Comcast – CEG – E! Online

Comcast – E! online – Recap 2008 – Year in review

This was a great project to be a part of, working with the team in LA and the great Felix Turner. The E! team came up with the idea of splitting out content into silos of different content and to provide an easy way to view all the year’s photos, videos and even an interactive quiz. I was tasked with creating the video, quiz, and the intro portions of the app. The portions were pulled into a shell component that used swfAddress for deep linking, had omniture tracking used brightcove for the video services, and served DART ads. Since E! moved to thePlatform’s services, the video portions no longer are working.

The intro to E! online’s Replay 2008:

E! online - Intro to the Replay 2008

The user in the video view:

E! online Replay 2008 - Video View

The quiz portion was fun to build, the app would present the user with a video asking a question within the video, the video would pause, present the user with a multiple choice form. The user would choose their answer and if correct, they would be presented with a video saying something along the lines of “Hey, you got it right!”, if wrong, the video would present the correct answer. From a developer perspective, the only hard part was getting the following video cued up and ready to try and present a seamless experience. I would love to do this type of app again and really nail some of the issues I ran into before. It was awesome having a production team at E! that could literally whip up video content for the quiz as needed.

The user in the quiz section of the app:

E! online Replay 2008 - Quiz view

The only part of this project I really feel I could have ‘super’ improved: I could have used the AS3 re-parenting aspect in the video clips. I created new instances of the brightcove player (in order to show the video’s preview thumbnail) and thus on initialization there would be a pause on slower machines. I could have tried to find a way to get just the thumbnail paths of the videos and just created one true instance of the brightcove video player and just re-parent it as needed. I’m sure there (maybe I did try it and had no choice) had to be a way to get those video thumbnails without loading the entire video player instance. We had a tight timeline, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t dig deeper into it, but seeing how years later, I’m still talking about it…..you get the point by now right? :o)

One aspect of the project that drove me (and I think the team) nuts was how the mouse interacts with the view. We wanted to create a ‘film-strip’ type of view and allow the user to scroll side-to-side with the mouse. This is fine when viewing just static videos or photos but when interacting with the interactive quiz I built, it would move the content when the user would attempt to make a selection. I believe I locked the chosen quiz in the center and released when the quiz was either exited or completed.

Here’s some screenshots and since the app still lives on the E! site, I’ll post the link below. Don’t expect any video to stream, the app is still looking for Brightcove video streams and thus they all fail since E! moved to thePlatform’s video services.

A different set of ‘boxes’ of content within the intro section

E! online Replay 2008 - Another Intro view

Here’s the link to the live content

Keep in mind this link could go down at any moment


Comcast – E! online – web video gallery

This one was a great project to be a part of and I got a chance to work with a great guy in the Flash community. While working on FEARnet.com’s video players (will be posting those projects in the near future), I worked with Felix Turner as he was also doing some contract work with Eonline.com. We wrapped up a pretty cool ‘year in review’ celebrity project and he began work on a video gallery for E! I went to another project and eventually was handed his work. Can’t say enough good things about Mr. Turner and his code.

So I picked up this project and continued development for a good 6-7 months. It supported Brightcove’s video platform (they migrated over to thePlatform’s feed services) and uses DART video ads. Most of the work I did for this was refactoring, adding new features, and bug squashing. A project I’m proud to say I was a part of.

The Video Gallery with a stream open and showing video

E! Online Video Gallery with a video playing

The Video Gallery with the video player closed and all streams showing

The gallery in a closed state

The E! Online Video Gallery with the video player closed

Working with the team out in LA was a great experience for me, I was able to work on this very cool project, went out to the E! Offices in LA a few times (once was in January with freezing temps in Philly and a sweet 70-ish temps. People were wearing coats out there…). Hopefully our paths will cross again and we’ll get to do more work together.

Here’s the live version up now

(it’s been updated since but you’ll see how cool it is :o)


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