Today, we are taking a major step forward in the march toward Flash independence. With today’s release of the Brightcove Player version 5, publishers can now truly deliver a 100% HTML5 video experience to their audiences. The Brightcove Player now uses the latest Media Source Extensions (MSE) API to render adaptive bitrate HLS video in all modern browsers. This technology removes the need to use Flash-based video and dramatically improves quality and performance of the video experience.
The Brightcove Player now plays HLS video on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11 (on Windows 8), Safari, and Windows Edge without using Flash.* Also in this update, we have added a new, improved UI theme and an updated API for plugin extensions and UI customization.
Higher Performance, More Efficient HLS Video
Using MSE makes our video player much more efficient in the rendering of adaptive bitrate HLS video, and it removes a major irritant for many publishers who want to eliminate reliance on Flash across their sites. Some of the benefits of using this new architecture include:
- Faster Loading — Since the video player no longer needs to use Flash, loading time is decreased, which makes time-to-first-frame even faster for maximum content engagement. Additionally, our video player will not be automatically paused or filtered by any power-saving or Flash detection logic in the browser (a topic that we covered in a previous post).
- Higher Resolution — We are also able to render high resolution and high frame-rate video with much less CPU usage, making it possible to deliver 4K and 60 FPS video on modest hardware and without draining the battery or activating the laptop fan.
- Lower Power — Our new video player now uses 33-50% less CPU than the previous version.
Average Chrome CPU Usage During Playback
We’ve heard your feedback and incorporated many suggestions and months of usability research into our improved UI. Improvements include:
- Better Seek Bar — New expanding seek bar on mouse-over with seek-to position time offset label makes it easy to seek to a specific point in the video.
- Centered Big Play Button — Changeable using CSS, the big play button now appears in the center by default.
- The Dock — The new UI now features an area for the title and video descriptions at the top of the video player area.
- Updated Controls — Easier to use volume and mute buttons.
The Brightcove video player version 5 is currently the default version for all newly created Video Cloud and Perform video players. Starting this week, existing unlocked video players will be auto-updated as well. Publishers can opt-out of automatic updates in the Studio or via the API, as described here.
While this version has some huge benefits for most customers, we are still in the process of updating a number of our plugins: OnceUX, FreeWheel, DVRUX (Live DVR controls), and DASH-DRM. These plugins will be updated in the coming weeks, but until then we recommend opting out of automatic updates until the new versions are available.
Our Best Video Player Yet
The Brightcove video player version 5 is a major step forward providing Flash-independent, high-performance and high-efficiency HTML5 playback of HLS videos. With faster load times and a new UI, this version is a significant improvement.
* For older versions of IE, where there is no other option, our video player can still use Flash as a fallback.