Monday, July 26, 2010

The Best Science TV is not on Cable...

About 15 years ago, one had quite a few quality options for finding decent science entertainment on TV, mostly on cable. Three channels in particular became very successful over time: The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and the History Channel.

While the History Channel used to take a good amount of criticism as the "Hitler Channel" due to its over reliance on WWII topics, today's version of this channel, as well as the other two, are shadows of their former selves.

The Learning Channel is probably the biggest culprit for following MTV's lead of having content that has virtually nothing to do with its name and mission statement. While TLC used to have many quality astronomy shows, it now sports endless reality shows about "little people" and tattoo parlors. TLC, at this time, has virtually nothing to do with science or learning. Discovery and History have also falling to new lows with shows about crab fishing, driving trucks in Alaska and endless pseudo-scientific nonsense about aliens and Nostradamus.

But I'm here to say quality science programming DOES exist. Here's a list of online science programming that, in most cases, far exceeds what you will ever find on History, TLC and Discovery in terms of content, quality and entertainment. The production quality of these shows is easily on PAR with the likes of "Planet Earth" and "The Universe", with excellent HD video. I highly recommend viewing in HD as a podcast with your HDTV.

...and the best part! They are all free without the need for a cable subscription!

(My apologies to MythBusters, the only quality science show remaining on cable TV)

The Hubble Telescope has been the scientific achievement of the human race up to this point. While the Apollo Project was Man Kind's top engineering achievement, we have learned most of what we know about the Universe through the eye's of Hubble.

Earth-Touch puts most nature shows on cable to absolute shame. Stunning HD photography, free from any contrived story lines or political biases (mostly). This show, along with its sister marine show should be at the top of every nature lover's list.

Same as above, focusing on marine life.

TED talks are fascinating public lectures about the current state of technology, nature, science and our world. While the lectures themselves have agendas and political bias, the library of lectures through TED does not.

HubbleCast's younger brother, focusing on cutting edge-land based sensors in Andes mountains in Chile.

Cutting edge, high quality updates from the world of NASA. A must for NASA enthusiasts...


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