RTÉ News Now launches – A new 24-hour online news ‘channel’

Blurb:

RTÉ News Now is the only place you can watch the latest Irish news from anywhere in the world.

Watch up-to-the-minute news streamed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with live coverage of special events and full-length current affairs programmes.

http://www.rte.ie/live/index.html?news

Realplayer or Windows Media Player only. Hmm.

2500 people have subscribed to my website instead of coming back each day. You can subscribe to the site using a feedreader or email. I'm also on Twitter. My online marketing blog might also be worth a visit. Thanks for visiting - Damien.

46 Responses to “RTÉ News Now launches – A new 24-hour online news ‘channel’”

  1. roosta says:

    Realplayer or Windows Media Player only.

    Thumbs-down.

  2. Justin Mason says:

    is the Director General having sex with the CEO of Real Networks, or something? what’s with this shit? pathetic.

  3. NiallOK says:

    The Windows Media stream ( http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/live/ngb/news-225.asx ) works in Windows Media Player (in Windows or Mac), VLC Media Player (Windows, Mac or Linux), JetAudio (and Winamp I presume – I don’t have it installed). The RealMedia stream ( http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/live/ngb/news-225.smil ) works in RealPlayer.

    But no, that’s not enough choice – it’s an embedded Flash based player you want, isn’t it?

  4. Matt says:

    “RTÉ launches 24 hour online news channel” = WIN

    “Realplayer or Windows Media Player only” = EPIC FAIL

    Someone needs to buy RTÉ a copy of Flash CS3 Professional. I think we should have a whip-round and deliver it to them personally, and tell everyone about it, including possibly TV3 news. Who’s with me?

  5. BBC did that too until quite recently, and still do for radio. Their video now uses the same Flash thing as iPlayer, though.

  6. Did someone invent a new method of pushing live video while I wasn’t looking?

    If it’s live, and you want anybody to be able to see it, Real or WMV are your only practical options.

    Unless you’re expecting RTE to be more bleeding edge than any other broadcaster on earth and somehow replicate Justin.tv’s media server using distributed EC2 clusters — while using only civil servants to get there.

  7. NiallOK says:

    I tried posting a comment here, but it failed -probably because it had a bunch of URL’s in it…

    Anyway, (obviously enough) these streams work in more than just Windows Media Player (also available on Mac) and Real Player – there are plenty more clients that support them, including Winamp and JetAudio for Windows and VLC Media Player for Windows, Mac and Linux, plus alternatives to RealPlayer for various platforms.

    Instead of bitching and moaning about RTÉ’s lack of Flash-based live video streaming (which I’m sure they’ll implement at some stage), we could at least applaud this new and useful service they’re providing. Sure they need to catch up on the BBC, but this is certainly a step in the right direction!

  8. roosta says:

    ^ Well, it says “with live coverage of special events”

    For the rest of it their should be a non-real / WMV option.

  9. roosta says:

    That comment was meant for you man what is above NiallOK

  10. Why oh why do they continually stick with Real. Why can’t they just get a youtube account or something, embed the videos and give all potential viewers a break? Honestly, in this day and age there really is no excuse for this kind of muppetry.

  11. NiallOK says:

    In fairness Jonathan, they now use Windows Media format as well (rather than ONLY supporting the less popular Real media format as they used to) and, as I explained above, there’s a multitude of programs that support that format for all computing platforms.

    But yes, the sooner they move towards an embedded flash-based delivery something similar to BBC’s iPlayer (or Sky’s SkyPlayer for that matter), the better.

  12. roosta says:

    Windows Media Player is no longer being supported beyond v9 for macs.

    I have Flip4Mac, but it regularly causes Firefox to implode with embedded WMVs.

  13. Justin Mason says:

    NiallOK:

    ‘But no, that’s not enough choice – it’s an embedded Flash based player you want, isn’t it?’

    yep! For me to use those WMP codecs on Linux is a violation of the terms and conditions. If I visit the URL Damien posted here on my desktop, I see a spinning icon which never resolves into working video… il ne marche pas. I haven’t checked using Realplayer as I don’t have it here, but my experience with RTE is that they typically use the proprietary codecs that aren’t available under Linux either.

    On the other hand, Flash video a la YouTube “just works” on Linux, Macs, Windows, the Wii, the iPhone… etc. Sure, you could ask users to install Windows or juggle illlegal codecs, or just use FLV. It’s as simple as that.

  14. That’s a reasonably fair point NiallOK but being a majority Mac user I have problems lots of the time with windows media plugins in Firefox, as pointed out by roosta too. I guess I vented slightly but the loyalty to Real just irks me, especially considering the majority of their content does not require live streaming. What’s even more annoying though is the way they hide their videos behind that ridiculous embedded player whereby you can’t even find the stream URL if you want to use a different client. Ahhh, the aggression is welling again! ;)

  15. Andrew says:

    Will they have live streams of Play the Game?

  16. @Andrew, now you’re talking. Feck it, I’d convert to Windows and Real permanently for a good archive of Garda Patrol! :)

  17. NiallOK says:

    @Jonathon,

    It IS possible (albeit awkward) to extract the URLS to the direct streams from the addresses used to access the embedded player. I’ve posted the ones for “RTÉ News Now” in my first comment to this post, above :)

  18. @NiallOK I know it’s possible alright, I’ve had the misfortune of doing it on occasion. :) As you say though, damn awkward and totally annoying.

  19. annonymous says:

    congratulations RTE. great new service

  20. Justin says:

    for what it’s worth, I just checked using the (released, legal) version of RealPlayer 11 for Linux, specifically Ubuntu gutsy:

    ‘The player does not have the capabilities to play back this content.

    The following components are required:

    video/x-ms-asf’

    so that’s that then — same old story. Doesn’t even work with the illicit codecs and mplayer either. Sort it out, RTE….

    @John Handelaar: so Real and WMV are the only ways to push live video? someone should tell the webcam vendors pushing MPEG2. The only reason RTE use Real is because they’re too cheap to invest in 21st-century bandwidth.

  21. Do please point me to the live streaming MPEG2 video client.

  22. Sorry, too snarky. Let me rephrase.

    I do not believe that it is a sensible position for any broadcaster (or commentator, for that matter) to take. The clients and plugins RTE uses provide actual service right now to over 92% of the potential audience.

    Nobody has even heard of NSV. And anything involving a Java client fails the test on multiple grounds: spectacular memory usage, glacial launch times, and (most of all) only the likes of you and I actually have a version of Java which will run them. Real People ™ do not, and to them it’s a minimum 20+MB download away, even if they can figure out which of the eight thousand Java download variations to choose.

    So that’s MPEG2 right out, which leaves only Flash-RTMP – and I’m sticking to the extreme unlikelihood of that from above.

  23. Finally, Justin,from the error you quoted you seem to have tried to use RealPlayer to view the Windows Media version of the stream.

  24. Paul McClean says:

    @Justin “The only reason RTE use Real is because they’re too cheap to invest in 21st-century bandwidth”

    You are extremely wide of the mark here. Bandwidth is most certainly not a problem for RTE, and in any case, a 225k stream of real media or windows media serves up the same amount of data as a 225k flash stream, so your point is moot.

  25. [...] Good discussion over on Mulley.net of the merits or lack therof of the different streaming formats. Right now I’m thinking interesting and bold use of brown for the side bar headings there. [...]

  26. Justin Mason says:

    @John: Sorry — I was wrong about MPEG-2 being used by webcam vendors; a quick Google reveals that most actually use MJPEG or MPEG-4 for internet streaming nowadays as far as I can tell. But that wasn’t my point — I wanted to point out that online streaming video is by no means the sole preserve of Real and WMV anymore. But in reality the only workable third option (and in my opinion the _far_ better option anyway, all round) is Flash Video. And it certainly doesn’t take a significantly different amount of hardware (or EC2 nodes for that matter) to transcode for FLV than it takes to transcode for RealVideo, from what I’ve heard.

    Good point about me trying to watch a WMV stream using RealPlayer though ;)

    @Paul McClean: regarding the relative compression rates of Real/WMV vs Flash, yeah, you’re right.

    I should note however that a couple of years back, one of the people working on RTE’s RealPlayer video archives told me that the poor quality of their transcodes were due to a lack of funding to cover the bandwidth costs for higher-bitrate output…

    But yeah, you’re right, the bandwidth factor is a moot point in this case.

  27. Damien says:

    I have no doubt that RTE will bring in more options and probably in the medium term too. They’re starting to increase the momentum of their changes and are getting into blogs, using social bookmarks, using PollDaddy for polls and are getting into YouTube. I forsee a proper YouTube channel for them soon and so perhaps streaming flash will come about too?

  28. JohnMRyan says:

    Well done to RTE I say, their website is pretty good, live features, news in Irish, entertainment, they even blog, more things in time, but I fail to see what the problem is with using just Realplayer or Windows Media Player, more in time! Flash player like youtube would be nice, but RTE is looking good these days…

  29. Justin Mason says:

    “more in time” — that’s the problem, they’ve been married to RealPlayer for the past 10 years…

  30. JohnMRyan says:

    But they have made a lot of progress, I’m not a fan of Real Player, but don’t have a problem with it as such, Podcasts would be mad, but I think we are getting ahead of ourselves a bit there LOL

  31. johnmryan says:

    ahh did not know that, I was more revering to video podcasts, be handy for the old iPhone ha ha

  32. Mike Kelly says:

    @Paul McClean Bandwidth is most certainly not a problem for RTE, and in any case, a 225k stream of real media or windows media serves up the same amount of data as a 225k flash stream, so your point is moot.
    Totally agree Paul
    Bandwidth should not be aan issue expecially for the national broadcaster.
    There are excellent bandwidth (transfer) packages available now also.
    Anyone thought about Quicktime. Its an excellent encoder capable of providing high quality streamed content. It was the first encoder to support HD and contains more audio and video codecs than its compedotors

  33. Paul McClean says:

    @justin “I just checked using the (released, legal) version of RealPlayer 11 for Linux, specifically Ubuntu gutsy: ”

    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

  34. Justin says:

    @Paul, RealPlayer 11 is the latest version for Linux, regardless of what revision of Ubuntu you use. have you tried it?

  35. [...] Thanks for visiting!RTÉ’s new “News Now” streaming video service service (as discussed on Mulley’s site, here) is pretty good – it provides rolling news from the state broadcaster with repeats of the latest [...]

  36. Gerry O'Byrne says:

    The reference to the sinking of the M.V. “Munster” in today’s PK radio show on the Hugh Lane paintings is incorrect. The ship was the “Leinster” and most of the military casualties are interred in the Grangegorman Military Cemetary in Blackhorse Avenue,Dublin 7.

  37. John says:

    RTE were doing Real video before Windows of flash were available. I think they started back in the late 90’s That’s nearly a 10 year archive, I think it makes more sense for them to add more formats because people are still going to need real to access that content anyway – unless RTE have stored all those Petabytes of captured video in something that can be retro transcoded.

    #justin
    “yep! For me to use those WMP codecs on Linux is a violation of the terms and conditions. ”

    The WMV decoders were reverse engineered a long time ago. No need to use the binary MS ones.

    # Jonathan Brazil Says:
    “Why oh why do they continually stick with Real. ”

    Now that’s just silly. Youtube is progressive download only.

  38. John Says: Now that’s just silly. Youtube is progressive download only.
    in response to
    # Jonathan Brazil Says:
    “Why oh why do they continually stick with Real. ”

    Why on earth is that silly John? Why should I be forced to have to use Real through RTE’s built-in viewer when it’s plainly not necessary for archived material? What’s really irks me however is that they insist on embedding ads prior to the archive video in Flash and then switch over to Real for the main event forcing me to have both plug-ins. There is some reason that RTE is sticking with Real for all their material and it’s not because of the need for live streaming – I’d love to know the answer but I don’t think that I’ll ever learn the pointless necessity of why they do such. Plenty of other progressive TV stations and video production houses have moved with the times for non-live material and it’s about time that RTE did also. Their inertia is starting to look like they’re just afraid of a little work rather than anything else.

  39. John says:

    @Jonathan Brazil
    Why on earth is that silly John? Why should I be forced to have to use Real through RTE’s built-in viewer when it’s plainly not necessary for archived material?

    In that context it’s not silly. in the context of live it is. So do you reckon RTE should use Youtube for archived material and continue to use real and Windows for Live? – curious

  40. @John

    Well they probably have little choice with respect to live streaming but with respect to archived material they are definitely walking with dinosaurs at the moment. I really hate the iPhone but if one was forced upon me at least I could watch the six-one news if it was on youtube rather than looking for clips of monkeys dancing. :) That’s of course not the greatest of examples, being a small market segment, but the home pc and mac market is massive and Real just doesn’t cut it for me, nor a great many other posters on this comment thread. Mechanisms such as youtube are far more involved, permissive, and subscriber orientated meaning that RTE could leverage the existing youtube infrastructure to offer a much richer end-user experience. At the moment I go to the main site, click to TV shows, click to the archive and then click to the viewer and watch the Flash ad before the show starts. Alternatively I could be subscribed to the six-one channel and be notified of new clips when available instead of checking back for them. For archived footage it’s definitely a must whether it be youtube or some bespoke implementation that suits RTE, things need to change and fast!

  41. John says:

    @Jonathan

    Interesting ideas. It will be interesting to see how RTE adapt over the coming months.

  42. John The Bad says:

    So, is there any way, presently, to watch RTE News archive or Live on Linux?

  43. Realplayer is available for Linux, or at least it was some years ago. If you’re using an x86, mplayer should also be able to use the Windows Realplayer dlls.

  44. John The Bad says:

    I have Real Player 11 installed but still no show.

  45. Sinéad says:

    ^ yeah same, just can’t get it to work