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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



AOL Video Plays NBC Show Without a Hitch

September 13, 2006 12:41 PM

At the start of the week, AOL posted the first episode of NBC’s new fall show “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” on its Web site in advance of the show’s Sept. 18 on-air premiere (http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=10708). The AOL/NBC partnership is the latest in a slew of duets between portals and broadcasters. MSN will stream CW shows, Yahoo CBS shows, and so on.

I type AOLVideo.com into the browser, which whisks me to the main portal for AOL Video. That may sound elemental; the browser should take me there, of course. But portals don’t always take you to where you want to go, so I consider this a victory for the consumer and the portal. Right in the middle of the AOL Video home page lies an image from the show with a note, “See Entire Episode Before It Premieres on NBC.” I click on the picture and the AOL Video Player opens, asking for my Internet speed. I select “broadband” and the video starts in about two seconds.

I test out various features—pause, play and full screen. They all work. Then I go for the piece de resistance, thinking I can trip AOL with my ploy to push that little scroll button that lets you jump several minutes ahead. I move it all the way to 13 minutes into the show. Wild, I know. But, the video still played. I toyed with that option a few more times, jumping ahead to 45 minutes even, all in an effort to see if I could flummox AOL Video. No such luck. Hats off to AOL Video and NBC for a top notch user experience.

NBC’s "Twenty Good Years" is next. It goes live online on AOL on Oct. 4.

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