"Video playback error" and "Video streaming is taking too long" errors

Once in a while Enthought Training on Demand (EToD) video does not start playing and you will see the messages "Video Playback Error" or "Video streaming is taking too long" reported at the top of the video. There can be several causes for this.

One cause is limited or inconsistent network connectivity. This can occur when using mobile devices or some shared networks, such as WiFi in coffee shops or hotels, which may be overloaded. In general the symptoms will be that video will sometimes play, and sometimes not play. Or will play for a bit, and then stop. The EToD service uses a higher than average bit-rate video encoding to provide high-resolution, clear video which makes the text more readable. Unfortunately, this also requires more network bandwidth than some other video sites. We are looking at providing video encoded at multiple quality levels to enable better playback over lower bandwidth connections.

Another cause can be lack of video format support in your browser. The symptoms will be that video consistently never plays, and typically only shows a black screen. We provide video streams in both H.264/MP4 and WebM formats, which covers the default configurations of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer 10 and 11 on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. However, variations in system configuration and security restrictions required at by some organizations can impact video support.

You can test your browser's video support by going to the following test page: http://www.quirksmode.org/html5/tests/video.html. There are three variations of the same video, labeled "H.264/MP4", "WebM", and "Ogg/Theora". The following table shows which browsers can be expected to play which formats at a minimum:

Browser           H.264/MP4       WebM
Chrome Yes Yes
Firefox No Yes
Safari Yes No
Internet Explorer Yes No

If your browser cannot play either the "H.264/MP4" or "WebM" versions, then the EToD site will not work. Please consult your browser's documentation or your organization's IT department for help installing the default video support.

One special case of the above occurs when the same computer, typically a laptop, is able to play video when connected to one network, but not when connected to another. For example, video playback works correctly when connected to a public WiFi hotspot such as at a coffee shop, but not when connected to an organization's network. This can be caused by organization restrictions which may block specific sites, or forms of media such as streaming video.

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