At vzaar we have two high-level objectives in the development of our platform:

  • Increased modularization
  • Increased abstraction

Modularization provides greater change control and therefore enhanced agility to introduce new features. Abstraction gives our customers greater power to manipulate data objects; HTML Live Streaming (HLS) which has quietly transformed that way video players work, is an example of this. Watch the above video to find out more.

The HLS revolution

When a video platform ingests new content, HLS cuts it up into chunks equivalent to a few seconds of playback time. These chunks are then manipulated independently. From one source file, an unlimited number of different quality renditions can be encoded. During playback, we can use the first chunk of content to request the connection speed from the player on the viewer’s device and then instantaneously adjust the quality of rendition that we send. We can start with the average or typical rendition quality that the viewer normally receives, in order to get the fastest possible load time, and then adjust to deliver the smoothest possible, highest quality for their current connection.

Security & cost savings

The chunks have other benefits too. Financially, if a viewer starts to watch a video but doesn’t watch it through, only those chunks delivered up to the time that’s actually been viewed are consumed, a cost saving even greater  than progressive download. And from a security point of view, it’s much harder for content to be ripped if it’s delivered this way. The combination of HLS and Secure Playback (AES) has dramatically enhanced the level of security for vzaar’s customers.

We’ve spent almost a year carefully ensuring that HLS performs speedily, efficiently and predictably for all our customers, in every browser and on every current device. At vzaar, our number one design principal for the player is that as we introduce new features and technologies it should remain lightweight. Our priority is ensuring our player loads quickly and plays smoothly for our customers and their viewers.

Frame by frame

In tandem with rolling out HLS, we’ve released Frame-by-Frame playback. Viewers can use the < and > keys to move the video backwards or forwards in super-slow motion. By holding the keys down the video can be progressed smoothly. By tapping the keys it can be moved one frame at a time. Customers publishing action-oriented content, like martial arts instructors, yoga teachers, sports coaches or sites publishing gaming videos all get tremendous value for their viewers who can watch experts carry out complex techniques in great detail, frame-by-frame. Also, sites, where there is a degree of invigilation or enforcement involved, can use frame-by-frame to check for ‘fouls’ or ‘inappropriate editing’ of supposedly live content.

Check out our previous fireside chat

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