FAQ Video Plug-in Support  

If I am new to watching video from my computer...

How do I get started?

The Embedded Components service provides a table with several "Play>" links. Each of these links is associated with a different publication of the same video movie. Although all the links point to the same movie content, each link is associated with a different format for the movie. You select the format best for you based on the available video plug-ins associated with your web browser and the speed of your Internet connection.

Determine the speed of your Internet connection:

Estimate method:

  1. dial-up -> Low bandwidth around 40 Kbps or less
  2. DSL -> Medium bandwidth around 256 Kbps or more
  3. Cable -> High bandwidth around 500 Kbps or more
  4. T1 -> High bandwidth greater than 500 Kbps

Measurement method:

  1. Go the following web site http://www.2wire.com
  2. Click on the "Speed Meter" button
  3. Make note of your bandwidth

Determine which video plug-in to use:

The most common video plug-in is likely to be Microsoft's Windows Media Player. This plug-in would be selected by those people running Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer or Netscape web browsers. Macintosh users will most likely select Apple's QuickTime player. Linux users may choose any number of MPEG players or the RealPlayer plug-in by Helix. Ather video player are to consiser is Macromedia's Flash player version 7 with plug-ins supported by many . Both of these plug-ins may also be downloaded from popular web sites and are available for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux computers using IE 6, Netscape 4, or later versions of these web browsers. The choice of which plug-in to use depends on your current operating system and your multimedia entertainment preferences.

Another factor to consider is what additional services you will use with your video plug-in. Windows Media Player, QuickTime, and RealPlayer include partnerships with entertainment services for music, theater movie trailers, and Internet radio. Macromedia Flash opens the door to interactive games, and various Internet "eye candy" found on many web sites and pages. The choice is yours as Embedded Components services offer them all!

A few additional notes and gotcha's:

Each movie has been optimized and compressed for video and audio using a technology called a CODEC, Each Codec that we use is popular and common for each of the video players described above. However, you may have a video plug-in with a Codec that is too old to support our movies. In this case you will be prompted to download the updated Codec. This is a small download and should not require you to reboot your computer or even to leave our web pages.

Some video plug-ins available to users on older computers may require a full download of their favorite Video Player plug-in. This is a bigger task and may require you to install the new player and reboot your computer. Embedded Components can not support this effort on your computer and suggest that you seek help before downloading any new software for your computer. However, you may be able to avoid this download effort all together by trying the "Play>" links associated with the other plug-ins we support.

See additional details associated with each of the specific Video Plug-in's we support below.

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player can be used as a plug-in for your web browser to play our video movies. There are several details that must be set up correctly for the plug-in to work properly. We list some common solutions below. For more support please go to the Microsoft Media Player home page:

Why does the video rebuffer while I am watching the videos?

Rebuffering is most often due to lost video packets during transmission of video from the video server to your player. This usually results from network congestion or not having a high enough network connection to view the given videos. Changing the Buffer time in the Media Player may reduce the frequency of the rebuffering.

How do I change the buffer time in my Media Player?

The change needed to correct buffer time setting within your media player depends on the version and the host operating system. To find the version number launch your media player and click "Help" --> "About", then follow the detailed instructions below:

Windows Media Player version 6.4:

  1. Launch the Media Player
  2. Click "View" --> "Options" --> "Advanced" --> double-click "Streaming Media (Windows Media)"
  3. Under "Buffering" select "Buffer" --> enter "30" (or more) for "seconds of data" -->"OK" --> "OK" --> "OK"
  4. Exit the Media Player --> refresh our web page to begin play

Windows Media Player versions 7 to 9:

  1. Launch the Media Player
  2. Click "Tools" --> "Options" --> select the "Performance" tab
  3. Under "Network Buffering" check "Buffer" --> enter "30" (or more) for "seconds of data" -->"OK"
  4. Exit the Media Player --> refresh our web page to begin play


Buffer time cannot be changed in the latest version of the Macintosh player. We suggest you use QuickTime plug-in for playing video in your web browser instead of Media Player.

I'm using Netscape Navigator as my web browser and it reports that I need a plug-in to watch the video, what do I do?

Older versions of Netscape Navigator, (prior to version 7.2 as our team has tested) may require setting up a helper function to handle Windows Media Player files of type ".wmv". I suggest upgrading to the latest version of Netscape starting at www.netscape.com. This update fixed our internal testing problems, and likely will fix your too.


Apple's QuickTime Player

Use this web page to learn more about Apple's QuickTime Player or to download the free or professional version for Windows or Mac OS:


RealPlay Video Player

Use this web page to test your web browser for various problems such as no plug-in installed:

Use this web page followed by the small link labled "free RealPlayer" to download RealPlay for video playback on Linux, Windows, MacOS:

For Linux web browser plug-in try this page on the "real" web site.


Linux Video Player Support in general

There are many we sites that discuss video and multimedia for Linux systems. One good site is http://sourceforge.net and seach for the word "codec" -- this search result will include a list of the current downloads available for audio and video players on Linux.

See RealPlay video player support discussed above.

See Macromedia flash player support discussed below.


Macromedia Flash Player

Flash Player supports several video formats. Flash Player is normally pre-installed as a plug-in on your web browser for Windows/Macintosh computers. Somethimes the version is too old, especially for video which only become truely usefull starting in version 7.

Windows/Macintosh: For these personal computers, the best resource is directly from Macromedia: www.macromedia.com/software/flashplayer/

Linux: For Linux or Unix systems I have found the best resource to be http://macromedia.mplug.org/


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