US troops in Japan are getting a massive server array to improve their TV. But instead of delivering what-you-want/when-you-want programming like TiVo, the servers will simply bump all shows 9 hours ahead. See any problems?
Part of me is happy for the Army and Air Force troops at the Yokota Air Base in Japan. I am all for taxpayer dollars going to improve our overseas troops' American TV watching experience (even if Heroes has crashed and burned, at least Fringe is there to take its place). But this seems like a form of suppression: The channels playback in realtime, 9 hours later. As far as I can tell, you can't even fast-forward through commercials, let alone the hours of crap TV in between the good bits.
Each of the 33 channels gets its own dedicated server, so why can't each channel timeshift at the whim of whoever's watching that particular channel? Give our boys (and girls) in uniform a damned remote, Uncle Sam! I'm pretty sure they've earned it.
If this was a true rant, I'd get more into this "9 hours ahead" business. Sure, it's showing American TV at the Japanese prime time, but if my calculations are correct, it's a day off. Which means they get Thursday's Must See TV on Friday night? I'll take Liz Lemon any day of the week, but making people wait till Monday to see Amazing Race, that's just cruel and unusual. That said, at least sports and news will be broadcast in realtime. [Stars and Stripes via CNet]