We’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 aÂ 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…
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you come up with any interesting implementations. We plan to feature a few of your implementations in a future blog post.