Seamless cross platform viewing, responsive design, higher quality video, adaptive streaming, and even better social media integration comes to RTÉ Player www.rte.ie/player
Available anytime and anywhere, RTÉ Player promises more audience choice and superb features for viewers at home or abroad, via iPhone, iPad, or on-line
9th October 2012, RTÉ Digital; Ireland’s most popular catch-up service, the RTÉ Player, has just being totally re-designed. Amongst the new features coming this month to RTÉ Player are:
- An optimised design and user experience
- Seamless cross-platform viewing
- Adaptive streaming
- Higher quality video streaming.
- A new sign-in feature
- Improved social media integration
- A new and improved RTÉ Player app available now via the iTunes store.
The new-look RTÉ Player is a further building block in RTÉ Digital’s strategy to deliver flagship programmes whenever and wherever the audience requires.  The enhanced RTÉ Player will allow the audience enjoy over 200 hours of quality RTÉ content with a superior viewing experience and a number of great new features.
A major update for both iPhone and iPad apps has now been released and includes, amongst other new features, a sign-in functionality. As a result, the introduction of a new “seamless viewing” feature will enable viewers to enjoy their favourite programmes across multiple devices, allowing each device to pick up the programme where the other left off.
“RTÉ Player puts the audience in control, allowing them to watch TV where they want to and when they want to”, says Tom Grealis, Director of Production and Operations, RTÉ Digital, “Not only is RTÉ Player packed with over 200 hours of flagship programmes, we’ve now brought it to the next level, giving audiences a superb viewing experience with new features such as the capacity for seamless, cross device viewing, enhanced social media capabilities and adaptive streaming”.
The catch-up and live streaming service is already the Irish market leader, with an international audience that accounts for 15% of streams. The new refreshed RTÉ Player launches in-tandem with RTÉ’s new season schedule, featuring shows such as The Fear a new risqué hidden camera show, The Gathering – Homeward Bound following six well-known Irish people returning to their roots, a new series of the gritty CIA drama Homeland, Instrumental, a musical challenge show, as well as shows such as Masterchef Ireland, the biggest cooking competition on TV. RTÉ Player offers quality viewing across multiple genres from young people’s content, current affairs and news – to drama, comedy, programmes of cultural and Irish interest as well as classics from the archives.[i]
RTÉ Player’s new and improved features in detail:
Higher quality video using HTTP adaptive streaming, improved design, responsive HTML5 interface.
Using HTTP adaptive streaming, the RTÉ Player can now deliver a superior viewing experience to more devices than ever before. In terms of the visual, the original version of the player was built to accommodate users with screen resolutions of 1024×768. The user interface (UI) has had a major overhaul for version 2.
Designer Paul McClean, RTE Digital comments: “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 HTML5 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 etc. were carried into the new site”. See Paul’s full blog at www.rte.ie/blogs/digital
Seamless viewing switching: With “sign-in” enabled, the user can switch the screen on which they are viewing content. For example, if you’re watching a tv programme you can pause on your mobile and continue playing on your iPad, Samsung Connected TV or online.
New “sign-in” which allows syncing of favourites
The new sign-in system provides multiple benefits to users such as syncing of favourite programmes which allows viewers to pause and resume across multiple devices. For example, a viewer who starts to watch a programme on their desktop, once signed-on can resume from where they left off on another device such as a iPhone or iPad. Integration with RTÉ ID also allows users to keep and manage favourites and recently watched programmes in an attractive new interface, which can be made available across many of the devices running RTÉ player.
Improved Social Network integration
In addition, RTÉ Player now comes armed with a suite of social media features, such as new Facebook page links, Twitter hashtags or @ links, Like button, Tweet button, Facebook send and a “watching it” feature which posts on Facebook’s timeline.
There is also a “share from” cue point, so if a user only wants to share a portion of a programme they have the ability to do so.
Instant Search and Parental Control
Instant search enables viewers to simply type in the start of the programme’s name, and it will appear in the search box, making searching for your favourite programme quicker and easier than ever.
Parental Control gives parents the option to set limits and control what is age-appropriate viewing for younger viewers. Available on all programmes with an MA rating, it is simple and easy to enable via the service.
- Source www.banda.ie
 International streaming is subject to rights clearance, therefore not all programmes are available internationally on RTE Player.
[i] Not all content is available on all devices due to rights restrictions.