With RTVE Play, the Spanish public broadcaster finally takes a leap that many of us have been waiting for years. And if the service shone with its own light in the background, it did not do so in the form, detracting from a catalog that, by usability (or rather lack thereof) was relegated to oblivion by many users (among which I include myself without hesitation). A pity to which, finally, RTVE Play has remedied.
If you have ever used RTVE a la Carta, you know that its graphical interface was, well, let’s say inadequate for the purpose of the service. At the time, due to the impossibility of watching them when they were broadcasted, I used this service to watch the episodes of El Ministerio del Tiempo (yes, I am Ministérico, I declare it without complexes) and, sometimes, since I was on the web, I used to take a walk down memory lane, looking for programs and series from my childhood. And although there was some background, the exploration of it seemed more like a SQL query in a database manager than browsing through a huge audiovisual catalogue.
Since a few days ago, however, when trying to access RTVE a la Carta what we find is RTVE Play, a service that although it is still in testing phase, has finally replaced A la Carta, and that offers us a much more comfortable and pleasant access to the catalog of Radiotelevisión Española, with an interface that now can compete with the main streaming services that we use in our day to day.
As I said, RTVE Play is still in the testing phase and does not yet offer full access to all the elements of the catalog that you want to add to the service. For example, the entire catalogue of Radio Nacional de España is only accessible, through RTVE Play, in its web version, the apps for Android and iOS will still take time to have this feature. The launch of the final version of the service is scheduled for autumn this year.
A quick glance at its interface is enough to find a clear inspiration in the streaming services that have become so present in our lives. Its front page combines news highlights (these days that section is dominated by the Olympic Games, of course) with thematic blocks (news, movies, series, news, documentaries, etc.) and specials dedicated to people, events and much, much more.more.
For part of the contents, and obviously this is the point where most documentation work has had to be done, we find complete files with information, links to expand it and so on. At this point, however, it is important to clarify that we will not find the same amount of information in the file of Campeones (yes, it is in the catalogue of RTVE Play) as when Elena Santonja had Fernando Fernán Gómez as a guest in Con las Manos en la Masa and together they prepared some lentils (the moment of Santonja singing accompanied by the piano while Fernán Gómez puts on his apron is a meme from before memes existed).
RTVE a la Carta could compete, in terms of content, with many streaming services, but its interface detracted from the service to the point that, for many, it was not even seen as such. And this was a shame because the background of RTVE is, for many, part of our history. And it is not only this, is that also with an eye on the present, also has a very complete and varied offer that, with its old interface, was little less than invisible. With the leap to RTVE Play, finally content and continent are at the height, configuring a service with enormous potential.