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Firefox/IE Quality by Default


we have problems with the video quality in Firefox/IE. I'm using the "Publish mode" and I've read the video quality is selected automatically and, though in Chrome is selected the "Auto" option with a high quality, in Firefox and IE is the lowest one with a poor impression. I have enabled the option "HTML5 for HLS" so all browsers are using HTML5

I've tried to set the Quality trough jwplayer().setCurrentQuality(index) but I cannot determine what is the correct index since jwplayer().getQualityLevels() is returning an array of objects with only quality labels e.g:

[Object { label="H.264 320px"}, Object { label="H.264 480px"}, Object { label="H.264 720px"}, Object { label="H.264 1280px"}, Object { label="AAC Audio"}, Object { label="H.264 1920px"}]

Instead of following the API description:


Chrome does it, correctly.

So, how can we set as default a higher quality without having to include every source? It would involve to change the current integration of jwplayer on our website.

Many thanks

3 Community Answers


JW Player Support Agent  
0 rated :

Hi there,

Can you please send a link to a reproduction page on which you are seeing this behavior? I ask because a lot of what you are saying is not what you would normally expect to see from our player.

First, it’s important to note that selecting the “HTML5 for HLS” option for a cloud-hosted player only enabled that feature for HLS streams in Chrome. Firefox and IE 11 will continue to render HLS streams using Flash in all situations until that functionality is expanded to include those browsers with June’s release of JW Player 7.5. (I do not have a more specific timeframe for a release of 7.5.)

In all browsers, the default quality selection will always be “Auto”. With JW Player 7.4.2, when a HLS stream is rendered in HTML5 (so in Chrome, Safari, Edge, iOS and Android), our player will always begin playback of the stream with the lowest quality available. This allows us to adhere more closely to Apple’s own specifications for HLS and also enables playback to begin quicker, especially for those viewers on mobile devices and/or lower speed connections.

When the HLS stream is rendered in Flash (so in Firefox, IE and if you don’t have the feature enabled in the Dashboard – Chrome), our player will begin playing the stream using the best quality available using the size of the player and quality of the connection. For example, the HLS stream found on our HLS Adaptive Streaming support article is made up of three different qualities – 180p, 360p and 720p. When viewing the page on a desktop browser, the player size is 820px wide and 461px tall, so the quality chosen by our player in Flash would be 360p (640 × 360) because the player is smaller than the next higher quality, 720p (1280 × 720).

Also using that support article as a reference, when I run jwplayer().getQualityLevels() in the console, it does return the quality levels in an array containing the bitrate, height, width and label. Here is a screenshot showing what I see.

As for choosing a higher quality, you are correct that it is possible with .setCurrentQuality(). However, we do not suggest doing this because manually setting the quality through the API will cause the stream to not automatically adapt its quality any more. It would also lead to poor experiences for those viewers with mobile devices and/or lower connection speeds. Even though the player will begin playing a lower quality stream in HTML5, the quality will adapt itself soon after playback begins, usually within 5-10 seconds depending on the stream.

Please let me know if you need any more help or have any other questions.

Thank you!


0 rated :

Hi Alex,

after further investigations, I realized that computers where I found the described problem have not installed Flash. My question now is, is there any option to select by default a highest quality in these computers (Firefox/IE) without installing Flash? This is causing an inconsistent appearance of the video depending on the environment from it is being watched.

Kind regards


JW Player Support Agent  
0 rated :

Hi there,

If the player is being viewed in Firefox or IE and Flash is not installed, then the HLS stream is actually not being played since HLS cannot be played in those browsers (currently) without Flash. As I said, the ability to play HLS in HTML5 in Firefox and IE 11 will be coming with version 7.5 of our player, due out later this month.

When using our “Publish Mode” embeds, we provide MP4 files as secondary sources just for this scenario, in which the HLS stream cannot be played. As is always recommended, those MP4 files are specified in order from the lowest resolution to the highest, in order to better serve viewers with lower quality connections.

In the example of this page, the video is 1080p so looking at it without Flash available in Firefox results in the HD menu listing the available qualities. But since MP4s cannot automatically switch qualities, the lowest resolution version is used first. The .getQualityLevels() and .setCurrentQuality() API methods will still work, however, but the values may be different then you would see if the HLS stream was being played.

Please let me know if you need any more help or have any other questions.

Thank you!

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