Happy 4th Birthday, EMN!

It's time for the annual EMN Update!

By: Erin

Posted: February 12, 2024

Every year, Mandy and I load up EMN with new shows and movies. Obviously, we are subject to the space on the drive, and some years we have more to consider than other, but it’s fun to take stock of things we’ve watched recently or to check out shows that have made a splash or we stumble upon accidentally on streaming services, and consider how they may fit the overall vision of EMN. I see EMN as an art project as much as a piece of entertainment, and it’s not enough for a piece of art to just be enjoyable to us. The criteria is loose, but much like horror, we know it when we see it.

The EMN programming guide has been updated with this year’s additions, and thanks to a great suggestion by Mandy you can actually tell what they are thanks to the cute “New” GIF marking each one. EMN only gets better every year, and I hope to keep that up.

I was doing a little research last week, and while we consider February the EMN Anniversary, apparently we didn’t start the channel in its full form until March 2nd, 2020. The timeline goes something like this:

February 13th, 2020: I get the idea to hook up a Roku to the guest TV and start watching YouTube and Toonami Aftermath.

February 16th, 2020: I watch the Cowboy Bebop episode Hard Luck Woman as it airs on Toonami Aftermath, which is the last push needed to start the EMN project.

February 18th, 2020: I get my new VCR and a modulator and start testing things like digital antennas and modulating tapes and DVDs to display on the CRT. We start collecting DVD rips and other files to play on what would become EMN.

February 24th, 2020: I follow the Probnot’s Tech tutorial to create the unit and run our first test run. I then start manually watermarking every main piece of programming using a program designed to do that. It takes around a week.

March 2nd, 2020: On our second break from work we come home to finally launch EMN for the first time. The first video to play is “(NEW WR) American Dad speedrun attempt 19.08 using floor clip glitch news paper skip.mkv”.

February was a huge planning month, but that’s why we consider it the anniversary – it was the birth of it all. Mandy worked so hard with so many of the concepts and lists of initial programming that while I may have handled the technical side of it, they’re the real heart of the project.

So, what does the new year hold? Well, I want to share EMN with more people, for one. I want to continue making bumpers and imaging for the network, and I want to tighten up every channel further. I want to work on more articles for the website, including porting over the tutorial I made for Medium back in 2020 and adding a page full of all the equipment I use to make this station work, and adding extra instructions on how to incorporate bumpers and branding into your own channel. It’s happening soon, really! I promise!

Mandy and I are also working on more “blather” posts and articles as a whole, include some musings and opinion pieces on media controversies and such, so look out for those. More writing! More! More!

Now, speaking of the EMN update, the toughest part was preparing episodes of The Chase for use on the channel. The versions I had all contained several minutes of no-signal screens or timecodes to start, and I wanted them to start when they should. Rather than drag each individual episode into LosslessCut (an otherwise very useful program!) I needed to bulk remove the first two minutes (or in some cases one minute) from a folder of files. To do that, I was able to find some code online that I’m backing up here.

Here is the code which I saved in a file called trim.cmd. Make sure you have FFMpeg installed and put the .cmd file in the folder full of files you want to trim. Change vFileType to the extension of the files you’re cutting, set the TrimOffFront and TrimOffRear values to what you need, and make sure the ffmpegPath value is configured correctly. Then you just run it and voila, a whole folder of trimmed files in just a minute or two. Very useful!

As always, thanks to everyone who checks out the EMN website, and a personal thanks to Mandy who is the light of my life and helps make all this possible. I’m excited for all the creativity the future holds. Until next time!