BBC begins phasing out Flash with new HTML5 iPlayer trial

Matt Brian
M. Brian|09.29.15

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Matt Brian
September 29th, 2015
BBC begins phasing out Flash with new HTML5 iPlayer trial

Now that Chrome and Firefox are treating Flash like an unwanted guest, online companies are weighing up whether supporting the browser plugin is worth their time. The BBC currently utilises it for its popular iPlayer service, but it's already working on an alternative. The Beeb announced today that it's launched an open beta for its new HTML5 player, giving you the option to watch your favourite shows from any browser, whether you're using your smartphone (which ties in nicely with its Android beta), tablet or PC.

The BBC does stress that the Flash player won't go away "for at least the next few years," adding that HTML5 requires more processing power and it doesn't want to "leave behind those users who cannot, or do not wish to, upgrade." The majority of programmes have been converted to the MPEG-DASH streaming standard and AVC3 codec, but there are some shows that haven't yet been processed, so users might see a message asking if they're happy to stream using the old Flash player.

If you're keen to see what all the fuss is about, signing up for the beta is pretty easy. Simply head here, click the "Opt in to the HTML5 Player" button on the right hand side of the page and visit iPlayer as you would normally. Once you've done that, a small notification will pop up inside the player when you watch your chosen episode. If you're not having a good experience, all you have to do is visit that page again and click the same button to restore things back to the way they were before.

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