I’m the only person I know that ever watched TV shows about computers and technology. What else was I to do while my sister was on the Mac? That was a while ago, a time even before TechTV, so I remember Dave Chalk and Mike Agerbo reviewing tech products in what looked like someone’s living room, and Steve Dotto hosting a show in a fictional cafe. Time has passed, but all three are still doing tech television: Chalk on Connected Life, Agerbo on GetConnectedTV, and Dotto on Dotto Tech. Interestingly, all three of these shows are produced in Vancouver.
Focus: Blink Media Works’ GetConnected seems more business-focused, and the show revolves more around products. Media2o’s Connected Life is more home user focused and delves into topics like science and the web, incorporating interviews. Media2o also produces Backbone TV that is very much business-focused. Dotto Tech mixes product reviews with walk-through tutorials that show what Dotto is doing on-screen.
Distribution: GetConnected airs way up on the dial on BTV, and can be watched online. They also run a weekly radio show on a Corus station near you. Connected Life is available only online, but as part of MSN, Canada’s most popular web portal. Both show are downloadable, and GetConnected is subscribable as a podcast. Dotto Tech airs on CityTV, other educational networks, and also online, naturally.
Watchability: While both shows seem to have similar production values, Connected Life feels better edited. For hosts, Dotto has always had a friendly, accessible style . Connected Life’s Bradley Shende makes a good, young, dynamic host that isn’t afraid to throw in a humorous reference to “BC bud”. GetConnected’s Lindsay Smith adds a nice female presence on male-dominated tech shows.
While on the topic of tech TV made in Vancouver, I’d like to have a quick moment of silence for The Lab with Leo, a great, short-lived show that aired on TechTV Canada starring the godfather of tech media, Leo Laporte.
Making tech content accessible to television viewers is no easy task, and these three shows deserve credit for keeping it up. Business and older viewers would find more value in GetConnected, while newbies would find more value in Dotto Tech. Connected Life presents itself somewhere in between with a more general appeal. In a day where even regular folk are getting more of their information from the web, these shows will have to try hard to offer something more to the viewer. Each could also stand to increase their online distribution; given that the advertising is within the show, why not distribute on video sharing sites?