Streaming has taken over more and more of the time we spend on the internet, so it would seem like a good idea for one of the most popular streaming services to get with the program, wouldn't you say? It is about time they leave the old Flash player behind and move on over to HTML5 as their video player of choice.

HTML5 has been one of the most requested upgrades from Twitch users for quite some time, and the change was finally announced at Twitch-Con last year. However, it took quite some time for anything further to be revealed, until a post was made on their blog in late June this year. Flash is a dying breed, Google is actually planning on getting rid of it entirely soon, and if you compare it to HTML5, it does not take an expert to see why. HTML5 is a much lighter and less cpu hungry video player and will help users to get "a smoother streaming experience with faster load times and more consistent delivery of high frame rate broadcasts." According to Noreen McInnis at Twitch's Public Marketing, these are the main benefits of this change:
  • Faster loading — we expect streams to start faster, letting you join streams more quickly!
  • More consistent video  — when your favorite streamers broadcast in 30 or 60 frames per second (fps), many users will see a noticeable improvement in video stability.
  • Fewer Interruptions  — HTML5 is known for going easy on your CPU. With extended battery life and less overheating, you can keep watching and chatting during those marathon streaming sessions.
Today marks the start of this much anticipated transition, as Twitch Turbo subscribers are given the option to part-take in the HTML5 player beta. Turbo users are paying to watch streams with no ads, and that makes them the perfect group to be the first to test out the new player, which still isn't quite ready to deal with ads. As Twitch collect feedback and work on optimizing the player's performance, more and more users will be randomly selected to join in throughout the summer. If you are selected, you will see the option to change player in your settings. Eventually, HTML5 will replace Flash entirely, and Twitch hopes to reach this point by the end of the year.

How long have you been waiting for this? Have you been able to test the new player? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!