The design of current online Player has come in for some criticism online recently, but it's interesting to note how similar all online video Players look. The original look and feel of these Players, I think I can truly claim, evolved from the design of the original High TV Player in early 2003.
The convention of having the video frame in the top left hand corner and the content frames to the right was copied initially by MTV in their Overdrive service and quickly became commonplace.
Personally, I believe that the problem with most Player design is that they are too busy, clever and interactive. Over sixty per cent of Narrowstep's viewers watch the content full screen, so the context is irrelevant.
We are constantly asked to add in the most outlandish features which we know will not be well received by users. The golden rule is, if you provide television, people will treat it like television.
For online video, less is more...