TV3 unveils new HTML5 ‘3 Player’ that plays on any device

10 Oct 2011

Broadcaster TV3 has launched its new catch-up TV player that combines HTML5 tags to enable it to play pre-roll advertising on a multitude of devices, including the iPhone and iPad, and Android mobile devices.

The new 3 Player enables consumers to at a glance find out what are the most popular programmes, catch what’s just come straight off the telly and see what items are about to be moved off the front page.

Online viewers can also see the live schedule, where they can watch what’s currently playing and see what programmes are coming up.

The new player has Twitter and Facebook plug-ins to allow online viewers to comment on programmes as they happen.

It also features an interactive calendar that lets online viewers cycle through the programmes they may have missed.

“We wanted people to enjoy catch-up TV without having to download an app,” said TV3’s online manager Peter Clerkin. “But as a commercial TV station, we also had to make it commercially viable so we put pre-roll ads onto programmes using HTML5 tagging.

“Find me another website that can run pre-roll ads inside its player,” Clerkin challenged. “For example, YouTube stitches advertising into the content so we’ve managed to put HTML5 video tags and then put the content on. As a result, viewers can watch the content on an iPad, a netbook, their smartphone or PC over Wi-Fi and 3G.

TV broadcasters morph into online broadcasters

“This has also allowed us to enjoy increased rates of encoding and bitrates,” Clerkin added, pointing out that some 253,000 people are now following various programmes like Xpose, The Apprentice and X Factor on Facebook.

“This is what we see as our main site now. All our content is tagged at the back end so all an online view has to do is type in what they are looking for and it becomes predictive and intuitive,” Clerkin said.

He added that the project took five to six months to complete.

It follows a number of innovative steps the broadcaster has been taking to harness the internet, including a TV app deal with Sony, various live election survey tools and, of course, apps for the iPad and iPhone.

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