I want my, I want my embedded TV

A few weeks back, I pointed to David Wilcox’s piece on ‘the new politics’, and his point about publishing material in a way which helps the blogosphere engage with it. I think his point goes much wider than just government consultative material.
Having been otherwise occupied at noon, I didn’t see what turned out to be a fiery PMQs – so I went looking for video coverage. Surprising even myself, the first place I looked was Sky News. Video highlights would be easy to find, and would play instantly, thanks to their Flash-based delivery method. Wrong on both counts as it turned out, but interesting to find myself making that choice nonetheless. Sky, your biggest asset is currently video. Make more of it. (Clue: I’m about to suggest how.)
So, over to the BBC – who did indeed have the key five-minute extract as a ‘clean’ video clip. Exactly what I wanted, except that being the Beeb site, it was in a popup window, in RealPlayer. Extra desktop clutter, extra load time, extra hassle. I know it’s only a few seconds, but it simply doesn’t have to be that way.
Neither, though, would have given me exactly what I’d wanted: the video extract, as a Flash clip, which I could embed in my own blog, and write about. Take the example of the writeup on Iain Dale’s leading political blog. He begins: ‘I don’t know how other people saw it…’ So…
Q: What’s the one obvious thing that’s missing from his blog post?
A: The ability for us all to see it.
There’s an opportunity here for both parties. Sky could start offering more uncut video like this, and offering it in a Sky-branded Flash video player. It could easily be justified on commercial grounds: increased clickthrough to their site, maybe even a built-in advertising space, online promotion of their TV coverage, or even just to do it before the Beeb does.
The Beeb, meanwhile, could – or arguably, should – do something similar, justifying it as part of their civic and cultural enrichment effort. They have a new strategic partnership with Adobe (PDF), not just to rework iPlayer, but to provide ‘the majority of streamed video and audio content on bbc.co.uk’ via Flash. If this is in the works, can I suggest embeddability is included on the list of requirements. BBC Trust guys, please take note.
PS: Apologies for the awful pun in the title, but once I’d thought of it, I couldn’t resist. Don’t put me down as a Dire Straits fan or anything.

4 thoughts on “I want my, I want my embedded TV”

  1. And wouldn’t it be good if the clips available could be embedded in other sites with an easy way to set the start and end times, to be able to comment on snippets of the content?
    Might save a lot of needless ripping and Youtubing of content.

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