Need to embed a video in a site super-duper fast? Why not try the 3 form version of Bitgravity Player 6. Give it a video URL, width and height and you're all set. But is it truly that easy?
Actually, it truly can be that easy. But that would leave out a lot of people who need a more advanced set of controls over their online videos. Luckily, Bitgravity has you covered on that end as well. Simply flipping a switch so to speak gives you a range of fine detail controls over the player including:
- Playback Options - Autoplay, buffer size and advanced seeking (for Bitgravity content delivery users)
- Player Configuration - Height, width, video dimensions (16:9, 4:3 and fully customizable), default scale mode.
- Player Theme - Including control bar color schemes, a logo and a URL link for that logo
- Advertising - Allows you to specify pre and post-roll ads from URLs (COOL!)
For those that might opt for the Bitgravity content delivery package you can offer on demand , BGLiveBroadcast and RTMP.
So what makes this so special? Well, the ability to drop in pre and post-roll ads is super cool and easy, something that isn't always either of those things. On top of that you have a good deal of control over the player without having to struggle with the cryptic Flash embed code. Just fill out the web forms and click the button to get the code. That's pretty sweet if you ask me.
Bitgravity has been around for a few yeas now (founded in 2006, privately held) and have been obviously building a content delivery system to back up the video player. When you use their service the videos are pre-warmed which means they are stored throughout the BG network and the player chooses the fastest, nearest server to minimize wait time. That cuts down on re-buffering and choppiness, usually. Oddly the video on their BG Video Delivery page had to re-buffer for me when I went to get the info. Ironic no? I go to write about how great they are and their service does exactly what the page is telling me doesn't happen.
Now that could simply be they don't know where the Czech Republic is and their nearest server isn't anywher near me. It could also be my Wi-Fi acting up again. So no finger pointing at present, just a note to let you know. BG says their service is integrated with the largest Global Tier One network (a short list of ten possibilities - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tier_1_network#List_of_Tier_1_networks I would say Level 3 off the top of my head, but could be wrong) so they should have a seriously global presence. And yet, the video on their site still stuttered for me.
They offer video packages of course because who would have that massive of a network and not right?
Video Plus Package Features
- Reporting includes raw logs and CSV files
- Directory mapping to a custom docroot
- Flash Player with support for Advanced Progressive
- Advanced Progressive
- Includes the ability for end users to skip without downloading, jump between quality levels, jump between clips
- API allows customers to provide support in their Flash players so end users can create start and stop points of content and share the clips with friends
- Rate throttling: Control your users' stream to a specific rate
- Custom 404 errors
Of course the question of cost arises and that would be a good one. BitGravity falls into the old "if you have to ask you probably can't afford us" category because nowhere on their site could I find the price. In fact even for the 15-day free trial you need to fill out a form longer than that to get their player on your site for free. But if you're looking for a serious place to drop a large amount of cash on your video delivery services, they're probably the place and with all the services they offer, they look to be well worth it.
The real benefit here to the small business operators who want to get into video online is that super quick setup which I mentioned way up at the top of this article.