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

CBS Stations and the Big Play Button

May 31, 2007 11:29 AM

The CBS Stations Group launched a new video player for its owned station Web sites last week. I’ve always liked what CBS has done online for its local stations so I am eager to check out the new player.

To get started, I check out the tutorial video that CBS sent me. This one is hosted on the WCCO site. The station’s Jeanette Trompeter talks about the addition of the big play button.

Oh, be still my beating heart. I love nothing better online than the big play button, that enticing, silhouetted arrow icon that lures me into any online video. Who am I, mere mortal reporter waxing on about online video, to resist its allure? Next, Jeannette points out the countdown clock that tells you how many minutes are left in the video. Who doesn’t love that? Then she mentions the “pop out” feature but I don’t see a link for it.

No matter. Now that I’ve finished my less than two-minute tutorial—a length suited to satisfy my online attention deficit side—I head straight to www.cbs5.com to see the video player in action.

OK, here’s the best part. The video window is on the home page, it stays on the home page, it plays instantly and easily without buffering, and, yes, it’s got that big play button. I have no choice. I’m swooning, actually swooning, as I watch this video.

My one criticism is when I mouse over the video while watching it, I’d like for the play button to pop back up so I can pause it.

One more thing. I also check out www.cbs2.com for good measure and I do spot the “pop out” feature. It’s kind of cool and pops the video out into a separate window.

Every media company should check out what the owned CBS stations are doing online with video. Really. It’s that easy to use. Some networks, ahem, could learn a lesson.


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