Four years ago almost to the day, Google shipped its first Chromebook. At the time, the concept of an inexpensive, web-centered laptop was met with a great deal of skepticism based on limited hard disk space, an unimpressive app marketplace, and an inability to function well offline. In the years that followed, however, these laptops would disrupt an industry that for decades had been dominated by Wintel and Apple.
Two years after their introduction, Chromebooks had already captured 21% of US notebook sales. Over the 2014 holiday season, Amazon’s three top-selling computers were all Chromebooks. And while the overall market for laptops has contracted slightly in the past few years, Chromebook sales continue to climb. Gartner expects the category to grow 27% this year alone.
Leading this growth are academic institutions, who by 2012, had become the largest category of Chromebook customer. Last year, nearly three out of four Chromebook sales were to school districts or universities. The laptops’ comparatively low price points and increasingly impressive specs have made them a perfect fit for institutions where ubiquitous high-speed internet connectivity has become the norm. And as the most common computing activities such as email, word processing, presentations, and spreadsheets have moved to the browser, Chromebooks can deliver a great learning experience for students without asking for many trade offs.
Panopto’s video player works perfectly on any Chromebook.
To support the growing number of students, schools and universities who have invested in Chromebooks, Panopto recently made some significant updates to our media streaming technology. These updates bring the full capabilities of Panopto’s unique video playback experience to anyone using a Chromebook.
Specifically, Panopto now uses HTML5 and Flash to provide the same high quality experience on Chromebooks as we provide to PC and Mac desktops and laptops. This playback experience is the first of its kind to support multiple streams of synchronized HTML5 video. For students, this provides a more true-to-life online learning experience, in which they can simultaneously see the teacher and the content of their teacher’s screen, document camera, digital whiteboard, or other video source.
Unique, multi-stream video playback provides a more true-to-life experience for students on any laptop, including Chromebooks.
In addition, Panopto includes playback features that help students learn at a personalized pace. Using playback speed control, students can slow videos down in order to focus on complex topics or speed them up to quickly review their on-demand lecture materials.
For Chromebook users connecting via 4G networks, Panopto’s video player also supports adaptive bitrate streaming (ABS). With ABS, Panopto dynamically adjusts the playback quality based on available network bandwidth. This provides faster video startup, reduces seek times, and minimizes buffering during playback.
As part of a great online learning experience, students using Chromebooks have access to all of the interactive tools within Panopto’s video player. This includes Smart Search, which enables students to find and instantly fast-forward to words spoken or shown within videos, and digital notes, which enable them to bookmark points inside a video future reference as a study aid.
With the recent updates to our media streaming technology, one of our primary goals was to bring a high-quality online learning experience to a broader range of platforms and devices. For the millions of students around the world already using Chromebooks, and the more than 7 million people expected to purchase new Chromebooks in 2015, we’re excited to deliver a video playback experience without compromise.