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Troubleshooting problems playing our videos

Tip: to get smooth playback, click play, then click again to pause, the video will continue to download. When it has finished downloading, click play again and it will play without stopping and starting. This trick works on youtube videos also.

If all you see is this message: .........Your browser does not support the video tag........, or you see a box with a cross through it, where the video should be, then download one of the web browsers from the links at the bottom of this page and restart your computer.

Technical notes

The videos on are implemented using the HTML 5 video tag. The video file format is .ogv (ogg container, theora video, vorbis sound) The same format that wikipedia uses. This is a free, open source (no licence issues), video format that plays straight off a webpage with current versions of Mozilla firefox, Google chrome and Opera web browsers (not yet with Internet Explorer or Safari). It can be saved from a website onto your hard drive and played back later with Firefox, Chrome or Opera web browsers or with VLC media player and several other media players.

We have elected to make the videos 640x480 rather than 320x240 because 320x240 looks unacceptably poor to us and any larger than 640x480 makes the files just too large.

To download videos for later playback, right click on the video, on the webpage and choose save as from the menu that pops up. This is recommended if your connection is too slow to sustain smooth playback or you just want to avoid repeating large downloads. You can play a downloaded video file with a web browser (File menu, open file on most browsers) or with an application like VLC media player.

We have no plans to make H.264 (.mp4, .mov, .mts etc) videos available on our web site due to H.264's proprietary nature, potential licencing issues for public broadcasters and the more than doubling of server space required to make both types of video available.

Internet Explorer and Safari don't play .ogv files yet, but there are plenty of other ways to play them as suggested above.

Software that will enable you to play all kinds of internet videos

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Page maintained by NKF group. Updated 16 August, 2012.