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AOL launches broadband video

Internet service provider AOL has this week unveiled plans to jump on the broadband video bandwagon. Video content is available over the web at www.aolvideo.com from this week.

At launch, the AOL Video service will feature paid for and ad-supported content on more than 45 video-on-demand channels, programmed by content partners including: A&E Television Networks, The History Channel and The Biography Channel, Comedy Time, Endemol USA, Expo TV, LIME, MTV Networks, Nickelodeon, National Lampoon, Procter & Gamble Productions, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Wild America and WNBA.

AOL Video is built on an open technology platform and architecture that will enable AOL to extend the AOL Video experience across platforms and devices to make it easy for users to watch it on multiple screens, including desktops, laptops, large screens and handheld devices.

The service also includes search technology based on a system from Truveo and Singingfish, and a video player that claims it can go full screen without losing picture quality and that supports AOL’s own Hi-Q video format to watch DVD-quality videos online.

Ovum analyst, Josette Bonte, commented: “AOL video comes a time when AOL badly needs to reinvent itself from a me-too Internet access provider to a glamorous open-access broadband content company.”

However, if AOL executes on its plan “then AOL video will become the richest video destination on the web. The content should find enthusiasts among a variety of demographic segments, with its wide range of mainstream and niche content,” Bonte added.

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