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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



CNN Pipeline – Thumbs Down; CNN.com Video – Thumbs Up

October 24, 2006 12:47 PM

Late last week, CNN.com informed me that its video covering the network’s reports on the Iraq sniper videos had been streamed more than 1.2 million times by Oct. 20.

So I click on the link the network sent me, and a window pops up, asking me to install some sort of additional file from CNN Pipeline, the network’s broadband video service.

But the installation doesn’t work. I contact a network spokeswoman and she suggests I try CNN.com/video. The sniper clip is no longer featured on the home page on Oct. 23, but I browse other videos and click on a train plowing into a truck. Again, I am asked to install a file for Pipeline. I try again and continue to get error messages.

I choose to uninstall Pipeline and then see if I can watch the videos simply on CNN.com

But Pipeline won’t let me uninstall! So I restart the computer. I then am able to successfully uninstall Pipeline.

This time, I go straight to CNN.com and click on a video for ex-Enron chief Jeff Skilling’s 24-year prison sentence, meted out on Monday. (I just chose that video so I could use the word “mete.” I mean, how often to do you get to say “mete” in the TV business?)

And what do you know? A video player loads and launches immediately. The story runs and then segues smoothly into the next one on a death row decision related to a murder from 25 years ago. When that video finishes, a five-second countdown appears and then whooshes me right into the next video. The player even takes the time to inform me I can select another video.

Well, why not? There are three tabs listing top videos, related videos and “picks.” I choose top videos and watch a few seconds of that train/truck crash after all. Then I spot a browse button. I click that and it brings up a list of several videos in various categories.

Indeed, CNN.com is easy to navigate and offers several ways in and out of the video. It’s CNN Pipeline that I am blackballing.

Well, for now.

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