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Keith W Henline

creator , CeeAmerica

TEDCRED 100+

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What do you think about TED's ads by force? (Sarcasm)

TED offers a free inspirational talk and you love the topic, the presentation is interesting, the facts are methodically placed one after another building in excitement to a wonderful crescendo towards the finale, then BAM. Just before the end, the door is slammed shut, the lights are turned off and the show is rudely interrupted by a TED commercial. Sound familiar? Many have complained for months but it appears this is no bug, this is intentional. You are forced to watch the commercial OR delete the whole browser and start again.

As per George Riley in statement below:
Why haven't we solved this yet? Because we can't reproduce it purposely and it happens 0.14% of all video playbacks. Granted, there are times when network or server issues at Level3 can increase this rate significantly, but that is the consistent rate. Additionally, the framework we are currently using for our video player makes this a hard problem to work around.

Good news is that we believe we have worked around the issue in the new player - coming soon to TED 2.0 (see http://hello.ted.com for details)

Thank you George and Fritzie for answering my question and I will end the conversation here as the answer is coming soon to a newer, faster, better TED near you!

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Closing Statement from Keith W Henline

Well I waited and the solution I found is worst than the problem! The solution is a small media window in the middle of your display, now they have room for commercials all around the media window, top, bottom, and both sides. If that is not enough they can still overlay the whole screen with a commercial like they are doing now. Some solution!

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    Oct 30 2013: Hi Keith,

    You're talking about a bug that we've been tracking for a while now. I won't bore you with the saga of how many avenues we investigated, false leads, and failed fixes.

    After working with Level3 (our streaming infrastructure provider) we've determined that the issue has to do with the network latency within our streaming infrastructure. A slight delay in retrieving the "chunks" of a stream is causing a server to think that at the stream has ended. When that happens the player is told that the video is over and the player proceeds to play the next video in queue - which is the post-roll ad.

    Why haven't we solved this yet? Because we can't reproduce it purposely and it happens 0.14% of all video playbacks. Granted, there are times when network or server issues at Level3 can increase this rate significantly, but that is the consistent rate. Additionally, the framework we are currently using for our video player makes this a hard problem to work around.

    Good news is that we believe we have worked around the issue in the new player - coming soon to TED 2.0 (see http://hello.ted.com for details)
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      Oct 30 2013: Thank you George and Fritzie for your very precise and logical answer. My first guess was correct but since I did not get a reply I moved to the next level which was sarcasm as that usually gets a faster response, which it did. While I have your attention I noticed the hello team is advocating high definition video on the new TED Talks. My experience with Youtube tells me they are not fully supporting the 1080p format I assume because of much higher costs in bandwidth and server speeds. You may have noticed that Youtube videos in the 1080p format are often interrupted during playback and it does not matter how fast your computer or internet connection is. I record all my videos in 1080p for the better quality but before I load them up to youtube I convert them to 720p and the results have been excellent. The video is almost as clear and the delays are all gone. I have noticed TED videos are having the same problem I described and the easiest solution I believe is to stick with the 720p format until Youtube decides to spend the extra money to fix it on there end, I am not holding my breath for that to happen soon as they have an enormous amount of money spent on the slow servers.
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    Oct 29 2013: Are you saying that there is a commercial and then the talk continues? I always close my browser when a commercial starts.

    I know there is a tech rebuild going on. Have you looked on the hello.ted.com page to see whether this issue is discussed or addressed there or whether there is a contact link to ask about this there?
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      Oct 29 2013: Hi Fritzie.
      The TED talk is interrupted just a few minutes before the end and drops right into the usual commercial that is after the talk has completed. Once it is in the commercial you have to stop the commercial and then start the TED talk over again and then skip to the end of the talk and finish it normally. It is quite annoying and I have read many other comments describing the same behaviors so I just dropped an email to TED describing the problem and hoped they would fix it. It does not happen every time but has been going on intermittingly for several months.
      If they know about it and are correcting it in the rebuild then that would explain why it is taking so long to fix but no one ever said anything and I got no reply from my inquiry.

      I did not know about hello.ted.com and I submitted by name so I will look forward to a reply.
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      Oct 30 2013: By the way Fritzie, I see they are going high definition and you may want to warn them of a possible problem with Youtube. I am sure it will carry more weight coming from you than this silly hillbilly. Her it is:
      Youtube encourages people to submit there video in High Definition which can mean either 1024 x 720 which is called 720p or 1920 x 1080 which is called 1080p. I record all my videos in 1080p because although the file is at least twice as large the video is slightly better and larger. So far no problem.

      Youtube in order to save a lot of money they do not fully support the 1080p. By fully support I mean they need faster servers and more bandwidth which costs money. Because they are not willing to pay the extra money almost all videos run at 1080p do not play uninterrupted. They are constantly stopped in transmission because the buffers cannot keep up, which makes your video stop several times no matter what your bandwidth is. I have a quad-core and 30mips bandwidth so the problem is not on my end.

      Solution: I record two videos, one in 1080p for my inhouse use and another in 720p which I upload to Youtube. Now all my videos play like they should with no interruptions and the quality is almost as good as before even on my 27in 1920x1080 display.
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        Oct 30 2013: Keith, what is simple to you of a tech nature flies right over my head. I hope you have transmitted this message to those who might benefit from hearing it.
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          Oct 30 2013: Thanks again for the hello.ted info, they said they would let me know when they roll it out for testing. I will try and send them a message early to save others the same pain I went through with Youtube.