ABC has become the first US television network to stream entire episodes of popular programmes on its website in full-screen and high quality. Episodes from titanic shows such as Lost and Grey's Anatomy are now available to view in their entirety.
They're available to watch ad-supported in two different screen sizes: a mini display which plays the content at a resolution of 240 x 136 pixels and a full-screen option which fills your display.
The new full-screen ABC video player, which requires a broadband internet connection in order for US internet users to view the content, marks a departure from the popular Flash video format. It uses technology pioneered by a little-known company called Move Networks.
Move video is different from Flash in the way that it uses higher resolutions and improved frame rates which eliminate the jerky pixelation which often blights many Flash videos.
Better than Flash
"The quality of ABC's video is simply way better then NBC 's in full-screen," said Dan Rayburn, executive VP for online industry Website StreamingMedia.com.
Move is able to offer high quality web video by abandoning the constant bitrates used in other formats like Flash video. Instead, when a user begins watching the content, the host server will quickly determine the bandwidth available to that person's computer as well as processor speed, and optimise the quality of the video so it plays at the maximum quality without any streaming problems or processor jerking.
Move is also licensing its video technology to other US TV networks including Fox and The CW which would see shows like Kiefer Sutherland's 24 and Superman spin-off show Smallville joining the ABC shows online in high quality.