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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



NBC Online Can't Keep Pace With Conan

August 31, 2007 12:24 PM

NBC began streaming “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” this week.

The first late-night talk show to stream online, it posts the morning after each episode on NBC.com.

Now, as you may recall, I had some trouble with NBC.com’s online video way back in the day—oh, say, eight long months ago. But the site has steadily improved its technology and usability.

So I was eager to learn if NBC could pull off the Conan offering. For starters, the show is relatively easy to find, via a button on the home page promoting the online episodes.

The site had no trouble whatsoever playing the pre-roll ad. But the video stopped after that, so I had to start over to load the episode. It did play this go-round, but the first minute of the show—the introduction—was marred by stuttering, a la Web video 1999, literally every two to three seconds. The video smoothed out at the start of the monologue for about a minute.

But the buffering kicked in again, stalling the video for three to four seconds every three to four seconds.

Great concept, great idea, needs work.

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