Archive for Sarah Blackledge

Detailed Proposal

Since presenting my draft proposal to the class, I have been able to deliberate on a number of factors which could be changed to benefit the functionality of my website. Reflecting on the response I received from my original proposal I now intend to simplify the content of the website for the purpose of my prototype, making the usability of the site clearer and easier to the users.

The Idea
I intend to create a prototype website which will contain miniature episodes constructed by one young budding television or film producer. Each week the producer will upload three alternative synopses onto the site that direct the storyline from the previous episode in different directions. The users will then vote for their preferred synopsis and the storyline with the highest vote will then be available to download the following week for a small fee. (See Appendix One for site map.) This website not only meets the typical needs of any Video on Demand user, by having the control of when they watch a programme, but also gives them advanced control of what they watch, consequently taking the majority of the control away from the broadcasters and into the hands of the user.

 The function of the website serves a double purpose. Firstly it enables new television/film makers to increase their production portfolio, in what is known to be a competitive industry. And secondly it offers increase control to the users where they can inform the producer of what they want to watch, giving the producer an insight into the needs of modern day audiences. 

Since researching the online television market, there only seems to be one primary competition which could pose a threat to the success of my website. This is “Bebo’s” “Kate Modern” (“Bebo” 2007, [online]) which offers Video on Demand services and user interaction such as sending the actors messages, help them solve puzzles, and participate in the story. “Bebo’s” interactive service is a dangerous threat to my site however, I want the focus to be as much on the television producer as well as the users interactivity therefore a page will be dedicated to the producer which will include a personal portfolio and contact details. This will give the opportunity to any media professional to contact the producer from the site if he/she is impressed with their work. 

One obvious competition would be from the television industry/broadcasters however the new services of online television have said to “…offer a theoretical threat both to the revenues of pay TV broadcasters and operators and to the DVD rental/retail model.” (“Cable Satellite” 2007, [online] )According to “Informa; the market for online downloads of TV programmes and films is expected to be worth $6,3 billion by 2012”. (“Cable Satellite” 2007, [online]) If this is the case, television broadcasters cause little threat to the online Video on Demand market. 

I intend my target audience to consist of both male and females aged over eighteen years old. They do not necessarily need to be technically advanced but need to be engaged enough to be aware of the availability and accessibility of television online.   

Users will be charged £1.99 per episode they choose to stream online. Voting will be free. Producers will subscribe for a monthly fee of £5 to showcase their work. 

The website will be created within “Dreamweaver” as I have had previous experience using this application and will feel confident when implementing my design. I will be using an embedded video file, with Windows Media Player being the file format. The video file will be incorporated into the website in a sophisticated manner. 

The look and feel of my website needs to appeal to my young audience of 18+ therefore I intend to create a fresh modern site to attract both genders. It will have to quirky and creative to highlight the originality of the services the site has to offer.


Draft Proposal

Idea: I intend to create an interactive website for young budding television and film makers who can showcase ongoing miniature programmes online. Users of the site will be able to access their desired programmes on demand for a small fee. Not only will users be able to view the programmes when they want, they will be able to interact and alter the producers storyline day-by-day to create their own miniature versions of the programme. After each small episode the user will be given a number of options as to how the storyline unfolds (one which will include “producers choice”). They will then be able to create their own individual versions of the storyline and save the personalised programme in their own user folder on the site. Users will be then be able to view each others versions of a particular programmes for an additional small fee and have the opportunity to interact with one another. 

Aims: The sites aim is to create awareness of new talent and giving media professional the opportunity to contact a particular producer if they are impressed with their work whilst meeting the interactive needs of users and market growth in Video on Demand. 

Audience: Male and Females 18+ 

Technology: The programmes will be streamed through an embedded video file in the format of Windows Media Player. 

Revenue: Users will be charged £1.99 per episode they stream online. Producers will subscribe for a monthly fee of £5 to showcase their work.           

Objectives Achieved? I believe my objectives which were stated in week one have been met through my idea for online Video on Demand. My idea uses the system of Video on Demand in an innovative way to serve a different purpose than it has ever done before as it focuses as much on the producers work as it does the users interactivity. The site has been structured to integrate Video on Demand into my prototype in a simple yet sophisticated manner through the use of embedded video files which was explored in week fours blog. It also meets the growing demand for online television which is “set to give the television industry quite a shock”. (“Cable Satellite” 2007, [online])

Tutorial on Streaming Video Online

This weeks blog covers the basic steps to streaming video online. There are two different ways in which one can add a video clip to a web page; 

1.      Direct Link

A direct link is a simple hyperlink which points to the video file, like so:
  <a href=”” mce_href=””>Click here to view video</a>

Direct links causes the video file to be opened in the end user’s default media player.This gives an advantage to the user as the video clip will be played through their preferred player they are confident in using. However from a web masters point of view, it offers least control of how the video is displayed on the page. It is also no good if you want the video file to be part of the web page.

2.      Embedded Files

An embedded video file is where the video file is placed directly onto the web page, which provides control over the way the video is displayed.To embed a file you must add some HTML code to the web page. The exact code you use will depend on your video format. The following example is for a Windows Media file:

<OBJECT ID=”MediaPlayer” WIDTH=”192″ HEIGHT=”190″ CLASSID=”CLSID:22D6F312-B0F6-11D0-94AB-0080C74C7E95″
STANDBY=”Loading Windows Media Player components…” TYPE=”application/x-oleobject”>
<PARAM NAME=”FileName” VALUE=”videofilename.wmv”>
<PARAM name=”ShowControls” VALUE=”true”>
<param name=”ShowStatusBar” value=”false”>
<PARAM name=”ShowDisplay” VALUE=”false”>
<PARAM name=”autostart” VALUE=”false”>
<EMBED TYPE=”application/x-mplayer2″ src=”videofilename.wmv” mce_src=”videofilename.wmv” NAME=”MediaPlayer”
WIDTH=”192″ HEIGHT=”190″ ShowControls=”1″ ShowStatusBar=”0″ ShowDisplay=”0″ autostart=”0″> </EMBED>

My Project

For the purpose of my project I intend to implement an embedded video file into the design of the website. The video will be streamed through a Windows Media file.  This tutorial is courtesy of “Media College

Intro to VOD

Video on Demand is a system which allows users to access video media when they want. Video on Demand can be streamed online where there is an unlimited choice of content for users to view. The key selling points of Video on Demand services are convenience and choice. “The viewer is able to access what they want, when they want it without having to move from their armchair.” (“Point Topic”, 2007 [online]) The growth in the system has changed “many aspects of public media such as programme making and advertising” (Rajapaskshe, Harindra and Derek Paul Quek, 1995, [online]) as it has taken the control away from the broadcasters and into the hands of the consumer. It has added a new meaning to the home entertainment posing a threat to DVD rental retailers. Rajapakshe and Quek highlight some of the key areas of today’s Video on Demand related applications as being; ·         Providing Video Films on Demand ·         Local News and Weather Forecasting ·         Games, Music and Leisure ·         Education and Remote Learning Facilities ·         Home Shopping and Other Consumer Services ·         Banking Standard features of Video on Demand include play, pause, virtual fast forward and rewind and skip giving the user complete control over how they watch their desired programme.


Name: Sarah Blackledge

Place of Study: Birmingham City University

Year: 3

Module: Web & New Media

Area of Study: Video on Demand (VOD)

Reason for Study: I have chosen to study the system of Video on Demand to broaden my knowledge of the ever changing technologies within the television industry. I will be able to explore how the unlimited choice of content and multiple television channels has lead to the change in technological development of how audiences access this vast amount of content. 

Useful Resources: In order for me to grasp the concept of Video on Demand and develop my understanding, I have found a website by Harindra Rajapakshe, Derek Paul Quek who discusses in depth the function of VOD which will be useful as a reference tool in the next few weeks.  In order for me to make the most of this project I have considered some important objectives that will help me to achieve the best results: Professional Objectives

  • Plan my time effectively so I follow the structure of the module on a weekly basis.
  • Interact with other students to benefit my understanding of my area of study.

 Technical Objectives

  • Attempt to use the system of Video on Demand in an innovative way to serve a different purpose than it has ever done before.
  • Integrate Video on Demand into my prototype in a simple yet sophisticated manner.
  • Be creative in the design of my prototype so that it expresses individuality and originality.