For over a decade, CNET has been the trusted source for information about computers and technology. In the late 90’s, they had their own television network, with shows like The New Edge, hosted by a pre-Idol Ryan Seacrest. They have also had a significant web presence for years, with a site dedicated to product reviews and prices, and general consumer information about technology. As internet video podcasting became popular, CNET was ahead of the game, with a video section already available on their website. Videos date back to early Spring 2005, but the site has been updated much more regularly in 2006; it now boasts thousands of videos on eight different channels.
A handful of different channels are featured on CNET TV – New on CNET, Gadgets and Gear, Tips and Tricks, Gaming, Car Tech, Shows, Movies and Music, and Tech News – covering topics and devices that are useful to the average reader. Repeat viewers can take advantage of the playlist feature to create their own channel dedicated to the topics they care about most. Perhaps one of the reasons that CNET has been so respected for the dozen or so years it has been doling out product information is that it is so honest; a review of the Motorola Razr V3m doesn’t just try to sell the product – it gives both positive and negative details about the phone, and helps viewers decide whether or not they need the upgrade.
While the site is mostly dedicated to product reviews by CNET’s trusty team of nerdy geniuses, it also covers major developments in science and even entertainment, including music videos from up-and-coming bands like The Dwarves. Today on CNET – hosted by Executive Editor Tom Merritt, among other CNET personalites – gives an overview of the most recently updated videos, in just a mere 45 seconds. Besides the obviously well produced and highly informational videos, you would expect a website about technology to lead by example, and CNET TV is no exception. The streaming Flash player never skips, and the ultra cool remote control panel aids viewers in getting great quality viewing, without being annoying.
The Tips & Tricks channel is a particular favorite of mine; they teach basic HTML for linking to images for that all-important act of commenting on friends MySpace pages. As the editors of CNET TV know, it’s all about the details: a very thorough look at the 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, reviewed by Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley, even concentrates on the individual buttons on the dashboard.