Microsoft, PBS Bring AIDS Documentary to the Web

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This week, PBS’s Frontline series is airing a two-part documentary about the AIDS epidemic. The documentary, entitled “The Age of AIDS,” covers the entire history of AIDS since its appearance 25 years ago. While the TV version will only be viewable in its appointed time-slot (barring any TiVo interference), Microsoft has built a corresponding Web site that will allow people to view the documentary online at any time.

The site, which fully launches June 2 and can be accessed here, features contextual links that will appear next to the video as it plays. Each link corresponds to the section of the video that is currently playing. Clicking on a related link pauses the video, letting viewers spend as much time as they want researching the science or geography of AIDS. When viewers are done, the rest of the video will be awaiting them.

“It seamlessly combines a compelling television program with rich Web resources to significantly enhance people’s understanding of a complex topic like AIDS,” Microsoft researcher Curtis Wong said in a statement. “It highlights the tremendous potential of Internet television with rich interactivity to deliver in-depth content to a global audience.”

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