On Thursday an email told me that I’m a beta tester for ABC Playback, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Internet TV trial. So here we go…
I’ll gloss over the geeky stuff because the massively-brained Simon Rumble has already done a technical reconnaissance. Just three key points there from me:
- It uses a Flash front end over XML program listings. Simon reckons it’ll be easy to hack up a Linux version for those who can’t use the official Windows and Mac interface. Or who want to avoid the pointless animations. Or who’d rather an easier-to-read high-contrast interface than trendy translucency.
- A 30-minute program is compressed to a mere 130MB, which seems a reasonable compromise between quality and bandwidth — at least for infotainment — given the ABC’s need to serve regional audiences out on the Information Super-goat-track.
- Did we really need to spend taxpayers’ money putting a clock in the top right of the screen? Computers already have clocks.
Technically it works just fine… but that’s not the real issue…
Disappointingly, ABC Playback seems more like the last gasp of old-style broadcast TV than a prelude to something new and wonderful.