VReel

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VReel
VReel.jpg
VReel screenshot.jpg
Screenshot of VReel.net as of August 2009
Web address http://vreel.net/
Slogan It's Show Time
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Video sharing
Registration

Optional.

(required to upload, rate, and comment on videos)[1]
Available in English
Owner Eoghan Hayes[2]
Created by VReel Media
Launched May 31, 2008
Alexa rank 16,824 (October 2009)[3]
Current status Closed

VReel was a video sharing web site that allowed users to upload, share and view high quality videos by use of a proprietary video codec. The site was in open beta in an effort to replace the now defunct Stage6 site with a viable alternative. Using a similar style to the defunct site, VReel has received a licence from DivX, Inc. to use their codec, and has signed an agreement with Edgecast to host the Web site globally. VReel has since begun development of their own replacement for the DivX Webplayer.

VReel was taken offline on August 3, 2008[4] due to bandwidth theft, and to prepare for the Beta 2 launch.[4] VReel then announced that the Web site would be back online on August 30, but financial problems forced the company to postpone.[5] VReel launched a private beta on November 11,[6] and entered Open Beta on November 28. They acquired the StageHD.com domain, and are currently forwarding all page requests to their video portal.[7]

Early development[edit]

VReel began under the title DivXIt.net. Drawing attention from the Internet community by means of social bookmarking Web sites such as Digg, DivXIt.net's inbound traffic gained the attention of DivX, Inc., who immediately issued a cease and desist order against the Web site for copyright infringement.[8] Following this event, DivXIt staff responded to the order offering to sign the domain name over to DivX, Inc. in return for a free licence for the Web site.[9] This arrangement was met, and the domain DivXIt has been transferred to DivX,Inc.[10]

Having moved to a new domain (VReel.net), the site continues to steadily grow. A short time after interacting with DivX, VReel was contacted by Limelight Networks, and was offered[2] a hosting plan on their network.

The original beta test of VReel.net was scheduled to begin on 18 May, with the full release occurring at the 31st of the same month. However on the 23rd, VReel released a statement in its updates forum stating that its development team was late in releasing the beta version of the site, and that as of that date, they legally had 2 more days to deliver the beta release. This did not occur however, and the site's lead developer is currently in an arbitration process with the development team. Towards the end of the update, the lead developer states that a new development team was to be selected "in the next 5 days", a period which would end on the 27th.

The site underwent an Open Beta test stage which started on June 19, 2008 after a delay of 4 days.

Downtime[edit]

VReel servers went down on Saturday 31 May due to the recent fire at the The Planet data center, and returned on Wednesday 4 June.[11]

Because of multiple leech sites stealing their bandwidth during the construction of beta V2, and the extensive testing needed for new features, VReel had to go offline for some time before the launch of beta V2.

Past development[edit]

VReel's traffic share has continued to rise since its launch. Currently the site is taking in more than 500,000 unique hits per day and will continue to rise.

On October 8, VReel announced a partnership with Lavasoft. Eoghan stated "VReel.net, the home of high definition and high speed online video has today announced its software partnership with Lavasoft, for their highly acclaimed and award winning Ad-Aware anti-spyware software.[12]

As of November 28, VReel has been in Open Beta.[6] The VReel Player is the next major development for the site

Closed Beta testing[edit]

As of November the 10th Vreel started its closed beta testing. They introduced beta testers in waves, and applications were available for users to apply. The second wave began on November 14, and finally the third Began on the 21st. During the closed beta period there were free keys given to those who won "Treasure Hunts" that Eoin made.

Open beta trial and public launch[edit]

Due to the success of the beta waves between November 10 and November 21, Vreel went into a 24 hour beta trial on November 28 for a server stress test. Due to the success of the testing, Vreel went into a permanent Open Beta, meaning anyone can now access the site.

Beta 2 Phase[edit]

VReel Beta 2 has introduced several new features. These include expanded community features and premium accounts.

VReel-Player[edit]

VReel has been working on their own webplayer, based on the VLC media player, to replace the DivX Web Player. With the new webplayer, VReel would natively support 4 formats. The Vreel Player has not yet been released to the public.

  • DivX5.x encoded video
  • DivX6.x encoded video
  • XviD1.x encoded video
  • H.264 encoded video

Present & Future[edit]

After several weeks, if not months, of inactivity and a short re-introduction of Zango in between. However, since the cash injection that was announced on May 5, 2009 the site has drawn itself a new path for the future.

May 5 2009 announcement[edit]

Among the changes were:

  • Zango removed
Due to financial problems VReel was forced to temporarily re-enable the Zango product gateway to give support over several weeks, the cash injection caused VReel to be financially comfortable even without Zango.[13]
  • Most advertisements removed
Together with the above it also enabled the website to remove most of its advertisements (such as Pop-up and Hover ads).[13]
  • Serving renewed
Change of CDN and new servers. Previously all streams and downloads were delivered through a partnership with EdgeCast Networks. This has now changed into a server and bandwidth deal with about half a dozen of ISPs. EdgeCast will still be kept as a back-up service.[14]
  • Free users get ability to embed videos
The feature to show VReel-hosted videos outside the site was previously preserved for paying members only. This feature is now available for everyone.[14]
  • Redevelopment of VReel Player

In contrary to previous announcements, the VReel Player will not be based on the VLC player and neither will it be open source. After the project has been put on hold it has now been continued and will be (re)built from the ground up in closed source. Among concerns, the primary concern for going closed-source (instead of open-source) was the confrontation with too many security issues when having the source open for everyone. The VReel Player will be redeveloped under a closed source license, and will be fully capable of DivX, XviD and h.264 mkv playback.[14]

Shutdown[edit]

As of January 24th 2010, We have decided to take the decision to close VReel as a user-generated HD DivX Video portal. VReel was created as a replacement for DivX's popular Stage6 platform - but due to its popularity, became impossible to financially sustain in a time of increasing development costs, and plummeting advertisement and revenue sources. Following a mass hardware failure at our main server farm, we have decided not to relaunch VReel in its current environment.

VReel is currently being redeveloped as a HD Video search engine, with several great features not yet seen in the search engine marketplace. We hope to have this launched within April 2010.

Our forums will remain open for discussion, where we'll be unveiling a string of new projects from VReel's founding team.

We'd like to thank everyone who contributed to VReel over the past two years - it's been an amazing experience.

—VReel Team, Frontpage announcement[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eoin (2009-06-05). "Updates; Open Embeds, Registration no longer required". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b Limelight Networks comments from VReel CEO Eoghan Hayes, blog.llnw.com
  3. ^ Siteinfo on VReel.net at Alexa. Retrieved on 2008-08-29.
  4. ^ a b Eoin (2008-08-29). "Zango removed - Beta v2 delayed". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  5. ^ Eoin (2008-08-04). "Downtime: it's time to regroup". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  6. ^ a b Eoin (2009-05-10). "Beta v2 Open Date". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  7. ^ Eoin (2008-08-29). "VReel new home of Stage HD". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  8. ^ VReel article on GHacks.com
  9. ^ VReel article on Downloadsquad, downloadsquad.com.
  10. ^ DivXIt domain, divxit.net
  11. ^ Drew Cullen (2008-06-01). "Fire at The Planet takes down thousands of websites". Press Release. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  12. ^ Eoghan Hayes (2008-10-08). "VReel announces partnership with Lavasoft". Press Release. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  13. ^ a b Eoin (2009-05-05). "All non-banner advertisements removed". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  14. ^ a b c Eoin (2009-05-05). "May 5th: The BIG update". VReel Board. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  15. ^ VReel-Eoin (2010-01-24). "VReel Closed". VReel Board. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 

External links[edit]