WorldTV Performance for Embeddable Players Increased

Posted by on Oct 18, 2010 in Change Log | 8 comments

The growth of our service recently has surprised even us and we’ve just added significantly increased server capacity which will benefit users of our embeddable players.

The launch of a new, improved style of embeddable player has resonated with our users and we’re now seeing 3 years of viewing every single day. That’s more than MTV in the UK, More4+1 or even Sky Sports 3!

With 3x the capacity now for our embeddable servers, users should notice improved performance, greater speed and generally improved reliability.

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Two New Supported Sites- MyDamnChannel and Ku6.com

Posted by on Oct 15, 2010 in Change Log | 3 comments

MyDamnChannelWe are excited to announce two superb new additions to our supported sites which are from very different parts of the world (USA and China) with both being extremely popular in their respective countries. The first one is the most excellent MyDamnChannel. The site enables musicians, film producers, performers, comedians and brands to co-produce original series-style content, get it out there to the masses and monetize it. The site has launched some of the most hilarious and popular web comedy series including: the Ikea sponsored Easy to Assemble which stars SNL alumni Illeana Douglas as she tries to leave her Hollywood past behind and lead a normal life; You Suck At Photoshop – the cult online series of humour rich Photoshop tutorials; Cookin’ With Coolio – the totally original cookery show with Gangsta’s Paradise rapper Coolio; and the Webby Award winning series Wainy Days. Definitely visit the site to check out their full complement of over 40 brilliant series.
ku6.com
Our second new supported site is the massively popular Chinese video-sharing site Ku6.com. Ku6 has recently reached content cooperation agreements with Sony Pictures Television and another undisclosed Hollywood studio. This is significant because it makes Ku6 the first Chinese local video site to acquire legitimate copyright content from major studios. The deals that were struck enable Ku6 to acquire the internet broadcasting rights in mainland China for several hundreds of Hollywood features and TV episodes. Ku6 is also creating original content programming plus running user-generated advertising. Be sure to check out the vast array of content available at Ku6.com, the cutting edge Chinese video sharing site.

We hope you enjoy these superb new supported sites and please feel free to suggest other sites we should support by dropping us a line at reception@worldtv.com

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Minor change to WorldTV Interface

Posted by on Sep 10, 2010 in Change Log | 11 comments

We’ve moved the navigation bar on WorldTV channels up a little bit to comply with YouTube Terms of Service, and to ensure that ads are not covered up by the navigation bar. We’ve also moved the position of the Channel Logo to the top-left position when YouTube videos are playing. All other aspects of the service are unaffected.

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WorldTV goes HD! New Embeddable player

Posted by on Aug 13, 2010 in Change Log | 7 comments

wtv-slick-playerWe’re excited to announce that WorldTV is now available in glorious High-Definition!

While the WorldTV platform has always been ‘resolution agnostic’, in practical terms it has not always been straightforward to add Hi-Def videos to WorldTV channels. That has all now changed.

Today we are announcing full support for YouTube HD videos… and it works a treat!

With the new features you can now rapidly build a  TV channel out of YouTube HD video clips and broadcast it on WorldTV.com, or, through our new embeddable player (pictured).

Here’s how it works…

  • Within the WorldTV Channel Editor there is a new setting called ‘YouTube Video Quality’. You’ll find it under Channel Settings -> Player.
  • As the Channel Owner, you set the quality for how you would like YouTube videos to be played – we suggest HD720 if your viewers are on fast connections
  • When viewers watch your channel, we attempt to play the video quality you have selected. If that quality is not available from YouTube, we try the next lower quality version until we find one that is available. This process if totally seamless, fast and automatic. If you choose all HD video clips for your channel, this process won’t be necessary.
  • Viewers also have the option to change the video quality if they wish – up or down.
  • With this update we’ve already upgraded our default YouTube Quality setting on WorldTV to high resolution (YouTube 480). So you should see an immediate improvement in quality even if you don’t change anything at all.

There is no need to re-add YouTube HD videos to your channel or change the way you add YouTube videos in future. Every single YouTube video in your collection has already been upgraded to HD where possible, and we will automatically upgrade all your future YouTube videos as well. Simply continue pasting in URL’s to YouTube videos as before, and they will be shown in HD where possible. Not all YouTube videos are available in HD of course.

With over 85% of WorldTV channels featuring YouTube videos, this is a feature that will drastically improve the experience for nearly all WorldTV channel owners and their viewers.

New HD Embeddable Player

At the same time we are releasing a much improved WorldTV embeddable player that makes full use of the new HD features. It looks amazing (see above) and is highly configurable. The main features are…

  • Much improved graphic design
  • Fully customizable with intelligent colour theming system
  • Customize the buttons – Share, Like, HD on/off, Embed
  • Fully HD compatible – YouTube HD looks amazing!
  • It’s available now within your Editor

Here are the full technical details for those interested…

High-Definition Capability

  • The new HD features work throughout WorldTV including within the Editor (eg when previewing videos), on WorldTV channels, and in our embeddable players. We have upgraded all our embeddable players to be HD compatible, adding ‘HD ON’ and ‘HD OFF’ buttons to all players.
  • HD ON means 720p resolution and HD OFF means 480 resolution
  • Viewers can change resolution on-the-fly, and the video continues playing from the same point (the video does not restart). This is very cool.
  • The default setting on WorldTV channels (i.e. not the embeddable players) for YouTube Video Quality is now ‘high’. This is equivalent to YouTube’s ’480′ resolution. Previously it was ‘medium’ (YouTube 360). The other options are ‘low’ (YouTube 240), ‘medium’ (YouTube 360), 720HD and 1080HD.
  • It’s important to appreciate that the speed of your viewer’s internet connection is only one factor that determines whether they can reliably watch HD video. A fast, modern computer is also required, and we have found that current netbooks and MacBook’s for example are only just able to handle HD720 video. You may want to consider the kind of viewers you have and their likely types of computers, when determining whether to change your channel to HD. For this reason we do not recommend changing your channel to HD1080 at this time, except for specialist uses and applications.
  • The button that allows viewers to change the video quality only appears when a YouTube video is playing, and then only on YouTube videos that have multiple resolutions available. YouTube typically offers anywhere from 1 to 4 resolutions for a video. Older YouTube videos are typically only available in 240 ‘low’ resolution although many are available in 360 ‘medium’ resolution. This doesn’t matter from your perspective as the system will default to a lower resolution if needed.
  • The viewer’s HD setting is remembered from one video to the next, and from one viewing session to the next (assuming cookies are retained)

New Embeddable Player

  • The new ‘Slick’ player is now the default embeddable player on WorldTV
  • Existing embeddable players (eg that you have already installed on your website) have not been changed
  • Do check out the ‘Advanced Options’ when creating an embeddable player
  • Note that changes to the options for each style of player in your channel affect all installed embeddable players of that type. So if you change the colour scheme for the new Slick player for example, this will change across all embeddable Slick players that you’ve installed. It won’t change the colour scheme for any ‘Classic’ or ‘Modern’ players that you may have installed elsewhere.
  • The ‘like’ button currently records any clicks into our own database. Statistics on clicks will be retained and made available to channel owners in future along with other useful ‘suggested videos to watch’ features. We recommend keeping it turned on if you’d like this data available to you in future.

We hope you enjoy the new HD features of WorldTV and our brand new embeddable player. Please ask any questions via comments below and be sure to drop us a line at reception@worldtv.com if you come up with any interesting implementations. We plan to feature a few of your implementations in a future blog post.

Enjoy!

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New Viewer Share Panel released – Facebook, Twitter, Email & More!

Posted by on May 7, 2010 in Change Log | 11 comments

wtv-share-panelStarting today, viewers of WorldTV channels will see a new share button and panel that lets viewers readily share clips on Facebook, Twitter and E-Mail. The old system for ‘Send Clip to Friend’ and ‘Send Channel to Friend’ is no more.

The idea is to make it much easier for viewers to share WorldTV content and to give channel owners a new tool that will help with natural promotion of their content.

The old system for ‘Send Clip to Friend’ and ‘Send Channel to Friend’ has been in place since the very earliest days of WorldTV. It was a simple system for sharing content by email. Unfortunately it did not work very well if a user had a Gmail or Hotmail account for example, and required email programs like Outlook. The new Share Panel offers a much improved system.

The big additions are of course the options to share by Facebook and Twitter. We have worked hard to bring you these features, and implemented several other related features:

  • URL’s for individual video clips on WorldTV now have ‘pretty’ URL’s. So instead of worldtv.com/alxtv?vid=21, we now use worldtv.com/alxtv/video/shatner-of-the-mount-by-fall-on-your-sword. This is better for Search Engine Optimization, which should be a boon to channel owners, and is more intuitive. The old style urls will continue to work for backwards compatibility.
  • Links shared by Twitter will automatically be shortened through Bit.ly. A big benefit of this is that savvy users can view live statistics on who is watching their shared content. Simply add a plus symbol (+) onto the end of any bit.ly link to view the live stats
  • When an individual video clip is shared, a new ‘landing page’ is created for that clip. Here’s an example. This is a big step towards our goal of offering customizable channel homepages. The design of the page is far from finished and will improve dramatically as we implement the winning designs from our ‘design a user homepage for WorldTV’ competition
  • Content shared on Facebook will now have the correct image, title and description
  • Content shared on Facebook can be viewed ‘in-line’

Another benefit of the improvements is that the player controls are now more streamlined and we think look much better than before.

wtv-share-controls

Do let us know if you experience any issues.

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New Suggested Videos Tab

Posted by on Feb 25, 2010 in Change Log | 2 comments

wtv-suggested-videos-tabThis is a cool feature and one we’re launching months ahead of schedule to make video discovery with WorldTV even more useful and powerful.

Starting today there is a new ‘Suggested Videos’ tab within the WorldTV Editor that examines your library and makes suggestions for new video clips you might like.

The new feature takes advantage of YouTube’s related videos function and examines your Library for YouTube clips. If it finds 2 or more YouTube clips in your Library, it fetches related videos from YouTube, and displays them in the new Suggested Videos tab. If you don’t have any YouTube video clips in your Library, the tab will not appear.

Up to 50 clips are suggested and it takes a few seconds to generate them. For now we are doing the work ‘on demand’ rather than in the background. We plan to speed this up in future.

You can drag single or multiple selected clips to your Library, just like the YouTube Top 25 videos tab. A new feature for both tabs means that a green tick will display over the thumbnail for any clips you have added to your Library. This is to provide useful visual feedback of which clips you’ve added and which you haven’t.

There is a small refresh button at the bottom of the new tab which will fetch a new set of suggested video clips.

In other news we have updated the ‘Create Channel Wizard’. The main improvements are an improved automatic logo generation feature and bringing the video player (on the demo screen) up to date with our latest player.

Please let us know what you think of the new features in the comments, and don’t forget you can always vote on new features you’d like to see on our feedback pages.

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