Sep 302015
 

HTML5 Player beta trial for BBC iPlayer

The BBC has unveiled a beta trial of an HTML5 version for the iPlayer.

HTML5 video has been used by the BBC to deliver video to iOS devices, such as the iPhone and iPad for sometime, but until now the BBC has felt the consistent experience and efficient media delivery offered by Flash outweighed the benefit of moving to HTML5 on the desktop.

The move also follows the introduction of restrictions on the Flash format introduced by leading browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.

The new HTML5 player is currently being tested with Firefox 41, Opera 32, Safari on iOS 5 and above, BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 and above, Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and Google Chrome on all platforms.

“Most programmes on BBC iPlayer should play in the HTML5 player from today, but there are some archive and late-delivered programmes which aren’t yet encoded for the new MPEG-DASH streaming technology,” explained James East, product manager, video playout, in a blog post. Viewers will be advised if an HTML5 version is not yet available.

For users interested in an alternative to Flash to deliver audio and video, James East – Product Manager in Media Playout, introduces a beta trial of HTML5, as well as a new native Android player for BBC iPlayer.

Although we’ve been using HTML5 to deliver video to iOS devices for some time, until recently we felt that the consistent experience and efficient media delivery offered by Flash outweighed the benefit of moving to HTML5 on the desktop. However, we’ve been regularly evaluating the features offered by the most popular web browsers and we’re now confident we can achieve the playback quality you’d expect from the BBC without using a third-party plugin.

It’s planned to continue supporting Flash on the desktop for at least the next few years.

To opt in, visit our HTML5 Player beta page. This will allow you to set a cookie in your browser so you can access our HTML5 player on BBC iPlayer. If you clear your cookies or switch browsers, you’ll have to return to this page to re-enter the trial. You can also visit this page if you want to opt out and return to our non-beta player.

While opted in, whenever you visit BBC iPlayer to play a programme you’ll see a reminder banner before you click Play, so you can be sure you’re using our HTML5 player.

We’re currently testing the HTML5 player with:
◾Firefox 41
◾Opera 32
◾Safari on iOS 5 and above
◾BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 and above
◾Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
◾Google Chrome on all platforms

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