You probably haven't heard much about MSN's video service, I certainly hadn't. In fact, I don' even remember how I ran across it since I traditionally have hated MSN's site. However, I found something there that I like very much—MSN Video.
The concept is simple and one I've been preaching for since the early days of broadband. Since most TV news channels are just clearinghouses for random news stories, why not just let us pick which stories we want to see?
Similar to the way Tivo and PVRs have revolutionized the way we watch entertainment TV, MSN Video may revolutionize News Channels. The main difference being that so far it's only available on your PC.
The MSN Video page is pretty clean and embraces the "clip" concept. At the top of the page is the viewing window, along with some advertising. On the lower left is a list of news categories. The center of the page contains a grid of video thumbnails. Finally on the right is the video queue, where the videos to be played are lines up.
That's it. Pretty simple. Making it even simpler is the drag and drop nature of the page. All you need to do is drag a video thumbnail into the queue on the right and it's added to your playlist. Roll over the first video in the queue, select "Play," and the videos will begin playing one after another.
The video quality is very clear, similar to ESPNMotion and the sound stays synched well, unlike other video streams I've seen.
The video selection is relatively deep with current events and offers several categories (e.g. Sports, Home, Entertainment, etc.)
Overall, MSN Video is definitely worth checking out and even though they haven't eliminated the commercials, it makes for a solid, innovative news channel.