Hi all, I wanted to share some of the new stuff the team has been working on that has been made possible by the investments we have received so far. These features are done but are not yet live, and will be rolled into the next update which should occur sometime toward the middle or end of this month.
1. Animated Thumbnails: Publishers can upload animated gifs as Station, Shows and Episode thumbnails.
2. Standby video notice: If a video segment in an episode is missing, or if there are time gaps in the broadcast feed, or any other kind of error related to segment scheduling and episode loading, the station feed will temporarily show a video asking the viewer to "please stand by" and wait for the issue to be corrected. Correction will be automatically done by the server in a way to ensure the schedule is not interrupted. We believe this feature will greatly improve the quality of user experience as currently when issues happen it appears the player stops working when in fact the next segment or episode will load if the viewer gives the system enough time to correct but there is no notification. With this update the viewer will see a standby video broadcast asking them to wait until the system corrects the error.
Preview of what the standby video looks like, showing a notification modeled on broadcast TV test cards.
3. Live chat for livestreamed videos: Our development team has produced a live chat module that will appear on the episode watch page of any episode that is marked 'live'. Any registered Viewer account can comment, and the Publisher of the Station has moderator powers over the chat.
Demo of the live chat module on a livestream episode watch page.
Demo of the chat features emoji menu.
4. Station page 'live video' notification: Station pages now display any currently livestreaming episodes at the top of the Station page to make it easier for viewers to find the livestreams.
5. Subscription feed: Viewer accounts that are subscribed to Stations will now see a notification screen for any recently released episodes, similar to subscription feeds on websites such as YouTube.
6. Category enhancements to TV Guide: The channel guide now shows several additional categories of stations to make it easier for viewers to organize their channel guide to watch favorite stations and discover new ones.
Featured: Stations handpicked by the Zenither team which are recommended for viewing. This will primarily be Stations which MBS, Inc. operates.
Recommended: Stations determined by the algorithm that the viewer might be interested in based on their interests, language and geographical location.
Subscriptions: Any Stations which the Viewer account has subscribed to, including both favorited free-to-watch stations and paid premium subscription stations. This category will only be shown to logged in Viewer accounts.
Free Stations: An assortment of free-to-watch stations requiring no monthly subscription to watch. Currently pulled from a list of all free to watch stations but as the service grows will be determined by an algorithm similar to the Recommended station algorithm.
The category enhancements will make it easier for Viewers to organize the TV guide based on their subscriptions while also allowing the discovery of new stations the viewer may be interested in.
We have several more features in the works, including commenting on Video-on-Demand (VOD) episodes and paid premium subscription bundles. The team is also refining the search pages to make it easier for content discovery. We will let you know more about these features as they are completed.
Thank you so much for supporting this exciting venture!
President, Martell Broadcasting Systems, Inc.