Okay, I really don’t like the ABC video player. As we continue our living-without-cable/satellite/rabbit ears experiment, we’re trying out all the video services being offered by the major players. I’ve grudgingly conceded that Hulu does a good job, though it still has problems.
The CBS Innertube, while cleverly named, was a rank disappointment. Friends have assured us that you can pause without reverting to the beginning of a show (or a middle that makes no sense), so we might give it another go. I simply wasn’t that fond of the experience beginning to end.
Last week, in honor of the return of Lost, we decided to check out ABC’s version of free online video service. Like the others, this does what it does in an okay manner. Streaming video, especially across a cable connection, isn’t going to be perfect. We are in the nascency of this technology.
For some reason, none of the major players has been able to effectively sell commercials for their streaming broadcasts. From my perspective, this means that the “limited commercial interruption” isn’t just a marketing slogan…it’s a reality. ABC’s problem is that they use this power for evil.
While you’re trying to enjoy what you want to watch, you’re also treated to constant promotion for other ABC shows. If that weren’t bad enough, the interruptions don’t happen in a graceful seamless manner; no, you have to click to close the ad before resuming your watching activity.
It’s annoying enough that I am hereby demanding that we buy the episodes through iTunes in the future.
Like the other networks/studios (how sad is it that those two words are virtually interchangeable?), ABC doesn’t make it easy for viewers to enjoy their programming from a time shifting perspective. In addition to offering limited options (don’t want to cannibalize those DVD or syndication revenues, now), programs are on an approximately 24-hour time delay. Hmm, maybe that does benefit the time shifters.
Seriously, what’s up with the delay? What logical reason exists for making online viewers — again, if they’re watching online, then there’s an excellent chance that it’s because they don’t have the far-superior option of watching on traditional television. If it’s about building up viewership numbers, then force Nielsen to modernize, count everything that happens during the broadcast window, and make your case.
Also, please stop with the making me load special software (and then vouch for your security certificates because, ABC, the owner of the certificate ain’t you, at least recognizably you). The beauty of YouTube is that I don’t have to do anything special to enjoy progamming. YouTube is your competition. If you’re seeking success, learn from the good and bad of YouTube.