I hate to criticize, especially when something innovative is being undertaken but I must admit to being slightly frustrated by the recent live webcasts of ‘Other Voices’ by our national broadcaster. This matter first arose back in December when I was excited to read that RTE was webcasting the popular music series. ‘Other Voices‘ for those who don’t know is a TV music series recorded over a number of nights in the town of Dingle in Co. Kerry. In early years tickets were sold for the very limited capacity event but in recent years these were only given to journalists and media outlets to be raffled online. Thanks to the wonderful introduction of Saorview many households our own included now lay claim to the possession of a “Smart TV” so yours truly was quite excited to hear news of an imminent webcast. Non musical family members suitably dispatched the music fans of the house settled in for a musical feast. And that was where the woes began..
The RTE Player was launched but ‘Other Voices’ was nowhere to be seen. ‘Live’, ‘Latest’, ‘Entertainment’ none professed any knowledge of that evening’s musical event. A visit to the search dialog also yielded no joy. Fear not, this Smart TV has a web browser – off to the RTE website we go. There finally was ‘Other Voices’ and the prize was in sight. Unfortunately as soon as the link was followed the we were greeted with a note that “A more recent version of Adobe Flash Player is required to play this media”.
Now on your computer this error message is quite benign and a quick download will resolve but on a Smart TV or tablet this message will send a shiver down your spine for it is an error to which there is no easy solution. Fortunately in this instance there was a happy ending to the tale.. by a stroke of luck the UK newspaper The Guardian was also streaming ‘Other Voices’ and once the correct website address was found we were happily in business..
Now why you might ask am I complaining about something that happened 2 months ago. Well this weekend ‘Other Voices’ made a return visit to Derry. That city first hosted the show in 2013 as part of their City Of Culture celebrations and once again RTE promised to webcast the event live. Yours truly being the intrepid curmudgeon that he is decided to investigate if matters had improved..
RTE Player – no mention
RTE Webcast – not compatible with Smart TV
Guardian stream – working perfectly
So if anyone at RTE is listening – please consider those of us with “smart” TVs next time round..