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.


Trial and Error

Can’t Trick KPIX Player; CBS Station Site Video Rates High

September 26, 2006 10:35 AM

Television public relations representatives will occasionally offer up one of their online properties for the Trial and Error blog test. The latest guinea pig is KPIX-TV, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco. The PR representative sent me an e-mail on Monday, Sept. 25 titled “check out our video player for your blog.” How could a reporter resist?

I click on the link provided in the e-mail, which takes me to a KPIX web page for “30 Minutes Bay Area,” a quarterly KPIX program that’s a local spin-off of “60 Minutes.”

I hit play on the embedded video player and the video launches immediately with an IKEA ad in front of the show. I run the usual tests – pause, fast forward, rewind – and they all work. The “enlarge” button instantly shifts the video to about double the size, but the video looks a bit pixilated so I shrink it back down.

I fiddle around with other options – playlist, search and browse. I choose a simple search term: cats. The search results include a plethora of cat videos, including clips from the Moscow Cats Theater, a story about 56 cats living under one roof in San Jose and an August piece about a mountain lion attack.

I click on the browse button which showcases the most recent news stories, such as a 49ers press conference. I go for the final test. I enter KPIX.com directly into the browser window to see if we can easily find videos from the home page.

It’s like magic. In the upper right hand corner of the home page sits the embedded video player, just waiting to be played. I click on the 49ers press conference video and the coach starts talking.

This almost works too well. I must be able to trip this site up. So I click “video library” and enter “30 Minutes Bay Area” to see if the site will deliver me to the original video.

And it does.

Hats off KPIX. You’ve done good.


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