Monday, August 23, 2010

More PBS Progams On Line

Remember when you first watched video from the Internet on your home computer? Perhaps it was an attachment to an email or one of the videos posted on In any case, the pictures and sound were not very good. The size of the image was limited and the movement jerky. Nevertheless, it was cool to see images of your grandkids or your neighbor’s vacation.

Unlike text, the transmission of video on the Internet requires significant bandwidth and fast computer processing speed. Both of these were once the exception but now are common place. So now the grainy, low resolution postage stamp size video images have been replaced with audio and video resolution comparable to what you see on your TV. This has sparked an explosion in video services available to most any computer user. Most are free.

Today there are movie services, high definition YouTube videos, and access to countless TV programs, new and old. Full disclosure here…while I don’t often “plug” services provided by my employer, CET, this week I am going to do just that because it is a really great service.

About four years ago CET conducted a series of focus groups seeking to find out what people wanted from on line services provided by public TV stations. One of the responses often heard centered around the desire to watch popular PBS programs on line and on demand. Nova, Frontline, American Experience, and the News Hour were all mentioned.

At that time, the technology and copyright issues precluded CET from offering most of these programs. The good news is that in a few short years, all that has changed. You can indeed watch these and many other signature PBS and CET programs on line at your convenience and the video and audio are quite good.

Finding these programs is a breeze. Just point your browser to
On the first page you will see a box on the right side of the screen with a link to the current library of programs available. Clicking on that box is all you need to do.

You can choose from several programs and watch them in their entirety or fast forward to specific segments. You can choose to watch in a small window within your browser or choose a full screen experience. If you have a new flat screen TV with a computer input, connecting your computer to the TV will provide an even better experience.

The catalog of programs changes almost daily, so if you don’t see a program you like today, check it out tomorrow. For a complete listing of all the programs available you can click on the “Programs” icon.

CET is not the only station providing these services. So if you haven’t tried watching video on your computer for a while you may be surprised to see what you have been missing.

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