Service Announcement for Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu) Holiday 2017

Greetings! As Dragon Boat Festival (also known as Duanwu) holiday is coming, some of our customer services will be altered during the holiday. Here are the detailed information for our service during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday.

1. Our office will be available on May 27th (Saturday) as usual time, then closed from May 28th (Sunday) through May 30th (Tuesday), and will be back into service on May 31st (Wednesday).

2. Invoice and document delivery will not be available during the holiday.

3. Online support and customer service will still be available during the holiday. If you have any issues on our service and need help, you can send e-mail (service@polyv.net), contact via our hotline (+86 400-158-8816) or Business QQ (800009268) for one-on-one aid, or look through our FAQs in our Developer Center in case the answer is there.

We apologize for the delays during the holiday. Thank you for your patience and enjoy your holiday.

Cordially from your POLYV Support & Customer Service Team.

[POLYV Insight] Some thoughts on Qianliao Scandal

Earlier this week, our office was shocked by the following news –

Lycheer (literally Lychee WeChat Course, www.lizhiweike.com) accused Qianliao (www.qlchat.com) of hacking and attacking their WeChat live streaming classroom service several times between October 2016 and May 2017.

Reports say Qianliao trashed Lycheer with porn media or rebellious videos on forbidden political issues, as well as hiring trolls and “zombie users” to flag the service, causing students affected by the inappropriate content or service interruption, and WeChat to block the domain of lizhiweike.com for 7 days due to the misguiding by the false flags.

Lycheer have provided the data and evidence during the period of hack and attack to Guangzhou Police for investigation. GZP charges Qianliao for breaching production and business operation, and one individual is in detention.

Source: Jiemodui, Weibo

Lycheer accused Qianliao of hacking and attacking their WeChat live streaming classroom service

Qianliao is one of our competitors in the domestic market, and is one of the biggest live streaming services with millions of users here as it proclaims itself “a free platform for open classes and interviews”.

What really shocks us is that Qianliao would beat competitors in such ways that against laws. They only think about poaching tutors from the competitors, but never think about the consequences that brought to the lecturers and students.

These acts actually do significant harm to the tutors who provide useful courses that help us think and practice, as well as the innocent students who just want to learn practical skills through Lychee WeChat Course. As reputation is important in the online education industry, what Qianliao did does not promote any benefits to the tutors and students – which are also their potential users, but in fact damaging their own reputation and setting up a bad example for them instead.

What’s more, if these “hack and attack” acts continue, every other fellow platforms will ultimately get involved, and takes a lot of time to recover from the financial loss and the damage of reputation – and more importantly, the time of tutors and students, which are invaluable.

We never promote being evil in the competition, as it only brings lose-lose situations for both sides. We believe that by providing good services, keeping listening to the users and using proper ways of marketing and promotion, can we gain true growth for ourselves as well as the industry.

After all, the Qianliao Scandal brings us an alarm of unfair competition, and reminds us how important the users and product are to us. We hope there will be a just judgment for this case, and the affected users of Lycheer are going back on their track of learning and inspirations.

[Questions from You] The suitable live streaming service for online education scenario

We have received many requests from our audience over the last two months, asking about our Video Cloud and Streaming Cloud service.

First, we really appreciate for your replies and support for our articles and updates, because your feedbacks always matters and help us improve our products and services.

What’s more important, your feedbacks also raise new needs and demands for us to research. If we find them useful through the research and necessary to add to our service, we will do it in no time.

Here we start the new series “Questions from You”, which we pick some typical or valuable questions and requests from you guys, and we will discuss the issue throughout the articles. We hope you enjoy this series, and keep sending us feedbacks.


Question:

I want to set up an online education platform for live streaming my course. There will be about 50 to 60 students attending, Q&A should be available and the latency should be within 1 second.

Live streaming is getting popular in online education industry

We received quite a lot of requests from the audience as well as the potential users of choosing the right service to set up their e-classroom and give courses through livestream. The question listed above is one of the most typical request we have seen.

We can extract three main demand from this question –

  1. For online education use (Purpose)
  2. 50 to 60 students online at the same time (Scale)
  3. Latency within 1 second (Low latency)

Let’s take a look for the first demand – purpose.

There are a lot of video cloud services available, yet not all of them are dedicated for online education. For big corporations like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, even they provide “education solutions”, the video service is not a major part of their cloud computing, which means the functionalities can be limited and the technical support team may not respond in time.

We recommend you consulting online video services which dedicate in education and business fields, such as Qiniu, POLYV, Kaltura and Panopto. They have accumulated online education clients and keep improving their products and services from their feedbacks, and you can directly use their service for building your e-classroom or live streaming courses just like real-life classrooms.

It's not a heavy load for video service to hold a classroom of 60.

For the scale of students, a capacity of 60 students is not a heavy load for the cloud videos services above at all, thanks to the development of CDN. And if the audience capacity keeps growing, most of the services can still work perfectly, or you can add some more CDN nodes for some sudden high-concurrent scenarios just in case, or balancing the distribution load and make the latency within reasonable range.

The problem for this demand may be the cost of extra CDN nodes. It varies among different video services, so we recommend you asking the customer service team for detailed pricings and plans.

And now the last one – latency.

Almost every video services use HLS or RTMP protocol for pushing or pulling live video streams. The latency of HLS is quite long, which varies from 10 to 35 seconds and is unusable for e-classroom. The latency of RTMP is about 3 to 5 seconds, which is acceptable for most of the live streaming scenarios.

For your latency demand in the question, it is a little too harsh for live streaming services because currently RTMP is not able to reduce latency within 1 second (yes, not even YouTube is able to achieve that so far). If you insist with that, the livestreams have to be transferred through UDP protocol, which is very common in intercom applications where a lot of people can communicate through their microphone at the same time. And of course, these applications are really expensive, and may not be suitable for actual use.

A latency of about 3 to 5 seconds is very common and acceptable for live streaming courses.

So we have a compromising solution – the course lecturing session can be delivered through ordinary RTMP live streaming, and when student asks or answers questions, you can activate the microphone for the designated student and start conversation with microphone (through UDP protocol) like in an intercom system, while other students remain in RTMP streaming. This is what we known as “Microphone streaming”.

For these features, POLYV, Tencent QCloud, Panopto and a few other live streaming services have integrated Microphone streaming. It is proved useful for e-classroom scenarios, cost less compared to intercom applications, and the actual latency is within fair and acceptable range.

We hope the answer above can satisfy your demands. And if you want to try our service for your live streaming classroom, check out our Streaming Cloud website http://www.polyv.net/live to register your account, and then visit our Download Center http://www.polyv.net/download for our live streaming clients.

And if you want to learn more about our Video Cloud or Streaming Cloud service, check out our blog for our previous articles or visit our official website http://www.polyv.net for more information.

Last but not least, we are looking forward to your next questions, so stay tuned everyone! 🙂

Concise Tutorial: Tips & Tricks for Batch Management

Imagine you have used Video Cloud for quite a long time, there are a lot of videos in your account and counting. At this point you need to find a way to manage your videos more efficiently, to categorize them, to put them in different playlist or to export the information of selected videos.

Here we will show you some useful tips and tricks for managing massive amount of videos in your account with just a few clicks or simple moves.

I. Batch Categorizing

The uploaded videos are in “Default category”, and it would get messy if you keep uploading without categorizing them. To solve this, you can create different category folders for different types of video, and then put your videos in the right place.

And here’s how –

1. Sign in your POLYV account, then select “Videos” to enter the admin page of Video Cloud.

2. Select the videos you need to move to new category, then click “Move to folder” button on top of the list.

Select the videos you want for a new category, then click "Move to folder" button.

Note that if you don’t have any category folder, please click “Manage folder” on the left panel and create a new one.

3. In the popup window, select the category you want.

Select the category you want in the popup window.

Now you can see the selected videos are in the designated category. You can create more different category folder to categorize your uploaded videos.

The selected videos are now in the designated category.

With the batch categorizing tricks, you can sort your videos faster, and use it for later uploads as well. Now you get it, right?

II. Playlist

Categories are useful, with only one issue – each uploaded video can only have one category. What should we do if the videos meet two or even more different categories or criteria?

Don’t panic! You can use playlist for showing different types of content to your audience, and one video can be in more than one playlists.

Now let’s get started with the playlist setup –

1. Sign in your POLYV account, then select “Videos” to enter the admin page of Video Cloud.

2. Select the videos you need to add to playlist, then click “Playlist” button on top of the list.

Select the videos to be added to the playlist.

3. In the popup window, you can add the videos to existed playlist, or click “Add new playlist” to create a new one.

Select the playlist you want, or create a new one for your videos.

4. Now click “Playlist” on the left panel, click name of the playlist to see if all the videos needed are in. You can edit the information of these videos, or remove them if you don’t want them in the playlist.

Click the name of the playlist for editing it.

You can edit the information of the video, or delete the video you don't want.

Additionally, after you finish setting up the playlist, you can preview the playlist, edit the playlist or copy the code for embedding it to your website, by clicking the buttons on the right.

You can generate a Flash playlist or embedding code from the icons on the right.

III. Export Video Information

If you want to sort your videos more thoroughly, you can export the information of designated videos, and sort them through Microsoft Excel or equivalent spreadsheet software.

And here’s how to export the video information –

1. Sign in your POLYV account, then select “Videos” to enter the admin page of Video Cloud.

2. Select the videos you need to add to playlist, then click “Export” button on top of the list and select “Export the selected videos”.

Select the videos you need, then click "Export" button.

3. Select the export location and rename the file (if you need), then click “Save”.

Export the information to a single CSV file to your destination folder.

4. Now you can open the exported CSV file in Excel or other equivalent spreadsheet software. The fields (from left to right) are –

VID, Title, Flash player URL, Video length, Thumbnail URL, Source file size, Smooth rate file size, High-definition rate file size, Ultra-definition rate file size, Status, Uploader, Category, Last update time, Tag, Description, MD5.

You can use Excel or other software to open the CSV file and for further actions.

You can sort your videos with one or more of these fields, and then take actions for further categorizing.

So this is three of the tips and tricks for the video batch management in Video Cloud. We hope you can take benefit of them and make your video management more efficient.

If you have any questions or want to share your way to manage the videos, just feel free to leave the comment down below. And don’t forget to check out or blog or our official website http://www.polyv.net for more information and useful tips!

See you in the next article, and happy video hosting!

PC Streaming Client Update (May 2017)

Howdy! We are very excited to announce the latest feature of our PC Streaming Client – automated subtitles from voice recognition.

The feature of Automated Subtitles is now available for PC Streaming Client.

The feature of Automated Subtitles is now available for PC Streaming Client.

When your streaming goes live, the latest voice recognition system will process the audio automatically, and display the subtitles in the source window of the streaming client, with accuracy above 90%.

Now you don’t have to worry about the audience miss your point – the automated subtitles can help them understand your livestream better.

Other updates in the latest version include –

1. New skins for user interface, with more refined details and color schemes.

2. Bug fixes and minor updates.

The latest PC Streaming Client is now available. You can visit our Download Center for your copy, or click here for a direct link for the installation package. If you don’t have a Streaming Cloud account, visit http://my.polyv.net/v2/register first to sign up.

We will notify you if there’s any major updates for our clients, so stay tuned and we’ll see you in the next article. 🙂

Copyright Protection: Mobile App authorization

In our last article, we talked about Video Cloud’s Web authorization, a higher level of security for your videos being accessed in mobile devices, showing how to set up this feature with the code preparation enable these settings.

Today we’ll continue the topic of Video Cloud’s mobile protection, and introduce “App authorization” – an even more secure way to deliver and play your videos in mobile devices.

Unlike Web authorization, App authorization only allows video playback from Android/iOS apps developed by POLYV SDK, while the requests from mobile browsers are not permitted.

If you use App authorization for secure playback, the POLYV SDK within the app will send a request with parameters to the server to verify. If the parameters are valid, the server returns an encrypted authorization token which will be decrypted by SDK to get the real playback key. With this playback key, audience can access the encrypted m3u8 files from the server and start playback within their app.

The workflow of App authorization is shown as the following –

The workflow of App authorization

And for the code setup, we have an example section of code for iOS SDK setup –

#import "MPMoviePlayerController+plv.h"
…
//Playback for self-adaptable video
self.videoPlayer = [[MPMoviePlayepController alloc]initWithVid:_vid];
//Playback for videos of certain bitrate
self.videoPlayer = [[MPMoviePlayepController alloc]initWithVid:vid level:1];

And now, let’s look at what we should do to activate App authorization –

0. Set up the codes before starting activating App authorization. (Code example seen above. For more detailed deploy procedure, check out our development documents at http://dev.polyv.net/)

1. Sign in your POLYV account, then select “Videos” to enter the admin page of Video Cloud.

2. Click “Settings” on the right of the top navigation bar, then click “Encryption settings” on the popup menu.

The portal of App authorization is in "Encryption settings".

3. In the “Video encryption” section, first click on the check box to enable VRM, then go to the “Mobile encryption settings” section and choose “APP only use”.

Click "App only use" for App authorization.

Note that the mobile encryption settings will only apply on the videos uploaded after enabling this feature, and those videos uploaded before enabling mobile encryption will not be affected.

App authorization raises the bar of mobile protection for your content. It provides an even more secure way to deliver videos and other media, and keep them safe from various pirating acts.

So this is the end of introducing the options of mobile authorization. If you want to learn more about our mobile protection features or VRM, check out our previous blog articles or visit our official website http://www.polyv.net/ for more information.

And if you encounter any problem in your development, visit our development center for detailed documents (currently in Simplified Chinese) or feel free to ask our 7×24 technical support team.

Last but not least, don’t forget to check out our previous blogs on copyright protection!

Happy video hosting, and see you in the next article!

Copyright Protection: Mobile web authorization

In previous articles, we had a brief introduction on mobile authorization, and taught you how to activate mobile authorization for general use.

Today we’ll tell you more about the mobile authorization feature with one of the two more important preferences – Web authorization. For App authorization, we’ll talk about it in the next article.

Web authorization is one of the means for activating VRM 6.0, the patented encryption method developed by POLYV. By activating VRM 6.0, the system will transcode the videos uploaded, and then generate encrypted m3u8 format files instead of mp4 format for authorized playback which requires verification with the correct parameters.

And here we have to mention about the parameters used while requesting the m3u8 files –

  • Before requesting for m3u8 files, the mobile browser will add two parameters – “ts” and “sign” – behind the address of m3u8 file.
  • Then, after receiving the request, the system will verify the parameters.
  • If the parameters are valid, the system will return the decryption key to the browser and ready for m3u8 playback; if not, the system will return Error 400 (Bad Request).

Note that the rules for web authorization can also be applied on our SDK for Android/iOS in this mode.

You may ask, “What should I do with the codes?” And yes, we have prepared the following codes for your catering (PHP as shown in the following example) –

<?php
$vid = ”e2e84a738354402a52ce81aeab4e3067_e”; // VID of your video, varies depend on actual video
$secretkey = "7UagtQ0q2AM";
$ts = time()*1000; // 10-digit timestamp (accurate to second) generated by the time() function, times 1000 for the final 13-digit timestamp. You can also generate a 13-digit, accurate-to-millisecond timestamp
$hash = md5($secretkey.$vid.$ts);
?>

var player = polyvObject('#plv_e2e84a738354402a52ce81aeab4e3067_e').videoPlayer({ 'width': '600', 'height': '485', 'vid': 'e2e84a738354402a52ce81aeab4e3067_e', 'ts': '', 'sign': '' });

Here’s the flow chart for the Web authorization process –

The workflow of Web authorization

Now that you understand the workflow of how to set up Web authorization, let’s get it started –

0. Set up the codes before starting activating Web authorization. (Code example seen above. For more detailed deploy procedure, check out our development documents at http://dev.polyv.net/)

1. Sign in your POLYV account, then select “Videos” to enter the admin page of Video Cloud.

2. Click “Settings” on the right of the top navigation bar, then click “Encryption settings” on the popup menu.

Web authorization settings are inside "Encryption settings".

3. In the “Video encryption” section, first click on the check box to enable VRM, then go to the “Mobile encryption settings” section and choose the “WEB & APP use” radio button.

Choose "Web & APP use" for activating web authorization.

Note that the mobile encryption settings will only apply on the videos uploaded after enabling this feature, and those videos uploaded before enabling mobile encryption will not be affected.

With these settings your newly uploaded videos will be encrypted with VRM 6.0, and be securely delivered to the audience with no risks of being pirated.

So that’s all for the setup of Web authorization. If you want to learn more about our mobile protection features or VRM, check out our previous blog article or visit our website http://www.polyv.net/ for more information. If you have issues or questions about development, visit our development center for detailed documents (currently in Simplified Chinese).

Happy video hosting, and see you in the next article!