ABC News 24 went live last night, and computer users can get in on the action by watching it via the ABC’s iView service as a live stream. However, contrary to some expectations (ours included), the streaming channel will count towards your download cap even if your ISP otherwise offers unmetered iView service.
The reason for that differing approach is that the news channel is streamed directly as its happening, rather than from a predictable location on a predictable server. As the ABC’s own FAQ explains:
The ABC does not currently have sufficent capacity on our content distribution network to unmeter live video streams. Unlike the rest of the content available on iView, ABC News 24 is a live streaming service with the potential to place a huge additional load on our ISP partners who offer unmetered access to iView. We are working hard to improve our video streaming infrastructure and find a solution that will allow ABC News 24 to sit within the unmetered content as soon as we can.
You can watch the pre-recorded programs that get repeated on ABC News 24 in unmetered mode if your ISP offers it, but breaking news will inevitably carry a bandwidth premium. iView includes a fairly prominent warning before you access the streaming option, so hopefully people won’t get caught out, but it’s definitely something to bear in mind if you’re contemplating being a news junkie at your home PC.