Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A digital leap for TV...

...they just should have looked first...

Many stations out there now have begun to cut out the middle man of torrents and other P2P applications and have started a new trend of just putting their shows on the net themselves.

I would like to say first and foremost, that this is an excellent idea, and I commend each and every television station contributing to this effort.

Now, as we all know, television is a business. The net is just another branch that those businesses have started to reach out to. And what is business without a little competition to keep it advancing? As a result we have many variations of essentially the same product out there now. I feel it is my job to let not only you, the consumer, know which is best, but also to inform the companies of what they are lacking, as well as encourage them to continue bettering their products and services. Due to the fact that not everybody has cable or satellite, I will just be mentioning the broadcast station web-TV sites for this post.

So here is your ThinkingBiggar review of "Web-TV":

First off we have CBS. It is first for two reason. #1, it is the lowest channel on my TV, and #2 they have unmatched web-TV.

  • The most complete collection of shows
  • Easy to navigate display
  • Original content
  • True full screen display
  • commercials are far less obtrusive than the other sites
  • Video search function
  • The only real con is that the audio control is not a slider, but hey, I crank that sucker up to full anyways
  • aside from that, I have experienced some problems when I go to play a new episode of a show.
Over all, I give them 5 Happy Thoughts-

Next up we have ABC. ABC's player is rather easy to use, and why they do get a point for style, I have to take that same point right back for sheer annoyance.

  • Sleek and good looking
  • Original content
  • Search bar
  • Fair amount of shows available online
  • Mini video mode - I personally don't know why you would want it smaller but if you do, there you go
  • SLOW, it is slow to load, the navigation is slow, I mean by the time I get to a show I want to watch i am already bored of ABC's player
  • Also no audio control is rather frustrating
Overall, I give them 2 Happy Thoughts -

Now we come to NBC. While NBC has some of my favorite shows around, they could use some work in their web-player department. Not much mind, you, but some.

  • Original Content
  • Moderately full list of shows
  • Easy to navigate
  • Full Screen-ish
  • You are taken out of full screen during each commercial
  • Full screen is really just large with the window removed
  • Switching between different shows is more of a hassle than the other players
Over all I give them 3 Happy Thoughts- they would get 4 if they would stop the commercials from exiting out of full screen mode

The CW... This one just flat out hurts to look at, let alone use. Don't get me wrong, the CW has some great features, but the player itself does a number on their score.

  • Ample original content
  • fair number of shows
  • easy to navigate
  • they run an RSS feed
  • Commercials pull you back down to the small player screen, making watching a pain, severely dropping their score
Overall, I give them 1 Happy Thought for the RSS feed-

It is sad though, because The CW's sister station MyNetworkTV has a rather amazing player, yet no real content. So unfortunately they get no Happy Thoughts today.

Now Should The CW adopt MyNetworkTV's player, they could boost their score considerably.

Finally, Fox. Fox gets the job done with a degree of style, but not so much as it gets in the way.

  • Easy to navigate
  • Easy to select new shows
  • Enough shows where you won't get bored
  • BETA- that is right folks, FOX's player is just in beta right now which means they are still looking to improve it
  • Short commercials
  • Lacking in original content
  • No quick select for full screen
  • Lacking true full screen
Overall I give them 3 Happy Thoughts, however due to the fact that they are still improving the player, I will toss in one extra for them to encourage them, so that is 4 all together-

So an overview,



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