See, there. I’ve admitted what my wife and friends have said for years. I am a gadget head, whether I own the equipment or not. And this love affair with technology and gadgets is what attracts me to tech podcasts and video podcasts like Revision3’s gadget show “InDigital”.
Billed as “Your Life in Gear”, “InDigital” explores the devices of our digital lifestyles: cameras, camcorders, cell phones, GPS, media centers, HD Radio, music players, computers, accessories. Name a gadget, “InDigital” and it’s hosts Hahn Choi, Jessica Corbin and Will Wheaton have deftly covered it.
In reviewing several recent episodes, Choi and Corbin — Wheaton was missing — informed me about upconverted DVD players, the iPhone, HD Radio, media centers for the living room, iPod with video accessories, digital cameras, a camcorder, an internet phone, and gaming consoles.
Choi, Corbin, and Wheaton are experienced in all matters gadget, and if they are weak on a particular subject they bring in special guests like the amazing Robert Heron of “DL.TV” fame. Choi was a former tech analyst on TechTV’s “Fresh Gear”, the “ScreenSavers”, “Call for Help”, and “Filter”. Corbin is the former host of “Fresh Gear” and has an extensive background as a TV host. Wheaton, is, well, Will Wheaton, actor, author, denizen of the Internet.
As far as tech podcasts and video podcasts go, I found Choi and Corbin intelligent, informative, affable, but bland, especially when cross talking between reviews. They seemed like musicians vamping between songs, or a television reporter filling broadcast airtime.
Chemistry between hosts and guests is always an important ingredient, no matter if they’re on traditional television or radio or the Internet. The banter between Leo Laporte, John C. Dvorak, and others on “This Week in Technology” is a part of the show’s success. The friendly but testy relationships Steve Gillmor had with the former “Gillmor Gang” members added tension and interest.
Choi and Corbin are just likable, not memorable.
The format of their show is also somewhat limited. “InDigital” covers gadgets. It reviews gadgets. During the course of a review Choi and Corbin may touch on news or topics of interest, but the show is still dedicated to … gadgets.
To me, education about gadgets, technology, and their uses is just as important and fun to watch as the reviews. “InDigital” provided Heron’s discussion about digital TV technology, 480p, 1080i, progressive scanning, interlaced sets, which was great. I’d like to see “InDigital” do more of these stories.
It occurred to me watching the show that “InDigital” reviews hundreds of products and is a tremendous resource for us gadget heads. So why don’t I use it when I am in the market for a new gadget? I should. I invest time in watching the show. I’ve grown to trust the opinions of Choi, Corbin, and Wheaton, but when I go to buy something I turn to amazon.com or CNET or some other non-podcasting or video podcasting source for customer reviews and information.
As with most tech shows, I can go to its website or blog and look at show notes. “InDigital” does a nice job of this, listing all products reviewed, price, and availability, and it has an accompanying forum for viewers to discuss the shows. But it’s way too cumbersome to use, even for us gadget heads.
“InDigital” is available at the iTunes Music Store and other podcast or video podcast directories. Feeds include Quicktime, Theora, Windows Media, and Xvid, both large and small downloads. The website also lists Torrents feeds.