RTÉ reveals new-look RTÉ Player with HTML 5 interface and adaptive streaming

9 Oct 2012

Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ has revealed a new-look Player for the iPad, iPhone, connected TVs and web that uses a new HTML 5 interface and HTTP adaptive streaming.

The enhanced RTÉ Player will allow its connected audience to enjoy more than 200 hours of content.

A new seamless viewing feature will allow viewers to enjoy their programmes across multiple devices. For example, they can begin watching a programme on their iPhones and carry on watching it on their iPads or laptops.

The new-version Player also comes with new social features, such as a ‘watching it’ feature for Facebook users, which posts on their Timelines. There is also a ‘share from’ cue point so if a user only wants to share a portion of a programme they can do so.

The new Player also comes with an instant search capability and parental-control feature so parents can set limits and control what is age-appropriate for their children.

The original version of the Player was built to accommodate users with a screen resolution of 1,024 x 768, but the new version has been enhanced to improve visual quality.

Designer Paul McClean explained: “With the explosion in phone, tablet and other HD devices in recent years, the player interface has changed significantly to provide a unified experience on any screen resolution. The switch from Adobe Flex to HTML 5 has allowed us to build a fully responsive UI that adapts well across all devices. It also allows us to iterate and improve the product more rapidly than before.

“In terms of the finer details, many of the harsh gradients, shadows, rounded corners and ‘glows’ have been completely stripped out in favour of a more refined, simpler look and feel, with an greatly increased focus on content and social media. Many of the design cues I used for the design of the player iOS apps such as the ‘carbon’ motif, spacing uniformity, and thumbnail ratios, were carried into the new site.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years