HTML5 set to compete Adobe’s Flash Player

February 1st, 2010 - Posted by Mihaela in Hardware/software solutions for streaming

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HTML5 is expected to be the next technology to compete with Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight. HTML5 is a Web standard compatible with the most recent browsers, used to play video content without any proprietary plug-in components.

Now HTML5 is still in testing and big players like YouTube and Vimeo are offering the option to watch video content on their websites via this web standard. As with most beta software, there are a few restrictions as they are expecting feedback of how to improve it and through end user comments.

So far only Safari (version 4.0 or better), Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame and Google Chrome browsers can support the video player are used for the current beta version. Additionally, advertising is not currently available in the HTML version so the ads will continue playing in the Flash version of the video player. Finally, you cannot view the video in full screen, clicking on the expand button the player’s size will only double, and it seems that there is a loss of quality when compared to Adobe Flash.

As in the opening statement HTML5 will not require any proprietary plug-ins. This is possible due to the integrated video and audio playback support.

The beta video player appears the same and one of the few differences is the HTML5 text appears when the video is loading. Here is a screen shot of the HTML5 loading message:

Vimeo followed YouTube’s lead by integrating HTML5 within their website via beta players. Users can switch between the two players by clicking on a link under the video player. Same restrictions apply on Vimeo as they did on YouTube and only approximately 90% of the video content is currently HTML5 compatible.

Vimeo also successfully launched a small video archive of non flash content which can be played on mobile phones. Flash typically receives poor reviews when tested on Mac and Linux systems as well as on mobile phones, which is why finding a plug-in free alternative was primordial. On my computer with Flash 10.1 the CPU usage was about 35% on YouTube videos while using the HTML5 player the CPU usage decreased to approximately 15%.

The industry is curious to know if the largest video provider will drop the Flash version of the video player. Another question currently circulating the industry is if the big players will integrate HTML5 as the standard or continue to deliver content with a market tested tool such as Flash and Silverlight.

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