May 9th, 2009 09th


French TV: First Impression

I have a nice setup in my room here in Paris. My roommate Saam is away for a couple of weeks, so I’ve taken the router into my room and have everything connected here.

So first of all, there’s the N9uf ADSL router bringing high-speed internet. Then I have 3 ethernet cables coming out of it: one for the Mac Mini (I can do wifi, but it’s a lot faster with the cable, when this should NOT be the case), another for the Iomega multimedia HD hard drive (1 TB), where I have all of the entertainment and backup stored (whenever I download anything, I move it to the hard disk via the network), and finally, the TV box provided by N9uf that brings a whole range of channels.

The TV box is connected to my 22″ LCD via an HDMI cable, because, believe it or not, there are a number of channels that are broadcasted in HD! Then I have regular speakers connected via a Y cable to get the sound out of the computer and the TV box at the same time.

So if you haven’t noticed, I’m very excited about the setup, but I’m equally excited about getting to now French TV. I’ve been flipping through the channels lately, and I’m generally not a TV guy at all, so everything to me seems to be happening really fast, and nothing really gets my attention. But for the sake of learning the language, I try to follow the programs and pick up on the tone of voice and context.

From what I’ve seen, the French seem to really enjoy game shows, I’ve seen a dozen already! That’s good because a lot of them are based on general knowledge questions. So not only do I get to learn the language, but I also get to learn about interesting facts of life.

LOTS of commercials, or as they introduce them, PUB. I’ve noticed many of the commercials are selling cream and beauty products, what’s up with that? And even though they stuff quite a number of commercials repeatedly, they announce them right before starting, and right after they’re over.

I’ve personally been enjoying the “boring” documentaries. Programs talking about “Seafood in Japan”, or “Life in Brazil” are ideal for me. Firstly, they seem to be targeting the elders, because they talk rather slow and the shots are all calm, so it allows me to follow. Secondly, I find these kind of topics a lot more interesting than all the other junk on TV. Most importantly, you can join in half way through the documentary and not worry too much, as oppose to your average daily program that has you completely lost if you’re not paying attention from the first minute.

It’s rather gloomy outside, so today might be a good chance for me to take the learning “inside”.