Nbcs Web TV Director Direction Less

Dennis Faas's picture

American broadcast heavy NBC recently launched the beta of a new direct-download initiative, NBC Direct , which offers many of the channel's new hits for free download. While functional and attractive, it doesn't hold up to the competition: NBC.

The catch, in addition to the randomly-placed ads, is that it doesn't make sense when compared to the near-identical NBC Universal web app, Hulu, not to mention other "options".

Unlike Hulu, which offers streaming episodes at any time, NBC Direct offers the ability to download episodes directly to your machine (which you can stream during download), but they will only be available for 48 hours after the show has aired. That's a big mistake; one of the main reasons people watch TV on their computer is to sidestep broadcast schedules.

What's more, NBC Direct is only available to Windows and Internet Explorer users, which no doubt significantly cuts down on their audience. After all, it's the hipster Mac users who would use a service like this in the first place.

While NBC Direct does offer some big, internet-friendly shows (Heroes, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights…and Passions!), the problem is that newer episodes will replace older ones. Like the 48-hour download limit, this basically curbs the appeal of watching a series on your computer. (Source: Gizmodo.com )

On the plus side, the resolution of the episodes is very solid.

This is clearly NBC's attempt to get with the times and keep up with their TV-loving audiences. A time will surely come when applications like NBC Direct will make for audience-friendly utilities which the networks can generate sustainable revenue from.

Now if only those pesky writers would come back to work we could… wait a sec, they're striking about what?!

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