Saturday, February 24, 2018

More fun with Buzzr

A little while ago I was teasing Buzzr about dropping ads at random into their shows.

I watched an ep of Combs Feud on Buzzr today, and at least the commercials came on at the right times. So maybe that problem has gone away. But there's still an issue with Celebrity Name Game on Buzzr and it may be unfixable, at least in the short run.

On Game Show Paradise a well-known complainer was, well, complaining about the supposed "film look" of the CNG eps on Buzzr. He seems to have this look on the brain, because he complained about the same thing with GSN's run of syndie What's My Line and color I've Got a Secret. As I said at the time, the shows looked fine to me, especially for material nearly a half-century old.

But while I haven't noticed any dreaded "film look," Celebrity Name Game on Buzzr is only a shrunken version of its normal self on my widescreen TV. Another GSP poster helpfully explains...

Buzzer can't accommodate 16:9 for widescreen shows because the channel only broadcasts in 480i 4:3 format...Most of us nowadays have widescreen LCD HDTVs which means that when we watch 4:3 programming and channels, the shows appear to be pillarboxed. Unfortunately, this means that when we watch a 16:9 program on a 4:3 channel on a 16:9 display, the episode appears to be shrunken and windowboxed (letterbox and pillarbox).

Believe it or not, this sort of makes sense to me. So it looks like I'll have to put up with Buzzr's pint-sized version of Celebrity Name Game on my widescreen TV. It's still a terrific show.


  1. I didn't even have to look on GSP to see who the certain person is with the "film look" complaint. Rhymes with "Mahan" as suspected. Much like the old "there are starving people in China" comment that your mother may used to tell you, I'm sure there are people that would love to have Buzzr, rather than one who has it and does nothing but complain about it.

  2. These aspect ratio technicalities actually come into play on this blog's images and videos.

    I usually recode images in the main blog entries to a 360 pixel width, and a corresponding pixel height to maintain the original aspect ratio. Once in a while I have to recode to a 360 pixel height with the proportional pixel width.

    For the images in the faux tweets, I use a 200 pixel width and the proportional pixel height to maintain the original aspect ratio.

    Finally, for the videos in the sidebar I recode to a 320x180 pixel ratio (16x9). This fits the videos into the sidebar nicely and almost always maintains the original aspect ratio. Very occasionally I'll get a thin black line at top and bottom, so I have to recode to 320x175 or 320x170.

    Got all that? Lots of stuff goes on behind the scenes on this blog.

  3. While I'm on the nuts and bolts, I might as well talk about some other technical components of this blog.

    The sidebar is ridiculously complicated. There are twelve elements in all...

    1) ID box
    2) Faux tweets
    3) Videos
    4) Search box
    5) Subscribe boxes
    6) E-mail follow box
    7) Old posts
    8) Blogroll
    9) Broadcast/cable ratings
    10) Syndie ratings
    11) GSN/Buzzr schedules
    12) One final comment

    Many of these are pre-fab from Blogger, though several (like the faux tweets) are heavily customized text boxes. I try to get Blogger to do as much of dirty programming work as possible, but some handcrafting is necessary.

    The heading image is positioned a little off-center. I usually try to find a set picture from a well-known game show that reveals some behind-the-scenes stuff. The "Game Show Follies" label is handcrafted in Word and put next to the set image.

    I do most of my image work with old-fashioned Paint, though I occasionally use Picture Manager to enhance images. I brightened the image of Yoda in this entry, for instance, and sharpened the contrast.

    Once in a while I'll change the overall color and typeface scheme of the blog. Not very often, though.

    Luckily, I've gotten so used to all the technical stuff that I can do it almost automatically as I add new entries and sidebar items. This blog is nearly nine years old, after all.