Player V3 FAQ (Deprecated)

Frequently asked questions about Player V3.

Cross Browser Differences

Note: Ooyala Player V3 has been deprecated and is scheduled to be disabled. For details and alternatives, see the OVP Release Notes.

Q: What is the Flash Player?

A: See Flash Player V3 (Deprecated).

Q: What is the HTML5 Player?

A: See HTML5 Player V3 (Deprecated).

Q: Can I use the HTML5 player exclusively across all devices?

A: You can use HTML5 across all Ooyala supported devices. However, your decision to use a particular player exclusively or not depends upon the types of viewing experiences that you want your viewers to have. While Flash is not supported across all devices it does offer some advantages over HTML5. Ooyala’s Player V3 gives you flexibility in deciding what viewing experience you want for your customers. For details, see Player V3 - Comparison Between HTML5 and Flash Players (Deprecated).

Q: When I'm in iOS, am I using the HTML5 Player?

A: When you are using iOS, you are using the HTML5 player. iOS devices do not support Adobe Flash. The variations in support are as follows:

  • If you are using an Apple Mac Desktop running a supported browser, you are using the HTML5 player.
  • When using a mobile device running the Ooyala player in a supported web browser, you are using the HTML5 player.
  • Ooyala also offers our Mobile iOS SDK. This SDK lets you create custom video apps that run HTML5 players.
For more information about HTML5 support for Ooyala players on Apple iOS desktops and devices, see:

Q: Is HTML5 secure?

A: HTML5 in and of itself is not secure. You need to research the possible security limitations in HTML5. However, if you are interested in securing your video content, Ooyala provides a number of content protection mechanisms for your assets. These include everything from token authorization to our Rights Locker API. Ooyala provides, in increasing levels of protection, the following options for protecting your content:
  • Protected streams
  • Playback authorization, including token-based authentication
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems

To find out what content protection Ooyala provides, see our Content Protection Developer Guide.

Q: Why doesn't the HTML5 player work in Firefox?

A: Firefox does not support h264 encodings for the HTML5 Player. For more information, go to https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/HTML/Supported_media_formats.

Q: What are the delivery protocols for Flash?

A: See Flash Player V3 (Deprecated).

Q: What are the delivery protocols for HTML5?

A: See HTML5 Player V3 (Deprecated).

Q: I'm seeing a gray screen and no audio on iOS. What's happening?

A: There is a range of possibilities that might cause this issue including bandwidth issues, defaulting to audio only mode, transcoding, and other issues. For example, assets can show a gray screen because they are missing the reference frame at the beginning of the video; assets that are currently showing this behavior would need to be re-exported and uploaded. In this case, we recommend following our best encoding practices whenever you are exporting your videos to upload. You can watch our tutorials on best encoding practices in the Ooyala Video Tutorials.

The player is designed to provide you the best playback experience possible based on your available bandwidth, CPU, Android version, and device. You need to make sure your iOS device is supported by Ooyala. For more information about supported devices, see Players: Supported Technologies and Devices.

Q: I'm seeing a gray screen and no audio on Android. What's happening?

A: As with iOS, there is a range of possibilities that might cause this issue including bandwidth issues, defaulting to audio only mode, transcoding and others. For example, assets can show a gray screen because they are missing the reference frame at the beginning of the video; assets that are currently showing this behavior would need to be re-exported and uploaded. In this case, we recommend following our best encoding practices whenever you are exporting your videos to upload. You can watch our tutorials on best encoding practices in the Ooyala Video Tutorials.

The player is designed to provide you the best playback experience possible based on your available bandwidth, CPU, Android version, and device. You need to make sure your Android device is supported by Ooyala. For more information about supported devices, see Players: Supported Technologies and Devices in our Support Center documentation.

Q: What players are available per mobile platform and device?

A: The HTML5 player is available for both iOS and Android SDKs. It is supported with the following devices and standards:

The Ooyala Mobile SDK for iOS supports
  • All mobile devices with iOS 7 or later:
    • iPhone 3GS and later
    • iPod Touch, 3rd generation and later
    • iPad 1 and later
  • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS)
  • MP4 video container (subject to Apple's cautions and requirements)
The Ooyala Mobile SDK for Android supports:
  • Android OS version 2.2 or later
  • HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) for Android 4.0 or later. If you need to support video on Android 2.2 or earlier, you need a third-party add-on for HLS. Contact Ooyala for details on this add-on.
  • Videos in MP4 container with baseline H.264 format
  • The SDK is known to work with Google TV, but this is not a supported configuration.

Q: Are Watermarks supported in HTML5?

A: Currently, watermarks are not supported for our HTML5 Player.

Single Machine Issues

Q: When I use the HTML5 browser/player I see gibberish characters on the player. What should I do?

A: For HTML5, gibberish characters can appear on the player if your browser is not set to Unicode encoding (UTF-8). You can set your browser encoding from your browser's preferences. For example, in Chrome, select View > Encoding > Unicode (UTF-8).

Q: My Flash player freezes in fullscreen mode. What should I do?

A: The screen freezing in fullscreen mode in Flash is a known Adobe issue that is related to graphics acceleration. There is no official fix for this issue. If you want a local fix (not guaranteed to work), you can disable hardware acceleration in Flash and also in your graphics card. For Firefox, right click on the player > Settings > Display > Uncheck "Enable hardware acceleration".

Q: What should I do if I'm in Android and it tells me to install Flash?

A: Some Android devices, when communicating through the browser, provide identifying information that servers interpret as being from desktop computers. As a result, based on the Player settings you have chosen, Ooyala may attempt to deliver Flash. If you, the Android device owner, get the message to install Flash, you need to change your Player settings. Once the settings are changed, the device owner should get HTML5 video.

Q: What does Content Unavailable mean? How should I resolve it?

A: You have a range of possibilities as a source for this error. Essentially, it means content is not getting to the player. Some of the possible sources for this error are:
  • You could have deleted the content.
  • Your content is blocked because of a bug.
  • Your content is blocked because authentication failed.

Q: The player doesn't load, I'm only seeing a black box. What now?

A: You can do some preliminary checks to make sure it is not a problem with your web page, your browser, your device, or a network issue. Some initial tests that you can do:
  1. Create a test page with just the player with no other apps or code or calls. Check if the player is still not loading.
  2. Make sure your player is compatible with the device that you are using. For example, in general iOS devices do not support Flash players. For more information, see Player Requirements.
  3. Try running this player in another browser. Make sure the browser is supported for the type of player and device that you are using.
If you can’t eliminate the problem, you need to open a support ticket with Ooyala Technical Support.

Q: I see a green bar at the top of the player. What should I do?

A: You can do some preliminary checks to make sure it is not a problem with your web page or network issue. For example, if you are a provider, you can check to see if custom styling was applied to the <div> container or the player that should not have been applied. Viewers need to contact their provider to resolve issues. If you can’t resolve the problem, you need to open a support ticket with Ooyala Technical Support. When opening a ticket, you need to supply information about how you are playing the video, including what is the device, the browser, is it a Flash or HTML5 player, is it an application or an app built with our Android or iOS SDKs.

Q: I see green pixels during playback. What should I do?

A: You can do some preliminary checks to make sure this is not a problem with your web page or a network issue. Although this may not be true in all cases, this green pixelation has been seen with some Flash players. Some Flash versions can cause this behavior (e.g. Flash 10.1) or it may be a combination of Flash player settings and a low capacity video card. In this case, you can try upgrading to the latest Flash player version. If the issue continues to show, please follow these instructions:
  1. Right click on the Ooyala player and go to 'settings'.
  2. Go to the 'screen' icon at your left.
  3. Uncheck the 'Enable hardware acceleration' checkbox.
  4. Re-start your browser.

If you can’t resolve the problem, you need to open a support ticket with Ooyala Technical Support. When opening a ticket, you need to supply information about how you are playing the video. What is the device, the browser, is it a Flash or HTML5 player, is it an application or an app built with our Android or iOS SDKs.

Limitations

Q: Does the Ooyala Player support ad block detection?

A: The Ooyala Player currently does not support ad block detection nor error handling when detection has occurred. We may look to support it on our forward-facing roadmap, but are not actively looking to support ad block detection on the current Ooyala Player.

Q: I can't autoplay in iOS. What should I do?

A: iOS does not support autoplay. For more information about iOS and autoplay, go to https://developer.apple.com/library/safari/documentation/AudioVideo/Conceptual/Using_HTML5_Audio_Video/Device-SpecificConsiderations/Device-SpecificConsiderations.html.

Q: Why is Live Streaming not supported in Android?

A: Live Streaming in Android is supported with our Hook app. For more information about Hook, see Hook. Live Streaming is supported in Android in our Native SDKs with limitations on pre-4.X devices. We allow Live Streaming for HTML5 on 4.X using HLS, but there is a significant number of devices that don't work correctly in this mode. Live Streaming on Android with HTML5 for Android versions earlier than 4.x is not supported. There are native limitations in pre-4-X devices that have an impact on our support of Live Streaming for Android.
Note: The Hook Mobile Player App (Deprecated) has been deprecated and is scheduled to be disabled. For details and alternatives, see the OVP Release Notes.

Q: Why do I see black bars around my video (lettering)?

A: Most likely the player size doesn't have the same aspect ratio as the video stream.

Q: Why am I unable to play YouTube videos imported into Backlot on iOS mobile devices?

A: You cannot play videos uploaded to Backlot in your iOS device because YouTube playback is only supported on Flash not HTML5.

Q: How can I know how many viewers are getting player errors?

A: You can open a ticket and ask our analytics team for details on built-in support. You can also use our Player V3 Message Bus API to track how many errors are thrown. For more information, see Errors and Error Handling. Alternatively, you can use 3rd party analytics solutions.

Q: My bitrate selector is only showing the option 'auto'. What should I do?

A: Bitrates and buffer control for Flash (RTMP, HDS, Akamai HD2) are now supported in the Player.

The Player V3 API can provide some information. The getBitrateQualitiesAvailable() function returns ‘auto’ when only one encoding is available or when no bitrate quality information is available. For more information about bitrates and delivery options, see Content Protection Options, Delivery Methods, Bitrates and Buffering and Player API Functions.

Q: Do I get ABR on HTML5?

A: ABR takes effect only when the HTML5 player has detected there is sufficient bandwidth available to support a higher bitrate and higher quality stream. For HTML5 players, we can only achieve ABR with HLS. For more information, read the section “About ABR” in the topic “Bitrates and Buffering” at: Bitrates and Buffering.

Q: Do I get ABR on Flash?

A: ABR is available on Flash for RTMP, HDS, and Akamai HD2. This must be enabled in Backlot for a player. For more information, read the section “About ABR” in the topic “Bitrates and Buffering” at: Bitrates and Buffering.

Q: Why do I need audio-only streams?

A: Apple requires an audio-only stream to be available if the application is going to support playing video over a cellular network. Other than that, there is no hard requirement but it's generally a good idea to include audio-only streams if end users are expected to be able to stream at very low bandwidths.

Q: Why does the CC work on desktop and not on iOS?

A: Closed captioning works on our desktop players and on our iOS and Android SDK-based players. The only instance where closed captioning does not work is for iOS Web. Due to the way that closed captions are supported in iOS, we are not able to add closed caption data for IOS web for remote assets.

Q: What is the recommended size for the thumbnail as per Ooyala Player Recommendation?

A: During transcoding of a video, Backlot generates different sized thumbnails. This is done at 15-second intervals throughout the length of the video. If you want to change this interval, contact Ooyala Technical Support. You cannot specify a thumbnail size but can reference one or more of the generated thumbnails. For more information, see Creating an XML Metadata File, About Auto-generated Preview Images, and Managing the Preview Image.

Q: What is the IP address range for Ooyala publishing servers to allow IP whitelisting?

A: Ooyala is not able to provide IP addresses for our systems. We scale dynamically and as a result those IP addresses change frequently.

Q: Does HLS work on Desktops?

A: Ooyala supports HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) for the following:
  • Desktop (HTML5 Player in Safari-only)
  • Android (Hook)
  • iOS Web (HTML5 with Player V3)
  • Android SDK
  • Android SDK with Premium HLS
  • iOS SDK

Q: Can I use the Ooyala Flash or HTML5 Player on a SmartTV or Set Up Box (STB)?

A: SmartTVs and STBs are not officially supported out of the box by the Ooyala Flash and HTML5 player at this time. SmartTVs and STBs are not included on our official certification process and regular QA cycles for Ooyala players. Therefore, it’s hard to predict how the player would behave on these platforms.

If you plan to implement the Ooyala player on SmartTVs and STBs, please keep in mind that these platforms do not provide a fully standardized HTML5 implementation and would need additional tweaks to get video playback working. Ads, Analytics and some other features are more complex and may not works as expected or wouldn't work at all. If you're interested in getting support for additional platforms, please contact your Ooyala CSM representative.

API

Q: How can I position the player correctly?

A: When you use a Player V3 style player embed, you can use a <div> container to place your player and then position the container on your web page. The <div> tags create a container for the player that lets you control the position of the player and allows the player to adapt to changes in the layout of the site.

For more information about using a div container for styling your player, see Styling the DIV Container and Referencing the DIV Container.

Q: How can I switch the player to full screen programmatically?

A: You can switch the player to full screen programmatically. You have a few different options for doing this and these options depend upon your player embed style (Player V3 or V2), whether you are using a Flash, HTML5, or our mobile SDKs. If you are using our Player V3 API, with either HTML5 or Flash, you can leverage the message bus to set your screen.

You can use the WILL_CHANGE_FULLSCREEN to either discover the state of fullscreen or to set the fullscreen state. Using the message publish() function, you can set the player into full screen with the following EVENTs:
this.mb.publish(OO.EVENTS.WILL_CHANGE_FULLSCREEN, true) ; # Go to fullscreen mode
this.mb.publish(OO.EVENTS.WILL_CHANGE_FULLSCREEN, false); # Get out of fullscreen mode

Both of our iOS and Android mobile SDKs support full screen mode. You see how to do this at Android Layout Controls and iOS Layout Controls.

Q: Can I enable an auto-fullscreen feature using Javascript?

A: No, You cannot force your webpage to display in fullscreen mode for security reasons. Users are required to interact with the player in order to enter fullscreen mode.

Q: Which events are supported on the HTML5 Player?

A: The HTML5 Player supports over 50 message bus events. The Player supports a set of standard events that are the default events that are published by the Event Bus. These default events enable your to publish and subscribe to:
  • Ads Events (e.g. ADS_CLICKED, ADS_PLAYED)
  • Controls Events (e.g.CONTROLS_HIDDEN)
  • Embed code Events (e.g. EMBED_CODE_CHANGED)
  • Authorization (AD_AUTHORIZATION_FETCHED)
  • Metadata-based Events (e.g. METADATA_FETCHED)
  • Playback Events (e.g. PLAYBACK_READY)
and many other events. To see a list and description of these events, see the topic, Player Message Bus Events.

Q: How can I restrict playback time?

A: You have several options you can use to restrict playback time. The Player API provides some functions that enable you to get and set playback time. These functions include getDuration( ) and getPlayheadTime( )/setPlayheadTime( ). You can find more information and examples of these functions in Player API Functions.

You can also use the initialTime( ) parameter to set an initial time in seconds to start playing content at a specific point. For information and an example of how to use this parameter, see Embedded Parameters.

Q: Can I select which bitrate to playback?

A: In general, you can select a playback bitrate. However, why and when you would do this depends upon your player. We support bitrate selection for both Flash and HTML5 player implementations. For our Player V3, Flash is handled as pass-through implementation. For some general background on how we use bitrates, see Video Bit Rate.

You can get and set bitrates using the Player V3 API. For more information about using the Player API to work with bitrates, read the topic Bitrates and Buffering. Also, see the get/set bitrate functions in Player API Functions. For some information about Flash and bitrates, see Maximum Bit Rate.

When your account is set up, you can work with your Customer Success Manager to specify bitrates but your best option is to allow the bitrate to be set by default as our platform adjust the bitrate to provide the best quality possible for your asset.

Q: How can I get the available streams/bitrates for a video?

A: You can get available stream/bitrates using the Player V3 API. For more information about using the Player API to work with bitrates, read the topic Bitrates and Buffering and see the get/set bitrate functions in Player API Functions.

Q: Can I add a callback function to the player js?

A: In Player V3, callbacks are not invoked directly on the new embed style; instead, you can use an OnCreate() parameter to specify the name of a callback function invoked when a player is created.

Q: Can I change the domain in the player URL, to have my domain instead of ooyala.com?

A: Yes you can use your domain instead of ooyala.com, however to change your domain you need to contact your Customer Success Manager or open a ticket as this needs to be done by Ooyala Technical Support.

Q: How do I send parameters to my OPF Module?

A: For the HTML5 player, you send parameters to your custom module just as you would to your standard HTML5 player. With the HTML5 player, the parameters are included in the hash of the player onCreate function. The simplest format is as follows:
<script>
        var videoPlayer = OO.Player.create('playerwrapper',
        'video_embed_code', {
              // additional params go here
              });
             videoPlayer.play();
</script>              
The following example, taken from “Creating a Custom Module” example, shows how parameters are sent to the player.
onPlayerCreate: function (event, elementId, params) {
    this.playerRoot = $("#" + elementId);
    this.rootElement = this.playerRoot.parent();
    this.playerRoot.find(".plugins").append("<div class=
    'fooMessage' " +
        "style='color:red; text-align:center; font-size:2em;'>" +
        "Hello this is a custom UI</div>");
…
If instead, you want to know how to send parameters to a Flash-based OPF Module (typically used with our Player V2 embed style), you include the parameters with the embed information. For example:
<script src="http://www.ooyala.com/player.js?diagnosticCallback=playerAPIDia gnosticCallback&browserPlacement=left&o0logV erbosity=3&height=400 &width=700&callback=playerAPICallback&playerId=ooplayer&embedC ode=XXXXXXXXXX&devModuleCategory=ads-display&devModuleURL=http%3A%2F%2Flocalhost%3A8000%2FMy ModuleName.swf&devModuleData=MYXMLDATA"></script>

Q: How can I debug my player development?

A: You have a number of options for debugging your player development. In addition to the tools available for Flash and JavaScript programming, we provide a convenient Chrome extension (plugin) to help you debug your Ooyala player development. With this Chrome extension, you can gather information for Ooyala Technical Support about problems you might have with your HTML5 or Flash video player implementation. This is how it works:
  1. You run the tool yourself to collect debugging details. In many cases, you can solve your problems yourself by looking at the debugging log. The tool bundles information into a URL and downloads logs and other debugging files.
  2. You open a Technical Support request, supply the URL with the debugging information, and attach the saved logs to the request.
  3. Ooyala Technical Support or engineering use the debugging information to help isolate the problem.
For information about downloading, installing, and using this tool, see the article, Debugging/Troubleshooting Extension for Chrome.

Performance

Q: Why does the Player take so long to load?

A: You need to identify and research the possible points that can have an impact on performance. An initial test you can perform is to create a web page with just our Player and check if the delay is still happening (you should not be running any other apps or web pages that might consume your bandwidth). You can also check your web page to see if you have included the code to ensure player loading. When creating your web page to load the player, we recommend that you load the Player in the <head> so it is available when the page is loaded. For example:
<head>
    <title>My Test Player V3 Web Page </title>
    <!-- Load Ooyala Player -->
    <!-- Put the <script> call in the head so the Player is there when the page loads. -->
    <!-- Player query string parameters are added on the line below. -->
    <script src='http://player.ooyala.com/v3/e18ab1da1813483499554ea2d8e67fbd'></script>
    <!-- Load additional custom modules -->
    <!-- script src='/mymodule.js'></script -->
  </head>    

For more information, see HEAD to Load Player. There are also other possible causes for the delay in loading. If the issue is not with your web page or device, you may need to open a ticket to have the issue resolved. If you open a Support case, you must include your internet connection speed.

Q: Why does my video keep buffering?

A: Buffering means video bytes are not getting to the client fast enough. There are any number of reasons that could cause this issue. Everything from your application to your CDN or even power outages could cause buffering. To determine the cause of this issue, you need to identify all the possible points of breakdown which can include:
  • Your web page.
  • Your CDN.
  • The device that you are using for playback.
  • Your wireless setup if you are using a mobile device.
  • Your connection speed (for example 3g and others). You can test your connection using any one of a number of Internet connection speed testing sites.
  • Lowest bit-rate encoding available for playback.

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