Video Plugin for Play Digital Signage

Video Plugin

This page will give an overview of how the video plugin works.

 

Options

  • Muted – Plays video without sound
  • Always on top – By default the video will be rendered on top of other elements for smoother playback.
    • Yes – This option is recommended for all entry level players as they can struggle when having to render entire canvas for every video frame.
    • No – Video will respect the layers and other elements can be moved on top of the video. This requires a mid-level player as entire canvas has to be rendered for every frame of video.
    • Yes (native) – This option will be the default for 4K videos. On Android devices it will launch Android’s native video player at the position of the video, non-android devices behave the same as with ‘yes’ option. Please refer to 4K limitations on Android section in the FAQ.

FAQ

What video formats are supported?

We support following formats: 3g2, 3gp, 3gpp, avi, dv, flv, m2ts, m4v, mkv, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, mts, mxf, ogg, swf, vob, webm, wmv.
Please note that all formats are automatically converted to mp4.

What is the best video format?

We recommend using .mp4 files encoded in h264 or h265 codec. Despite h265 being newer codec, often h264 is better for the players as the video is not that heavily compressed and decoding takes less resources.

Is 4K supported?

Our software has the support for 4k, but your player device has to be capable as well. Our Windows/Linux/OSX devices treat 4K videos like any other videos, however Android devices are using a workaround. Android devices (ARM processors) are quite weak compared to other hardware (x86), and the 4K playback on Android devices is optimized for certain codecs and applications only. For that reason our app will launch the native video player at the coordinates of the video plugin and will play the video.

Using Amazon FireTV 4k?

Please refer to Amazon’s documentation on supported video formats: https://developer.amazon.com/docs/fire-tv/4k-ultra-hd.html#codecs.

4K limitations on Android

Most users will be able to take advantage of using 4K videos without making compromises, however we will outline the drawbacks of having to use external video player:

  • 4K video is played on top of all elements, including our app user interface elements, such as download progress bar (in case you’re playing the video in full screen). This also means that slides with 4K video can not use slide transition effects as the effects would occur behind the video element, thus not visible.
  • If you request screenshot from the web portal, the video will not be shown on the screenshot as it’s running outside of our app context.
  • If you are using our software for portrait rotation (as opposed to operating system settings), the video will not be rotated. Portrait is still possible if the display can be rotated from Android operating system settings (Amazon devices lack this option). We’ve also discovered that Amazon 4K stick is incapable of playing a 4K portrait video (2160 x 3840). You can work around this issue by rendering the video in 3840 x 2160 resolution instead, but the content in the video is rotated 90 degrees.
  • Since the video starts up in an external program, there may be a slight delay (especially on first load), therefore we recommend setting the slide background to black to avoid a white flash when the video is starting up.
  • Despite some manufacturers claiming that their device runs 4K, we’ve witnessed the 4K support to be rather limited or lacking (this is most often true for the cheapest Android devices claiming 4K capability). If possible, we recommend going with Amazon FireTV 4k variant as Amazon’s devices are well tested and very capable for the price range.

It says bit-rate is too high?

Entry level devices have limited resources, and there is a lot more to video than just the resolution. Videos have a bit-rate that define how many bits a video will take up in one second. Our recommended bit-rate should not exceed 8000kbit/s or simply 1 megabyte per 1 second of video. So a 60 second clip should not exceed 60 megabytes, this is quite reasonable for FullHD videos, however the specific limitations depend on your player hardware.

How to get video to lower bitrate?

You can use a free video transcoder https://handbrake.fr/ to optimize the video. H264/265 encoders have an option for constant quality, this should be set between 21-23 for optimal quality/bitrate ratio. Furthermore, you can also set an option “Web optimized” when encoding the video, this will reduce the time it takes for player to load and start playing the video.

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