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HTML5 Video Update Part One – This Could Make You Wicked Smart

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Let’s get you up to date on player technology.

Part One.

Almost all of the video you watch on the web is delivered on a Flash player. More than 99% of all computers in the world are loaded with Flash technology which is used to display web sites and videos. YouTube, Vimeo, and iPlayerHD deliver almost all of our videos on Flash players.  One notable exception would be Apple devices like iPad and the iPhone.  These devices run on Apple’s IOS operating system which does not recognize Flash.  Apple, for reasons we won’t discuss here, does not care for Flash so it does not support it.  So we deliver via HTML5, which is a player-less method of delivery.

This is important: Although the videos you are watching are displayed in Flash Player or via HTML5, the file types are the same. Almost exclusively, the videos you watch are the H264 codec in an MP4 container. Flash or HTML5 – the code and container are typically the same among all providers including iPlayerHD’s video hosting platform. Adobe’s Flash player does not just play FLV files (which are not used anymore), they play H264 MP4 files also.

Other devices, like any smartphone or tablet using the Android operating system, which is Google’s operating system for mobile devices and tablets and is free to use by any mobile manufacturer, does support Flash so we deliver via Flash Player to Android devices. Android is on far more devices than any other operating system – even IOS. Again, H264 MP4 is the codec/format.

Still with me?

YouTube and Vimeo use their own homegrown Flash Player while iPlayerHD chose to use a third party player – that’s the JW Player.  We’ve used that player for four years and it has outgrown its usefulness.  In our upcoming release, we’ll deliver a new player known as the Flowplayer.  It offers significant advantages over JW Player and we’re very excited to deploy it.

Go to Part Two.

Wes

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