Why There Are Playback Differences When Playing YouTube Videos Using the ScreenCloud Player App vs Other Options

by Santino

This article will go through why there are playback differences when playing YouTube videos using the ScreenCloud player app vs other options.

Some of our users have pointed out that there are differences in playback behavior when playing YouTube videos using the ScreenCloud Player app vs other options on the same device.
To give some background, there are a few different ways to play a YouTube video on a digital signage player like a Chrome OS, Amazon Fire TV, Android, iOS, Windows or macOS device, but they basically fall into 2 categories.
  1. Via the ScreenCloud Player app
  2. Via native options like the native YouTube app for the specific OS or on youtube.com via a browser made for the specific OS
Each of these is a bit different and uses different methods to play YouTube videos. 
The ScreenCloud Player app uses the YouTube IFrame Player API to display YouTube videos, and as you can see here, it uses the “player.setPlaybackQuality” function to set the video quality. This function works differently than native options. We have the parameter set to the recommended “default” value, “which instructs YouTube to select the most appropriate playback quality, which will vary for different users, videos, systems, and other playback conditions”. The function “causes the video to reload at its current position in the new quality”.
This is different from the way native options handle changing video quality. You can see here that the native app uses adaptive bitrate streaming which makes videos “appear lower quality at first, then switch to the highest possible quality after a few seconds”.
The difference in these approaches does result in a different experience. Some users note that our app does not switch to higher quality as much or that it drops to a lower quality than native options, while other users report it’s fine.
Simply put, we have to use the YouTube IFrame Player API to display YouTube videos in the ScreenCloud Player app and are using the best parameters to request the highest video quality at all times. Currently, there is nothing more we can do to improve the playback experience. We are looking into some things that we may include in a future update which might improve this, but that still remains to be seen.
If you want a more consistent video playback experience, you can download the videos you have on YouTube and upload them as media files to ScreenCloud. This allows them to be loaded from cache and also avoids the load time at the beginning of every YouTube video. To find out more about how to do this, check out this guide.


If you have any additional questions on why there are playback differences when playing YouTube videos using the ScreenCloud Player app vs other options, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@screencloud.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.


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