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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



The Kid’s In Control; Guest Blogger Tests TurboNick

October 16, 2006 12:36 PM

Greetings, TVWeek blog readers. You’re in for a real treat today. Today I have brought in a guest reviewer to help me report on Nickelodeon’s broadband channel Turbo Nick, since the cable programmer recently introduced some new features to the service. Fortunately, I keep a five-year old son around the house for this very reason.

We sit down together at the computer and go to nick.com/turbonick.

I ask my special guest blogger what his eye is first drawn to on the page — the icons for the show “Avatar.” We click through and find a list of 79 thumbnails that expand as you mouse over them, providing more info on the clip. The list includes both clips and full episodes of the show. You can arrange the videos by top rated, most viewed, title and date

But we experience some initial problems with the video. When I press the arrow key, it skips to some other “Avatar” video (I think). Then when I hit pause, it won’t start up again.

So my son says, “Let’s get a new episode.”

He chooses a new one. One of the super cool features of the site is you can actually drag and drop videos on top of the player, which is more fun that just hitting “play.”

I try to fast forward to the end of the show by moving the scroll bar all the way across but it won’t take. Rather than scrolling to the end of the episode, it only jumps us a minute or two ahead.

Nickelodeon makes a lot of its playlist capability, so I drag some “Jimmy Neutron” videos onto the playlist icon. But the shows don’t seem to stay there and I have trouble getting them started. I’m not sure how to play them.

Then I have an ‘a ha’ moment. Why don’t I just hand the controls over to my son and see what he can do?

Rather than try to play the video from the playlist, he simply drags it and drops it onto the video player and starts a “Jimmy Neutron” clip.

My conclusion is this: TurboNick could use some tweaks, but the user interface, design and cool way that videos pop out and move around should appeal to the younger crowd.

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