Vimeo is expanding the availability of its online video site with a new universal player that will work on Apple’s iPhone and iPad mobile devices, as well as a channel on Roku broadband set-top boxes. The site is also adding a new “Watch Later” feature to its player that will let users save videos to be viewed later.
The ability to watch Vimeo web videos on Apple products is the result of a new player that autodetects the capabilities of the browser and device on which the user is trying to view the video. For devices like the iPhone and iPad, which don’t support Adobe Flash, that means delivering HTML5 video files instead. The universal player will also detect the appropriate codec, file size and bit rate for each device or browser it sends video to.
Vimeo’s embrace of HTML5 is not new, as it rolled out limited support for the nascent web standard in January. But users that wanted to view its videos in HTML5 had to choose to do so, and the HTML5 player was only available on certain browsers and for certain videos. Now all videos will be viewable in the best-supported format through the universal player.
In addition to the new universal player, Vimeo has announced the availability of a new channel on Roku broadband set-top boxes that will allow a users to watch videos on their TVs. The Roku player is the first connected TV device that Vimeo videos will be viewable through, as the company looks to expand beyond just being viewable through standard web browsers. Not all videos will be available; instead, popular videos selected by the Vimeo staff will show up on the Roku channel. Users with a Vimeo account will also be able to access their own videos and those that they’ve saved through the site’s new “Watch Later” feature.
“Watch Later,” which is also new today, will allow users on any device to mark a video they’d like to watch at another time and save it onto a playlist. Users can watch saved videos in any of Vimeo’s players, whether they are on Vimeo.com, the Vimeo mobile site or the Roku player. “Watch Later” will also be available through Vimeo’s API, which will allow third-party developers to build applications that take advantage of the new feature.
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