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Netizens miss Gates video

Video streaming lets down Netizens again as the Microsoft CEO's video testimony is hard to access on the Web.

    Netizens suffered through yet another attempt at video streaming--this time with a videotaped deposition by Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates.

    A number of Web sites advertised their ability to offer the Gates's video, a key piece of evidence in the government's ongoing trial against the software giant. Yet many Netizens said they were greeted with black, grainy screens rather than a clear picture of Gates' testimony.

    By late Monday, however, many of the problems appeared to be resolved and most sites were able to show the video with little delay.

    Some users experienced similar frustrations last week, trying to watch a live Web cast of John Glenn's launch into space.

    Yet early troubles continue to frustrate users as video streaming technology still doesn't live up to its billing.

    "Live Replay of Bill Gates' Video Deposition in the United States' antitrust case against Microsoft," the Broadcast.com site read. "This footage is part of Gates' deposition that was heard in court today."

    But one user couldn't access that Webcast, as the site was in the process of archiving the video.

    Real.com, the RealNetworks'Web site, offered the video through the C-SPAN.org site. While users could access the testimony, audio levels were difficult to hear and the screen size was too small, with Gates' head about the size of a postage-stamp.

    "I was able to get the video but not to get the sound," said one disappointed user. "It's a bummer. I guess I'll have to turn on CNN."

    Many sites got a huge bump in traffic when the Clinton testimony was released via the Web. Although the Glenn space launch went off without any significant glitches, many users were locked out of sites offering the launch--including NASA's--due to a spike in demand.

    CNN does not expect the Gates testimony to generate the same level of interest as the Clinton testimony or Glenn space launch.

    "This is going to be a more protracted event because portions of the tape are being released little by little," said CNN Interactive spokesman Kerrin Roberts.