CBS launches lousy Innertube. SciFi Pulse going live 8 May.

by Erica Sadun

USAToday reports CBS will offer free, original entertainment on their new "innertube" service. By "free original entertainment", they seem to mean behind the scenes snippets of the sort that were always available on, now packaged into a new and really irritating interface. You'll find the same Amazing Race insider videos and Daytime Emmy Awards red carpet chatlets and so forth. However, the new interface offers the uplifting option of actually blurring the text as you select it, providing the added bonus of instant migraine headaches.

You won't find day-after on-line streaming, the way you will with ABC's far superior site. Next down the line? Sci Fi will debut its new Sci Fi Pulse channel tomorrow. They promise to offer complete, uncut episodes, movies, as well as deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes.


2006-05-07 10:37:32
Your comments on "innertube" are too kind. I went to the site, and nothing happened (PowerBook G4, all latest updates).

Don't even waste your time going there.

Erica Sadun
2006-05-07 10:42:31
I had no problem loading the site. Are you up-to-date Flash-wise?
2006-05-07 13:37:10
Yeah, I would recommend updating Flash as well. However, even with an updated Flash, this site is horrid. I can not say that I _really_ like ABC's site, but it is workable and the video is reasonable quality, etc. on a DSL modem. With CBS's site, the video quality goes in and out and the audio is a little sporadic as well. Overall, I would not go to "Innertube" to watch video online. I was hoping this would be a good way to catch CSI episodes, but apparently it will not be that.
Chris Tyler
2006-05-08 12:28:45
It needs Flash Player 8, so Linux users aren't feeling the love, but it sounds like there's not much to miss.

2006-07-30 13:03:20
My computer has all the needed software.... cbs has no problem showing me commericial after commercial, but when the show comes up it doesn"t work... completely black. its really great, i am so peeved!!!!!!!!!!!!!! although I know all of cbs upcoming shows.
2006-08-17 12:05:13
Innertube videos do not work for me either! My XP software is all up-to-date, and so is my flash player; I've tried using both Windows Media Player and the Real Player; I've tried using 3 different browsers (IE, Netscape, Firefox), and the videos on the site will not play. The links to the Big Brother episodes are half cut off on the screen, and when I try to open them, nothing but a blank screen comes up. What is the problem with CBS's website??
2006-09-20 14:59:53
Innertube does not work well. Not only is the viewer treated to the same commercials repeatedly, it's virtually impossible to get thru all the video segments. They play out of order or not at all.
2006-09-28 12:57:55
I'm having the same problems. Very frustrating! Why put out the product if it doesn't even work. First Katie Couric and Now This. CBS? What happened?
2006-10-12 02:24:38
CBS Innertube sucks. You will be wasting your time trying to watch shows there. If you want to watch the commercials that is the place to go.
2006-10-12 08:25:57
I have a Mac G5 with the latest available versions of RealPlayer AND Windows Media Player installed, and it wouldn't work for me. Why is it that YouTube and Google can figure out internet video, but not CBS? Hmm...
2006-10-15 20:32:33
Does anyone know how to get this stupid thing to work?! Still no videos - XP updated, Flash 8 installed. I hope someone gets fired over this.
2006-10-23 22:13:26
Innertube only works on one of my three computers. It doesn't work on my intel mac OS X or my windows xp sp2 laptop. Both machines have latest real player and flash installed. Both machines operating systems are up to date and have no problems playing video files from other web sites. Only my XP desktop will play video from innertube. One out of three, not good.
Upset Survivor fan
2006-10-28 05:57:23
It's 10/28/2006 and still issues with CBS's Innertube. Same thing with the 10/27 Survivor Live: The commercials play find (repetitively), but continuing on to the main attraction chokes.
When I view 1 or 2 older Survivor Live shows, no issues. Most do not work, a couple of them DO work. Got to think that I've got all the right software versions in place on my PC and it's something on the other end. Anyone else solve this mystery yet? Please spread the wealth if you have. Thanks.
Figured out a workaround
2006-10-28 06:50:44
I figured out a workaround for getting around the CBS innertube isues:

1. Read a bit...

2. Make the date change suggested, e.g. latest 10/27 show is:


Enjoy. Wow, what a stuggle!

2006-11-01 11:22:04
This player totally SUCKS!! So choppy when you get it to run at all. Definately not worth watching! A real shame!
2006-11-07 19:40:20
I wish they didn't even bother going online with the site until it works! The buffering is constant no matter if the vid is big or small, and the whole cbs innertube site is a mess because you cant pick which section you want to watch of the 5 segments per show - there's just no easy way to make it through a whole episode or go back and watch later. what a waste of time.
2006-11-13 19:51:55
Innertube is the biggest POS I've ever tried to watch. NBC seems to have figured out how to stream video so that it is watchable.... but this thing from CBS is shit.
2006-11-24 23:04:08
This fix worked for me very well. Had none of the buffering problems at all when I switched to Real Player.--PB

"Have heard of and experienced the by-now infamous problems viewing CBS TV episodes using CBS Innertube. Wondering if this is the only solution I can use on my Win98SE system with Firefox to view the Jericho episodes or if anyone has found other "fixes" or work-arounds to enable better viewing:

"When I choose to view the episode and Innertube launches, the video begins to load in that annoying right-hand frame, which on my screen appears cut off on the right side. What I do as it loads is right-click in that frame and choose "Play in Real Player" or "Play in Real Player Theater." When Real Player launches separately, the Jericho episode plays fairly well and, at least, doesn't keep stopping and "Connecting" as it did in the frame view."

ex-survivor fan
2006-11-25 12:32:35
what a piece of absolute gabage!!!!!!!!!!!
2006-12-07 00:47:20
This is the year 2006. What is so difficult about putting up video? Why do all these web sites screw it up? We should have flying cars by now, instead we have handed our future to a bunch of incompetents.
2006-12-13 06:56:30
POS is right. I downloaded all 4 parts of the show like 6 times... the commercials work, but that's it.

I'm sure the problem is with them trying to squeeze all the ads in. Tons of people can stream video fine, but when you try to cram tons of trash in then the problems start.

I couldn't find a support section, could you guys?

2006-12-13 22:30:18
I'm using WMP on Win XP Media Center; it plays the first segment, then plays a commercial, then plays one or more commercials and shows the preview for the next episode. I found that by restarting the first segment, then advancing the video to the end of the segment (drag the thumb on the horz scroll bar), it will play one commercial, then continue to the second segment correctly. I can get it to do this for each segment, but it means I have to restart from the beginning, and advance through the previous segments to get to the segment I haven't watched yet.
2006-12-13 23:28:11
What's really sad is the dates on all this is May 2006 and here it is December 2006 and from what I can tell nothing has changed. It still sucks big time. I am surprised that the sponsors are putting up with it as I am getting a really starting to associate my frustrations with Target, Listerine, and Zantac, etc. Yesh!!! Very negative advertising for these folks.
2006-12-14 20:55:25
Nothing can change the shape of things to come.
2006-12-16 12:12:17
I can't get innertube to work on my macbook with winxp, my macbook with osx, my work computer with win 2k, or my dell with winxp. Innertube blows! The ABC online TV works great! why can't CBS hire someone from ABC to teach them how to author a usable product?
2006-12-20 05:58:29
I have been having troubles with innertube myself. It wont recognize that I have windows media player. Keeps saying I need to download/install it in the options. With the Realplayer, I keep getting this annoying server alert error everytime a commercial comes on. On top of it all. There is no support what so ever when you do get problems. It's very frustrating and I would expect better from such a large company like CBS.
Mr Merde
2006-12-27 10:34:05
I have an older Dell laptop with Win 2000 and a newer Dell workstation with XP Pro with 2.5GB Ram, and the same stuff described by everyone else happens with both of these. All my software is the latest and greatest, so that's not it. I thought it was just me. This is a shame because CBS has some very good programs and life in northern NH doesn't provide much TV reception. Both ABC and NBC have much better replay software than CBS.
2006-12-31 22:58:41
Another frustrated Innertube user -- or attempted user. Can't get it to work on my PowerBook G4 with the latest version of the OS or my Dell running Windows XP Pro, both with the latest browsers and plugins of everything (Flash, RealPlayer, WMP). As others have said, playing video on the web is no longer revolutionary. CBS should not promise what they can't deliver. I'm so annoyed with CBS, I'm not even going to rent or buy the CSI episodes I wanted to watch. They're not getting my money.
2007-01-01 14:49:29
I'm in Australia and all I get from CBS Survivor innertube is
Someone doesn't realize there is a whole world out there who would like to watch these shows.
2007-01-01 20:44:53
I have been watching Innertube Episodes of CSI, Jericho, Numb3rs, etc. I have Comcast Ultra High Speed Internet service with 10 Mbits download speed. I can download 1Gbytes in about 30 mins. or so. For a while the service worked faily well with one or two restarts. Now I cannot watch a complete episode of any of these shows.

Of course the commercials had all been FLAWLESS and very annoying as the sound level of the commercials would always be 20DB higher than the shows. Now I have noticed as of today that they are only advertising ATT and their own Innertube content. The complaints to Target and Listerine and so on must have made them pull those ads.

There is NO SUPPORT offered which I find very INSULTING because it shows their attitude is that "What do you want for free?" but it is NOT FREE when you have commercials RAMMED down your throat every 5 minutes (perfectly streamed I might add) while the show you are trying to watch CRASHES all the time!

They need to stream the content out to the clients as the show is being watched. Users like me will benefit by getting the whole show downloaded in just a few minutes. Others will benefit too because my request for the feed has ended as it is already residing on my PC.

They need to stop throttling the stream and allow it to run full bore just as they do for the commercials. My guess is that it just shows an attitude that really STINKS at CBS, too bad the shows I like are under the control of IDIOTS in the Internet Division at CBS!!!!

I would do them like the Donald and say to'em "Ya Fired!"

2007-01-03 21:04:35
I hate the cbs innertube I hate the commercials and I agree that some one should be fired for letting this continue for as long as it has. Unless they are trying to discurage free tv usage. If they are it's working. Including buying fron the advertizers. I think they are stupid for litting their advertizements stay on with such an inferrior product. That telles me that their decission making ceo's are inferrior also. And also their product.
2007-01-14 16:30:48
I read the article in the Wall Street Journal listing the exact (wierd named) web sites for fox, abc,
cbs, and nbc and today watched a show on innertube that I missed (because my husband cancels
my dish dvr recording to watch something else.) I was able to see the entire episode on my intel imac
without downloading anything. (I already have realplayer, wmd, and goodness knows what else
on my imac, to view videos.) I have a 768 download speed dsl connection. However, the right
hand side of the viewing screen was cut off. The innertube help section said there was a button
to push, but I couldn't find any buttons, nor any place to which I could send a question--until
I found this web site. At least they didn't ask me to press 2 for English. So, exactly, where are
the innertube control buttons?
2007-02-15 00:42:49
Well to answer everyone's question I think the commercials are in flash, thats why you can see those easy. Then the show starts and it is in Windows Media Player or Real Player. The problem is that CBS won't air their shows in Flash (which I think is what ABC does) because they like the copyright protections of WMP and RP. So what does this add up too? One big stinking pile of crap. Innertube has pissed so many people off they should be doing spin control. But it seems they are not doing anything, maybe they are hoping their techies can fix the problems. I don't think the exec's at CBS have used a computer in years, because if they did they would see this things sucks. Well, I will say I don't think it's anyone's computer. Actually if you computer is too up to date you may not be able to watch it. You will need flash updated and the players. But I am going to go back and install old drivers for my video card. I have an ATI mobility card so it should not be that hard. If you know how to do this, I recommend it. If you don't you should read how to before you try. Anyway, I am hoping the older Video card drivers will be able to mesh better with the innertube crap. Seriously, this is a shitty problem and should have been resolved months ago.
2007-02-15 02:02:38
Well that solved the problems. I went back to old video drivers for my video card. And that solved the black screen, and other issues. I had to go back to drivers from 2003, but everything works fine now. If you have buffering problems that has to do with your bandwidth and how fast a signal you get. But hopefully this will help people with video problems. If you are not sure how to do this. Find out what type of video card you have (call the comp company if you have to) and then go to that card companies site for older video card drivers. And follow the instructions that come with them after you download them.
2007-02-19 17:52:46
I went to the site and everything loaded fine.

It's a great picture quality and no blurry text at all.

I'm running a pc with windows xp on an old laptop so there's nothing special about my system that would make it work any better.

I have/will watch videos on this. I'm impressed.

2007-02-19 17:55:29
To those who talk about commercials being "rammed down your throat", well I'm not seeing that in my experience with innertube.

A 45 minute show will have 4 commercials (1 at the beginning and 3 more during the show).

If I watch the same show on tv, I will have at least than many commercial breaks but each one will be a few minutes.

On innertube each one is about 15-20 seconds. Sometimes I have noticed that the commercial will stop after about 10 seconds and the show comes back on.

That's not too bad for free. I PAY for cable and get more interruptions.

2007-03-10 08:24:41
CBS's innertube player is the worst on the web. It has taken me over two hours to watch a show that I missed and really wanted to see. IT goes two thirds through and then hangs up and then kicks me out of the show.
2007-03-11 15:36:00
tried again today and had to launch the show 7 times before I could get through half of the show. But the funny things is, the ads had no problem working. It seems that CBS is able to run the ads on innertube since they get paid each time an ad is shown.

Don't waste your time with innertube.

2007-03-23 11:02:24
Up until 2 weeks ago I had no problem viewing programs on innertube. NOW however, it will load up to 88% and hold there, never completely loading. Any ideas on why that might be or suggestions on how to fix it?
2007-03-26 19:56:16
I had some problems at first with innertube, but now I love it. I had problems with the video freezing and buffering. Turns out it was another service on my computer that monitors my drives for new media which was doing this. I love innertube now. Works perfectly! Guess even I can't keep junk from creeping into my computer!
2007-04-02 19:11:34
I was watching innertube fine (off and on with intermittent problems), but now I can only view the ads and then I get a message saying that "content can only be viewed inside the United States". What's going on??
terry waters
2007-07-12 02:19:00
when i go to innertube all i get sound no pitcure plus it keep buffering and freezeing i run window xp with media player 10 i keep trying to found a download for free that will let me a picture pluse stop the buffering and freezing so i can watch the show no luck and got any suggestion
2007-09-11 22:49:24
The new "innertube" has a flat. It is one of the most poor video player sites have ever seen. I'm done messing with it. Absolutely horrid. Ditto on all posted.
2007-09-26 15:38:27
you would think that cbs would have updated their poor Internet episode feed before the season started. It's 2007 guys, get with the program.

Maybe people like David Caruso and Dan Rather (is he still around the news?) should push them for a better service or do they even care? Geesh. Obviously our opinions don't matter.

What's the frequency , Kenneth to get Inner Tube to work
2007-09-28 05:16:19
What a crummy low-rent system. I saw the intro part of NCIS season opener's "full video" (not) and then Real Player was "timed" out. No other problems with it elsewhere. Saw the lousy commercial six times. Tried all browsers etc. CBS,there are lots and lots of places for me to rest my eyeballs-it won't be on your back-wards eyeball. I haven't seen this substandard level of performance anywhere on the web. It is a real insult to the show's creators and actors too. That the Mother(Katie) ship doesn't care enough to provide a streaming video system that works is a big black eye(ball).
2007-10-02 16:30:00
I have not had any problems with Innertube. I watched the entire 2 seasons of Jericho without difficulty.. I have watched several other shows also
2007-10-05 05:58:09
Last week I had no problem watching NBC & CBS. This week is a different story. I can't watch crap on either one of them unless you watch commercials about a dozen times; have it go in & out like everyone is stutering; have it pause go pause go. I tried watching these shows online at my work computer, my two home computers, laptop & my sisters computer & I get nothing.

CBS I use to be able to watch it through Real Player, now I can't even do that.

The funny thing is ABC I can watch with no problem on the computer.

This really sucks!

2007-10-05 23:20:39
Innertube is a joke! Wanted to watch an episode of "Numb3rs." Tried latest versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer. Tried visiting and using the site at different times. It was an exercise in futility.
2007-10-18 09:36:57
I hate CBS Innertube!! Totally sucks!!
2007-10-23 00:12:14
plays commercials over and over , episodes play out of sequence or repeat.