NAB countdown and other notes

David Rehr and Gilbert Huph

NAB past president David Rehr (left) and Mr. Incredible's old boss Gilbert Huph

The NAB Show is just a couple of weeks away, which means that today is about the last time I can talk about the NAB president who presided over the 2009 show. David Rehr probably had some great skills and ideas, but every time I saw him, all I could think of is how much he reminded me of Mr. Incredible’s old insurance company boss Gilbert Huph. He was nowhere near as short as Huph, but he wasn’t tall enough to dispel the similarity. The main thing was that Rehr seemed to be perpetually squinting. When I first saw him on stage, I really thought that someone must have tilted a light in his eyes. Nope. He just looked that way a lot. I hope he’s doing well somewhere else now.

(That photo of Huph, shamelessly copied from my friends at the Internet Movie Database, is © 2004 Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, but I think this is fair use of it. I loved The Incredibles. I saw it in a theater. I bought the soundtrack CD. I bought the DVD. You should too. Please don’t hurt me, oh mighty Disney lawyers. And Rehr’s photo is from last year’s show, only about a month before he resigned.)

The current NAB president is a former US Senator from Oregon, Gordon Smith. He strikes me as someone who has a better chance of persuading Congress to do more of what the NAB wants. Best of all, he doesn’t remind me of any cartoon characters. Maybe I’ll check out his keynote speech.

* The NAB Show exhibit floor opens April 12, and you have until about April 4 to get a free exhibits pass. Stan Lee will be at the NAB Show this year. So will Michael J. Fox, NBC’s Dick Ebersol, lots of 3D demonstrations, and a whole lot of satellite equipment in one place. Just go to the NAB Show site and register with code AM15. Rooms at Circus Circus, the Sahara and downtown are really cheap, and some other rooms in Vegas are really good. Come join me!

If you plan to visit, please drop me a line so we can see if we can get together. I’d love to meet more of the people who read this blog!

* Also please drop me a line if you see any ads on FTAList that link to sites that promote piracy. Most of the ads there come from Google AdSense, a fine program that pays for FTAList’s hosting bills. Unless specified otherwise, any site can bid on ad space, and sometimes pirates have used this process to buy ads on FTAList. I can manually screen out individual sites, but I have to notice them first. If you see a pirate ad before I do, please let me know.

* Lately I’ve been tweeting about the latest advances of Freeview, the UK’s FTA satellite TV service. Every time I post one of those tweets, I think about our old friends at FreeDBS, the group that wants to put a couple dozen channels up on a North American satellite. For a long list of all the puzzle pieces they’ve been assembling, you really ought to visit their site.

I asked Edward Raisley, their technical adviser and a commenter here, if he had anything new to share with you. Raisley said that they’re working on organizing a new mixed martial arts league for the Free Fight channel. That’s the great thing about FreeDBS; it dares to think big. Here’s hoping that we’ll see that channel with a bunch of others some time sort of soon.

What, you hadn’t noticed my tweets? Please follow FTAList on Twitter, then you too can get a few bits of satellite news every week.