January 28, 2015
YouTube announced it is now defaulting to HTML5 rather than Adobe Flash. A change that has been in development since 2010, the popular video site now uses its HTML5 player by default in the following browsers: Apple’s Safari 8, Google Chrome, Microsoft IE11, and beta versions of Mozilla’s Firefox. The company points to adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, the VP9 codec, encrypted media extensions, Web real-time communication (WebRTC), and fullscreen APIs as five key technologies that made the change possible.
“These advancements have benefited not just YouTube’s community, but the entire industry,” explained YouTube. “Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple, have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success.”
“The company is deprecating the ‘old style’ Flash object embeds and its Flash API, pointing users to the iframe API instead, since the latter can adapt depending on the device and browser you’re using,” reports VentureBeat, adding the following details regarding the key technologies that enabled the change:
- Adaptive Bitrate streaming helps provide a quality video experience for viewers as well as enable live streaming on game consoles, streaming sticks, and in browsers. With it, YouTube can quickly and seamlessly adjust resolution and bitrate depending on network conditions.
- YouTube’s implementation of HTML5 uses the VP9 codec, which Google says gives users higher quality video resolution with an average bandwidth reduction of 35 percent.
- Instead of requiring that the delivery platform is linked to the content protection technology, Encrypted Media Extensions separate the two, letting content providers use a single HTML5 video player across a wide range of platforms.
- Web Real-Time Communication technology is an open project that lets Internet users communicate in real time via voice and video simply by using a compatible browser. In this case, WebRTC lets YouTube provide broadcasting tools from within the browser, no plugins required.
- The Fullscreen APIs in HTML5 mean YouTube can offer an immersive full-screen viewing experience with a standard HTML interface.