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Old 03-15-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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AOL In2TV - Broadband television has arrived!!

Right now and today, you can watch good quality streaming television shows on your broadband internet connected PC! This is no longer just a promise, but it's available this very moment from AOL. And no, you don't have to be an AOL member. It's for everyone.

The service does show an ad in the beginning of your tv show. And selection is limited to a fixed set of shows. On the other hand, many episodes are available. Included are shows like La Femme Nikita, Babylon5, Wonder Woman, Eight is Enough, Lois and Clark, Chico and the Man, F-Troop, Maverick, The FBI, and the list goes on and on.

I've been waiting months for this to go from a splash page promising early 2006 to a full online service. So just to give it a try I picked the pilot of Babylon 5. I like scifi, but never really gave that show a look. Turns out that when I tried to view the show in FireFox, it objected. It asked me to download an ActiveX extension. I caved in and allowed it. Than I got an error saying that I needed a security upgrade for WMP. I said yes. Then finally, I got another error saying what they should have told me in the first place - you have to use the special AOL player.

At that point, it took me to IE anyway, so I went with the flow. Maybe someone will get it to work in FireFox, but I settled for IE to make my first attempt. It worked fine. You have to watch a blip about the service, and then a regular 30-sec commercial came on for KIA, and then the show started. At that point, I also had the option to see the program in full screen mode. A little blurry if I stay close to the screen, but if I scoot back a bit it's fine. Not HDTV by any means, but fine.

I did see a couple small blips for buffering hiccups at the beginning, but seems to be fine after that. All in all a great, great looking service even with the requirement to use their viewer.

Now if they would only come up with some pda/smartphone clients! Maybe this is one more reason to go with Origami!
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Old 03-15-2006, 03:45 PM   #2
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A bit more info is available here...
http://cdn.digitalcity.com/_media/hi...ula_popup.html

And interestingly, it turns out that they allow you to seek to a new location in the show without having to watch commercials all over again.

Requirements include:
* Windows XP (not 64-bit Professional x64 Edition)
* IE 6.0
* WMP 10

So it's not surprising FireFox didn't work for me.
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Old 03-15-2006, 03:58 PM   #3
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I looked at this yesterday and I was just about to cancel my $100 cable monopoly subscription. It would be great -- If I wasn't a Mac user
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:06 PM   #4
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Some more info (for Windows users, sorry)... here's what seems to be a list of the programs available:

Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
Alice
Babylon 5
Beetlejuice
Chico and the Man
Dark Justice
Eight is Enough
F Troop
Falcon Crest
Freakazoid
Freddy's Nightmares
Growing Pains
Hanging With Mr. Cooper
Head of the Class
Histeria
Kung Fu
La Femme Nikita
Lois and Clark
Maverick
New Adventures of Batman
Perfect Strangers
Pinky and the Brain
Scarecrow & Mrs. King
Sisters
Spenser for Hire
The F.B.I.
The Fugitive
V
Welcome Back Kotter
Wonder Woman

And they offer dvd sets of the shows for sale, which may bring in part of their revenue to support the service. The advertising should be lucritive. So should the increased brand awareness, publicity and good-will for AOL in general.

I'd love to see this succeed, and much more of these sorts of shows become readily available for a long, long time.
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:24 PM   #5
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And in case you hadn't heard yet... ABC will soon be streaming shows online with commercials included, available about 8hrs after broadcast.
http://www.paidcontent.org/pc/arch/2...5.shtml#054107
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
...La Femme Nikita...
Great show! I used to watch it a lot while I was still in college!
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Old 03-15-2006, 04:32 PM   #7
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Frankly, if you have to use their viewer, and this isn't something you can use from within Media Center, it's not very good. Requiring an Active X control is incredibly 1990s and a very bad idea from a security point of view.

To say nothing of all the Mac and Linux users out there.
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Old 03-15-2006, 05:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobR
Requirements include:
* Windows XP (not 64-bit Professional x64 Edition)
* IE 6.0
* WMP 10

So it's not surprising FireFox didn't work for me.
Bummer. Why would they want ppl to use IE 6.0 when everyone makes the switch to Firefox?
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Old 03-15-2006, 10:07 PM   #9
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Linux & Mac only here... So no dice. Also, is it just me or does the interface seem unnecessarily confusing?
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:16 AM   #10
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Actually it works on my machine running firefox. It did ask to install a plugin. The adverts ran without a glitch ... but it just stops there after. *bum*

EDIT: oh, and I think Youtube.com does it better. Although its content is somewhat you know ... not that In2TV is any greater if you ask me.

Last edited by Snappy!; 03-17-2006 at 12:26 AM.
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