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April 06 2010

21:44

Netflix, ABC and Beet.TV Look Great on the iPad -- but Buffering is Awful

While the iPad may be a marvelous, elegant new kind of computing device, and our show looks very nice on it indeed, the inconsistent WiFi connection and subsequent buffering is insufferable for consuming streaming video.

From our own tests and with conversations with others, we find that WiFi connectivity is simply not stable enough to sustain consistent streaming. For downloaded applications and Quicktime files the connection is not a problem, but for streaming videos, it is not good.

This poor buffering can be the case in WiFi networks of speeds as fast 8 MPS, we have found.

We concur with the assessment of these limitations of WiFi connectivity reported by  Henry Blodget and Michael Arrington.  More complaints have published in a story on CNN.com today. 

Unfortunately, the iPad's only options to connect to the Web are WiFi and then via AT&T in a forthcoming 3G model.

The Ecosystem of In-Stream Video Advertising is Under Construction

For content creators and publishers who have labored hard to integrate advertising into online video, there are very limited ways to insert in-stream advertising into clips.  Generally speaking, the advertising solution simply doesn't exist at this time.

While ads can technically be inserted, there is very little way to track and report usage.

Brightcove will roll out advertising support within three months, a company spokesperson told me today.

Blip.tv has come up with a very nice directory page on the iPad.   I visited Mike Hudack, co-founder and CEO, today.  Blip is using an existing solution for the iPad, which has worked nicely on the iPhone for a number of months. 

Unfortunately, Blip won't have a system to insert and track ads for at least three months, Mike says.  So, for Beet.TV, which uses Blip and inserts in-stream sponsorship ads in our player, we'll just have to wait to monetize our content.

It seems to us that the only big video publisher with ads up on the iPad is ABC, which has a very snazzy Quicktime app.  We have a demo in this video clip.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl