May 182011

I’ve been following the evolution of the HTML5 standard for awhile. In particular, what the new standard might do for Web video. Christopher Harrington wrote a good summary of the state of affairs recently: “The State of HTML5 Video Sucks.”

The video tag is promising. I’ve built a few demo pages (see below) over the last year in order to explore this tag. Not all browsers support the tag fully. Implementation varies. And then there are competing video formats, namely h.264 and WebM to boot.

h.264 encoding works well in Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as other workflows. The latest release of Sorenson Squeeze encodes high-quality WebM, albeit extremely slowly. Premiere Pro CS 5.5 does not support WebM.

Harrington confirmed what I’d found regarding inconsistent buffering; but, in particular, that: “Some browsers don’t even properly follow the parameters passed in the video tag. Safari, for example, will automatically download the entire video when the web page is loaded, even if you explicitly set auto-buffering to ‘false’.”

That leaves Flash as the stand-by. Cooliris does not even support h.264. So, I used some encoded flv files to demonstrate a video wall.

Video for Everyone is an interesting workaround, as well as VideoJS. The latest Gallery uses Flow Player as its default player.

What I mostly look forward to, eventually, is being able to design artful video galleries, showcases, carousels, walls without worrying about plug-ins and browsers.

Test mp4 Playback in JW Player 5.5
HTML5 Video Test: Webm
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