Video Essentials

Presentation Offers a Roadmap for Streaming HTML5 Video

For companies that have been hearing about HTML5 video but weren’t sure where to start, an HTML5 Video Summit presentation offered clear answers.

Presenter Jan Ozer started by delivering clear statistics on which video formats today’s browsers support. Click here to download Ozer’s slides as a PDF file.

Sadly, HTML5 support isn’t yet broad enough that companies can rely on it alone for their streaming video.

“If you decide that you want to use HTML5, unless you’re working in an extremely closed environment where you control the browser everybody has in that environment, if you’re a corporation, maybe a school, then you’re going to need to encode for HTML5 and for a fallback using typically Flash or Silverlight or QuickTime. Or Windows Media. I guess you could do that, as well. Right now the penetration isn’t sufficient to use an HTML5-only solution,” said Ozer.

There’s even division among HTML5 video itself: “That issue is a bit compounded by the fact that not all the HTML5 browsers support all the same codec,” added Ozer. He displayed a slide showing browser support for the three HTML5 codecs. The codec with the broadest support is H.264.

“What’s unique about H.264 is its support in the standards bodies, as well as real world adoption. The ITU is the International Telecommunications Union. They control telephony, radio, TV. ISO is the International Standards Organization. We know MPEG1, MPEG2, we know what their impacts were in photography, consumer electronics. In 2002, these two standards bodies came together and said ‘We’re going to use the same compression technology. We’re going to use AVC.’ So it’s called either H.264 or AVC; it’s the same codec. So you’ve got tremendous hardware support in all those different communities: photography, television, consumer electronics. In addition to that, the top three streaming vendors — Apple with QuickTime, Adobe with Flash, Microsoft with Silverlight — they all support H.264. On top of that, you’ve got device support with primarily Apple, but also with Android and a bunch of other devices,” explained Ozer.

H.264 currently has the lion’s share of the HTML5 video market, and has the most momentum, Ozer explained.

For more HTML5 advice, watch the full video below.


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