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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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