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In2TV Goes Public 99

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like AOL has finally released In2TV, allowing us to watch some of our favorite shows on the internet. It looks fairly promising." In2TV has managed to bag four major advertisers right from the start but if you want to watch on anything but a WindowsXP machine you may be out of luck.
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In2TV Goes Public

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  • by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @06:36PM (#14928351) Homepage Journal

    In2TV is also out of bounds to other alternative browser users inside XP.
    Unless you use Internet explorer 6.0 and Media Player 10 you can't watch the big streams.

    This obviously rules out Firefox users, so no Babylon 5 for me :(

    You can't even use it on XP 64.

    Damn good though, and so far the only thing that has tempted me to install WMP 10...
    Hell, I might even use IE for it as well.

    tip for Windows users who have removed their IE icon, open "My Computer" and directly enter the URL into the address bar - it converts from Explorer to Internet explorer automagically...
  • Damn.. I've got boot into XP just so I can watch Brisco County Jr. I've been wanting that on DVD forever.. this will have to tide me over until they release it.
  • Help! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Guano_Jim ( 157555 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @06:41PM (#14928375)
    Somebody please get Steve Jobs on the horn and tell him to get the Sopranos on iTunes.

  • Pointless (Score:5, Funny)

    by scragz ( 654271 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @06:42PM (#14928387) Homepage
    AOL and Warner Bros. have launched In2TV, the first broadband television network, . . .

    I thought BotTorrent was the first broadband television network?
  • after having read tfa and the source it provides for the information about "windows xp only", i don't really feel informed about any reason.
    it needs media player 10. but why? because of DRM? copying / recording restrictions? soecial features, codecs? just missing interest in supporting different platforms?

    i got to run drm'ed streams using cxoffice plugin in firefox/linux, any chances for me?
  • by poptones ( 653660 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @06:49PM (#14928454) Journal
    Who has the bandwidth to watch crappy, jerky streams?

    Until they fill that worldwide "analog hole" there's no way this stuff is really going to compete. Even if the US succumbs to pervasive DRM, are they going to stop marketing shows internationally? It seems most of the torrents come from abroad anyway. I once downloaded a "West Wing" episode before it had even appeared on TV in my east coast market.

    Thanks to the indie film makers there's already better stuff freely available on the internet than on most of those 500 TV channels, anyway.
    • Who has the bandwidth to watch crappy, jerky streams?

      It does not have to be that way. Most people have DSL or Cable Modems, and they can get a good resolution video without the stream stopping to rebuffer.

      Maybe some shows are slightly less res than television because the provider wants to make money twice. They want to sell it on the internet, and then again on DVD. They have been doing this for a long time. How many DVD's have been re-released multiple times with "special edition" then "directors cut

      • Most people have DSL or Cable Modems, and they can get a good resolution video without the stream stopping to rebuffer.

        Umm.. not exactly. A majority have access to broadband, but a third of the US still doesn't. And even among those who have broadband access, in most places reasonable broadband speeds are still so expensive most households don't have it. If you're on cable it's a boon, but a good portion of that tiny majority has access only via dsl. While BASIC dsl prices are not too bad (30 bucks around h
        • While BASIC dsl prices are not too bad (30 bucks around here) it's only 128kbs on oversold channels - streaming performance on such a connection is not exactly worthwhile.

          You might want to check out Yahoo SBC DSL (if they have it in your area). It is only $12.99 a month for 12 months. For $4 bucks more, they sell a 3meg DSL. It's a much better deal than cable which ripped me a new one with a $100 bill for basic and internet. I got rid of them, and started buying DVD sets, and I came out ahead.

          Did you n

          • How do you find shows like this? I wonder how these guys make any money??? They film a show, and then give it away on the web. I've watched the first three episodes, and it's pretty good.

            I don't have an index of stuff... I just lookk around and find things. Maybe I need to start posting that stuff on a blog somewhere and then others can subscribe to the torrents via my css feed. Hmmmm... do I smell opportunity? Maybe if I was more ambitious - right now I got too much other stuff on my plate.

            Anyway, I'm glad
            • I don't have an index of stuff... I just lookk around and find things. Maybe I need to start posting that stuff on a blog somewhere and then others can subscribe to the torrents via my css feed. Hmmmm... do I smell opportunity? Maybe if I was more ambitious - right now I got too much other stuff on my plate.

              I'd be in line to subscribe. And you could make money with adsense or whatever google has going.

              The cool thing about the show is I didn't need bit torrent to download. I got rid of that software a

  • I couldn't find the price to view shows. Are they giving it away for free, just forcing advertising?

    I really don't want to instal Media Player 10. I had it on a system, and I just didn't like it compared to Media Player 6. I wonder what good the DRM in 10 is if people can record the video when it plays?

  • by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @07:10PM (#14928596) Homepage
    Sounds like a bunch of dusty re-runs from decades past. From TFA:

    The shows are organized into six genre-themed channels (with two more to launch this summer), including:

    - LOL TV: Laugh Out Loud with everyone's favorite comedies from Welcome Back, Kotter, which made a household name out of John Travolta to the slapstick antics of Cousin Balkai and Larry in Perfect Strangers as well as the Emmy-winning Chico and the Man, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper and Head of the Class.

    - Dramarama TV: Fans will enjoy the unaired "lost" pilot of juicy soap Falcon Crest and all the drama of five-time Emmy nominated Sisters, plus there's Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Spenser: For Hire and the family favorite Eight Is Enough.

    - Toon Topia TV: Kids and adults alike will flock to animated fare such as Beetlejuice, Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain and Freakazoid, The New Adventures of Batman, and Histeria!

    - Heroes and Horrors TV: Sci-Fi and Horror come together in heroic proportions with Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Babylon 5, Wonder Woman, V and Freddy's Nightmares.

    - What a Rush TV: Rev up for plenty of action-adventure when East meets West in Kung Fu, plus La Femme Nikita, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Dark Justice and The Fugitive.

    - Vintage TV: Fans find all-time favorites such as Growing Pains with heartthrob Kirk Cameron, F-Troop, The F.B.I., Maverick and Alice.

    • Unbelievable. I was reading your post - when I geto to "Scarecrow and Mrs. King" I had to bring the article up to see if you were joking or not.

      F-Troop? Eight is Enough? Chico and the Man? Where do I sign up????
  • Here in Ireland/Britian we get shows like Scrubs, Lost, etc. months after you do. This service could become immensely popular with people in Ireland(when we get real broadband in about 20 years time) & Britian and any other English speaking language. This could cause a large negative impact to broadcasting companies like Sky because their shows will already be months outdated. I'd like to see how this pans out. I have no objection to installing Windows Media Player 10 if it stays the hell away from eve
  • I am watching B5 with Firefox now. Just install a plugin and an Active X control (gives me shivers) from AOL.
  • by GmAz ( 916505 )
    Sorry, but I consider AOL to be as evil, if not a little more than Microsoft.
  • "but if you want to watch on anything but a WindowsXP machine you may be out of luck."

    Why is it that only people who are at work can get to watch TV on their computers?
  • Any info on what resolution / quality they support. I couldnt find anything on their site. The stream speeds seem to top out at 700 kilobits.
  • by rufo ( 126104 ) <<moc.zehcnasofur> <ta> <ofur>> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @07:26PM (#14928734)
    I just fired up episodes of Pinky and the Brain and Babylon 5 and they both seemed to go fine (besides me having to switch to my Windows box and fire up IE - if you want to use Firefox on Windows (no Mac/Linux) you have to install an ActiveX plugin, which scares the living bejeezus out of me). It looks like you're watching a 30-second ad before the video; I didn't watch long enough to find out if they're inserting advertising in the middle of shows as well. The quality is actually quite good; at least VHS quality, and you can click a button to make it full screen. Some shows are advertised as having a higher quality version available, but you have to install their client that downloads in the background; it appears to use Kontiki, which I'm reluctant to install (I already have enough upstream being used between Vonage and Bittorrent without another content delivery system gumming up the works). Lastly, they seem to have a limited selection of episodes up - I'm not sure if they're planning on making all epsiodes available on demand or if they're going to rotate through episodes and only have a limited selection available.

    Overall it's not going to win any awards for design - but it works, and for free I suppose I can't complain too much.
    • At least they left pref("security.classID.allowByDefault", false); in the activex Extension that FF users will have to use.

      Security issues aside I guess its nice that they made the effort so that Firefox users can use it.

      Too bad it won't work without the UI nightmare that is WMP10. Someone post a WMP9 workaround...
  • When they offer a video *SERVICE* without forced bundling of software (eg when the video is delivered in a standard, documented format over standard, documented network protocols, in such a manner that *ANYONE* can develop software to read and play it), that might be newsworthy. This isnt.
    • So, I went to the link with my Mac running 10.3.9 and Safari 1.3.2 just for laughs, knowing it wouldn't work. Sure enough, it redirects me to a page telling me that I need Windows XP and WMP 10 to "experience all that this great new service has to offer."

      To be expected.

      But then I notice the title of the window, "AOL Television: In2TV: Upgrade." And in bold letters on, the page says "How to Upgrade" followed by a link to Microsoft's page on Windows XP.

      So, I need to "upgrade" my Mac to a Windows machine to
  • WinXP (Score:3, Funny)

    by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @07:45PM (#14928896)
    if you want to watch on anything but a WindowsXP machine

    Damn. I was just about to fire up AOL on my Apple ][.
  • They have not thought it through if think they can have unicast connections to half the US or World, when the final episode of the "I married a random person" reality show is on.

    I guess that's where the DRM comes in. Nobody will want it, so no problem.

  • I tried to view some of the content (Kung Fu) and all I got was the ads before the movie. Nothing plays after that. If you try another episode, you just get another ad served. Lame really!
  • I've just been digging through the code and came across this in the variable declaration section of the player Javascript. (I snipped all the uninteresting lines in the middle)

    GECKO_AX_PLUGIN_REQUIRED_US = "We're sorry, this feature requires the Mozilla ActiveX Plugin. <a href=\"javascript:installAxControl();\">Click here</a> to install."
    GECKO_AX_PLUGIN_REQUIRED_NOLINK_US = "We're sorry, this feature requires the Mozilla ActiveX Plugin."
    GECKO_AX_PLUGIN_INSTALLED_US = "Firefox Windows Media

  • Okay. I tried to install their little ActiveX plugin for Firefox and it failed to work. I didn't feel so bad, though, because it barely works in IE as it is. But then I went back to browsing and discovered Firefox kept crashing. After 20 minutes of digging, I found the little POS files it put in there. I deleted them. All is good now.

    And these companies wonder why things are pirated. When this thing dies a fiery death, they'll sit and scratch their heads and wonder why.

  • by Controlio ( 78666 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @09:35PM (#14929553)
    How thoughtful.

    If you look into the service, you can stream the videos for free with nothing but an ActiveX plugin and Macromedia Flash. However, if you want "HighQ" video (what they claim is "DVD Quality"), you have to install a piece of software.

    It's basically a BitTorrent ripoff. It's a peer-to-peer upload-as-you-download service. But since the files are stored locally and not streamed, I started poking around. Lo and behold, I found the hiding place for the WMV files!

    Download a file with the service, then navigate to:

    c:\Documents and Settings\~user\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\*random hash*\filename.wmv

    Note: You may have to do this at the command prompt, as any attemps I made to get into the "Content.IE5" folder through the GUI were futile. But take a look around, and you'll find all of the WMV files the program uses. Copy them to another directory, and there you have your DRM'd file. The first one I tried was named "PerfectStrangers_Barcode_151772C_1500.wmv~". It plays fine in the standalone WMP10, but not in BSPlayer or MPC. GSpot also doesn't recognize the file.

    So there's the source file. Gentlemen, start your cracking!
    • I don't know exactly why, but 20 minutes later the file no longer works in WMP10 alone. I can guarantee that I had the file copied to the desktop, opened it, and had it playing perfectly. Now, I don't know if the software did some poisoning, or if I had some perfect combination of things open at the right time, but it now no longer plays in WMP10 alone.

      • For me its:
        c:\Documents and Settings\username\Documenti\My Deliveries\kdx\tmpcache\
        What disturbes me is that even though I had requirements (except location, I'm in Italy but content got downloaded) it doesnt plays the video (head of the class, I was a kid and I loved that geeky show).
        It opens it with the AOL Video player and tells me:
        We appologize, this content must be played in the AOL Video Player. Please go to

        How crappy is that?
  • I thought the list of available shows was pretty dull until I saw that they got fuckin' Freddy's Nightmares! I was a huge Nightmare on Elm St fan and I would take all the Fredddy I could get. The first episode was really good in that it actually showed the backstory of how he came to be. Granted Freddy himself only appeared in a handful of episodes and the ones without him were pretty horrible, I'm still going to watch a couple of these for memory's sake.

    And they got V too! Another Freddy/Robert Englan
  • The IN2TV wikipedia article mentions those those, but I don't see them mentioned anywhere on the actual site. Anyone know if they're going to add these? I believe Pinky & the Brain, a show they already have, was part of Animaniacs.
  • During the Live 8 concerts last summer I had zero trouble viewing the live streams with linux (just had to click through their flash-dependent selector, use the DOM inspector to find the actual windoze media bit, and feed that to mplayer, which is a handy sequence in general). The on-demand clips were a bit trickier until I found out that they were in a format called Nullsoft Streaming Video, using the On2 VP5 codec, which xine supported at that time and probably more players since then. It also took a whil
  • If they used realmedia, they could offer it to every modern OS including Macintosh and Linux and still have "evil DRM" they need.

    They could offer same content to mobile platforms too.

    Or same goes for Quicktime which they DEVELOP the content on.

    I guess another "code/invent nothing, just spread spyware lie and bribe content providers" wmedia lame dominance strategy from MSFT.
  • This might be well-known but what's quite frustrating is that it's not clearly stated. The tv shows may only acquire a license through a U.S.-based Internet connection so, if you're outside the U.S. and don't have a proxy or VPN, you can't play that content. (Some previews work, though.) Using a VPN is a bit cumbersome and much slower for streaming media. The "Hi-Q" local files require a license/connection every time they're played.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.