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.
East said his team was now working to improve the HTML5 player to match the abilities of the Flash player, and to refine the functionality and design based on user feedback.
The amount of content available via MPEG-DASH and HTML5 is set to increase as part of the rollout of the Video Factory and Audio Factory projects across the BBC.
It’s planned to continue supporting Flash on the desktop for at least the next few years.