Alpha Test: HTML5 on VB3

Hey VideoBoxers,

As you may have seen in John’s recent post, we have been playing with AirPlay a little bit. Well, with a couple of days somewhat open at the start of this week, I decided to see what it would take to get HTML5 playback happening on iPad, iPhone and Android. I’m pleased to tell you that this afternoon we put an alpha version of this functionality up on VB3!

See the instructions for using it below, but first let me offer a few caveats:

1) This is an alpha test, which means “not even a beta test yet.” I threw it up there for you guys to try out, and I will be busy on other stuff for the next few weeks. Therefore, expect bugs and odd behavior, and you won’t be disappointed. :-)

2) This is only live on VB3. (The time constraint meant that I could only do this on one site, and I chose the one that would be the fastest/easiest to modify.) VB3 is nowhere near ready for easy/convenient mobile-device browsing, so the footer gets in your way, scrolling is a pain, most click events have mouseover events tied to them so you have to tap twice a lot to get a link to actually click, and the list goes on. Rest assured, that will all be changed in the not-too-distant future.

3) The videos being streamed are H.264 DVD resolution only. We played with streaming the 720P HD when available, but we were not able to get it to stream and ran out of troubleshooting time. Still, I think the videos look pretty kick-ass, and I’m eager to hear if you agree or not. We are not offering the ability to switch to a lower resolution yet; for lower-bandwidth mobile use, go to the VB mobile beta.

Instructions for use:

1) Point your iPad, iPhone or Android device to vb3.videobox.com/login.seam and login with your VB username and password.

2) On the Browse pages, tap the button in the lower left on the footer that says “HIDE.” This hides the flash-player column on those pages, making for much easier browsing. (You’ll need to tap at least twice.)

3) Tap the title of a scene or clip you want to watch (this is almost always easier than trying to tap a thumbnail image, since those have mouseover events galore and will rarely take you to the Discover Mode page with one tap).

4) Tap the play button overlaid on the video player once it appears. Bam! High-quality video streaming on your mobile device.

5) At this point, you can also select additional items from the right-hand element (use 2 fingers to scroll them on iPad/iPhone, and again tap the titles instead of the thumbs). Your new selection should load and then auto-play.

6) For extra credit, give AirPlay a try: it now works from both the iPhone and iPad with no extra JavaScript tricks and much better video resolution.

7) Leave a comment below to report bugs, request improvements, or offer your reactions.

Enjoy,
Bob

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11 Responses to “Alpha Test: HTML5 on VB3”

  1. rj Says:

    sweet! thanks!

  2. Foz Says:

    What’s with getting rid of the medium resolution? One video yesterday doesn’t have it, and all of today’s don’t seem to have it..

  3. Bronty Says:

    I have the iPhone 3GS, almost totally updated (except for the most recent update yesterday, which shouldn’t affect this).

    The pages don’t render as you’ve described them. The footer with the “hide” button appears in middle of the page, on top of (obscuring) some of the thumbs. Still the button does work.

    I click on a title, and I am taken to a blank, black video player. No play button overlay. (Teen Dream #14, Scene 1). There is a play button under “scenes from the movie”. However, it does not function, either. I tried this with a few other scenes as well, same issues.

    Send me an email address, I can send you screenshots, if it’s helpful.

    Clicking “download” and watching it that way on the iPhone works fine.

    All that said, to be honest, VB is not a site I’d spend time on with the iPhone, except for you blog or to see box covers of the latest updates. It is certainly well-suited for the iPad, which I plan on buying. (Alas, they are still out of stock where I live.) In terms of interface/UI for the iPad, I think I would prefer some version built-upon your ROku interface. Swiping through pages of box covers and screen caps sounds in search of a scene to ‘tap on’ sounds super cool!

  4. Brian Says:

    Oh kick ass, with VideoBox and AirPlay, I may never leave the house. Keep up the great work. It’s well worth it, the IPad is the way of the future.

  5. Vroomy Says:

    Works a treat. Awsome stuff VB. The site is not great on iPad but it’s beta and not geared towards tablets. Look forward to it all running smoothly later

  6. rj Says:

    so far so good! its working(html 5 videos) for me on iphone 4 and ipad 1.

  7. Reporting HD ISSUES!!! Says:

    AT the very end of the first scene of todays HD update there are visual glitches
    And the previous one also had them
    Its always at the end if the first scene

    Please, fix it

  8. Strokie Says:

    I have both iPad 2 3G and iPhone 4 with AT&T 4.3.2. Works great on both Wi-Fi and 3G. I’m grandfathered into the original true unlimited 3G plan, for both iPad and iPhone. Time to start steaming. muwhahaha!!!

  9. Jeremy in Boise Says:

    PROTIP: Leave flash behind, it is so pre-2008. Glad to hear some HTML5-family stuff is being tried, good news.

  10. Mike Says:

    Alpha hell! I used my ipod all night to watch Hd movies all night using airplay without a hitch. Never had to re login and never froze up. Worked like a champ. You guys need to let people know. Took lots of googleing to find ur post on airplay. I had tried digital playgrounds site which officially supports airplay but constantly had to re log back in. Very little content. Thanks to your efforts im in porn heaven. No computer. But dtll have access to best porn on web! This is the future because we all like our mobile devices because they offer us more privacy and are more convenient.
    You guys have the best value and content on the web. Your only weekness is that yiu arent leveraging that well enough yet. You have a great opportunity with airplay. Big cheers filoe the it department!

  11. Rob Says:

    I think it’s great you you guys keep pushing out new ways to view the movies at the same great price. This is the best porn site on the Web, and it just keeps getting better. Looking forward to the stable version in a couple of months. Thanks.