Microsoft MSN Video Player For UK

What is it?

In August 2009, Microsoft extended their video player catalog, adding a selection of UK programmes to a fresh designed website http://player.uk.msn.com. How does this website rate when viewed through a television?

MSN UK player content is probably only available for visitors from the UK.

The UK MSN Video player home page shows previews of the programme catalog and a small view on the right starts playing automatically.

Before running the programme, there is a short advertisement. Player controls and text on the player page makes no concession to viewing from a ten foot distance (too small).

Linking into your tv-true platform

You will have to hook your PC up to the TV because although the player is flash compatible it does not play through a Wii.

When accessed using the Ten Foot Browser, the site cannot be navigated using the Windows MCE remote control. Use the mouse to navigate to the programme player page, the player does not appear but double clicking in the blank area brings up the player in full screen mode.

How tv-true is it?

The (beta) MSN UK Video Player shows large images previewing the programmes, this gives the superficial impression that it would be suitable for viewing through a television. However text used over the images is un-readable on the semi-transparent background and the right hand preview player controls are too small. Also the navigation menus at the top of the page have text so small as to be practically invisible when viewed through a TV.

The video playback quality is reasonable, not great, but better than viewing content on the Wii (maybe this is a result of the more up-to-date Flash). The MSN UK Video Player is a beta version, let's hope Microsoft have rethink about the usability of the website when viewed through the television.

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