September 15, 2009 by openbytes
The success of BBCiplayer cannot be denied and for UK residents who want to catch up (or indeed explore) the wealth of content the BBC offers online it really is a great service. Relying on Flash I am a regular viewer of the BBCiplayer with its smooth perfomance and decent quality (even on the lowest quality setting)
ITV on the otherhand went the Silverlight route which instantly made it unavailable for anyone running Linux (I wouldnt know if there was Moonlight compat since I, like many Linux users refused to put it on their system) ITV’s decision was strange because unlike the BBC which is publically funded, ITV relies on its advertising revenue to pay the bills and surely wants to appeal to the largest audience possible.
I had often wondered why ITV had opted for the Silverlight route and can’t help asking the question “Did ITV get some reward by forcing it down the online community?” – That can be answered another time because the good news is, without any large celebration or shouting ITV has ditched Silverlight in favour of Flash, not only making their material open to even more users but another blow for the company that wants you to do everything their way (Microsoft).
There are other questions in regards to the move that need to be answered such as was the move as a result of complaints from potential users or was it as a result of pressure by advertisers? or indeed something else entirely.
An ITV spokesperson is reported to have said:
ITV can confirm it has switched from Microsoft’s Silverlight to Adobe Flash to support the ITV Player on ITV.com.
and there are also interesting views from other users in respect of this, one comment which caught my eye was in regards to the “standards compliant” IE8:
What I’ve found is that I can see the programmes available using Firefox and Opera using Flash Player v10.0.32.18 (which is the lates version), however I can’t get anything using IE 8.
Is this a double whammy for Microsoft? If the comment is accurate then it seems a little ironic that the ITV site was “off limits” to many non Silverlight users is now off limits to IE8? The above comment can be found here.
The site www.flashstreamworks.com had this to say in regards to the move:
ITV, owner of the UK’s largest commercial television channel in terms of audience share and advertising revenue, had been using Silverlight since the launch of the service, but if the ITV forums and other reports are anything to go by, the use of Silverlight had certainly caused frustration for many visitors to the site trying to use ITV Player.
You can visit the ITVplayer here: http://www.itv.com
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