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ABC.com debuts high-def player

As promised, ABC.com has launched its high-definition video player in beta — the first for a network TV site. It includes a single episode each of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty to get you started before the new fall season. ABC.com says there are a few system recommendations including a “late model, fast computer,” screen resolution of 1300×770 and minimum bandwidth of 2 Mbps. Screen grab from Grey’s Anatomy inside the full-screen player…

I gave it a swing on my home DSL connection — which is not 2 Mbps — and the video stuttered frequently, but the quality was excellent. (Anyone else try it on a higher-speed connection?) You may remember ABC.com won an Emmy for the first player they built, and this new addition just reaffirms the site’s technological leadership in video playback.

Adds ChickenEye in comments: “I have a 10 Mbps Cable connection and a Core 2 MacBook Pro. It’s gorgeous and stutter free (and the little HD bandwidth meter on the bottom right lights up at full quality – which you’re not quite at in your screenshot). Definitely a sign of things to come!”

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