Optimize the performance of your web pages with THRON

The Editorial Staff
Content Intelligence Network

The playback of media files on your website is a crucial part of user experience. Find out how THRON delivers media content at the highest performance, with an utterly-customized player.

In this article you will find:

  • Media players and their role on the page
  • The advantages of using THRON Universal Player
  • The three C's of the Player: Customization, Capacity, Control
  • How it works in detail, practical cases

 

All in One: a Universal Player


It is not so easy to deliver multimedia files on your website pages. Their data flow is often difficult to handle for computers and smartphones because of their size, and an additional step of coding and decoding is required.

Content providers rely on media players to deliver them at their best. There are many of them and they can support different file formats. However, it is rare to find a video player (e.g. Youtube) that supports PDF files too, such as Google Docs. That’s why we usually need to use more than one player in a page, in order to display all types of files.

This complexity can be solved with the use of THRON Universal Player, which supports any types of content. The first and immediate advantage is that it simplifies the technology involved (a single player instead of several tools) and reduces the costs for management and maintenance, which are handled by THRON.

How does it work? When a file is displayed, be it video, audio, image, document, url page, gallery, 360° product view etc., the player automatically picks the right module for that type of asset.

You can see it from the icons in the player editor menu: clicking on them to test out the graphic rendering for each type of content, for any device.

universal-player-screenshot

The three C's of the Player: Customization, Capacity, Control


As an Enterprise Content Platform, THRON centralizes all corporate content on a single platform and automatically distributes it across channels with its built-in CDN.

The streamlining of delivery processes, which rely directly on THRON's distribution infrastructure, means that a uniform and customizable content experience can be provided to the users visiting your website.

The Player editor becomes the only configuration panel responsible for the rendition of all multimedia content on the pages. Let's see the three fundamental benefits it entails:

1) Customization

Through Content Experience Manager, the centralized editor of the Player, you can create and manage the templates that will customize the experience on the page.

A template is nothing more than the set of indications that determine the graphic rendering (skin) of the player, its appearance and its behavior on the frontend channels.

We can make them, through the creation panel, in two ways:

- visual: this is the simple mode, which is accessible to all users (even those who do not have programming skills). In a few clicks you can choose the colors, highlights, etc., or customize the appearance of the player on the page by selecting ready-to-use elements from the list.

visual-screenshot

- code: this is the advanced mode, for users with programming skills. It allows them to write the template through css and javascript code.

code-screenshot

2) Capacity

As we mentioned before, the media delivery is optimized in terms of performance because it relies directly on THRON’s integrated CDN. And this without having to install additional plug-ins or resort to external players.

The result is a great user experience, as the CDN services and the Universal Player ensure a smooth playback, without slowdowns and compatibility problems.

Let's take as an example two of the assets that most contribute in enhancing the product experience online: video and images.

  • Video

THRON’s Player can adapt the playback quality of a video to the device in use and to the available bandwidth. The bitrate adjustment becomes dynamic and therefore the platform guarantees the best possible streaming experience, uninterrupted and without buffering.

  • Images

Through the automatic transcoding of the files, the Platform will adapt the dimensions, and the size, of the image according to the device in use, all without limiting the network connectivity. The image will be delivered in the resolution that best suits the screen the user is navigating with.

For example, 720p is the most commonly used resolution on low- and mid-range smartphones. For desktop viewing, however, we’ll need 1080p or higher. The experience feels quick because the file is loaded immediately on the page, without having the user wait (and become impatient). 

3) Control

The Player editor, in addition to the template creation panel, also offers a control panel of the past publications.

From it, you can:

1) update a single publication on a given channel, without modifying other publications that share the same template

2) directly modify the template, and automatically replace it for all the publications that are using it. This allows you to standardize the frontends in a single click.

By using the Player editor you have maximum control over the rendering of your web pages, and you can update a single, or all publications that use a specific template.

template-center-screenshot

A website passes under different hands, internal employees, external agencies, collaborators etc. With the templates control panel, a company can avoid the lock-in effect which occurs when relying on third party customizations and regulate access.

The ownership of the source code remains firmly in the hands of the organization, which decides who to assign specific permissions to write and manage the templates.

templateaccesslist-screenshot

By choosing a default template (or writing it anew autonomously with CSS or Java language) you can set up a specific user experience on the page.

A further step forward is extending the time on page by associating the THRON Player to the recommendation engine, which is fed by the data collected by Content Intelligence.

In this way, at the end of the playback of a first video, the user will see another piece of content (it may be a video, an image, a PDF, etc.) chosen for them by Artificial Intelligence. THRON’s Universal Player exploits binge watching with an offer tailored to the user's needs.

 

We know that the easiest way to show content on your site is to generate an embed code and paste it into your CMS. If you also want to activate the "binge watching mode", simply enable the recommendation when generating the code.