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Bitmovin Player 4.0 Full Features for all Accounts Including DRM

Right in time for a successful start to 2016, we’ve released the 4th major version of our MPEG-DASH & HLS adaptive streaming player! With this release, you’ll find not only a lot of new features and improvements, but you’ll also find the pricing has been completely revamped. We are very happy to announce, that former enterprise-only features, such as DRM, can now be used with any player and without additional costs!

Impression Based Pricing and DRM for Everyone

free html5 player planIn the course of the new major player release, we have changed the licensing to a video view (impression) based model – this means the usage is no longer domain based. Also the differentiation between FREE, PROFESSIONAL and ENTERPRISE versions are no longer applicable and every player comes fully featured with all enterprise characteristics, including DRM, Chromecast support, skinning, and many more! And the Player can be used for commercial purposes starting with the very first impression.
You can now choose from six different plans, ranging from startup to enterprise, depending on your current needs. Changing between different plans, and hence number of video impressions, is possible on a monthly basis and makes it easy to scale the player along with your growing business. Of course, there is still the possibility to evaluate the player implementation – 5,000 impressions per month can be used entirely for free and testing on localhost will not increase the impression count at all.
More details about the all new licensing model can be found on our pricing page, or contact us directly via [email protected].

Thumbnail Seeking

Thumbnail seeking in the adapative streaming playerAnother very attractive feature in version 4, is a short preview image, or thumbnail, right above the progress bar. Whenever the cursor moves across any point on the progress bar, an image related to the scene at this point in time is displayed. This small preview gives the user a good first impression of the scene and can be very handy when it comes to seeking. The preview images are loaded from a so called sprite image, which is no more than a collection of images put into a single image. To enable thumbnail seeking, simply add the path to the .vtt file, which contains a timeline with the corresponding sprite image files, in the source part of the configuration object, as shown in our player configuration overview. The required thumbnails for your streams can easily be created, using our encoding service.

API Calls Return JavaScript Promises

javascript logoJavaScript is single-threaded, meaning two bits of script cannot run at the same time (i.e. every line of code is performed consecutively). In modern web applications, as described in one of our recent posts, a player implementation shares the thread with lots of other functionalities, such as user interaction, updating styles, and many more. Any of theses activities delays the others, including the player. Until now, a common way to get around this was to use events and callbacks. However, promises provide a simpler alternative for executing, composing, and managing asynchronous operations when compared to traditional callback-based approaches where a promise represents the eventual result of such an asynchronous operation, not necessarily known at its creation time. Without going into too much detail, the bottom line is a slight change of the player handling for the API calls setup, load, and setSkin, which makes working with them much more pleasant. In relation to the player setup, it looks like this:

var player = bitdash('player');
player.setup(conf).then(function(value) {
  // Success
  console.log('Successfully created bitdash player instance');
}, function(reason) {
  // Error!
  console.log('Error while creating bitdash player instance');

With version 4.0 we have also introduced a new event, called onDownloadFinished. It provides detailed feedback on every segment and manifest download. We’ve also added enhanced recovery functionalities after lost Internet connection or other network errors. And a detailed migration guide to the most recent player version can be found in our developer section.

What’s Coming Next?

I am happy to announce two stunning upcoming features – VR & 360° video and ad support using VAST 3.0! These two will be released within the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

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Reinhard Grandl is Director of Product Management at Bitmovin. Reinhard received his Master degree from the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, specializing on Networked and Embedded Systems, in 2014 and joined Bitmovin in 2013 as part of the player department. Reinhard’s experience includes positions in international research and development companies.

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