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New CHOW video player

mudaba May 13, 2009 02:11 PM

We are pleased to announce our transition to a new video player. So far we’ve only placed it on the story pages, but we’ll be getting it on the boards and replacing the big player on the video hub over the next month.

It’s got a host of improvements, including:
-greatly improved video quality
-High Definition player sizes
-full-screen functionality
-improved sharing abilities

You’ll see the old familiars — a play/pause button on the left, a scroll bar in the middle, and four feature buttons on the right:
-Share Videos (for Facebook, embedding on a website, or sending the link)
-Related Videos (a mix of related content similar to a video playlist)
-Full Screen
-Volume

At the end of each video you will see prompts for related videos. If no action is taken, a new related video will automatically play within five seconds.

There continue to be no ads on CHOW Tip videos, though there are now short web ads on longer pieces like Obsessives and The Perfect. We appreciate your understanding that CHOW is kept running by its ad sales and that we are working with the ad team to make your viewing experience as pleasurable as possible.

This new player is still in its "beta" release, so expect to see improvements in the coming months.

Please let us know what you like or don't like about the player, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

(If you’re interested in the details: This player was developed by CBS for the CBS Audience Network, or CAN. It’s the same one in use on TV.com. It allows us to distribute far and wide, and we’re excited about getting our videos farther out into the world.)

Meredith, on behalf of CHOW Video

  1. JohnE O May 18, 2009 08:28 AM

    Hi Meredith,

    What is the format of the new videos (i.e., .flv MPeg)?

    Thanks

    5 Replies
    1. re: JohnE O
      itsapeugeot May 18, 2009 02:14 PM

      @small h - Thanks for letting us know about the frames. As the people that shoot and edit the videos as well, you can understand that we definitely care about dropped frames. We'll investigate this issue. What browser are you using by the way?

      @John E O - We are right now serving one file, a 700k FLV. Though we are actively working on implementing dynamic streaming (300k + 500k) based one a viewer's connection, as well as adding HD videos (these are MPEG-4) for people that want an even better viewing experience. These changes should be implemented in the months to come.

      Thanks,

      Eric

      1. re: itsapeugeot
        s
        small h May 18, 2009 05:00 PM

        Firefox. On IE, the videos run much better, without any problems that I can see. On Chrome, they're super jerky, but they don't stall (that's on my pokier netbook, though).

        1. re: small h
          itsapeugeot May 18, 2009 05:59 PM

          Thanks for sending your browser info. This is the first release of this new player and we expect it to get speedier (less jerky) as well as have multiple stream sizes (for slower connections or ones that can't process the video as well) in the following months.

          Best,

          Eric of CHOW video

          1. re: itsapeugeot
            c
            chileno Jun 11, 2009 08:29 PM

            I'm on a .5 Mb/s connection, which is too slow as the videos are jerky (Firefox, IE, Opera). I wouldn't mind if I could pause the video to let it fully load, but that doesn't seem possible with this player (when paused, it won't continue loading). So I'll have to hope for future releases that work with my connection speed.

            Thanks.

            1. re: chileno
              mudaba Jun 14, 2009 08:34 PM

              Thanks for giving us all the details of your connection and operating system, chileno. I will definitely pass your message along to the team that works on the player and see if they have short-term advice as well as adding it to longer term releases.

              Meredith of CHOW

    2. s
      small h May 15, 2009 07:19 AM

      I watched the 'coffee grounds" chow tip, and while the video quality does look better, it's very balky (I use Firefox). I kept having to click play, because the video paused every 10 seconds or so. To compare, I watched an HD clip on TV.com, which played without interruption. Could the Chow videos not be loading properly?

      2 Replies
      1. re: small h
        itsapeugeot May 15, 2009 10:52 AM

        Hey small h-

        This is Eric from CHOW video. Just wondering if you watched the coffee grounds tip (with Meredith) on the story page here:

        http://www.chow.com/stories/11622

        or if you watched it on the far right of this page over here -->

        Thanks,

        Eric

        1. re: itsapeugeot
          s
          small h May 15, 2009 04:27 PM

          I watched the video on the story page. I just took another look, with the link you provided. The first time I played it, it stalled less, and restarted on its own. I played it a couple more times, and it got smoother each time. But it's dropping frames, which I don't think it was doing earlier. (You can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many Chow visitors care about that, though. Me! That's one.)

          The video embedded on this page runs smoothly from start to finish; it drops frames as well.

          Hope that helps.

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