When I was growing up in the absence of all digital television programming via cable, satellite or otherwise, the only technology program that came through over the air was the infamous Dotto Tech. Dotto Tech was great for learning basics on how to install a printer or use a digital camera, but quickly got old when my knowledge surpassed what was being presented to me. Enter TechTV in 2002 when our family finally upgraded to satellite TV.
TechTV was to Dotto Tech as a Porsche 911 is to a 1926 Ford Station Wagon. While the Station Wagon provided what you needed, it sometimes didn't offer all of the horsepower you needed that the many gears of the Porsche would. TechTV was really cool because you had shows like the infamous The ScreenSavers that dealt with the real nitty-gritty of tech and then you had the opposite end of the spectrum with "Call For Help" that dealt with the more low-grade, common tech questions.
I recently spent some time going through some of the old videos and found myself experiencing a very weird and balanced mixed of excitement and glee like a 9 year old on Christmas with a mixed passionate sadness like a funeral procession.
Unfortunately, sometime in the year 2004, TechTV as many fans knew it was slowly destroyed and phased out when G4 bought majority share of the network and introduced all new shows and hosts. The only remaining original host happens to be the oldest of them and my favourite, Leo Laporte.
The entire cast have all gone off to do wondrous ventures online with new startup companies and podcasting that would have never come about if it weren't for the death of TechTV. In that respect, we owe G4 a great deal for freeing these talented technology enthusiasts and allowing them to do new and innovative work.
For those of you who do not care about what each of these hosts is doing now, I suggest you skip to the end. Otherwise, read on.
Leo, is a very interesting guy. Probably one of the biggest voices in technology today. Many people grew up with him as the original host of The ScreenSavers co-hosted by Kate Botello. Leo is also a frequent weekend voice of KFI Radio in Los Angeles, California. And since leaving TechTV, he has become the star of his own show, The Lab With Leo on G4TechTV as well as produce a dozen audio podcasts on his podcast network TWiT. Sometimes I wonder if this guy ever sleeps.
Leo is by far the most entertaining character of the bunch as he has many different vocal talents and somehow manages to become a comical character on mic and on video. And since he has been prevalent in tech media for such a long time now, he has probably one the widest fan bases in terms of age range.
(No antivirus jokes please.) Patrick is most noted for his frequent association with sledge hammers and the odd appearance on TV with a kilt as well. Since leaving The ScreenSavers, Patrick has gone onto podcasting as well starting with DL.TV and now at Revision3 with most of the other original TechTV crew.
Kevin has really exploded since he left G4TechTV. His leave was one of the most noted ones as he was not merely laid off in the network transition. Kevin left of his own accord after G4TechTV allowed the suspension of his contract. Kevin has went on to create some of the most astounding startup companies that everyone is familiar with. He started with Digg and then went on to create the video podcast network of Revision3. His latest venture is Pownce. Currently an invite only site, here is the what the website explains Pownce as:
Pownce is a way to send messages, files, links, and events to your friends. You'll create a network of the people you know and then you can share stuff with all of them, just a few of them, or even just one other person really fast.
Joshua "Yoshi" DeHerrera
Most noted for his outrageous mods done to all things tech ranging from a cardboard PC case mod to building all-in-one gaming centers that held all of your consoles and a projector. Since the TechTV break up, Yoshi briefly appeared on the now dead From The Shadows podcast and now works as a full-time 3D Laser scanner for major film productions. Most notably, Spider-Man 3, Transformers and The Bourne Ultimatum. Too bad that Yoshi has dropped off the grid otherwise. He was quite a fun character as well.
I actually slipped up here. Leo is not the only remaining original host still with G4TechTV. Morgan Webb also got her start with The ScreenSavers and is currently co-hosting the video game review show X-Play with Adam Sessler. Not only that, but Morgan also does a a video podcast, WebbAlert as well as appear frequently on the Revision3 network.
Moving on, we'll finish with the lovable Martin Sargent. A comedian whom I've often wondered how he got the job with The ScreenSavers in the first place. He doesn't seem to know much about tech and was often used as comic relief of sorts as he did segments on strange websites and flash games. Much of his current work at Revision3 falls under the same category. Hilarious stuff, but by no means technical.
Bitter Sweet Goodbye
While many fans, including myself still mourn the loss of TechTV, it has not all been lost. The aforementioned podcasts will keep bringing us glimmers of nostalgia and joyous new memories. I long for the day that the gang meets up once again to form a new age TechTV. All of the content is there right now, it's just separated. But Kevin Rose seems to be slowly reeling in the remaining hosts into Revision3. It is even rumoured that Revision3 will be experimenting with live internet broadcasting soon. A particularly interesting notion that brings TechTV 2.0 one step closer to reality.
I may have more on this subject as time goes on, bit I just thought I'd let you all in on what I spent the majority of my weekend doing.
Farewell TechTV. I miss you.