Creating a fake live (time synced playlist) in WS.WebTV
support, ws.webtv, home, contents, channels, video, playlist, time, synced, fake, live
Since WS.WebTV 1.6 you are able to create playlists synced with time. This functionality allows you to simulate a TV Channel behavior where the playlist starting point varies according to the time of the day; therefore the term ("fake live").
A great complement to this functionality is the optional "Scheduler" extension, which allows you to set the current Channel Playlist based on a date or day of the week. For example, you can create a time synced playlist for each day of the week and let the Scheduler change the Channel Playlist automatically (every day), thus achieving a TV-like behavior.
1. Before creating Tasks make sure you have correctly set the Time Zone, according to your geographical location, in Configuration > General > Regional Settings.
2. Although with this feature you can create a "fake live" (simulate a live broadcast); please note that it won't be possible to achieve the precise syncronization of a real live broadcast because the playlist is controlled from the User side and not from the origin; additionally, depending on the connection speed between the server and the Users, the experience will differ and it is possible that each User has a different viewing time.
Don't forget to read the notes and recommendations that you will find at the end of this document.
By this time, you should be familiar on how to create and edit a Channel; otherwise, please check the "Channels: Create/Edit" tutorial before continue reading.
On the "Playlist" tab...
1. Select "Custom" for "Playlist Sorting".
2. Select "Yes" for "Time Synced" option.
3. Set the playlist sync time.
4. [Clips "visitable" property: Optional]
- If you want that all the Clips included in the playlist to be "not visitable" (this means that they can only be played back inside a Channel and can't be played back, individually, by visiting their URLs) then select Change to "not visitable" (the operation will be performed after saving).
- If you previously set the Clips as "not visitable" and want to revert it (thus allowing that all the Clips in the playlist can also be played back, individually, by visiting their URLs) then select Change to "visitable" (the operation will be performed after saving).
- If you dont want to make any change to the "visitable" property of the Clips then leave the field with the default value: Dont't change.
- The times displayed at the right of the Clips from the "Available Clips" correspond to the duration of each Clip.
- The times displayed at the right of the Clips from the "Playlist" correspond to the start time of each Clip.
Notes and recommendations for achieving the best experience with time synced playlists:
1. If Flash playback is important for you then make sure you are using streaming* or pseudo-streaming** playback (StreamClip extension is required). Why? When the Channel starts playing back, the video player will automatically look for the corresponding Clip to playback, additionally, it will try to seek (advance) to the appropriate time of that Clip. If you do not use streaming playback, then the Flash video player will playback the corresponding Clip but will start playing it back from the beginning.
* In order to playback videos using streaming you need a media server or CDN with support for RTMP.
** In order to playback videos using pseudo-streaming you need an Apache-based Web server and the H264 Streaming Module for Apache ("mod_h264_streaming").
NOTE: HTML5 can use pseudo-streaming without requiring anything special. Remember you can specify the preferred playback technology in Configuration > Settings > Video Player.
2. Do not include EmbedClips into the playlist. The is because when using EmbedClips the continuous playback will intrrupt and the video player will loose the control over the playlist.
3. The duration of each Clip must be correctly specified.
4. If the playlist contains "StreamClip Live" Clips, the "duration" specified for those Clips will be used to interrupt their playback and skip to the next Clip of the Channel's playlist.
5. Select the "Player only" template (on the "Properties" tab) to hide the Clip selection lists in the Channel page.
6. If you want to hide the buffering animation, in the video player, then go to the "Advanced" tab, look for the "Additional URL vars" field and enter (or append without spaces) "&nobufferani=1".
7. If you want to hide the progress bar, time, duration as well as the skip forward, skip back, play/pause and playlist buttons, in the video player, then go to the "Advanced" tab, look for the "Additional URL vars" field and enter (or append without spaces) "&nobtback=1&nobtfwd=1&nobtplist=1&nopbar=1&noduration=1&nobtpause=1¬ime=1&muted=1" . The last variable ("&muted=1" - available since WS.WebTV 3.0), increases the possibility of autoplaying in many recent Web browsers.
8. If you want your Channel's Clips to be played back -only- in the Channel and not accessible using their URLs, then set the "Visitable" property, of each Clip, as "No".