Video Essentials

The State of HTML5 Video: Here’s What You Need to Know Now

Do brand marketers need to know about HTML5 video? Only if they care about having their videos viewable by every potential customer on every device.

HTML5_LGThe Apple iPad was released five years ago, and video player company JW Player chose this occasion to update its State of HTML5 Video report. The iPad wasn’t just a breakthrough for the tablet computer market, but for HTML5 video, as well, since its lack of Flash support made HTML5 video more important to publishers.

The report notes that all browsers have supported HTML5 video for a few years now. Early on, some browsers supported the H.264 video codec and others the VP8/WebM codec, both of which can be used in HTML5 video. Since no codec was supported by all browsers, publishers were forced to create multiple sets of HTML5 video files. However, that was resolved when Firefox added H.264 support. “H.264 can now be played everywhere,” the report says, but publishers will need a Flash fallback for Opera and Internet Explorer 8 users.

Not all browsers offer the same HTML5 Video features, however, which makes offering a consistent experience to all viewers a difficulty. The report shows which browsers support full-screen video playback, and which do so with built-in support or with the W3C full-screen API.

The report also shows browser support for WebVTT closed captioning, styling, and scripting, as well as support for Media Source Extensions and Encrypted Media Extensions. All of these are necessary in creating an HTML5 video experience with the same features and security as Flash video. “Several browsers support these APIs, but severe limitations still exist,” the report notes. The full report is available online with no registration required. JW Player updates it regularly to show changes in support.


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