Everyone’s Going “HD” (Sort of)
Last week, YouTube made big news by introducing “HD” video, thought it’s unclear what YouTube’s definition of “HD” is. The video is certainly higher definition, but it’s certainly not 720p or 1080p which is technically what HD is supposed to be. It might be 480p which is what Hulu.com does for their high quality streams (and is also what the Wii ouputs).
At DTS, we also recently revamped our videos to be “HD” (in the higher definition sense), moving to 480p in most cases.
- For chapels and profiles of students and alumni, we have moved from RMTP streamed 426×240 FLV videos to progressively downloaded 640×360 MP4 (H.264) videos using Amazon S3 (and soon, CloudFront) for video.
- For online education we moved from 320×240 streamed FLVs to 640×480 MP4s also from Amazon (c.f. previous post on online education player design).
We’ve also changed the player quite a bit. The old player had a lot of “chrome” around it and this new one is chromeless (ala Vimeo) and has the option to popout (similar to Hulu). Compare the old player below, with the new player showing two recent profiles, one of an alumnus and the other of a currents student who is also an NFL player.
New Embedded Player Samples
Some Technical Information
This player needed to be able to play both MP4s for video and MP3s for audio. Unfortunately, Flash’s built-in video controls like PlayButton and Seekbar only work for video, and there is no way to use them for audio. I wrote a some wrapper classes that can handle both MP4/FLVs and MP3s and normalizes the event model so they can both be hooked to the same control UI. If we move back to streaming it should be easy to write another class for that and have it all “just work.”
If anyone is interested in the source code, I’d be happy to publish it as an example of a Flash IDE AS3 video player that can also handle MP3s.