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Lab Rats Tech Solutions is a joint venture between Andy Walker, former host of now defunct G4TV Call for Help, and Sean Carruthers, tech researcher for the Lab with Leo Laporte. It basically runs off the ground from G4's Call for Help, which is now The Lab with Leo (both were/are hosted by Leo). The podcast follows the same structure - a bit of techexplanation and then right into the experimenting and reviewing. The show "demystifies technology and explains technology", as explained by the show's hosts.

One really nice thing about Lab Rats is they offer a choice in file type, you can choose standard flash or ipod or windows media player or even divx and quicktime. I don't quite get the logo - are those supposed to be rats ? They look more like cats at least to me. The information presented on the show is fairly straight forward, a lot of it may be a bit boring either too technical or stuff that you already known.

Lab Rats TV has corporate sponsoring, so the episodes are broken up and have commercials placed inbetween them. It's not that big a deal because they are short and somewhat vague, but still it does feel a bit clunky in terms of watching with a medium that has principally been heralded for the fact that the content isn't as abrasively muddled with advertising as conventional television shows are (eg: the commercial break and lead-in lead-out from such breaks). The show is highly formatted to someday be placed on tv, however the quality of the cinematography is severely lacking - note it's acceptable and good as a web production, but they are somewhat missing the point of the medium.

One thing that is fairly annoying is that while they offer a variety of methods to watch each episode, they provide no real way of sharing it through embeds. They have the regular set of social bookmark icons, but that's merely a link - no real way to show a video directly without leading visitors back to their page. I think that Lab Rats could really do a bit more to embrace the platform, especially considering they're teaching the advantages of technology.

The show is pretty entertaining, but is more apt for people who are less tach savvy but still looking to learn - in which case Lab Rats may hit the spot.

The Overall Ratings for Lab Rats Tech:
Show Diversity: (4/5)
Based on the mixture of television shows available on the site.
Loading Speed: (4/5)
The time taken to navigate the site and load videos.
Ease of Navigation: (3/5)
How easy is it to use and navigate.
Advertisements: (3/5)
Based on the annoyance level of advertisements on this site, the amount of ads, and the volatility of ads appearing on the page.
The lower the rating, the less annoying the ads are.


Total Score: 14/20

Lab Rats feels like an extension of Call for Help, while it's rough around the edges and seems to be following normal conventions, it doesn't truly embrace the podcast and video platform it employs to deliver its episodes. Still there's a lot of potential for Lab Rats.

http://www.labrats.tv

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