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View Full Version : ABC to Offer Free Streams of TV Shows Also Sold via iTunes


dbhays
Apr 10, 2006, 09:05 AM
ABC will start to offer LOST and Desperate Housewives for free, being supported by advertisers (not on itunes?) Link (http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/14308798.htm)

I wonder if this will start to effect sales on itunes? I know I will download them for free, even if it means a few commercials.


Update: The service will be launched on a new venture called My ABC. Link (http://www.tvsquad.com/2006/03/02/my-abc-will-offer-free-downloads-of-hit-shows/)

nbs2
Apr 10, 2006, 09:13 AM
At the risk of being incredibly wrong and looking quite the fool - if they are not available on iTunes, I would expect a huge drop in the cashe of iTMS video sales. Most TV shows I watch once and that's good enough. If I can get it for free and on demand, I have no reason to watch it on my TV and I have no reason to pay for it. The only time I think I might want to keep a show I'd save money and buy the entire season. The only type of show that I can think of that would remain ideal for the iTMS format is the Hitchcock Presents format where each show is fully self contained - no character or story overlap.

That being said, I hope I'm wrong - maybe it will be on iTMS or at the least the Store will remain strong.

paddy
Apr 10, 2006, 09:21 AM
Isnt Jobs on the Disney board of directors now?? If yes wouldnt this be a major conflict of interest for him?

student_trap
Apr 10, 2006, 09:34 AM
it may sound like an obvious question but... will you be able to fast forward through the adds? or will it be like it is on some dvd's where you have to watch all the promotional stuff

M. Malone
Apr 10, 2006, 12:13 PM
it may sound like an obvious question but... will you be able to fast forward through the adds? or will it be like it is on some dvd's where you have to watch all the promotional stuff

you can fast forward, but not the commercials:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/10/news/companies/disney.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes

emw
Apr 10, 2006, 12:18 PM
you can fast forward, but not the commercials:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/10/news/companies/disney.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes
Well that certainly makes it less attractive.

student_trap
Apr 10, 2006, 12:37 PM
you can fast forward, but not the commercials:
http://money.cnn.com/2006/04/10/news/companies/disney.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes

i suppose that that makes it ok for watching once, but not for keeping. Which is obviously what their aim is...i.e. if you want to collect a series as a unit, you must purchase it

M. Malone
Apr 10, 2006, 12:48 PM
Well that certainly makes it less attractive.

with TV shows, as many have mentioned, you really don't wanna keep it to see it again, so I wouldn't mind commercials as opposed to paying $2, but if Apple offers this video service for TV shows for say $0.70 or less and made the file "self destruct" after viewing by 24 hours, so you can download 10 episodes, keep them for as long as you want, but after you have viewed them, the clock starts ticking, you can rewind and play around with it before the file stops working. I think that would be great.

Nermal
Apr 10, 2006, 02:40 PM
It's a good idea, but I'm not holding my breath - they'll probably attach "USA only" and "Windows only" restrictions to it :(

Edit: Yep, they check your IP address and only let you in if you're in the USA.

Nikhil72
Apr 10, 2006, 03:47 PM
The videos are encoded in Flash8 and will apparently work with Macs according to http://playlistmag.com/news/2006/04/10/abc/index.php.

MacRumors
Apr 10, 2006, 06:22 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Disney-ABC announced today in a press release (http://www.disneyabctv.com/datvg_press/dispDNR.html?id=041006_06) that four TV shows, including three currently sold in the iTunes Music Store, will be made available for viewing at the ABC website the day after their network broadcasts, as part of an experiment during May and June.

"Commander in Chief", "Desperate Housewives", and "Lost" are already sold through the iTunes Music Store, for $1.99 per episode. The current season of "Alias", which is not sold in the Store, will be available as well.

Broadcasts will be streamed using Flash 8, in either 500x282 at 400kbs or 700x394 at 700 kbps, both of which use the 16x9 aspect ratio. Users, on Macs or PCs, will be able to pause and select chapters, but not skip the commercials from major advertisers that will make up part of the stream. These commercials will be interactive.

Our mission with this trial is to gather key learning about the technology and the consumers who utilize it in order for ABC.com to become the leading broadband digital entertainment experience, packed with innovative, immersive content for our viewers. In the months ahead, ABC.com will not only deliver a high quality, on-demand viewing experience to users, but will also gain valuable knowledge and research to help us better understand and serve our consumers in the rapidly evolving digital world.

ABC was the first major television network to distribute their shows via the iTunes Music Store (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/10/20051012132627.shtml), and will now be offering viewers a choice to watch the original broadcast, purchase shows without commercials from the iTunes Music Store, or (during the two-month experiment) watch the free broadband stream.

Electro Funk
Apr 10, 2006, 06:28 PM
it may sound like an obvious question but... will you be able to fast forward through the adds? or will it be like it is on some dvd's where you have to watch all the promotional stuff

My bets on you being forced to watch the commercials but able to FF through the program...:(

Edit... Whoops didnt see Jericho's post...

trainguy77
Apr 10, 2006, 06:28 PM
I like this idea. I hope more companies will do this. That way I can watch the stargate SG-1 episodes I miss the next day!

Doctor Q
Apr 10, 2006, 06:31 PM
I'm not clear on whether all episodes would remain available once they were shown (during the time of the experiment) or whether only the latest show would be online.

I could use some catching up on Alias.

EricNau
Apr 10, 2006, 06:34 PM
I hope it hurts iTunes TV video sales.

dongmin
Apr 10, 2006, 06:36 PM
I'm not clear on whether all episodes would remain available once they were shown (during the time of the experiment) or whether only the latest show would be online.

I could use some catching up on Alias.I imagine it'll just be the most recent episode, or else there would be no incentive to buy DVDs which are quite lucrative for the studios.

For someone without a TV, this is not a bad alternative, but it all depends on how it the flash interface works. I want to be able to watch it full screen on my widescreen monitor.

Shaker
Apr 10, 2006, 06:36 PM
Wonder if this is why Apple shares were down today.

balamw
Apr 10, 2006, 06:38 PM
I'm confused by one thing, the article claims 4x the resolution of the iTMS videos at just about the same bitrate ~700 kbps. Either I'm missing something, Flash 8 is a better codec than H.264, or these videos will be full of compression artifacts.

B

Doctor Q
Apr 10, 2006, 06:39 PM
I hope it hurts iTunes video sales.Why? Don't you want all three choices?

I expect that this will cut into the sales a bit, since we're clearing talking about the same audience: show fans who use online technology, but Disney-ABC is clearly happy to take your money directly or be paid by their advertisers. And this gives them one more way to sell ad time and collect viewers' attention.

I might even like to try their "interactive ads" and see whether they made them at all entertaining. Then the novelty will quickly wear off.

I imagine it'll just be the most recent episode, or else there would be no incentive to buy DVDs which are quite lucrative for the studios.But Disney-ABC is the studio, so if they can get guaranteed ad money up front, perhaps they won't mind.

EricNau
Apr 10, 2006, 06:49 PM
Why? Don't you want all three choices?

I expect that this will cut into the sales a bit, since we're clearing talking about the same audience: show fans who use online technology, but Disney-ABC is clearly happy to take your money directly or be paid by their advertisers. And this gives them one more way to sell ad time and collect viewers' attention.

I might even like to try their "interactive ads" and see whether they made them at all entertaining. Then the novelty will quickly wear off.
Music Videos were one thing, but selling TV shows through iTMS just never made sense to me. For $2 an episode, the quality is horrible (unless you watch it on an iPod, which doesn't make sense either).
Once the novelty wears off, I doubt we'll see iTunes TV video sales take Apple anywhere.

Plus some theorize this is why Apple isn't creating a true media center Mac with TV recording capabilities, because it would hurt their iTunes video sales. If this is in fact the reason, Apple is stupid because once again they'll end up loosing.

MrCrowbar
Apr 10, 2006, 06:49 PM
I'm confused by one thing, the article claims 4x the resolution of the iTMS videos at just about the same bitrate ~700 kbps. Either I'm missing something, Flash 8 is a better codec than H.264, or these videos will be full of compression artifacts.

B

You can lower the framerate or overall quality to achieve a higher resolution with the same codec and bitrate. Sound can be compressed differently, too. I hope you will be able to watch full screen.

Interactive commercials sound interesting too. I guess you see a commercial and are enabled to click on a link that redirects you to the product/service homepage.

p0intblank
Apr 10, 2006, 06:56 PM
This is cool and everything, but it's also a big threat to iTunes video sales. Hmm...

LimeiBook86
Apr 10, 2006, 06:59 PM
Well this is good, maybe Flash will run a bit better on older machines. My Aunt downloaded an episode of "Lost" and her old G3 iMac DV chugged along making the movie look like a horrible slide show...then again Flash isn't exactly a speed daemon on older Macs anyway but...it's free so there's no gamble involved. :rolleyes:

andiwm2003
Apr 10, 2006, 07:01 PM
..................... For $2 an episode, the quality is horrible (unless you watch it on an iPod, which doesn't make sense either).
...................................

it's convenient. $2 is no money and if you missed a Battle Star Episode, are home with the Flu, annoyed by the job, it's raining and you need to kill some time you just spend the money.
i like the service, although i won't download more than ~20 shows a year.

as long as i don't have to work through commercials i prefer paying two bucks. hell i pay a lot more for parking my car.

qtip919
Apr 10, 2006, 07:09 PM
it's convenient. $2 is no money and if you missed a Battle Star Episode, are home with the Flu, annoyed by the job, it's raining and you need to kill some time you just spend the money.
i like the service, although i won't download more than ~20 shows a year.

as long as i don't have to work through commercials i prefer paying two bucks. hell i pay a lot more for parking my car.

I couldnt agree more...being able to ff through commercials on my dvr is about the greatest thing ever...b/c of this, I rarely watch a TV show when it is being broadcast. I will gladly pay the 1.99 to keep from being bombarded by mindless advertising...

evansls
Apr 10, 2006, 07:11 PM
I'm a big fan of lost and although i have a dvr that collects the videos and then I dump them to my ipod -- i think this is a great idea for those who don't want to pay $2 for something that airs on television for free or those who don't want to pay $12 a month for a rented dvr. i know about 6 people who would use this new service and i hope this idea branches out to other networks. anyway...

ImAlwaysRight
Apr 10, 2006, 07:12 PM
Broadcasts will be streamed using Flash 8, in either 500x282 at 400kbs or 700x394 at 700 kbps, both of which use the 16x9 aspect ratio.
Apple's iTunes TV shows I have seen (and I assume all shows) are broadcast in a 4x3 aspect ratio at only 320x240 resolution. Since this is 700x394 in 16x9 widescreen, this is a major upgrade from Apple's offering.

However, since it is a "streamed" broadcast in Flash 8, is there a way to save this after watching/downloading? Someone enlighten me if it can be saved.

zim
Apr 10, 2006, 07:13 PM
I just wanted to add that I dislike Flash video... boo! And while I am at it... boo to commercials! If they are going to add commercials then the product should be free or discounted. Personally I have not gotten into buying shows as of yet, not till some sort of standard is worked out or at least till a video dedicated iPod comes out, if such a thing really does exist.

Keebler
Apr 10, 2006, 07:21 PM
At the risk of being incredibly wrong and looking quite the fool - if they are not available on iTunes, I would expect a huge drop in the cashe of iTMS video sales. Most TV shows I watch once and that's good enough. If I can get it for free and on demand, I have no reason to watch it on my TV and I have no reason to pay for it. The only time I think I might want to keep a show I'd save money and buy the entire season. The only type of show that I can think of that would remain ideal for the iTMS format is the Hitchcock Presents format where each show is fully self contained - no character or story overlap.

That being said, I hope I'm wrong - maybe it will be on iTMS or at the least the Store will remain strong.

it would be interesting to know how many tv dloads from itms are used for students/commuters. i would see that as the only real value anyway. it would be great to see a show if you miss it or don't own a pvr (or have your mac set up to record tv :)

the biggest advantage for me would be commuting, if i had a job and wasn't a stay-at-home Dad.

i like that other players are experimenting with tv/movies. i love itms for some things and apple took the charge with music, but i've a firm believer in having more choices available.
don't get me wrong, i'm a huge apple fan.

balamw
Apr 10, 2006, 07:23 PM
You can lower the framerate or overall quality to achieve a higher resolution with the same codec and bitrate. Sound can be compressed differently, too. I hope you will be able to watch full screen.

That is true, but TAANSTAFL, you don't get something for nothing. To maintain that bitrate and resolution, something has got to give. Do you think it's going to be the ads? :p

Anything less than 64kbps for the audio will sound like tin cans and string, so unless they go mono they can't go much below that. Dropping to 15 fps (from 30) would help too, and/or maybe it's interlaced video. blech.

This doesn't sound like it's going to be anywhere near DVD/broadcast quality, but I've been wrong before.

B

maverick18x
Apr 10, 2006, 07:24 PM
However, since it is a "streamed" broadcast in Flash 8, is there a way to save this after watching/downloading? Someone enlighten me if it can be saved.

Doubtful at best. Google Video and YouTube use Flash for video, and there's some lesser known hacks to try to resurrect a non-flash video file. However, I doubt this service could be hacked because "interactive comercials" are mentioned. I've done lots of web work in Flash -- not much video -- but it sounds like the files would be embedded and not referenced from an outside source.

rog
Apr 10, 2006, 07:37 PM
sounds pretty annoying to me with forced, interactive commercials. They ought to be PAYING people to watch that. What a bad idea. I guess it's ok if you missed an episode and don't have $2 for itunes, but inthat case, you probably don't have an internet connection fast enough for it to work.

Nermal
Apr 10, 2006, 07:41 PM
If they are going to add commercials then the product should be free or discounted.

So what's the problem?

jettredmont
Apr 10, 2006, 07:48 PM
Doubtful at best. Google Video and YouTube use Flash for video, and there's some lesser known hacks to try to resurrect a non-flash video file. However, I doubt this service could be hacked because "interactive comercials" are mentioned. I've done lots of web work in Flash -- not much video -- but it sounds like the files would be embedded and not referenced from an outside source.

Well, there's always the analog hole. Just set up a screen capture utility across the flash window, or if that doesn't work (ie, if Flash uses hardware "accelleration" for display) then you can spring money for a DVI capture device or set up a video camera to stare at the monitor.

The point here, though, is that these are all way too involved for your average person to bother with given the crap that you'd end up with at the end (yeah, Lost is great and all, but spend hours setting up this rig, devote sixty minutes of my computer to running it, and then spend twenty minutes futzing with it ... or spend $1.99 to get it handed to me essentially DRM-free?)

Stella
Apr 10, 2006, 08:13 PM
ABC won't have made it available to the rest of the world, so this will have to be a giant -

*YAWN*

FaasNat
Apr 10, 2006, 08:36 PM
I like this idea. I don't mind watching the commercials if I am I able to download the show for free.

Actually, I wish the iTunes service would offer something like this. If it had free TV shows at a higher resolution and in 16:9 format (if available for the show) with commercials, I'd be down with that.

kntgsp
Apr 10, 2006, 08:54 PM
Bwahahahahahaha. Yea right. Interactive commercials. I'd rather stab myself with a rusty nail.

If I have to get my fix of a TV show that isn't sold on iTunes and need it immediately, there's something called a Tivo.

Screw that. I have enough patience for it to become available on DVD, iTunes, or a rerun for me to Tivo.

Not having to watch commercials........yea I think I have enough patience to ensure that.

j83com
Apr 10, 2006, 09:43 PM
This is brilliant.
I like the direction they're taking the web.
Watch for free with commercials or pay a small fee for none.
I hope this works and grows.

David Sharpe
Apr 10, 2006, 09:45 PM
I'm confused by one thing, the article claims 4x the resolution of the iTMS videos at just about the same bitrate ~700 kbps. Either I'm missing something, Flash 8 is a better codec than H.264, or these videos will be full of compression artifacts.

B

Flash 8 is that much better codec, actually, On2's VP6 codec is that much better. VP6 is the new video codec in Flash 8. All being equal the file size is half that of H.264, or twice the quality at same file size. Interesting enough is On2 has already developed and released VP7, it is supposed to be a good bit better than VP6.

Apple did include VP6 codec as an update to QuickTime.

David Sharpe
Apr 10, 2006, 09:53 PM
Apple's iTunes TV shows I have seen (and I assume all shows) are broadcast in a 4x3 aspect ratio at only 320x240 resolution. Since this is 700x394 in 16x9 widescreen, this is a major upgrade from Apple's offering.

However, since it is a "streamed" broadcast in Flash 8, is there a way to save this after watching/downloading? Someone enlighten me if it can be saved.

You will not be able to save the file, it is a separate file.

SnarkMan
Apr 10, 2006, 09:57 PM
I think we're missing the value of not having to be connected to watch iTMS videos. I buy a lot of videos from the Store and I always watch them in a situation where I don't have Net access (in a plane, in a subway, at the gym, etc.). Yes, I know the Net will soon be EVERYWHERE but I bet it will still be a lot more pleasant to watch a previously DL-ed video file.

$0 is cheaper than $2, but the convenience of the iTunes model seems much more appealing to me.

Freebart
Apr 10, 2006, 10:20 PM
Will it take longer than 60 minutes to watch an hour program with Interactive Commercials?

Click Here to Go to Our Advertiser's Website or Click Here to Continue with Our Show...

deadturtle
Apr 10, 2006, 10:21 PM
Still keeping my fingers crossed for the Stanley Cup, either via free with ads, or via iTunes....


PLEASE!?:D

Analog Kid
Apr 10, 2006, 11:07 PM
Our mission with this trial is to gather key learning about the technology and the consumers who utilize it in order for ABC.com to become the leading broadband digital entertainment experience, packed with innovative, immersive content for our viewers. In the months ahead, ABC.com will not only deliver a high quality, on-demand viewing experience to users, but will also gain valuable knowledge and research to help us better understand and serve our consumers in the rapidly evolving digital world.
Anybody else see a major difference between how the networks are handling the advent of broadband and how the music labels are?

Kudos to ABC. That's the way to look at this-- it's an opportunity. Experiment, take some risk, play around a little bit, find the formula and grow your profits. Don't look now, but this might even allow you to find a way of competing directly with cable.

I'm so tired of the stonewalling, sky is falling, everyone's-trying-to-rip-me-off greed mongers in the music industry. This is like a breath of fresh air.

It's times like this that whole markets get turned upside down and dumped on their heads. This is where everyone gets a fresh start and a little innovation far outweighs a ton of capital.

It also means fun times for consumers like us-- can't wait to see what happens in the next few years. I predict flying cars...

Chip NoVaMac
Apr 10, 2006, 11:22 PM
Why? Don't you want all three choices?

I expect that this will cut into the sales a bit, since we're clearing talking about the same audience: show fans who use online technology, but Disney-ABC is clearly happy to take your money directly or be paid by their advertisers. And this gives them one more way to sell ad time and collect viewers' attention.

I might even like to try their "interactive ads" and see whether they made them at all entertaining. Then the novelty will quickly wear off.

But Disney-ABC is the studio, so if they can get guaranteed ad money up front, perhaps they won't mind.

Thank you! I would love to see shows that I missed due to work (no, I don't have a DVR or VCR); but not willing to pay $1.99 to see them. I will live with the commercials.

If I want commercial free, then I would wait for the DVD sets to be rented.

Doctor Q
Apr 10, 2006, 11:36 PM
I will live with the commercials.Other than the $1.99 price, the only significant difference is the timing:

Watching a DVD, downloaded show, or recorded show: Watch as long as you like, pause whenever you like for a snack break, resume when you are back.

Watching a live show: Watch until the commercial starts, take your snack break at that time, be sure to be back just as the show resumes.

Watching an online ABC stream: Watch until either you want a break or a commercial starts. In you wanted the break, pause for a snack, resume when you are back. If a commercial starts, take a mandatory snack break, be sure to be back just as the show resumes.

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 12:49 AM
With such high resolutions and bitrates, couldn't one just use something like Snapz pro to capture the window and save it for latr?

Then just FF through the commericals.

This video seems to be similar to the quality of a torrent no?

Although, this would be alot of work and processor time.

I am thinking its better just to pay :)

nagromme
Apr 11, 2006, 12:49 AM
Sounds like a nice option to have among others.

Good: Flash-based, higher-res, and free.

Bad: no downloads, no portability, and ads.

I can accept some compromises to be able to watch a show I missed.

EricNau
Apr 11, 2006, 01:15 AM
I don't get the big deal about these Ads.

Sure, we see 10,000 of them per day, yet once they are on the computer, I'd rather cut off my arms and legs than watch it? :confused:

Doctor Q
Apr 11, 2006, 01:21 AM
Sure, we see 10,000 of them per day, yet once they are on the computer, I'd rather cut off my arms and legs than watch it? :confused:I wonder if the ads will be louder than the show, as on network TV.

Nonoche
Apr 11, 2006, 01:29 AM
hehe, I'll make an application with Director that will let you skip the adds, watch the episode full screen, and save it on your hard drive ;p

princealfie
Apr 11, 2006, 01:31 AM
Entirely overrated. You can't even stick these episodes on the ipod. Furgetboutit!:eek:

mymacluvsme
Apr 11, 2006, 01:49 AM
Isnt Jobs on the Disney board of directors now?? If yes wouldnt this be a major conflict of interest for him?

I think that the merge of Pixar/Disney still hasn't happened yet officially (?)

cwedl
Apr 11, 2006, 02:56 AM
It's a good idea, but I'm not holding my breath - they'll probably attach "USA only" and "Windows only" restrictions to it :(

see if they did that, digital piracy of their shows will not decrease I'm sure thats what they want. if the case anyway to make as if you are from the USA?

Machappy
Apr 11, 2006, 02:57 AM
The studios can experiment all they like, but here's the inevitable outcome: consumers will pay for, and get, commercial-free, portable video, available the same moment it is first offered "over the air". Commercials in their current in-your-face form are a few years from total extinction whether the content is free or for-charge. The technology made this inevitable, and when Disney offered its first shows over iTunes it greatly speeded the inevitable conclusion. Neither they nor anyone else can now turn back.

As for iTunes, it is not inevitable that it will be the beneficiary of this conclusion. iTunes only wins to the extent it remains the easiest way to get to this content, or network effects make switching too strong. The 4" video ipod is still a key piece of Apple's winning strategy, as it provides an acceptably large enough viewing screen that makes Apple a potentially unstoppable vendor of the ultimate solution.

Macnoviz
Apr 11, 2006, 03:08 AM
I think this actually good news, because if they sell less TV shows on iTunes, they will be under more pressure to release movies. Or am I terribly wrong about this?

maddav
Apr 11, 2006, 04:01 AM
All I'm saying is...

LOST SEASON 2 AT VI FORM!!

:p

Analog Kid
Apr 11, 2006, 04:43 AM
The studios can experiment all they like, but here's the inevitable outcome: consumers will pay for, and get, commercial-free, portable video, available the same moment it is first offered "over the air". Commercials in their current in-your-face form are a few years from total extinction whether the content is free or for-charge. The technology made this inevitable, and when Disney offered its first shows over iTunes it greatly speeded the inevitable conclusion. Neither they nor anyone else can now turn back.
I'm not sure about this-- ads are still the only way to make content free. $2 a show is fine when you buy one, but there aren't many people who will do that repeatedly.

Me? I picked up a Multipass for the Daily Show because I hadn't seen it before. That was a fine delivery method, but I'm not going to shell out $15-20 a month to keep it going. If I'm going to watch regularly, I'll seek another option. Commercials are tolerable in a show like that where there's really no flow to break.

Looking around me, all I see are more ads, more in my face. I don't see that trend reversing. The embedded ads in digital media does give ABC an advantage though-- the advertiser can see who's responding. No more targeting demographics and hoping for percentages. My expectation is half commercials-- something that gets you click so you can see the ending. "Click here to see if the Rabbit gets his Trix"-- alright, we know how that one turns out, but you get the idea...

Multimedia
Apr 11, 2006, 05:55 AM
I do not subscribe to cable nor satellite. About 6 years ago the ABC affiliate that served my market south of San Jose CA was sold to NBC. Shortly thereafter, NBC canceled it's contract with their independently owned San Francisco affiliate and switched the ABC station to NBC O&O leaving only a station in San Francisco to transmit ABC programming. Mountain range and 85 miles left us with no ABC in the air.

So this is what I have been hoping for for several years now, the beginning of internet served shows. I just lost my NBC signal when they split the digital that I could get into TWO digital sattions that I can get neither of now. So I am down to CBS, FOX and PBS digital. I have such poor analog reception that I don't even try to watch it except when I am in bed. I watch everything with an EyeTV 500 tuner and EyeTV 2.1 software on a 24" Dell 1920 x 1200 screen 3 feet from me hooked up to my Quad.

So I am thrilled beyond myself to be able to get a few hit ABC shows soon from the net. I hope Disney (owner of ABC) board member Steve will have some influence so they are in Quicktime format. :D

dakis
Apr 11, 2006, 06:43 AM
So I am thrilled beyond myself to be able to get a few hit ABC shows soon from the net. I hope Disney (owner of ABC) board member Steve will have some influence so they are in Quicktime format. :D

Well, I'm personally still hoping they'll open the service to viewers in Europe as well. Ever since I left the States I've been unable to watch television - those dismally synchronized shows airing literally years after their debut in the US are pure torture. American viewers have no idea what it feels like having to watch Kiefer Sutherland and at the same time hearing some else's (German) voice talking...

As for the format: the shows won't be in Quicktime - they'll be in Flash.

ke2000
Apr 11, 2006, 07:02 AM
I just wanted to add that I dislike Flash video... boo! And while I am at it... boo to commercials!
This is also my initial impression and i partly agree. But that was selfish. If you are in those commercial company's position, you would do the same that embrace adverts and disable the play control.

groovebuster
Apr 11, 2006, 08:16 AM
Well, I'm personally still hoping they'll open the service to viewers in Europe as well. Ever since I left the States I've been unable to watch television - those dismally synchronized shows airing literally years after their debut in the US are pure torture. American viewers have no idea what it feels like having to watch Kiefer Sutherland and at the same time hearing some else's (German) voice talking...
Poor you! ;)

The synchronization especially in Germany is pretty good. If you really want to experience horror, you should try some shows synchronized into Polish or Spanish!!! :D

I am really surprised how important watching TV seems to be for some people... Read a good book instead or meet with friends for a nice game evening! :) Or just find any other senseful hobby...

I also prefer to watch american movies in OV, but it's not that my life quality is diving if I have to wait a few months for the movie to come to Germany... It's just not that important. :rolleyes:

groovebuster

dakis
Apr 11, 2006, 08:57 AM
The synchronization especially in Germany is pretty good. If you really want to experience horror, you should try some shows synchronized into Polish or Spanish!!! :D

I am really surprised how important watching TV seems to be for some people... Read a good book instead or meet with friends for a nice game evening! :) Or just find any other senseful hobby...

Oh well, I haven't watched a single synchronized show since 1996 - that should tell you how important TV is to me. But I'd still be excited to at least have the possibility to watch somewhat recent content in English. And I did LOTS of reading in University on the way to my MA in English literature and linguistics, believe me :-)

Concerning synchronized TV shows: I don't care what language they end up being in - they all suck. But I do agree: I'm told that on some Polish channels they don't even bother synchronizing the shows - they just have people talking OVER the original actors' voices.

SnarkMan
Apr 11, 2006, 09:16 AM
Anybody else see a major difference between how the networks are handling the advent of broadband and how the music labels are?

Kudos to ABC.
...

I'm so tired of the stonewalling, sky is falling, everyone's-trying-to-rip-me-off greed mongers in the music industry. This is like a breath of fresh air.


I'm surprised the revolution is happening this quickly, too, but their business models are completely different. For the most part, TV networks make their money by selling ads and putting shows on iTunes doesn't hurt that (at least yet). And there's an argument that it actually increases viewership and helps ad sales. Plus, recently networks have gotten used to selling TV shows for long term ownership (in the form of DVDs) and the per-show revenue from iTunes is higher than the DVD revenue, with essentially no production costs.

The decision for a broadcast network exec to put a show they own on iTunes is nearly a no-brainer. It's different for a pay network like HBO. But both cases are still much simpler than what a record exec has to work through.

xyian
Apr 11, 2006, 10:01 AM
Do people not understand the marketing ploy in this situation?
I'm not a TV watcher myself but if people can't see that this is
free marketing research for the companies involved, then they're
all blind sheep.
Not calling the kettle black, since I am using a computer on the
internet, but this is a painfully obvious ploy to gain free market
data.

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 02:46 PM
Apple's iTunes TV shows I have seen (and I assume all shows) are broadcast in a 4x3 aspect ratio at only 320x240 resolution. Since this is 700x394 in 16x9 widescreen, this is a major upgrade from Apple's offering.

However, since it is a "streamed" broadcast in Flash 8, is there a way to save this after watching/downloading? Someone enlighten me if it can be saved.


Snapz Pro

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 02:47 PM
All I'm saying is...

LOST SEASON 2 AT VI FORM!!

:p


What does that mean?

something to do w/ torrentss?

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 02:49 PM
see if they did that, digital piracy of their shows will not decrease I'm sure thats what they want. if the case anyway to make as if you are from the USA?


I would be extremely suprised if they were to make it windoze only b/c of Job's position as well as the recent partnerships in itunes.

also, i would expect a USA only thing b/c Disney would not have advertisers for the international market?

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 03:04 PM
Well that certainly makes it less attractive.

Yes, but it is still free, and tseemingly better quality than iTunes

phatpat88
Apr 11, 2006, 03:06 PM
Well, I'm personally still hoping they'll open the service to viewers in Europe as well. Ever since I left the States I've been unable to watch television - those dismally synchronized shows airing literally years after their debut in the US are pure torture. American viewers have no idea what it feels like having to watch Kiefer Sutherland and at the same time hearing some else's (German) voice talking...



cough [http://www.eztvefnet.org/ and bittorrent] cough

Doctor Q
Apr 11, 2006, 03:11 PM
this is a painfully obvious ploy to gain free market data.Not quite free. They are gathering data, but paying us the equivalent of $1.99 by giving us access to a show that otherwise costs that much to buy online.

I've been on at least a dozen market research panels, and each time I understood that I was being paid to give companies information about how they could best sell to me. I wouldn't call that a ploy, and I don't think ABC is being sneaky about it in this case either.

Multimedia
Apr 11, 2006, 05:39 PM
Do people not understand the marketing ploy in this situation?
I'm not a TV watcher myself but if people can't see that this is
free marketing research for the companies involved, then they're
all blind sheep.
Not calling the kettle black, since I am using a computer on the
internet, but this is a painfully obvious ploy to gain free market
data.After 6 years without ABC in the air I am happy to comply with all the market data they want in exchange for access to their programs. :p :)

mackeeper
Apr 11, 2006, 09:29 PM
All I can say is I'm so happy Alias is finally on iTunes. That show rocks!

Doctor Q
Apr 11, 2006, 10:12 PM
All I can say is I'm so happy Alias is finally on iTunes. That show rocks!I think you misinterpreted this news story.

Disney-ABC is putting four shows on the web for free: Commander in Chief - already sold in iTunes
Desperate Housewives - already sold in iTunes
Lost - already sold in iTunes
Alias - not in iTunes, no mention of it being addedBut there's a Previously on Alias (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=79866393&s=143441) podcast, if you are interested.

Doctor Q
Apr 19, 2006, 12:45 PM
Episodes from Alias Season 4 and Season 5 (partial) have now been added to the iTunes Music Store.

iTMS links:Alias Season 4 (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewTVSeason?id=145362009&s=143441)
Alias Season 5 (http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewTVSeason?id=145367137&s=143441)

Doctor Q
May 4, 2006, 03:56 PM
Who has tried ABC's viewing system (starting here (http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing))?

If you have, please report how the viewing experience was.

EricNau
May 4, 2006, 04:27 PM
I didn't watch an entire episode, but I have to say, it was nice and will definitely come in handy at some point in time.

The quality isn't great (probably a little less that iTunes videos), and the commercials were interesting (overall, I believe there are less commercials than with a normal broadcast).

Selecting the video is still a little tricky (doesn't work properly in Safari).

Also, I wish they would go a few episodes back. As of now, they only offer current episodes. I guess this is the way they plan on making money from iTunes.

Edit: I would also like to note, you can skip (fast-forward) through sections of the video, but once you get to a commercial, you have to watch at least least the first 30 seconds (after 30 seconds it will ask you if you would like to continue with the show - duh!).

devilot
May 4, 2006, 04:52 PM
Who has tried ABC's viewing system (starting here (http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing))?

If you have, please report how the viewing experience was.I just tried it w/ Camino 1.01. Not bad, I didn't fiddle w/ it, but the viewing window was pretty small.

And I do feel really limited being able to only watch the current episode because I'm way behind on my Alias. :o

EricNau
May 4, 2006, 06:45 PM
I just tried it w/ Camino 1.01. Not bad, I didn't fiddle w/ it, but the viewing window was pretty small.

And I do feel really limited being able to only watch the current episode because I'm way behind on my Alias. :o
After fiddling with it some more, the size of the window (and I think quality) depends on your connection speed. There is also a full-screen button ( 46527 ) if you have a connection above 850 Kbps.

edit: Can anyone find ABC's error in this message? :p

trainguy77
May 4, 2006, 08:20 PM
Who has tried ABC's viewing system (starting here (http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing))?

If you have, please report how the viewing experience was.
My first complaint! If you are not in the USA you can't use it!:mad:

EricNau
May 4, 2006, 08:25 PM
Turns out you can watch past episodes (at least the past two).

While watching a show, if you hit 'menu' it will let you select which episode.

As far as I can tell, the only way to access a past episode is through the current episode.

It is unclear to me if they are going to offer all past episodes from this point on, or if it will always be the the two most current.