I've been getting the new "Antenna TV" network for about a month now, and for the most part, I'm liking what I see. But as with any new
channel - if any channel that shows only old programming could be called "NEW" - there are a number of rough edges that could use some polishing. I get Antenna TV locally "OTA
" from Fox13 Salt Lake City - KSTU
on their upper sub-channel, 13.2, since mid January. Here's my take on the "New Old" TV network.
Since channel 13.1 FOX is a 720p signal, the SD AntennaTV network works well as a sub channel, allowing 13.1 to run video with no decrease in quality of the primary channel. There were a few tiny bugs the first few days, such as the 13.2 logo being simply huge and displayed at all times, and a lack of EPG
information. But these were more annoyances than serious problems, and I give the channel 13 engineering staff a grade of A- for their smooth addition of the new channel. I also like that they don't lock it into 4:3 format (Like ThisTV does), so I can zoom or stretch the picture if I want to. Good work, Fox 13!
Antenna TV's programming, for the most part, would be a hit in any era. It's simply some of the best programming ever to hit the airwaves, with shows like "All In the Family", "Married... With Children", "Maude", "Benny Hill", "The Monkees", and a bunch of kitschy old shows like "Three's Company" and "The Nanny". Though the network targets an older demographic, there's something for every age group here. My teenage daughter loves "The Nanny", I like "Married... With Children", my wife likes "The Three Stooges" (Yea, I know, women tend to HATE the Stooges, but my wife loves them. Bless her heart!) They even have children's programming on Saturday morning for the pre-teen set.
As good as it is, there's plenty of room for improvement here.
The first issue is the commercials. I understand it's a new network and the pretty much have to take what they can get as far as advertisers. Antenna TV commercials tend to target the over 50 crowd, so there's the obligatory "I've Fallen, and I can't get up!" pitches, along with the usual screaming "Sham-Wow!" type commercials. There's also the issue of time appropriate commercials. I find it amusing to see commercials hawking "The Hoveround" and "Life Alert" during Saturday children's programming. And there's ads for "Colon Flow" during the dinner hour, complete with graphic animations of colons being emptied. In fact, that commercial should go away altogether! Let's just all hope the quality of advertisers goes up with time.
My next beef is with scheduling. I like the Three Stooges. And Benny Hill. Really, I do. But they are best enjoyed in small doses, and should never occupy more than an hour or two continuously. look at this Saturday night lineup:
8:00 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
8:30 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
9:00 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
9:30 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
10:00 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
10:30 PMBenny Hill TV-PG
11:00 PMThe Three Stooges "I Can Hardly Wait" TV-PG
11:20 PMThe Three Stooges "Gypped in the Penthouse" TV-PG
11:40 PMThe Three Stooges "Dizzy Pilots" TV-PG
12:00 AMThe Three Stooges "Bedlam in Paradise" TV-PG
12:20 AMThe Three Stooges "Phony Express" TV-PG
12:40 AMThe Three Stooges "Stone Age Romeos" TV-PG
1:00 AMThe Three Stooges "Gem of a Jam" TV-PG
1:20 AMThe Three Stooges "Wham-Bam-Slam" TV-PG
1:40 AMThe Three Stooges "Crash Goes the Hash" TV-PG
How much can I take before I turn the channel? And I have heard they have some decent movies. Of course, I wouldn't know that. I am at work or sleeping when the movies are on - from about midnight until around noon - as is most of the world! Hey, Antenna TV, here's a clue - most people using an antenna don't have a DVR
, so how many people are watching your movies? How about you put them on during the weekends? Just dump a few of those umpteen episodes of "Benny Hill" and "The Three Stooges".
When I first heard about Antenna TV, I really was hoping for some retro cartoons to be shown on Saturday mornings. Instead they have a bunch of children's shows I've never seen before. I think it would be great to bring back some of those kids shows from the 50's through the 70's on Saturday mornings, and move Antenna TV's current Saturday line-up to Sunday mornings. There's already a lot of children's shows on Saturday morning that just don't stand out, and some retro cartoons would appeal not only to kids, but their parents as well. And then, with no competition on Sundays, the current Antenna TV children's lineup would pull a larger audience.
I do hope that Antenna TV will continue to add different programming, because there's only so many episodes of anything I could watch before it gets tiresome, and some of the series they're showing had seriously short life spans. I would enjoy "The Carol Burnett Show", "The Wonder Years", "Night Gallery", "Time Tunnel", "The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine", "The Smothers Brothers", and "Laugh In".
Overall, I give Antenna TV a grade of "B-". And with a little work, it could make the "Honor Roll".
What do you think of Antenna TV? Is there anything you would change? What shows would you like to see on Antenna TV?
Mr. Pogi is a contributor to DTV USA Forum, and publishes an OTA TV blog at: http://cachefreetv.blogspot.com