First off, why didn't I get the memo that scrubs was moving to ABC? Seriously? I guess I should have been more loyal over the past couple of years. Yah, you guessed right, I am typing this while watching an episode of Scrubs with ABC.com's built in web player.
The selection seems pretty resonable but like most websites. ABC.com is acting as a limited archive for their current shows. It is a mixed bag on what episodes are out there. As an example, LOST has the entire current season on it while Grey's only has episodes 2,3 and 9 from this season.
Hit the read more button for the full rundown.
The shows are ad supported. Two ads per 30 minute and three ads per 60 minutes. Its not comskip SageTV setup, but for the price and configuration I can't complain to loudly.
I have a pretty speedy net connection and averaged 1631 kbps. It is pretty watchable in my opinion. No blocking issues or lagging to speak off. The streaming quality appears to dynamically adjust based on the size of the video you choose. Full screen is streamed at 1631 while windowed version is streamed at 1144 kbps. I didn't detect any dynamic changes based on bandwidth issues but that maybe due to my speedy net connection.
The flash based player is actually pretty useful it allows you to skip around in the show. Of course, you have to watch the ads if you skip to far ahead. Again the price is right :). On the bright side I am going to buy a Blackberry and a lot more mouthwash. The ads are 15 seconds long and get repetitive after watching a few shows. I think they are approaching Internet TV ads all wrong. You have a very interactive medium and the best you can do is display a 15 second standard-TV style ad? Try harder folks.
What can they do better?
They need to rethink how they do their ads a bit more. I know it is early on in the media streaming era but Internet advertising is not a new medium. Heck, they didn't even give me a website to click too.
They also need to state what shows are in HD and what connection is required to get HD streamed. All in all just provide more information about their streaming site.
Last but certainly not least, they need to flesh out their library and be consistent with what episodes they archive and when they plan on releasing new episodes. If they want me to become interested in their current shows, give me a way to watch the last season or the first season.
A Media Center plugin would be GREAT! Hint.Ummm I think that is about it :)