry.

Is Blu-ray worth the price?

blu_ray_logo_4003 So, I have my brand new LED TV and just got my free Blu-ray player from Vizio to go with it. I hooked up my new Blu-ray player and got it all set up. It plays DVD’s too. In fact, that is really why I wanted it, so I would have a stand alone DVD player. Yesterday I was at Target and decided to breakdown and buy a new Blu-ray movie for my new Blu-ray player. I took my 3-year old over to the movie aisle to see which movie she would like to buy. Something to note here, I do not buy a lot of DVD’s, we use Netflix, Netflix streaming, and redbox.

As we browsed the Blu-ray movies my daughter spotted the Monster’s Inc. Blu-ray, one of her favorite movies, and the Snow White Blu-ray edition. I went to grab the Monsters Inc. and then looked down at the price. I almost choked on my gum when I saw the price tag of $34.99. There were DVD players sitting there for less than that. Upon looking at all the titles, it occurred to me that a standard price for a Blu-ray was $30. No Blu-ray’s for me, I can get 30 movies from Rebox for that price.

I must say that the jump from VHS to DVD was dramatic and changed the industry of home entertainment. Does Blu-ray do the same? I don’t think so, at least not yet. When looking at a movie in SD (Standard Definition) DVD quality vs. Full HD 1080P I can’t really see that much difference. Yes, it looks a little better, but not $34.99 better.

Blu-ray does have many capabilities that have yet to be marketed and used, such as 3D and beyond. It’s storage also opens up many possibilities in the gaming world. In this tech geeks opinion though, Blu-ray is not going to take over the DVD. For most people a technology must be dramatic for them to abandon their old ways and embrace the new. I do not think that Blu-ray offers anything significant to get most people to make the switch. This will be true unless the price of the players goes way down, the price of the disc’s goes way down, and everyone gets a 1080P television.

For the above reason I believe that streaming video companies will start to push Blu-ray products out of the market and take over the way the people watch their movies. I can stream Monster’s Inc. in 1080P 7 times for the price of the Blu-Ray disc (not that I would do that, I can get it free on Netflix Streaming). Sorry Blu-ray I don’t think you are worth it.

Do I need a Gigabit Network Switch in My House?

L48-2564-main That question depends on what you use your home network for. If you are a gamer and use your home network to just play video games you do not need a Gigabit Switch. A network is only as fast as its slowest link. If you are using a cable modem with 10 Mb of bandwidth there is little or no reason to have a 1000 Mb (1Gb) pipe from your device to the modem. A gigabit switch will not make your connection to the online server any faster. Though bandwidth allows a user to move more information from point A to point B, it does not necessarily make your response time faster. Also, the fastest you can connect through a 10 Mb cable modem is 10 Mb, that is where the pipe gets clogged. Your internet bandwidth from your internet provider determines the speed, not your home network.

On the other hand, if you have many devices within your house hooked up to your network, and you wish to transfer large amounts of information across this network. A Gigabit switch will increase your capacity on your network and allow for this transfer to happen faster within your local network.

Something to note though is that all the devices you are connecting to the gigabit switch must also have Gigabit network interfaces to operate at this speed. Most network devices do not have Gigabit capabilities, but rather the standard 100Mb network connection. Fortunately, many new devices do have this capability.

To recap, a gigabit switch will not make your cable modem go faster. But, if you want more capacity on your home network for transferring videos and files then you should invest in a gigabit switch or router and gigabit network cards for your devices.