Kaltura TV Platform Player Information Guide

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  Overview

The Kaltura TV Platform Player is an easy-to-use, powerful, flexible video platform, which is designed to enable you to deliver videos on your website quickly and easily, allowing you to reach viewers, engage them, and maximize your revenue. Moreover, the Kaltura TV Platform Player technology is designed to ensure that the videos on your site will start quickly and stream smoothly.

 

The Kaltura TV Platform Player is designed to provide a television-grade experience that is both fast and reliable. The player provides users with an easy-to-use interface, while customers can configure and customize the Kaltura TV Platform Player’s behavior using the player APIs or the Kaltura TV Platform Studio.

Supported Platforms and Browsers

 

The Kaltura TV Platform Player is supported on the following platforms and browsers:

 

Desktop

 

Browsers

IE11, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari

Operating Systems

Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 

Mac OS 10.10

Mobile Web

 

iOS

Safari and Chrome on v9 and up

Android

Chrome on v4.2.2 and up

 

Note that on Chrome browsers, the Kaltura TV Platform Player supports offline usage. 

 

For more information, refer to the Kaltura TV Platform Player Support Matrix.

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Using the Kaltura TV Platform Player

The Kaltura TV Platform Player is an easy-to-use and implement player that allows users to play both VOD and Live content, on a wide variety of devices and operating systems. The Kaltura TV Platform Player provides users with a clean, easy-to-use interface for viewing videos and live content, allowing the user to jump to different sections in the video, add captions while viewing, change the viewing quality, control the volume and full screen options, and much more.

 

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Viewing Videos

 When the user accesses the video for the first time – on any type of device – he or she will see only a big play button displayed on top of the video.

 

At this point the Kaltura TV Platform Player does not display any additional functions, since the user may have several players open at the same time. Touching or clicking Play runs the video and enables the Playback Control panel at the bottom of the screen, which appears automatically for a few seconds when the user touches Play. The panel also appears when the user hovers over the screen.

 

 

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Playback Control Panel

The following playback controls are available in the Kaltura TV Platform Player when the user hovers over the screen.

Before Play

Before play, the only button displayed for both web and mobile is the large Play button.

During Play

All controls are displayed and are then hidden after two seconds.

  • Web: When the user hovers, all the controls are displayed

    • If the user does not select anything, the controls are hidden after two seconds.
    • If the user selects one of the options, such as settings or captions, the controls remain displayed even if the user does not take any additional action.
  • Mobile: On mobile devices, clicking anywhere in the screen shows all controls.

    • If the user does not select anything, the controls are hidden after two seconds.
    • An additional click/touch will play/pause the video.
    • If the user selects one of the options, such as settings or captions, the controls remain displayed even if the user does not take any additional action.

Volume Control

Hovering over the volume button will display the volume bar to change the volume. Clicking the volume button will mute and unmute the device volume.

By default, the volume button will not appear on mobile devices, but can be added by the customer providing the service.

Scrubber Control

Hovering over the scrubber will display the thumbnail of the relevant point in the video and the timestamp.

 

Clicking the scrubber will seek to the relevant point in the video.

 

Full Screen

To enter full screen mode:

  1. Click or touch the full screen button  in the far right bottom corner.
  2. To exit, click or touch the button again, or click Esc.
 NoteFor mobile devices, titling the device horizontally will not enter full screen mode automatically. The user will be able to enter and exit full screen mode from both portrait and horizontals modes.

 

Skip Back 10-Seconds

The player also enables you to skip back 10-seconds at-a-time in the current playback. Simply click the button  next to the Play button.

 

End of Play/Replay

When the video ends, the video’s thumbnail is displayed with a replay button, enabling the user to replay the video.

 

 

The screen also shows the Playback Control Panel, enabling the user to seek another location in the video, change the volume, change the settings and more.

 

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Casting

The Kaltura TV Platform Player enables users to cast content from a tablet, smartphone or chrome browser to a TV during viewing. Casting with Chromecast is supported based on the CAF from Google. The peformance ensures a YouTube grade level, and include Live, DRM, Google Home, captions, multi-audio, and more.

 

The Kaltura Player supports Chromecast on the following versions:
  • Mobile SDK V3
  • Web player version 7.3+
  • iOS: iOS 11, 12 (two less than the major version)
  • Android: Android 4.2.2+

How does It Work?

The Chromecast system consists of the following: 

  • A Sender application that is integrated within the player and is responsible for sending streaming requests to the Chromecast Receiver. Click here for detailed developer information about the Sender.
  • A Receiver application, which is a separate HTML page that runs on the Chromecast dongle attached to the end user’s TV, and is responsible for receiving the streaming requests from the Sender application and presenting it on the TV. Click here for detailed developer information about the Receiver.

To begin casting:

  1. To cast content from a sender device to the receiver device, use the cast icon   from the playback menu.
  2. When casting content from the sender device, the content will be displayed on both the sender and receiver devices; however, the device that controls the player will remain the sender device, acting a sort of remote for the receiver device.

Note that for Chromecast to work, the end user’s application and the Chromecast device must be connected to the same wireless network.

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Picture-in-Picture

The picture-in-picture feature allows you to take the video out of the browser and continue watching while interacting with other applications. This option is currently supported on Chrome and Safari browsers.

  1. To use picture-in-picture, select the picture-in-picture icon  from the playback menu.
    The player moves the video to a separate location, allowing you to continue watching and interacting with other applications.

  2. To return to the regular view, press the x in the upper right cover of the remote view or the picture-in-picture icon in the main view.

 

 

 

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Settings

Languages

If a video has both captions and multi audio tracks, the Languages button will appear on the Kaltura TV Platform Player by default to allow the user to navigate between languages and turn off captions.

This option is configurable by the customer providing the service, who may also choose to block this option.

 

When user opens the language menu , the menu remains open until the user closes it (or until he or she opens another menu). This enables the user to select both audio and captions without reopening the languages screen.

 

Quality Settings

When a player begins running, it uses the default bitrate (quality) used by the device on which the Kaltura TV Platform Player is running.

To change the bitrate quality:

  1. Click or touch the settings  button and then select the Quality drop-down arrow.

    This displays a popup menu of the available quality options (bitrates). The current quality is the Auto that is selected by default.

  2. Select the bitrate/quality you wish to use instead, and then click/touch the settings button to close the menu.  

Speed Settings

When a player begins running, it uses the default speed settings used by the device on which the Kaltura TV Platform Player is running.

To change the speed:

  1. Click or touch the settings  button and then select the Quality drop-down arrow.
    This displays a popup menu of the available speed options. The current speed is the Normal speed that is selected by default.

  2. Select the speed you wish to use instead, and then click/touch the settings button to close the menu. 

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Accessibility Options in the Kaltura TV Platform Player

The Kaltura TV Platform Player has been designed to comply with a wide range of accessibility requirements, including those set by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) Section 508-compliance, and WGAG 2.0 compliance. These accessibility requirements are detailed in the following section.

CVAA Accessibility Features

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) focuses on ensuring that communications and media services, content, equipment, emerging technologies, and new modes of transmission are accessible to users with disabilities. The Kaltura TV Platform Player is CVAA-compliant by default; the player includes capabilities for editing the style and display of captions and can be modified by the end user. The Kaltura TV Platform Player has been designed to allow for three caption styling options; after the user defines a custom style for the captions, it will be added to the default styles available in the main CVAA screen.

Advanced Captions Link

  1. Clicking the Advanced captions settings link in the Language’s menu will open the Advanced captions settings (also called the CVAA screen; to learn more, refer to this CVAA link).

  2. Click or touch Set custom caption.
    This opens the following screen.

  3. For each attribute, click or touch the dropdown arrow then select the type of caption:


  4. Scroll to the bottom of the dialog and click Apply to save your changes. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

 

Shortcut

Action 

Keyboard

Playback

Play/Pause/replay

spacebar

 

Volume controls

up/down arrows

 

Mute/unmute

M

 

Go to full screen

F

 

Exit full screen

Esc

 

Seek (jump 5 sec)

side arrows

 

Jump to video start

Home

 

Jump to video end

End

Speed selector

Increase/ decrease/ back the original (0)

< / > / :

Multi Audio

Change audio (next stream / previous stream)

  • Low priority

[ ]

Captions

Show/hide

C

 

Player Navigation

The following Player navigation accessibliity features are available:

  • When clicking 'tab', the Player enters navigation mode and the blue square will appear on the scrubber
  • Clicking with the mouse on the Player at any time will exit navigation mode
  • Clicking Esc will close any open menu

This is the order of the navigation and its options while on each button:

  • Scrubber -  The user will be able to skip back/forward using the side arrows or the up/down arrows
  • Play/Pause button - Clicking enter will play/pause the video
  • Volume button - Upon clicking 'enter' - mute/unmute the player/ when clicking up/down arrows turn the volume up/down
  • Languages menu - Clicking 'enter' will open the menu and the square will be around the first option (Audio). Another 'enter' will open the audio options and another tab will move to the next option in the menu (Captions). Another tab will open the CVAA menu:
    • Audio/captions menus - Tab will navigate between the options and enter will choose an option and close the menu
    • CVAA menu has the same behavior - Tab to navigate, enter to choose, arrows to increase/decrease when there is a bar
  • Settings menu - The same behavior as the languages menu
  • Full screen - Enter/exit full screen on enter

 

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VOD and Live Playback on the Kaltura TV Platform Player

When using the Kaltura TV Platform Player on VOD and Live playback, before the user selects Play, the player displays a thumbnail and a play button:

  • Play: Upon clicking play, the video will start playing with the configured bitrate (as set by the customer).
  • Autoplay: The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports autoplay on both desktop and mobile web (iOS and Android). By default, the video will begin as muted on load. This is configurable for both web and mobile. The user can click pause and play multiple time, consecutively and non-consecutively.
  • Interruptions:
    • On desktops, the video will continue playing as usual when the browser is minimized or the user switches between tabs
    • On mobile web, the video will pause during all types of interruptions - network, incoming calls/messages, going to home screen. to resume the video, a viewer will need to click play again.
  • Playback Seek: The viewer can hover over different points in time on the scrubber and see a thumbnail and timestamp. The user can also jump to another point in time in the video.
  • Captions: By default, the captions will use the user’s preferences; if no preference exists, the captions will be according to the application’s configuration – either an explicit language selection or ‘auto’ meaning the local operating system language. The player also supports external captions through a config file support of external captions of SRT, WebVTT formats.
  • Embedded Captions: If you know your stream includes embedded captions (mostly for live use cases) you’ll need to enable it under the playback config - enableCEA708Captions.
  • Multi Audio Tracks: A viewer can switch between multiple audio tracks. If such a language was not defined, the Kaltura TV Platform Player will remember the user's last choice with cookies.  if this is not possible, it will use the browser's locale. If all else fails, the Kaltura TV Platform Player will use the first language available in the manifest. 
  • 360 & VR Support: The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports 360 & VR capabilities if configured in the Kaltura TV Platform Player Studio, with more advanced options to control the experience.

Supported Playback Formats

The Kaltura TV Platform Player uses the formats HLS.JS, but also supports DASH and Progressive download. The bitrate selected will be according to the Kaltura TV Platform Player dimensions.

Changing Media

The Kaltura TV Platform Player enables the user to change the media being played, including the following:

  • DRM and non-DRM protected media
  • Live and VOD
  • With and without captions and multi audio tracks
  • HLS and DASH

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Embedding the Kaltura TV Platform Player

The following embed types are supported:

  • Auto
  • iFrame
  • Dynamic

To embed the Kaltura TV Platform Player:

  1. Click the option ‘copy embed’ to copy the embed code.
    After copying the code, an indication will appear that the code was copied.
  2. Clicking ‘start video at’ will embed the video with the relevant start point,
    The timestamp on ‘start video at’ will display the point in the video the user is now watching.

To learn more, read this article on embedding Players.

 

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Monetization in the Kaltura TV Platform Player

The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports all types of VAST/VPAID-compliant ad servers using Google’s IMA V3. The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports IMA V3 in full according to the requirements detailed in the Google SDKs.

The supported ad formats include:

  • Linear pre-rolls, mid rolls and post rolls
  • VMAP
  • Bumpers
  • Companions

The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports the following features:

  • Skippable – Allows the user to skip an ad
  • Pods support:
    • The player will indicate how many ads are in the pod (“now showing 1/3”)
    • The player will indicate time remaining for each ad
  • Should an ad fail to load, the Kaltura TV Platform Player will report an 'ad failed' event, but will continue directly with the video itself and will not display an error message to the viewer. 

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Enabling and Disabling Plugins

The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports plugins, such as advertising plugins, as well as the creation of third-party plugins, which enables customers to add their own plugins. 

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Error Handling

The Kaltura TV Platform Player notifies users in cases of errors, displaying an error message to the user together with a Session ID for debugging purposes. An error event will also be sent to the application. The messages are displayed in the following cases:

  • Access control issues: "Sorry, Access to this video is currently blocked"
  • For all other errors: "Something went wrong"

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Additional Features

  • The Kaltura TV Platform Player supports a Flash fallback for the remaining 2% of users that still use Windows 7 with IE11. With the Flash fallback, Kaltura can now deliver HTTP adaptive streaming to legacy OSs that don’t support Media source extensions. This means that you can play HLS/HLS-AES VOD and Live on this type of platform.
  • It also enables you to preview and embed entries with the Kaltura TV Platform player for players configured in the Kaltura TV Platform Studio. The list is ordered by last update so that the Kaltura TV Platform Players will most likely be at the top.
  • In addition, the Kaltura TV Platform Player buttons and tooltips can be translated into several languages using the configuraiton in the Kaltura TV Platform Studio.

 

 

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