Watching the new streamer
Before you can watch any channels on the new BATC site you will probably need to enable Flash for the site.
Note - you probably have Flash already installed and working on other sites but you MUST ENABLE it for every site you go to.
Channels on the streamer can be set to Flash or HTML5 by the owner. Flash has the advantage of minimal delay but each site you go to needs specifically enabling in Chrome, Firefox and Edge browsers. HTML5 works with all modern browsers, including Safari on iPhones and iPads, but is subject to a 10 - 20 second delay.
Watching Flash streams on the Streamer
If you are using an iPad or iPhone, you will NOT be able to watch streams that have been set by the owner to use Flash - you can only watch streams using HTML5 on these devices (unless you download a Flash-compatible browser such as Puffin).
If you get a image of white noise when you try to browse a stream, you need to tell the Chrome browser that the new BATC site is safe for the use of Flash. To do this:
- Right click on the word “Secure” in green at the left handside of the address bar.
- Select Site Settings - this will open in a new tab.
- Go down to Flash (6 on the list), click on the arrow on the right handside, and select allow.
- Close the tab which settings has opened in and refresh the original page.
Your browser will remember this setting and you should not have to do it again for the BATC Site.
Note: Versions of Chrome from September 2018 onwards no longer remember this setting when you close the browser and you will have to re-enable Flash for the streamer each time you run Chrome. There is a way to override this (https://forum.batc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?p=16650#p16650) but it comes with a health warning.
If you just get a blank screen on a channel in Firefox you will need to enable Flash:
- Click on the video window
- Click on the Flash symbol in the middle of the window
- A dialogue box will appear at the top of the browser - tick "remember the decision" and then click "Allow"
To view Flash streaming in Microsoft edge, turn on Adobe by clicking on the padlock at the top of the window.
Watching HTML5 streams on the Streamer
Depending on which browser you are using, you may need to click on the video window to start the stream. Remember that the stream is subject to a 10 - 20 second delay.
Why do I need to re-enable Flash?
When we switched from the old site, the Flash stream switched from being served by insecure http from www.batc.tv, to being served by the more secure https from batc.org.uk/live - a new site. Your browser effectively said “Finally, I can set this up as a trusted secure Flash source if the user lets me” and thus it asks you for permission.
Similarly, when your browser tries to connect to the Server when HTML5 is enabled, the server looks at what the browser tells it, and recognises that the browser can handle Flash (even if it is not enabled by the user). So it gives your browser Flash and the browser asks that you enable it. If your browser told the server that it could not handle Flash (as happens with Safari on an iPhone) the server will send it HTML5.
In our investigations of members' problems with Flash, all the problems so far have been due to browsers where Flash had not been enabled (using the instructions above), or a non-Flash capable device was being used.
Why are we using Flash and HTML5?
Flash needs enabling in all modern browsers, and HTML5 has a long delay - so why are we using them?
We looked long and hard, but could not find an open-source low latency alternative to Flash. The alternatives were either closed-source or one-to-one and we are looking for an open-source one-to-many implementation.
HTML5 works well with mobile devices, but the standard has an in-built delay of between 10 and 20 seconds. Again, we have been unable to find a viable alternative open-source technology to stream to mobile devices.