Comcast’s thePlatform puts HTML out front on new video player service
It’s a fragmentized ecosystem when it comes to enabling video content across various devices and browsers, but Comcast’s thePlatform hopes to build a more unified front with an updated video player service that puts HTML5 in the leadoff position.
HTML5 has emerged as the common standard for media assets, and starting this year, thePlatform's Universal Player Service is set to default to HTML5 players to render video quickly, but it will dynamically switch to Adobe Systems’ Flash if needed.
The end result is more consistent playback on websites, iOS devices, Android devices and Windows 8 devices, according to thePlatform. With HTML5 out front, thePlatform said customers would experience faster load times for video playback and lower development costs.
There is also no need for companies to manage duplicate systems for individual players, since thePlatform's mpx publishing system automatically associates all the metadata and business policies for each video across both HTML5 and Flash players.
"We've always supported HTML5, but the technology has matured over the past 18 months, and it's now ready for primetime," said Marty Roberts, senior vice president of sales and marketing at thePlatform. "Companies are being swamped by the combination of devices and browsers needed to ensure their videos render well on their customers' device of choice. Our new Player Service alleviates that challenge in an incredibly simple and cost-efficient way. HTML5 has become the lead technology that we recommend to our customers for publishing video across devices, and it has replaced Flash as the default setting in our mpx Player Service."
Last month, thePlatform analyzed video views managed through its mpx publishing system across thousands of specific device "profiles,”  or unique combinations of device models, operating systems and browsers.
Outside of computers, iPads accounted for the most video views in December, followed by iPhones, followed by Android smartphones and tablets. ThePlatform introduced its new Player Service to reduce the complexity for customers trying to manage video playback across a growing number of devices.
In addition to switching on the fly between HTML5 and Flash, the enhanced Player Service automatically updates with iOS, Android and Windows 8 releases, ensuring that videos are always available.
Aside from Comcast, customers for thePlatform include Cablevision, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Rogers Communications, RCN and Liberty Global.