ABC Digital has a pleasant surprise for all iPad users. They have launched the ABC Player, and the application lets you stream recent episodes from 24 ABC primetime and daytime shows right from your iPad. And the really pleasant part is this — it’s a free service.

The application works like Hulu did. While you watch the episode of your favorite show, you will be interrupted only a few times by commercials – usually limited to 3 second advertisements – along with one commercial which runs before the episode really begins. The catch is that you can’t skip the ads, but this is a price that can be paid for streaming free, on-demand episodes of your favorite shows.

As you will find out there are different policies about the available episodes, or when they become viewable for the first time. For instance you can watch Lost from top to tail, but only 10 recent episodes from Jimmy Kimmel Live or five of Scrubs.

In order to watch the episodes, you have to be online. This is when the app works, so the app can’t be used during a flight, but it can be used while you are out in the sun. The quality of the video is high, and it seems like there are no playback issues. A double tap can solve the disproportionally stretched or cropped pictures. You can pick up and watch your favorite show where you left off because the app keeps a history of the watched shows. Another pleasant feature of the ABC Player is the schedule, where you can find information about what is currently playing on ABC. The only issue here is that you can only see what’s playing during prime-time hours.

Overall, when you don’t have a TV available and you have unwatched TV shows, the ABC Player is a good option for having fun and catching up on your favorite shows.