Twitch Begins Closed Beta for HTML5 Player

Twitch Begins Closed Beta for HTML5 Player

The streaming service is beginning to move away from Flash Player.

Twitch has kicked off a Closed Beta for an all-new HTML5 video player. The beta is available to Twitch Turbo subscribers today and will be rolling out to more users later this summer. Currently, the site uses Adobe Flash Player, which is a closed, proprietary system that uses system resources like nobody's business and has a number of security flaws.

"Among the Twitch community's wish list has been a full migration to HTML5 which is why it has been a major focus for our engineers," said Twitch product marketing manager Noreen McInnis in the press release. "Compared to our current Flash Player, load times are expected to be faster with better frame rates, while taxing our viewers' devices less. The end result is a better viewing experience for our community."

On the official Twitch blog, McInnis touted a number of features that are available with the switch to HTML5. These benefits include faster loading of streams, more consistent video quality, and a smaller drain on CPU and battery life. Users in the beta can toggle between the classic player and the new HTML5 video player.

The focus on Twitch Turbo subscribers is because the entire HTML5 system is not built to handle ad support yet. Turbo subscribers don't see ads at all, so the company decided it was better to focus their efforts there first.

"The focus of this beta is on identifying breaking points and areas for improvement. Our system for ad support is not yet ready for a full release, so we are starting the beta with users who are already excluded from seeing ads across Twitch," reads the FAQ for the new player.

"Though some partners have enabled Ad-Free Viewing for their subscribers, subscribers may watch many channels on Twitch, making it tricky to gather consistent data from those users. We also need lots of feedback and lots of minutes watched, which made Turbo subscribers the perfect group to kick off our HTML5 test, since they watch video at significantly higher rates than the average Twitch viewer."

Another step closer to the death of Flash. Huzzah!

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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