The FFC mandated transition to digital television allowed stations to begin broadcasting digital subchannels in addition to their primary channel. Depending on the market, subchannels are available over-the-air (i.e. 30.1, 30.2, 30.3) as well as on cable. Over the next few days I’ll be examining a number of what I call “classic television digital specialty networks” which are distributed primarily via digital subchannels. In most cases, affiliates have the option of taking some or all of the national feed, meaning their schedules may not match the national schedule.
Formerly known as NBC Nonstop, a digital network for NBC’s owned and operated stations, Cozi TV had a soft launch in December 2012 prior to its official launch on January 1st, 2013. You can read my January 7th review of the network here. Wikipedia currently lists 29 stations affiliated with the network. You can check to see if it is available in your area at the Cozi TV website.
The network airs a mixture of classic television shows, old movies and lifestyle program. Among the shows it airs are Charlie’s Angels, The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, Alias Smith and Jones, Banacek, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Virginian and Lassie.
The first thing you’ll probably notice while watching Cozi TV is the aspect ratio. Here’s how I described it in my earlier review:
There are black bars on all four sides rather than the more familiar top and bottom bars (“letterbox”) or right and left bars (“pillarbox”). Bars on all four sides is called “postage stamp” or “windowbox” and is the result of 4:3 SD content being up-converted for 16:9 HD widescreen use and then downconverted when viewed on a 4:3 SD set. You can read more about formats and aspect ratios in this paper prepared for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
Interestingly, while most of the shows seen on Cozi TV are 4:3 SD, Charlie’s Angels is 16:9 HD (upconverted). Here are some screen shots:
It appears all episodes on Cozi TV are edited to fit more commercials. I timed a number of episodes for my review and found most were cut and I recorded and timed a few more episodes the other day. All were missing 4-6 minutes: Charlie’s Angels (43:52), The Lone Ranger (21:53) and Alias Smith and Jones (43:36). The closing credits are not squeezed for promotional spots nor are there voiceovers.
The network features a rather large bug in the lower right hand corner. At the start of every show there is also a large TV rating icon that clutters up the screen. And at least once an hour stations must identify themselves. It all adds up to a lot of clutter:
If you’re a Cozi TV viewer, hit the comments with your thoughts.