A Test, The Following Is Just A Test...
Cartoon Network Experiments With Online Delivery
You Be The Guinea Pig!

The Cartoon Network is currently conducting a test on its website for the next 3 months to see if there is enough interest and streaming capability to warrant Online programming (which could have no censorship) via a subscription-based Internet Anime channel.

The network is currently making available a single episode of "Dragonball Z" with plans to run 39 more plus 26 episodes of "Space Battleship Yamato" (Star Blazers). They also have some games in the works and a deal with Animerica to offer anime news on the site.

A feedback form asks "Which of the following classic action cartoons do you most want to see on the Reactor?" They list, among others, recent titles such as "Trigun," "Evangelion" and "Cowboy Bebop"--which would surely never get on a "kids network" unedited. The form also asks what fans would be willing to pay for such a service.

The implications of such a business model are huge. For broadcasters it means another revenue stream to collect on current programming; for fans it means a venue to receive their favorite shows unedited.

The test is very restrictive. One of their message windows states, "Toonami Reactor uses indexed Windows Media 7 files, which are not adequately supported by the Macintosh OS, and not supported at all by Windows 95. Reactor will work on computers running Windows 98, Windows ME or Windows 2000 that have Windows Media 7 or higher installed." Plus, they seem to be only accepting connections which are better than 56k modems and via Internet Service Providers with good downstream/upstream connections . Ironically, AOL users will not be able to stream this content. (It's ironic since AOL now owns Time/Warner which runs the Cartoon Network.)

Offhand, it doesn't appear that this service would work with the demographics or the business aspects of "Sailor Moon"--however, it is well worth exploring the possibilities. Our own tests, conducted during Christmas via streaming audio revealed that users to our site were able to access streaming media at a much higher percentage than the typical Internet user. (In other words, anime fans know how to set-up streaming on their computer when most users do not.) Our visitors used a much higher percentage of DSL & cable connections to access streaming media than the Internet at large. Users also revealed a desire for quality as many were willing to wait for chopped-up playbacks of hi-quality streams over poor connections.

Meanwhile, visit the Reactor soon and try it out (if you can).

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