COVE Lite Beta Now Available

The first of three general audience COVE products is now available to all stations via Station Remote Control: COVE Lite, the plug and play player.

COVE Lite is in beta while we work out some final bugs with the COVE ad server. COVE Lite will eventually include a banner ad in the space to the right of the program drop-down menu. Stations may implement COVE Lite on a live site at any time. Once the ad-serving feature is ready, a 300x60 pixel banner ad will automatically appear in that space.

About COVE Lite
The lowest level of effort to implement locally, COVE Lite offers stations the ability to show video, but without any of those pesky calories Max was referring to in his previous COVE article.  It is designed to seamlessly integrate into your existing site, and features popular programs from the national PBS schedule.

Specifically, COVE Lite is an iframe player that is embedded directly into your existing station site via a simple javascript include.  The self-contained experience contains the video window above and links to related video that will play within the existing page.  Users can access all the programs available in COVE Lite through a drop-down menu at the top of the player. Its content is scheduled and maintained by PBS and requires no station resources beyond the initial setup. 

If your station does not have the resource or time to customize a full portal experience through COVE Plus or Pro, this is a great option for you.  By simply copying and pasting a single line of code on to your webpage, your users will be exposed to a wonderful variety of PBS content, without any effort needed to update or maintain the experience locally.

Can I put more than one COVE Lite on my other station pages?  
Station are able to grab the code from Station Remote Control and implement the Lite version of COVE on any page of your station site.  Each implementation, however, will include the same programs and feature the same content; one player cannot be scheduled separately from another.

Will it play other stations' local content? 
The COVE Lite player will be programmed, updated, and maintained by PBS editorial staff.  If a local station within the COVE Pro portal decided to share their local content with the system, at some point one of those local programs could be schedule in to the national player, where appropriate.

Can users select which episode they specifically want to watch? 
The COVE Lite iframe player will feature a drop down menu for users to select which national production they would like to watch; specific episodes within will not be available for users to specifically chose from.

Can I customize the player? 
Customization options for stations are limited. COVE Lite has a set size of 710x1450 pixels. The size may be altered minimally, but other than that it is more of a "take what you get" player.

For more COVE FAQs, visit the COVE Resource Center in SRC here.

Launch Details & Next Steps
COVE Lite Beta is now available to all stations in the modules+toolkits section of Station Remote Control here.  Once the ad-serving feature is ready, a 300x60 pixel banner ad will automatically appear in the space explained above and the word "beta" will be removed.

For those stations who have indicated they would like to start with the COVE Lite product, we will be sending you a packet of information that will include instructions on "Implementing COVE Lite."  This information will also be included in SRC.
Questions & Related Material
There are additional products available to stations as part of the PBS Comprehensive Online Video Ecosystem (COVE). For more information, visit the COVE Resource Center.

If you have any questions, or comments, please post them here or feel free to contact Station Products & Services at


  1. Bruce Jacobs
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There is a lot to like about COVE - the chapter interface is really cool, but it's hard to like it so far because the sites I try at WNET and WHYY are really SLLLOOOOWWWWWW. I can't get search to work at all. With so few sites and users right now, I worry - how can COVE cope with a huge system, if it's this slow now? Is there a big fix in sight?

  2. Posted October 28, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for your comments, Bruce. I'm glad you're getting more into COVE these days. We certainly agree that there are some performance issues, especially with the locally branded sites, and we are actively re-engineering those bottlenecks to speed things up. Search is definitely one area needing a boost.

    The underlying infrastructure is pretty neat... it's all hosted up in "the cloud" (Amazon AWS) and is configured in an auto-scaling server array... as traffic increases and decreases throughout the day, new servers are automatically spun up or down on demand.

    There are some very good things in COVE, we will work through these performance issues, and I hope you will come to love it as much.

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