Review: Flashdance around the playback

The ABC launched its IPTV service in February, but it took us forever to get an invite to this beta; and our reviewer is not impressed at all. Is this what we are paying in taxes for this kind of crap???

Terence Huynh, the Editor in Chief of TECHGEEK, presents this review of the ABC Playback service to the masses, with images!

APC done a review about it first, but this time, we get our chance for fun. TECHGEEK has managed to get into the list of users who would be able to access the beta, and don’t get your hopes up just yet.

First, you will need to sign in or sign up to the ABC Message Boards and then wait awfully long to gain an invite link. We signed up in February, but it took us until a few days ago to have that prized e-mail telling us we have now got access

The interface and the player is built entirely from Flash, which means it’s compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux. However, the interface being in flash does have its drawbacks, like waiting for the content to be loaded first then seeing it. The BBC equivalent, the iPlayer, is much better in so many ways, including that the interface is HTML coded while the player is Flash. Hulu even does this, including NBC.

However, it has to be a designer’s choice.

While you have three “channels” to choose from, there is limited content available. Though it is early days, I would like to see 4 Corners, Foreign Correspondent, or some dramas that aren’t The Bill; and that’s only in the ABC Catch-Up “channel”.

For the ABC Documentary “channel”, the content I was presented was about animal life. However, they could extended it by having 5 shows with some weekly episodes, then that could get me back to see more content.

The last channel is the ABC Shop “channel”, which only shows 2-5 minute previews of DVDs. I don’t even know why is this on Playback as its just useless, unless you are one of those “support the public broadcaster”.

Once choosing your video, the player automatically goes to full screen, but you can choose to reduce back to the browser. The player interface is the most basic design I have ever seen.

But one good thing is that it tells you the information, the duration and the file size right there when you click on the link before the video player.

Basically, this is just the beginning of ABC’s venture into bringing its content to the masses, but we just hopes it gets a revamp soon.

Below are some pictures of the ABC Playback service.

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