CBS' TV.com upgrades high-def video<br />
Users will be able to watch content in 1080p resolutionTV.com, a unit of CBS Corp., said Thursday that it has begun beta testing a high-definition video gallery that allows users to watch ad-supported repurposed network programming online in 1080p resolution.
Supported by Adobe System's Flash platform, the 1080p video gallery (www.tv.com/1080p) will augment the site's current HD gallery, photos, news, interactive forum and network listings.
TV.com, which features repurposed shows from all the major networks, recently had select programming withdrawn by Hulu.com, which cited contractual issues for pulling back "Heroes," "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons," among others.
Industry scuttlebutt suggested the move was done for competitive reasons as the market for online repurposed content becomes increasingly cutthroat and territorial.
Separately, CBSSports.com said it has launched an NCAA March Madness on Demand application for the iPhone and iPod Touch that will allow users to watch live streaming video and audio from the 2009 NCAA Division I men's basketball championship, beginning March 19.
The NCAA March Madness on Demand application is available for $4.99 from Apple's App Store. The application provides live video of all 63 games as well as access to tournament brackets updated in real-time with up-to-the-minute scores and the ability to click directly from brackets into live video.
It also will provide exclusive game previews, including team breakdowns and matchup comparisons. All games from the Final Four also will be available for $1.99 each on iTunes the day after they are completed.
Finally, as Hulu celebrated its one-year anniversary, the NBC Universal/News Corp.-owned site (which bowed March 12, 2008) said it has added social networking capabilities (dubbed "Hulu Friends") in an effort to build upon its 24 million monthly visitors, according to comScore in January.
With Hulu Friends, users can sync Facebook, MySpace and e-mail contacts to build a network and then discuss and recommend videos with other Hulu members.
Erik Gruenwedel is senior editor at Home Media Magazine.