DEAR SUN SPOTS: Why can’t you use all the channels on your brand new flat-screen, 3-D, surround-sound, top-of-the-line television? You have 139-plus channels, and the only ones that you are allowed to use is Channel 3 or 4, depending on your area, for the one delivering the signal (satellite and cable), HDMI 1, and maybe 2, and an AV output for your video games, what about the rest of the channels? Why do the television companies make the television with all the channels if you can’t use them?
I do hope that you can answer this one for me. I thought maybe you would know. Thank you for all that you do for the community. Keep up the good work. — Scott Touchette, [email protected]
ANSWER: How many channels you use depends on how you receive your signal. If you are like Sun Spots and get your signal over the air, you use whatever channels are available in that region.
For example, a new digital TV allows viewers to pick up three stations from Maine Public Television: 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 in much of the state in addition to the local networks, all of whom broadcast over-the-air digital signals.
If you have a newer TV and you receive your signal via a cable or satellite provider, you may be able to watch some channels via your TV’s QAM tuner; for others you may need a digital set-top box, depending on your level of service.
Also, technology is changing constantly. Maintaining those extra channels may seem pointless now, but who knows about tomorrow?
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is “Judge Judy” filmed in New York or in California? If in California, why do they show New York? If filmed in California, I find it deceiving that they portray it as being in New York. What is the reason for this? Thank you. — No Name via email
ANSWER: According to several websites, Judge Judy is filmed in Los Angeles. At answers.yahoo.com it said:
“‘Judge Judy’ is filmed at the Tribune production studios, now known as Sunset Bronson Studios as of early 2008, on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, Calif., … directly beside the Judge Joe Brown set in the same studios.
“Despite its California location, upon returning from commercial breaks the show displays various images of New York City, including a subway train that is passing by the camera which reads World Trade Center, but is only noticeable if the footage is paused. It also features the phrases ‘State of New York’ and ‘Family Court’ ([Judge Judy] Sheindlin was previously a New York family court judge) within the letterboxes used going to and from breaks since the ninth season. The set features a New York state flag behind Sheindlin’s seat.”
Sun Spots does not know why they do this, but she suspects it’s financial. It is probably cheaper for them to shoot in Los Angeles. If you want to complain about the switcheroo, you can write to Judge Judy is P.O. Box 949, Hollywood, CA 90078 or call 1-888-800-JUDY (5839).
Here is some additional information about the show you might find interesting:
“In order to ensure a full audience, the producers … hire extras who comprise the entire gallery. … Once all the cases are through, all of the audience members receive payment.
“The extras must be dressed formally. Extras are also instructed to appear as if they are having discussions with each other, before and after each case, so the bailiff may make announcements, such as ‘Order! All rise’ and ‘Parties are excused, you may step out.’
“As far as the court cases are concerned however, what is seen on ‘Judge Judy’ is neither staged nor scripted. The plaintiffs have actually sued the defendants and that very case is heard and decided upon by Judith Sheindlin.
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]