ABC Streaming is Live

may 1, 2006

ABC has launched their streaming site today.  I watched parts of Alias and Lost on it to see what it is like:  It is not bad at all!  The size of the stream is actaully pretty large -- not some postage stamp size window.  The stream is pretty steady on my 1.5Mbits DSL connection.  There are some compression artifacts, but that is expected -- and they are not that bad. Now, the commercials:  They are not too bad, they do require some interaction though.  You can search through an episode, but you can't skip a commercial (duh).  So, I searched to the each commercial break to see what it was like.  The show hits the commercial break and then there is a sudden -- almost jarring -- stop.  The screen switches sizes and the commercial runs, during the commercial you are told how much longer it will run (a great thing), at the end of the commercial you'll have to click a "Continue with the Show" button (not such a great thing).  All in all, the implementation of ads in the stream is quite well thought out, it definitely favors the advertisers more than the views (that one last interactive "Click here" part), but that's OK. One great thing is that the ABC viewer works on the Mac platform in Camino!  Wow!  I thought they may have gone the typical route of Windows + IE + Windows Media Player, but they didn't.  Bravo to ABC for such open-mindedness!  I wish Yahoo! Broadcast would soon change their player so that it doesn't rely on Windows + IE + Windows Media Player. So, the verdict?  So far, from what I have tested, ABC Show Streaming is a great product.  It sure beats paying Apple to watch a missed episode!  Give it a shot, let me know what you think.