Merry Christmas, and an update!

So this time around, you voted off a poor old man who just wanted to get back together with his family (The Ghoul – 1933). Have you no shame you bunch of heathens???

 

That’s exactly what’s wrong today. We need some religion! With all these bloody movies, scantily clad girls running around, monsters, killings, and who knows what else, we have lost our way. So we’re going to spend this whole next Holy week getting some religion into you!

 

And what better way to do that, than with everyone’s favorite man of the lord (just don’t ask which lord)…

That’s right kiddies, for Christmas this year, not only are you getting a week full of Holiday horror movies hosted by Santa’s scarier elves but also a visit from the man himself, the one and only Sinister Minister!

 

Also, no voting this week, as it’s Christmas, and Lurch is on vacation…

Keep us on the air in the EU!

Let’s talk for a moment about our European Lurkers…
 
Thanks to some greedy idiots in charge at the EU (or as Youtuber CaptainSparklez calls them, “old people”), they are enacting something even worse than the United States’ ill-fated “anti-net neutrality.” Article 13 (and Article 11) will stop our EU-based Lurkers from being able to watch the channel any more.
 
Not due to a copyright issue. Everything we show is either Public Domain, or we have broadcast rights on the items that aren’t public domain.
 
The issue is, under Article 13, if we don’t own the actual copyright itself for each movie we show, we can’t air the material in the EU. Keep in mind, we show Public Domain movies. Meaning there is no copyright for them. According to Article 13, there is no public domain.” Either you hold copyright, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you can’t broadcast that movie.
 
So you can see the bind that leaves us in. A good 24% of our viewership comes from the EU. And we’re about to lose them entirely.
 
By now you’re probably saying “But I don’t live in the EU, so what can I do?”
 
Here’s a handy-dandy link telling you exactly what you can do, no matter where you are:
 
As always, #KeepLurking!

Behind the Scenes: Filler

Another “behind the scenes” post…

This time, let’s talk filler. Filler is everything that “fills” in the space between the movies.

We have 5 major categories of filler:

Blip

Burlesque

Cartoon

Short/Medium/Long (randomly chosen)

Trailer

Of course, there’s special advertisements/occasionals/etc that we add by hand, as well. But for the purpose of this, we’ll just be covering the main 5 categories.

The hardest part is getting a good random mix of filler since Roku doesn’t have a randomization subroutine, yet. So we turn to Lurch. Using a bit of code, Lurch can turn out a nicely randomized list of filler for us to slot (yes, slotting of everything is still done by hand).

Here’s a small sample:

Blip: I Got Kills – 00:00:31

Cartoon: Nursery Scandal – 00:05:31

Burlesque: Sheree Tiger Dance – 00:02:08

Trailer: The 7 Brothers Meet Dracula – 00:02:36

Long: Sleep for Health – 00:10:44

Short: Kevin Ryan – Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – 00:00:60

Burlesque: Indian Love – 00:01:38

Trailer: Assault of the Killer Bimbos – 00:01:50

Blip: Tarantula – 00:00:31

Cartoon: The Tuba Tooter – 00:06:43

0: In Memoriam

Trailer: Cannibal Girls – 00:01:31

Burlesque: Peeping Toms Paradise – 00:02:56

Medium: Make Mine Freedom – 00:09:30

Blip: Dr Black and Mr Hyde – 00:00:31

Cartoon: Comin’ Round the Mountain – 00:06:52

The actual list Lurch is set to generate as filler is about 4 times as long. But my main concern is if we’re overusing or underusing any of the categories? Too many or too few blips, cartoons, burlesque, or trailers?

You tell us, and we’ll adjust it as needed!

OtherWorlds TV is about to be “on Fire!”

Okay Lurkers, you’re probably curious about why I ran that mini-poll last night.

Long story short, we’ve been invited to participate in an early beta program by Amazon. We already use some of their services (the AWS S3 platform is a big part of the channel’s infrastructure), so this is a logical move. After discussing the details of the offer with LaDonna, we decided to go for it.

We’re expanding! It’s not a right-away kind of thing, but we are expanding our platform to cover Amazon Fire TV as well as Roku. Best estimate we can give right now is sometime around “first of the year” for it.

What’s the end result going to be? Well, you’ll have more choices as to where to watch us. Roku will stay our “flagship,” as always. But now we’re adding Amazon Fire TV, and that (eventually) opens up all Android devices to the mix, too! So you’ll be able to watch us on nearly any device you want!

The channel layouts across both platforms will be the same, so no worries on deciding how you want it.

We have a few other things in the works, so just be patient with us. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with more “behind the scenes” stuff.

For now though, just #KeepLurking!

Behind the Scenes: Choosing Movies

Time for another quick peek “behind the scenes” here…
 
The question is: How does Lurch choose the movies to show each week?
 
Here’s the short version: Weights.
 
Here’s the slightly longer version: By using weighted values attached to each movie.
 
Here’s the slightly longer, more technical version: We tell Lurch “Give us x movies to run next week.” So Lurch checks the database and sees 643 movies total.
 
Then he removes any movies that have been sent to the farm, and any movies that were aired in the last 30 days.
 
With that slightly shorter list, he takes each movie and attaches a “weight” to it.
 
That “weight” is actually a number based on two things: 1, the number of votes (if any) the movie has received in any weekly poll, and 2, the inverse of the “viewer impression” number given to us by Vimeo (that tells us how many people watched a specific movie, and how long the average viewer watched it). If it’s a movie we haven’t aired before, and we have no data for it, Lurch is clever enough to check overall ratings, like on IMDB, for the same titles.
 
Basically, if a movie received votes in a weekly poll, that makes the movie heavier. If it had a higher impression number, that makes it lighter.
 
Then, he drives all the movies out to the old fishing hole up near the farm, and tosses them all in. Some of them bob happily on the surface, and others start to sink (don’t worry, he takes them all out and dries them off, eventually). The first x movies that swim back to him end up on that week’s list, while the rest get placed back in storage for next time.
 
So by voting off movies you don’t care for, even if they don’t get sent to the farm for a long time, they still “weigh” more and don’t get selected as often.
 
The longer we run, the “smarter” Lurch gets when he chooses movies. So eventually, you’ll get exactly the movies you like best, even if you didn’t know about them!