The Four HLS Players

JW Player, THEOplayer, Bitmovin Player and Radiant Player are the four media players that have native support Apple's HLS format (m3u8 playlists). The cost of JW, THEO and Radiant players is about $1,200 per year.  The Bitmovin player is free, but after 5,000 streams, they charge a monthly fee.

State of the Media Player Industry

JW Player - World most popular HTML5 media player; HLS, RTMP, MPEG-DASH, m3u8. The JW Player was the very first generic media player, and today, it claims to be the most popular.

THEOPlayer - 100% HTML5 media player; HLS, RTMP, MPEG-DASH, m3u8.  This player boasts that it is coded entirely in HTML5, but its prices are exactly the same as JW Player.


Radiant Player - HTML5 compatible media player; uses HTML5 and JS, but its prices are exactly the same as JW Player.


BitMovin Player - HTML5 player; native MPEG-DASH without plugins; free version supports all features.

The recent focus of the media player industry has shifted towards advertisers, who are using video ads. Video ads, with anti-ad-blocking technology, have rescued the advertising industry, which is using video ads and ad blocking technology, to battle ad blocker applications.

Don't assume a higher license fee means a better player and support; compare every aspect of these products and their support - before making a decision.Since most new publishers start off streaming low traffic, it is likely that we'll see a lot of interest in the Bitmovin player, since it is the only player that permits users to test HLS and DASH streaming without an investment. Although it apparently doesn't support aliasing, it supports MPEG-DASH based encryption.

We'll expand our comprehensive tests and comparisons of the above four media players, streaming videos from Wowza, Adobe, Evostream and Nimble Server.

Price Comparisons

JW Player - HTML5 and JS - $1,200 per year
THEOPlayer - 100% HTML5 media player; no JS - $1,200 per year
Radiant Player - HTML5 compatible media player; uses HTML5 and JS - $1,200 per year
BitMovin Player - HTML5 player capable of player HLS, supports MPEG-DASH without plugin - Free Version (under 5,000 views)

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