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Couch Mode, now everywhere!

Ryan Hefner
August 9, 2011 by Ryan Hefner Staff

Good news folks! Today we're rolling out some huge improvements for Couch Mode.

What's Couch Mode? It's a special full-screen version of Vimeo that's designed to be displayed on big screens like TVs and controlled only with a keyboard. We launched Couch Mode about about 10 months ago. We've heard some great feedback during that time and today, we're kicking it up a notch.

  • First off, Couch Mode now works on all browsers and can play any video on Vimeo. Originally, it only worked on Safari and Chrome. Now everyone can get in on the action.

  • Tablet support! Did I say it was only for TVs? I lied! It works great on the iPad and Android tablets too! Try swiping the video browser across the bottom.

  • We've added tons of new navigation including the ability to browse users, Albums, Channels and Groups. Basically, all parts of Vimeo are now reachable from within Couch Mode.

  • We also added global search. Just start typing, and the search box will pop right up.

  • Finally, Couch Mode is now context-aware. That means on every Channel, Group and Video page you will see a button that will take you into Couch Mode and the collection carries over. So for example if you were viewing a video on the HD Channel and hit the Couch Mode button, the videos across the bottom are all from the HD Channel. You can even copy and paste Couch Mode urls, so your video launches in fullscreen when you share it.

Look for The Couch Mode button in the upper-right of any video page on Vimeo.

We've been working hard to cram as much functionality as possible into Couch Mode so it's the full Vimeo experience. As I mentioned, Couch Mode is designed to be a keyboard-only: navigate around with the arrow keys and hit escape at anytime to hide the overlays.

Now everybody grab a cold one and kick back to Couch Mode!


One F

Does couch mode work in the new Apple TV update app? Thanks.

Andrew Pile Staff

Vimeo is now on Apple TV. It has pretty much the same features, but it's not Couch Mode.

Blair Dog Plus

The Vimeo App on Apple TV is great but it would be killer if couch mode would make it's way there to allow for maximum vegging out.

Kennon Fleisher Plus

Yeah - like others seem to say, when I saw Couch Mode I got excited because I thought it was FOR Apple TV, it seemed to be named just for the situation and everything. It has a much sexier interface than the current Apple TV one - do you guys have to adhere to some kind of standards for Apple to be on Apple TV as far as the look of things? If not, you guys should look into a way of making the interface of couch mode on the Apple TV. It's really hard to find stuff on Apple TV on Vimeo for some reason... I've searched things on there, but unless you have it spelled entirely correct and with the right case sensitive lettering, it won't find it. At least, that's what I've experienced. Good progress nonetheless.

I was very excited for Vimeo to be on Apple TV though. Thanks guys!

T9 Cine Plus

Yeah, bummer that there's no Couch Mode for Apple TV. I was very surprised that YouTube's app will autoplay your Watch Later list but Vimeo's won't. Sadface.

Ted Avery

I'm blown away by how well this works on the iPad. I had no idea you could do all this fancy UI overlay stuff on video in mobile safari. I'd love to see a developer's post on how this was made!

Brandon Stewart

ditto. great work. & a developer post would be awesome.

Haakon Sundbø

Nice! Is this working on PS3? Or wait, nothing works on the PS3 browser ;p

Greg Henkel

Wow, this is great! It's just missing a little button to automatically have food delivered to your house!

Kennon Fleisher Plus

last night I was in my living room wishing I had chicken, when suddenly Vimeo staff showed up with food. how convenient!

no jk, but it would've been sweet.

Tim McGlynn

ehh, whatever, still can't log in on Boxee Box

Andre Beaulieu

hi,I'm having the same problem. What did you do to solve this?

Tim McGlynn

I gave up. See Andrew Pile's comments below. They should change the headline of this post, since Couchmode isn't available everywhere.

Floris van Eck

Not for me. You can't login. As soon as Boxee Box detects Vimeo url... it goes in a movie mode and you don't have a cursor. I also tried to go directly to the page but that also does the same. I have tried everything but just can't login on my Boxee Box. Suggestions?

Andrew Pile Staff

I would complain to Boxee. The way our login works isn't magic, it's pretty standard stuff. It works with every other browser in existence.

Kennon Fleisher Plus

My suggestion would be to use Safari or Firefox like everyone else. :] jk.... but seriously. Use Safari or Firefox.

Floris van Eck

I can't login to Couch Mode on the Boxee Box. The app keeps messing up!

What's wrong?

B Unis

Cool addition. Seems to be an issue with audio gain heavily reduced, though, at least in the several videos I tried (using Chrome, on a desktop machine) -- maybe this works better on a tablet?

Blake Whitman Staff

There should be no difference in audio quality as Couch Mode plays the same that you see on a normal clip page.


Love the name "couch mode" it makes everything better =P

The Cinematic Moment PRO

Thank You So Much! You guys are really doing great stuff over there... can't wait to see the future with VIMEO!

Underground Planet Plus

I love you guys and I hate when there's something I don't like, in theory I almost like it if that count's for anything! I see why it could be cool but to some degree I think it might be confusing to people and actually would prefer it
not be there (sorry sorry sorry! I know I'm sorry!)

My main personal problem with this is the tab on the bottom. In the past if someone embedded or posted a link to one of my video's before I think it was very clear who I was and what the Vimeo community was if people were to look around the page. The bulk of what showed up on the page for the video was pictures that I had uploaded or links to other of my work.

With couch mode if someone posts a link to the couch mode version of a video I did it's a little confusing. I think people will very easily think that the HD Channel are somehow my HD Channel or that Staff Picks mean that their my picks and that I'm staff. To someone outside of Vimeo I think it blends what I did and what other people do and at the risk of sounding selfish is more encouraging for viewers who originally came here to see something of mine are taken elsewhere, perhaps without even realizing it. And at present I have no way of preventing this. I'd love to be able to use and send out links to couch mode without the issues I've described but barring that I'd almost like to disable the ability all together so people who post links to my videos just go to the normal page.

I really don't want to be a buzz kill, just a little disappointed that this was implemented and is now on all of my videos the way it is. =(

- Ray

Steve McDonald Plus

I don't see the point of this. It makes my videos smaller and they don't play fullscreen.

Star Mountain Media Plus

I think Couch Mode is a great idea, but I must Agree with Steve. Couch Mode needs a real "Full Screen" button that gets rid of the browser interface and all the distracting visual clutter.

I won't be using it personally until this is implemented.

Steve McDonald Plus

That's the problem. My 1920 X 1080 videos play at fullscreen on Vimeo, but in "couch mode", they show at only about 80%, with the browser header and other items on the right margin taking up space. The response of the controls for this mode is slow both before and after playing and involves extra button pushes.

Brad Dougherty Staff

At the moment, Safari is the only browser that could support having a button to take Couch Mode full screen. Chrome has a browser full screen mode, and I believe that Firefox does as well.

David Bryan Plus

I just installed the Vimeo App on my 46in Samsung LED Smart TV...It's amazing! All my videos play instantly, and look perfect. Seriously, if any of you are considering buying a TV, get that lets you use the vimeo app.

Andrew Pile Staff

Great advice! I have a Samsung too and the Vimeo app is really great.

Fullfeedback Productions Plus

Great app, is it possible toi use it on the ipad without a wireless connection by saving the videos I want to show offline on the ipad?

Ozan Akinci

this is a truly a great way to present a showreel to a client or a company.. great work and thanks a whole lot vimeo!! :D

Idea Factory

Does couch mode work in the Sony Bravia TV? Thanks.

Andrew Pile Staff

At the moment Couch Mode only works on Sony TVs with Google TV in them.


I can't wait to try it. I don't have an ipad yet but I might just stop by a MAC store to try it out on a pad. Cool addition!

Joseph Valentinetti Plus

Very nice. Even loads the videos better than the regular viewer. Keep it up. Best video service around. Thanks

Ricardo Arellano

I have 2 little problems.

I'm using it on Chrome , and the button box (play, pause ) appears every 5 seconds. I tought that could be a mouse problem, but I disconnected it and stills shows up.

The second one. Why in couch mode takes long to load the videos? I tested it and in the old normal mode takes less than when you're in couch mode, (and sometimes couch mode in lower quality)

Andrew Pile Staff

Thanks for the reports... I haven't heard this from anyone else yet but we'll be on the lookout and try to improve it.

Ricardo Arellano

The detail is that the mouse never hides. You can move to the sides, but never dissapears.


Great job guys! Respect Ryan, Joe, Kevin, et. al!

Sylvia Toy PRO

I really like Couch Mode a lot and appreciate that it works so well now.

Freek Freriks

Couch Mode is great! I go to a music video channel, turn it on in fullscreen and pretent iam watching MTV without ''Made'' 24/7.

No seriously, great feature!

Andrew Pile Staff

Unfortunately not! Maybe someday, I have an Xbox too and would love to see it!

Frank Moore Plus

It doesn't work well in Opera 11.5. A big banner blocks half of the screen.

Flo Hoelzl

The idea is sick, but is it possible to make a real fullscreen like others already said for firefox and maybe make an iphone/android remote or implant it into the vimeo-app?
Nice work guys, keep these updates comin'!

Steven Harris

Is the omission of the volume control deliberate? If so, what's the reason?

Ryan Hefner Staff

Hey Steven,

Since Couch Mode was originally geared for the TV viewing experience, we figured you would control that via your remote. With that said, it's meant to be a pretty hands-off, sit-back experience, hence the lack of volume controls. Just set it, and forget it!

Your thoughts?


Steven Harris

That makes sense. I happened to have experimented with it on my computer, and I'm so accustomed to playing with the tiny volume controls in embedded video players that I noticed its lack. Perhaps it would be possible to make it accessible somehow, such as through an "advanced controls" fly-out control, even if it's not always visible.

Kennon Fleisher Plus

I wish I worked for Vimeo, such a sick company always doing top of the line stuff and so ahead of the game.

Andrew Mooers

Bigger is better, don't believe them when they say size is no big deal. Yeah right.


I can't get my 'Video Glitch Group' to display on couch mode on my apple tv. This would be ideal. Can anyone help?
Also, is there a way to mute the audio so I can play other music over the videos?


does the apple remote control the basic functions when playing videos in Couch Mode?

Jeff Lin

Found this smartphone remote on chrome web store. Just search for "Vimeo Remote".


I'm having a problem on my Samsung TV... I can't figure out how to find albums that I created. In couch mode on the computer I can pull them up but they aren't there on the tv. Is this just a glitch?

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