Posts tagged ‘fun’

March 5th, 2014

The Kaltura European Executive Forum: The Philips Innovation Brand

by Zohar Babin

bafta-kalturaOn Feb, 12th we hosted our first European Kaltura Executive Forum at the prestigious BAFTA venue in London.  Customers, prospects and partners attended in response to the success of Connect in New York and the subsequent request for local peer to peer networking events.

As the first of many to follow in different cities and countries, the evening made the audience the core focus.  After a brief welcome and introduction by Russ Zack, VP & GM Europe and Michal Tsur, CMO, President and Co-founder, Paul Osgood from Philips took the floor.

Paul is the Internal Communications Manager for Philips headquartered in Amsterdam.  From his first word he captivated everyone with his exuberance as he took us through short films created by employees and agencies demonstrating how video has taken internal social collaboration to the next level.  Most compelling were the video stories that employees shared with fellow colleagues spread across the globe and how Philips has made a difference to their lives and those of family and friends.

Everyone in the room had myriad questions which stimulated a distinct rethink about how the first audience for any communication is the personnel.  The remit was simple apparently, based on one single question:

Tell us how Philips delivers innovation that matters to you.

Within a few short weeks people had jumped on board and were posting their short films.  No storyboards, no scripts.  Yet here we saw firsthand how passionate and creative staff were with no formal video production skills.   Interaction was encouraged and engagement measured through views, likes and comments.  By sharing their stories the company celebrated a wave of digital camaraderie never achieved through other means of communication.

The buzz continued as Philips relaunched it’s brand purely to the global employees outside of office buildings with countdowns reminiscent of any New Years Eve midnight strike.  This time they used an agency to create a brand video mixing many of the exciting videos created by their employees (watch: Philips Innovation and You Brand Video) and launching with an dazzling video presentation on the facade of their office buildings generating a new interactive viewing experience for employees out on the streets to enjoy.  The fact that passers by and the rest of the world were welcome to join in the fun without any invitation once again showed how committed Philips is to making every individual a part of the collective, removing international and physical barriers to personnel interaction and integration.  Everyone outside of the Philips collective was quite frankly secondary to this huge rebranding campaign.

They seemed to have cracked the secret code of innovative communication and engagement using video.  There was no doubt that it was working - the results spoke for themselves and continue to do so.

At this point in the evening there was a definite buzz of excitement as we all had lightbulb moments (yes I know Philips makes lightbulbs so pardon the pun).  Further, I had the feeling that everyone in the room was actually understanding what the Philips global team already understands:  how video adds value as a social business collaboration tool.

It seemed that this new compelling insight was creating a new kind of warmth and light and what does one need when inspired and the imagination is peaked?  Cocktails and canapes of course.  In the relaxed and cosy surroundings of the venue, attendees mingled with Kalturians and each other, sharing their own stories and networking.

Paul continued to be bombarded with questions on into the late hours and his enthusiasm and wonderment at how Philips now collaborates was very contagious.  From seeing the original internal communications task at hand as a major challenge he considers himself to be a complete digital convert, embracing video.  As people started to head home and said their good-byes, they left stating that they could see the true internal business need to embrace and connect within their own organisations.  Only now they left with lots of new ideas and connections to reach out to and collaborate with.

Kaltura video case study here:  http://corp.kaltura.com/content/inspiring-creativity-philips

August 21st, 2012

Join Us For The Kaltura Community Office Hours Tomorrow @ 4pm Eastern

by Zohar Babin

Join us for the first “Kaltura Community Office Hours” Google Hangout tomorrow at 4pm Eastern!

During this meeting we’ll be talking with Andrew Davis and Michael Dale about best practices for including Kaltura videos in Web Applications, and Thomas Huzij, who will announce a new Kaltura application and discuss mixing Kaltura with PayPal APIs in ways that open new and exciting opportunities for small publishers and content creators to monetize online video quickly and easily.

The Kaltura Community Office Hours are a great opportunity for developers to meet the core Kaltura team and ask questions about integration best practices that will help you write less code that does more. We have a loose but formal structure for the beginning of the meetings, that quickly lead to open discussion about all things online video and Kaltura. All questions are welcome—if you’re having an issue with any part of the Kaltura platform this is an excellent opportunity to tell the developers how we can better serve you.

Join us and bring any questions to the Office Hours Hangout!

December 8th, 2011

Higher Education Video Boston User Group Meeting #2

by Zohar Babin

The second Boston Higher Ed Video User Group Meet Up took place at MIT just 2 days ago. With more than twice the number of participants from last meeting representing as many as 10 different states and 3 countries (!) – the group is growing in a very encouraging pace, an indicator to the great level of excitement around video in education.

Many thanks to our friends at MIT TechTV for hosting yet another great meetup.

The meetup opened with an introductions “round-table” of all people attending on site and online, followed by a short presentation about where we see Video in Education today, where it might go in the near future and how we should challenge today’s technology, methodologies and usage to be more social, more engaging and reach better personal and global results, leaving the majority of the meeting to an insightful open discussion.

Few meeting highlights -

  • What the future holds? How can we challenge the ways we use video today and what can be done better? (see the presentation below)
  • Mike Williams from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, shared their use of Google+ hangouts along with Docs for realtime collaboration. (Google+ hangouts integration seemed to be a hot topic!)
  • Various video editing tools, their pro’s and con’s and integration to management platform for more streamlined publishing. Tools that were mentioned: QuickTime XSnapZScreenflow, Camtasia Studio and Camtasia Relay (integrated with Kaltura).
  • Video creation methodologies; What is the best length of a video to keep the audience engaged? Will adding interactive layers (chapters, annotations, temporal comments) contribute to the overall viewing experience, or will it divert attention? – Read best practices creating media from: Stanford and MIT.
  • Front end video applications, “Custom YouTube”, such as Kaltura’s MediaSpace and MIT’s TechTV.
  • FERPA (Use of Student Information) tips and practices.

The presentation is available here -

Boston education video meetup   trends in education video read more »

November 22nd, 2011

First Higher Education Video Community User Group

by Perry.Fetterman

The use of video as a learning tool has accelerated rapidly across all aspects of campus life and we at Kaltura are embracing it with the creation of the first of many regional higher education user groups. Last week we helped kick off the first higher education video user group in Boston. The event took place on November 15th at MIT and focused on discussing the use of rich media in academic institutions and promoting knowledge sharing between them.

Teaching is as much a part of the academic institution as learning, so when discussing the format of the meeting all parties involved felt that providing a place to both teach and learn was the keystone of the endeavor. To that end, we attracted a mixed group of attendees that ranged from experienced rich media managers to rookies in rich media management trying to better understand how other institutions leverage video in the academic environment and how end users are consuming video in general.

read more »

November 20th, 2011

The New York JavaScript & HTML5 Meetup

by Zohar Babin

About 2 weeks ago, we started the NYC Monthly JavaScript & HTML5 meetup. In little less than  a week, we’ve received an overwhelming response, with of over 200 members joining. The first meetup took place this past week at the Kaltura NYC office. [Register for the next one here].

read more »

November 10th, 2011

Is Flash Dead? The Age Of The Plugin-Less Web

by Zohar Babin

Many may have found the latest news rocking, shocking, or maybe as a “little too late”…

In case you didn’t follow the news yesterday, Danny Winokur, VP of Interactive Development at Adobe made the following announcement:

“We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.”

It wasn’t very surprising then to see the surge of excited commentary from the HTML and Web Standards community and disappointment felt by avid Flash developers.

read more »

October 14th, 2011

Announcing: San Francisco Based Kaltura Meetup Group

by Zohar Babin

We’re excited to share the news about the new San Francisco based Kaltura Group!
Find more details in the invitation below.

read more »

September 18th, 2011

The Video Wall

by Roni Cohen

I’d like to share an awesome use case for User Generated Content (UGC) Video Application using the Kaltura platform. The credit for this post goes again to Atar Shadmi – senior Flash & Flex developer at Kaltura.

When Atar sent her New Year’s greeting card to her favorite Flash forum, she felt that a more interactive and engaged form of greeting is due, so she came up with this great idea of getting the forum users involved – the Video Wall!
The Video Wall is a set of 16 tiled players (KDP) which plays videos from a given playlist.

The Video Wall

The Video Wall

This Video Wall consist of 3 parts:

  1. The Video Wall Playlist, a Flash application that holds all the greeting videos, each video in its own player (KDP). The app gets all the entries from the playlist and than randomly picks a video for each KDP.
  2. A submition page so you can add your own videos. In the Video Wall Atar used the Kaltura Recorded App (KRecord). Alternatively it would be as easy to use the Kaltura Contribution Wizard and allow file uploads and importing from other websites.
  3. To be able to list all videos related to the Video Wall, all videos are automatically tagged ‘videowall’ when added as new entries.
  4. A rule based playlist – A runtime populated list of media entries where the list is created according to selected categories, tags and other metadata fields. To learn more, see the KalturaMediaEntryFilterForPlaylist object, this holds all the possible filter combinations you can use.

The Video Wall is a great way to share videos with people and engage audience to co-create a collaborative experience (in our case, a greeting card).
Can you come up with more great ideas and use cases – let us know in the comments!

Greetings!

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August 31st, 2011

Open Video Conference 2011

by Perry.Fetterman

Dear Kaltura & Open Video Enthusiasts….

It’s that time of year again!!! The 2011 Open Video Conference is only two weeks away and if you haven’t registered yet, we recommend you do so as soon as possible as space is limited.

This years Open Video Conference will include many of the familiar events you have come to expect from the team at OVC; hack sessions, working groups, open video developer events, and general open video discussions. Click here for more information on the agenda and topics of discussion.

OVC is a great opportunity to meet with many of the leading open video advocates, developers, and businesses in education and media. Meet and collaborate with OVC conference attendees, HTML5 developers, the team at Kaltura and more.

At this year’s Open Video Conference, we’re adopting the philosophy of “less yak, more hack”. We’re changing the formula of past OVCs to make this year’s event more focused and outcome-oriented. Every session will be working towards building tangible outputs, from policy papers to software and hardware. This year’s event is designed especially for builders, tinkerers, makers, and doers. There will be no passive watchers here, just active participants!

Kaltura is a founding member of the Open Video Alliance, launched in 2009 as a coalition of organizations that aims to maximize free expression and innovation in online video.

Open video is the idea that the moving image should belong to everyone. This vision requires not only free and open video technologies, but also that viewers are empowered to go beyond just watching—creating, sharing, and engaging in the multimedia public sphere they now inhabit.

Looking forward to seeing you all at OVC ‘11!

August 18th, 2011

Preview Thumbnails, New KDP Plugin

by Eitan.Avgil

The ability to show a small preview above the scrubber while the user’s cursor is hovering over it is a feature that sat in my drawer for more than a year. One day, after talking to a colleague at Kaltura, I decided to take it out of the drawer and write the code for this feature.
The idea is simple – my plugin would take the scrubber reference, add some mouse events interaction and use the Kaltura’s great Thumbnail API. This API is pretty straightforward: here’s a media entry, get me an image from second X with specific dimensions.
For more info of this cool feature see this link.

 

Phase 1: Get a thumbnail (any thumbnail) to the player.

Anyway, since building KDP plugins is something I do for a living (senior developer at Kaltura, Professional Services) this task was not that hard to implement, and after a few hours I created the 1st Kaltura Preview Thumbnail Widget. It was with a hard coded URL, random number for seconds to seek to, and without positioning. I used a special service layer that called is ‘foreground’ and serves pop-ups and alert for adding the loader.
Once I saw that the thumbnail service is connected to the KDP I could go to sleep. Apparently it was 01:30 AM on a work day.

 

Phase 2 : Connect the scrubber

2 nights later I added some more features.
From the plugin code I added this:

public var scrubber:UiComponent

And in the UiConfig XML I wrote

scrubber=”{scrubber}”

 

These 2 simple additions used the Binding mechanism that the KDP has, to send the reference of the scrubber to my plugin. This is one of the greatest features in the KDP. With simple expression in curly brackets I can get a reference to another component or plugin or to a public property on it.
Anyway, now I could play with the scrubber. I used the reference to get the scrubber width, and to add some mouse events. With the width and the mouseX, I could calculate the playhead position and send it to the function that loads the thumbnail. Two more code lines made it appear above the stage mouse coordinates. Now I see a thumbnail that matches the mouse position of the scrubber.

 

Phase 3: Optimize

Getting the thumbnail through the thumbnail API is quite slow if you fetch a thumbnail for every mouseMove event and also consumes the Kaltura partner’s bandwidth. I had to do something with this. I decided to do 2 things:

1st  Load only round seconds.

2nd Add a threshold. At first I added a hard coded 10 sec threshold, so if you are hovering on second 52 you would get 50. This way I am not consuming too much from my account and the user experience is still OK. Later on I changed this to be 5 sec with an option to configure it through the uiConfig XML. The name of this public attribute is intervalsThreshhold.

 

Now everything works fine, and the preview looks great. Here’s an example (play and hover over the scrubber):

Another optional feature I added later on, is the option to pre-fetch the thumbnails once the entry is loaded with a loop that intervals every X seconds (where my X is my intervalsThreshhold attribute). With this loop the thumbnails will be cached in the end user’s browser cache, and the user will not have to wait till each image is loaded. It is a better user experience but takes its toll on the bandwidth because I am loading all images for the whole video duration. To turn this feature on we would need to add the attribute prepareThumbnails=”true” in the uiConfig XML since the default for this feature is false.

 

UiConfig XMLTag example:

 

This plugin would work if your entries are managed on the Kaltura cloud platform (SaaS), and only if the partner has access to the thumbnail API.

This plugin is free to use for non-commercial players. If you need want it on a commercial player contact me at this gmail account: