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-   -   Beware: Vimeo's new default setting (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/532396-beware-vimeos-new-default-setting.html)

Mike Hammond August 3rd, 2016 08:41 AM

Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Hi all,

I just found out that Vimeo's new default setting for video playback is not HD. And while that may have always been the case, paying customers were always able to force HD playback from Vimeo's back end by clicking "show videos in HD".

This is no longer the case as Vimeo is now deciding the resolution that viewers will see. They say it's based on the viewer's situation (bandwidth, device, etc.) but I've tested in multiple locations and on multiple devices. Viewers are definitely being forced to now click HD. Seems like a grab at saving on their own bandwidth and not investing in infrastructure. This is my own opinion.

If viewers know to click on a button at the bottom right, great. But in my experience it's not wise to expect them to do so. So, those people will see video content in glorious SD.

I've written to Vimeo to voice my displeasure at this and received an email with incorrect information about how to force HD in my account settings. When I wrote to let them know the info was bogus, the reply was that "Oh, I see you're right. With recent changes...." and then directed me to a different page with embed instructions that don't work.


Just a heads up. Since we all live on video samples looking good....

Gary Huff August 3rd, 2016 08:56 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
I think watching your content in Standard Definition is preferable to having it buffer if they have a slow connection. Viewers would rather not wait, which I think is illustrated in how all current online streaming platforms (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.) stream content.

Vimeo always plays in HD when I go full screen for me.

What percentage of your viewers watch your content full screen vs the 360p window?

Dano Motley August 3rd, 2016 12:17 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Vimeo also allows "anyone" to hijack you channel by just changing the caps on your name.
ex Acme Video will be hijacked as Acme video. Emailed them and they dont care.

Dano

Steve Siegel August 3rd, 2016 02:23 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Your letter to Vimeo probably comes after the hundreds they have received about the same issue over the past several months. Their default setting is "auto", and it's supposed to adjust to the capabilities of the computer of the watcher. I notice that my videos are coming up "pretty high-def" now, whereas earlier in the year they were displaying as SD. So there is some improvement. You still have to manually set to 1080 if you want that. Hopefully as time goes on, Vimeo watchers will learn and set to the resolution they want themselves.

Craig McKenna August 3rd, 2016 03:52 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Old news, really, not that it should be ignored.

I absolutely HATE what Vimeo has done. I would rather force my users to buffer at 720p, than to have them watch it in 360p. Non-HD content should not exist online anymore. When I used to have a dial up connection, I would wait for five minutes until 10 web pages that were image heavy had loaded. Then, I would disconnect my landline until I had read said ten-pages. Vimeo is doing this for selfish reasons. They would rather stream less quality video and save on the servers. They currently have the monopoly though, and it's going to take someone to come and offer something different to challenge them.

Until then, we just have to deal with it. I sent one of the hundreds of emails they must have received. They apologised to me, as they invoked part of the new 'update' before it was even live. They agreed that that was a silly error on their part and re-enacted the older system until this terrible idea came to fruition.

I really think that they're a business that is aware that people will stay with them despite this issue.

If it wasn't to save money, they wouldn't take the feature away from us.

Chris Harding August 3rd, 2016 06:20 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
In my experience the one thing that REALLY gets brides to ignore your video is buffering.. I do agree with them too! If a video starts buffering, I move on and brides tend to do the same thing I guess. The only people who are pixel peeping your video are other videographers and people on the forum. Brides are more concerned on how pretty they look or how pretty the bridesmaids look. You can show your samples in 360 or 1080 and brides seriously will not care! They are probably watching it on their phone anyway.

Then again if you are trying to impress your fellow videographers on the forum then yes, it is an issue if it defaults to 360 ..AFAIK, You Tube looks at your connection and adjusts their videos to suit a display that will not buffer continuously. I have had YT videos that have displayed from 360P up to 1080P automatically and depending on how my ISP is behaving.

Steve Burkett August 4th, 2016 12:22 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
To put into context, though of course it maybe different for other people; although I primarily use Youtube for my videos, I do upload some to Vimeo and my stats breakdown shows that out of 465 plays in the last month, 335 are alleged by Vimeo to have been done via phone playback. 89 by Desktop and 36 via tablet.

Even on a phone however, 360p playback can be a poor viewing experience compared to full HD; I can certainly see the difference even on a smaller phone, but do the clients. A video that starts and stops can be more damaging than lower resolution in terms of positive viewing experience. My only concern is that sometimes Vimeo defaults too low, when the streaming can handle higher resolution.

Noa Put August 4th, 2016 12:52 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

my stats breakdown shows that out of 465 plays in the last month, 335 are alleged by Vimeo to have been done via phone playback. 89 by Desktop and 36 via tablet.
Mine say out if 2834 plays, 1561 desktop, 942 phone, 311 tablet and 14 tv apps.

Playback quality depends on the time of day and it's not always together with buffering issues, I get buffering issues as well during certain parts of the day, regardless of what the playback quality is. I don't agree with Chris that being able to view a decent resolution is to please us videographers, There have been moments where the playback quality was 270p and it looked like crap on my pc screen, one thing brides seem to do is to look for the full screen button and not the playback quality button which makes the problem even worse, if it looks that bad they could assume that's the quality you eventually will be delivering, even if the content is good. They also want to have a trailer to be viewed online and might question if they want to pay you a lot of money to get a trailer that looks as bad as they just have witnessed.

Not sure how vimeo determines playback quality but I have seen low resolution playbacks and buffering issues while I could view videos in 4k on youtube at the same time with no issues at all.

Craig McKenna August 4th, 2016 03:43 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Burkett (Post 1918773)
My only concern is that sometimes Vimeo defaults too low, when the streaming can handle higher resolution.

Mine too. If the default or lowest possible was 540p, then I would accept that... but sometimes it's a buggy mess. The codec is breaking up and it looks absolutely terrible. NO ONE wants to watch a film like that.

To add, the phones that people use today are more hi res than the laptops that they are using. 'Retina' screens are a concern for photographers for the same reasons. They are upscaling the quality of their images to sacrifice the loading times on their web pages because they know that retina displays are causing their lower res images to become more obvious.

I really think that in 2016, we should be defaulting to 720p. Any woman in her 20s understands buffering. I don't understand why we are accepting to go back into the dark ages (technology terms) to allow perfect playback in an instant of something that looks worse than we seen in the 1920s. It's not acceptable from Vimeo or ourselves as professional videographers.

Chris Harding August 4th, 2016 05:29 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
I still agree with Steve

I was testing my new Panasonics last year in UHD so I uploaded the 4K video to YouTube and set the player to 4K and it was awesome resolution ...until it stopped and buffered,,and stopped and buffered.

I upload my wedding highlight in 1080 always to YouTube and I have had anything from 1080 down to 360P depending on my connection...yes there IS a BIG difference but I do think that a constantly buffering video will drive away clients a lot faster than a lower resolution. According to YT their player selects the resolution according to the viewers connection speed but they don't say anything about what the minimum is!!

Gary Huff August 4th, 2016 06:45 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig McKenna (Post 1918777)
Any woman in her 20s understands buffering.

I don't think I would just automatically assume that. I think they are familiar with buffering, but probably hate it in the way so many have pointed out.

I could just as easily assert that any woman in her 20s understands the quality hit when her connection is bad.

Steve Burkett August 4th, 2016 07:57 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1918774)
I don't agree with Chris that being able to view a decent resolution is to please us videographers, There have been moments where the playback quality was 270p and it looked like crap on my pc screen, one thing brides seem to do is to look for the full screen button and not the playback quality button which makes the problem even worse, if it looks that bad they could assume that's the quality you eventually will be delivering, even if the content is good.

I've had this the other way round, couples complaining their DVD doesn't look as good as the online video. I upload in the region of 100 videos a year and never once had a couple complain about the quality of the video resolution, only technical glitches. Its a rock and a hard place scenario; which would you feel would cause the most damage, constant buffering or low resolution when people viewed your video.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig McKenna (Post 1918777)
I really think that in 2016, we should be defaulting to 720p. Any woman in her 20s understands buffering. I don't understand why we are accepting to go back into the dark ages (technology terms) to allow perfect playback in an instant of something that looks worse than we seen in the 1920s. It's not acceptable from Vimeo or ourselves as professional videographers.

Well when most clients still watch SD content via TV channels and DVD, 720p on their phone is still higher res than what they see on their large flat screen TV's. I'd prefer couples view my video in 4K as I love 4K and the image it gives, but I'm realistic enough to settle for clients just being able to enjoy my videos. Vimeo is always worse than Youtube for causing playback problems. I've always been able to enjoy watching better resolution on Youtube than I ever could on Vimeo. Which is why many of my videos go through Youtube. I save Vimeo for Business clients and for private Wedding Videos.

Alas clients aren't always going to be viewing videos in areas with great phone signal or wi-fi. My own internet speed at home was once terrible and I couldn't even watch 720p videos on Vimeo without terrible buffering. Since early this year, I've been on fibre optic, which is excellent, but I paid extra for this and many have not.

Noa Put August 4th, 2016 03:24 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

I upload in the region of 100 videos a year and never once had a couple complain about the quality of the video resolution
Ofcourse you don't hear them complain if they never contact you :) that was the point I was making, your website is the first impression they get of your work, if they happen to view it at a moment it displays at a very low resolution they might get the wrong idea and move on.

I never once had a couple complain about the resolution of the dvd though because I inform them it's a lower resolution then the blu-ray and HD files they get. If you don't tell them or don't give them a HD file or blu-ray then ofcourse you are asking for complaints when they view it on their large lcd screen.

Gary Huff August 4th, 2016 03:27 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1918823)
Ofcourse you don't hear them complain if they never contact you :) that was the point I was making, your website is the first impression they get of your work, if they happen to view it at a very low resolution they might get the wrong idea and move on.

And that could be the exact thing that happens if they have to sit there and wait for it to buffer. I think that happens far more than being upset with low resolution. They are used to it on Netflix/Hulu/Prime and so on already.

Why the other day it happened to me watching Penny Dreadful on Netflix. I would have been way more bent out of shape if it had started buffering instead.

Too much concern over these mythical "lost clients". If you have third parties bringing it up, that's one thing, but if you want to imagine a problem, well, it's probably not even there in the first place.

Steve Burkett August 4th, 2016 04:37 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1918823)
Ofcourse you don't hear them complain if they never contact you :) that was the point I was making, your website is the first impression they get of your work, if they happen to view it at a moment it displays at a very low resolution they might get the wrong idea and move on.

I never once had a couple complain about the resolution of the dvd though because I inform them it's a lower resolution then the blu-ray and HD files they get. If you don't tell them or don't give them a HD file or blu-ray then ofcourse you are asking for complaints when they view it on their large lcd screen.

Well to be fair it was several years back when I got the complaints. My early days. I'm more openly critical of DVD to my clients now, especially since 4K.

As for my non existent clients, my website mixes videos from YouTube and vimeo. There's also an option to get a sample DVD, which I always suggest to couples to view as they provide longer videos. So I think I covered myself as much as possible. I could easily lose customers out of frustration over buffering videos. Couples visiting websites are just a few clicks away from choosing someone else if my videos hanged for 10 seconds or more. Which would you think is more likely to impact on my business, low resolution of videos or those that take a bit of time to play?

Noa Put August 5th, 2016 01:12 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Which would you think is more likely to impact on my business, low resolution of videos or those that take a bit of time to play?
Like I said earlier I am also getting buffering issues on vimeo at specific times so no matter if it's a resolution or a buffering problem, it could affect your business.

What does surprise me is when people seem to be fine with a very low resolution, as long as their films don't get stuck in constant buffering, and they seem to be ok to pay for that service even if the provider is making promises they cannot keep.

There is one provider however that never has given me any playback or buffering issues and that is IMDB, their trailers always load very fast and have good playback quality, maybe they should start their own hosting service :)

Craig McKenna August 5th, 2016 06:10 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Huff (Post 1918838)
That you think IMDB has "good playback quality" says everything, I think.

IMDB does have good playback, particularly when considering that it also displays footage based on a user's Internet speeds. IMDB's 'Auto' function actually leaves a lot of room after the playhead of downloaded content, as well as ensuring that the picture quality doesn't fall particularly low - it's actually quite 'HD' like, which is perhaps their secret to gaining compliments a la Noa's.

I don't know if this is fairly known, but videos sent over the Internet are broken down and sent via packets to end users. Protocols state the way in which this information is delivered, and the end user's computer sends a message to the provider's server, explaining that they have received packet A, B, C, D etc. and that protocol continues to control the way in which packets are sent to ensure that video playback is as good as possible. Some protocols willingly accept that some packets will not be received, where as other protocols work based on all packets being received. Dropping packets of data to manageable levels seems to be the way that providers are working at this present moment, but IMDB seems to be able to retain at least a 480p image, whereas Vimeo stoops to all new lows.

Vimeo's current structure is unacceptable for paying users. Vimeo should be able to match the quality of IMDB considering that this is their main forum of business and expertise, but I strongly believe that they are passing off 'user's internet speeds' as excuses for their poor servers that are unable to deliver content as well as IMDB, and - the most popular - YouTube, a website that receives much more traffic, and is able to deliver more hi-res footage for free users to the public.

I know this to be true, because I am able to stream 1080p via YouTube without a hitch, whereas I can very rarely stream at 720p via Vimeo - via the same Internet connection. Therefore, that's not to do with my speeds, but to do with their servers.

Gary Huff August 5th, 2016 06:28 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig McKenna (Post 1918841)
IMDB does have good playback

It does not. The quality is really poor. There is no detail in the image and the codec breaks quite often for complicated scenes, resulting in moderate to severe macroblocking.

Quote:

Vimeo's current structure is unacceptable for paying users. Vimeo should be able to match the quality of IMDB considering that this is their main forum of business and expertise
If Vimeo's quality was made to match IMDB's, I would cancel my Plus subscription immediately due to the issues I have mentioned above. I have had nothing but great streaming image quality from them in my experience.

Quote:

YouTube, a website that receives much more traffic, and is able to deliver more hi-res footage for free users to the public.
Yes, because it's easy once you have the money and resources of one of the largest companies in the world behind you. Why don't you just switch completely to YouTube in that case and stop worrying about what Vimeo's David (vs. YouTube's Goliath) is up to?

Noa Put August 5th, 2016 07:01 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig McKenna (Post 1918841)
IMDB does have good playback

While it's not as detailed as footage shot with a 4K camera and played back on youtube at 4k I find IMDB has found a very good balance between avoiding buffering and having good enough IQ. Their films always load very fast no matter what time of day it is and the IQ looks to good enough to play on larger pc screens and certainly looks a lot better then vimeo's low rez playback at specific times.

While I do agree with Steve that a film that takes it time to load could have a bigger impact then films played on a very low resolution when it comes to loosing a client attention when they view your films on your website this shouldn't mean that we should just accept it like it is, especially not when it's a paying service.

The problem is that there are not many better alternatives out there, I have tried Wistia but that one also had buffering issues, it's also not my internet connection because when I have playback issues on vimeo I don't have that on youtube, but even on youtube I sometimes do experience bad buffering issues but I can imagine their servers have to deal with a lot more users then vimeo so it's allready some achievement that we are even able to watch full hd, 4K viewing on youtube is more of a hit and miss, sometimes it's smooth as butter and other times it's like a slideshow.

Steve Burkett August 5th, 2016 09:12 AM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Having a preference to minimalise buffering over higher resolution is by no means an endorsement that I either accept low resolution or even Vimeo itself. I have issues with Vimeo and why even though I could sometimes benefit from more than 5gbs a week upload, I don't upgrade to the next package with them. I have also complained myself over various issues.

As Vimeo is well established amongst video professionals, it feels almost like an obligation to have an account with them and it's true that as long as you have a good internet speed, playback can be quite good and professional looking. However I prefer to use YouTube more these days in part down to my own issues with Vimeo playback pre-fibre optic at my home.

Whilst an option to force playback at higher resolution would be nice with Vimeo, it's not for me an essential requirement, despite Noa's suggestion it could lead to a loss of business. Partly because my website favours YouTube for Wedding work.

Craig McKenna August 5th, 2016 04:36 PM

Re: Beware: Vimeo's new default setting
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Huff (Post 1918842)
It does not. The quality is really poor. There is no detail in the image and the codec breaks quite often for complicated scenes, resulting in moderate to severe macroblocking.


I respectfully disagree from my own experiences. I guess you've never experienced the terrible quality Vimeo can happily output now unless you select your preferred frame rate, whilst I haven't experienced a struggle in IMDB's playback.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Huff (Post 1918842)
If Vimeo's quality was made to match IMDB's, I would cancel my Plus subscription immediately due to the issues I have mentioned above. I have had nothing but great streaming image quality from them in my experience.

If Vimeos severs are located in the US, then maybe your streaming experience is different to ours in Europe? I know that local servers store frequently visited sites and videos in order to shorten the distance between end user and supplier - that would make sense somewhat, as every European here has a negative opinion with regards to Vimeo and have expressed the awful quality that we receive at times from them. Either that, or your connections are better than ours. I am also a Plus member, and have considered cancelling due to these issues.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Huff (Post 1918842)
Yes, because it's easy once you have the money and resources of one of the largest companies in the world behind you. Why don't you just switch completely to YouTube in that case and stop worrying about what Vimeo's David (vs. YouTube's Goliath) is up to?

Good point. This I have considered, but this is where Vimeo triumphs in its sleek player. The only issue I have with Vimeo is playback, which was never a problem until they took away our control. It's easy when considering all of these varying opinions that our main issue is control. If we were able to decide how our clients stream our films, then I think we'd all be back to singing their praises, despite the content taking longer to stream in general in comparison to YouTube, which I do understand the reasoning behind as you have suggested.


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