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NBC and Time Warner in no hurry to say farewell to Flash

Michael Rose, @MikeTRose
May 29, 2010
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If you're not familiar with New York City's gritty, 209-year-old tabloid the Post, it has a reputation for sensationalist coverage, a top-down conservative slant (courtesy of owner Rupert Murdoch), and a credibility problem; in 2004, a Pace University survey found that city residents considered it the least trustworthy of the NYC dailies. When it comes to coverage of the Big Apple's media industry, however, it usually finds the mark.

That's why this week's Post story about NBC Universal and Time Warner pushing back on adapting streaming video libraries for iPad is worth a second look.

The piece suggests that neither of the media giants is interested in putting in the effort to step away from Flash and create HTML5-savvy streaming websites, saying that Flash remains dominant, and the effort to convert their libraries isn't worth it. Contrast this with CBS and ABC's eager leap onto the iPad, and the continuing signs that NBC-owned Hulu is planning an iPad app.

I don't doubt that both TW and NBC would like to see Apple become a little less dominant in the media landscape, but what's weird about this story is that it implies that the "extensive video libraries" that both companies hold aren't already entirely iPad-friendly. Sure, the player interface may be Flash on their websites, but the content itself is very much iPad and iPhone compatible as H.264 video files. Of course, both companies are happy to sell their programs through the iTunes store, although that hasn't always been the case for NBC.

With this not-quite-sensical disrespect for the iPad's video prospects, where does that leave us? Is the Hulu app now programa non grata? Will we be shut out of TNT for the new Apple TV? Don't know, can't say... yet.

[via MacRumors & Engadget]











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