Description image

Is HTML5 Ready to Replace Flash Video? A Full Report on the State of HTML5

01.29.12 @ 1:25PM Tags : , , , ,

I’ve been keeping tabs on HTML5 video for my future transmedia project 3rd Rail, as HTML5 will almost certainly replace Flash video as the primary method of consuming online video… eventually. However, where we are right now is that Adobe is sunsetting Flash video but HTML5 is still in its infancy. Long Tail Video has released a very useful “state of HTML5″ report, and it’s very enlightening for anyone wondering what you can and can’t do with HTML5 video today. Let’s also embed some HTML5 videos right here and see if they work correctly in your browser:

Here’s an interview with Director Joe Berlinger, whose latest is the excellent doc Paradise Lost 3, which is up for an Oscar this year. I’ve flagged the YouTube embed with the HTML5 tag, so if your browser supports it, you’ll be getting an HTML5 version:

Did that work? To tell whether you got the HTML5 player or the Flash fallback version, right-click on the video. The last entry in the drop-down menu should indicate HTML5 or Adobe Flash.

Here’s another test, which is Sintel, the free short film created using the free 3D software Blender. HTML5 full screen controls are still in draft status, so if you’d like to watch a larger version you can also download Sintel.

For the full report on HTML5, hit the link below.

Link: The State of HTML5 Video


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 30 COMMENTS

  • Yay Sintel! Its interesting to see that Apple is getting behind this (iOS doesn’t support flash) while Microsoft isn’t (Internet Explorer has no HTML5 yet). Another Beta v VHS showdown is underway.

    • John Jeffreys on 01.29.12 @ 2:39PM

      Nobody important uses internet explorer.

    • What are talking about when you say Internet explorer does not have HTML5?
      Please talk about things you know. IE still the most used browser and the version 9 has lot of features for HTML5. So please inform us instead of uninform us…

      • My bad. In the link, there are two entries for Internet explorer. One is 6/7/8 and the other is for 9. I missed the second one.

    • Actually, Internet Explorer does support HTML5. As I recall, at IE9′s launch, it had the best support for HTML5, in addition to hardware acceleration.

      If you look further at what’s coming in Windows 8, you’ll see that the Metro IE browser has no plugins (Flash, etc), and represents a great commitment to supporting browsing with HTML5.

      (Sidenote: desktop IE will continue to support Flash, etc in Windows 8)

    • I.G. Romov on 02.5.12 @ 3:53PM

      Right off YouTube…We support browsers that support both the video tag in HTML5 and either the h.264 video codec or the WebM format (with VP8 codec). These include:
      •Firefox 4 (WebM, Available here)
      •Google Chrome (WebM)
      •Opera 10.6+ (WebM, Available here)
      •Apple Safari (h.264, version 4+)
      •Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (h.264, Available here, WebM support avaliable here)
      It worked just fine. Updates anyone?

  • Koo, Blender is Open source, not just free. It’s a FOSS. And it’s awesome! I haven’t read much about HTML5 but I deffinitely should. This is a good insight of its current status. Thank you.

  • I do most of my web browsing and blog reading on my iPad now when I’m relaxing in front of the tv or in bed. Nothing is more annoying than flash based websites and videos. HTML5 is definitely the way to go if you’re into web design or video.

  • Rev. Benjamin on 01.29.12 @ 6:40PM

    I do a lot of web video for my 9-5 for big corporate clients, and articles like this are mondo helpful. Thanks for posting Koo, and if you guys are out there, thanks for writing Long Tail Video!

  • I’m using safari and I can’t view HTML5 videos in full screen. Is that going to change?

  • Anyone still designing website with Flash is doing their clients a diservice. You are cutting of a l large segment of users. Although a lot of people stil use older versions of IE. I jumped that ship a long time ago, but I unsterstand IE9 is much better. We are locked into IE8 and I really don’t like it. I used Firefox for years until Chrome came along. If you haven’t tried it you should. I use my iPad for most of my browsing.

    Designers have the tough job of making sure their content reach the widest number of people. I’m glad Microsoft is making people upgrade from some of the older versions.

  • As a full time web developer I can offer a pretty hands-on perspective of what I do for clients regarding HTML5 and one other aside that is pretty interesting. We realize that HTML5 is the future, but also the shortcomings of the technology as it stands currently. For 90-95% of our clients we actually recommend hosting via YouTube and Vimeo. Why?

    – Let companies with hundreds of employees and $$$ sort out the technology
    – Almost universal support for YouTube across devices and browsers
    – Offloads bandwith required to serve the video to someone else
    – Broad audience and multiple ways for your video to be found
    – Cuts render times, we kick out 1 <2GB high quality vid, upload, and let them create the lo-res

    Lastly, I think that short of a studio or backer insisting on DRM there's really no point. The hackers and thieves will find a way, guaranteed. You only have to look at Louis CK's latest foray into video delivery to see a possible future in very simple "pay for it, download it or stream it" type of arrangements. Has it worked for him? He's charging $5 for his latest comedy special, that he produced and edited himself, and he's made over $1M. We usually tell people "people stealing your work is a problem you hope you have; a problem of people actually wanting to see your sh*t.".

    It should be said, when YouTube and Vimeo don't offer the longer-format support needed by a client we host the highest quality locally and still use YouTube/Vimeo for all it's worth.

  • Both of these videos had slow jerky playback on my 2007 MacBook Pro with 4GB of RAM. In comparison, I watch Flash videos from YouTube and Vimeo all the time, and they always work great.

    Looks like we still have a ways to go, but the future is promising!

  • Just watched on my HTC Android. No problems here. Can’t tell if I was on flash rollback but watched both vids clearly and smoothly

  • The first video works for me as HTML5 in both OmniWeb (seemingly-obscure-but-great browser with robust features; as an aside – I recommend it) and Chrome, but Sintel isn’t loading in OmniWeb and is defaulting to DivX player in Chrome, though that might have something to do with external plugins being installed. Will have to test in other browsers later. Excited to explore HTML5 functionality – currently immersed in learning web design basics to begin creating my own site!

  • Not gonna lie, I forgot this was an aticle about HTML5 and got way caught up in that interview. So good.

  • I enjoyed watching both videos, no problems with HTML5 (MB pro 2010).
    But honestly, I did not like the Sintel, very unrealistic movements of the girl, very little emotions, looks like a game

  • HTML5 works well within Firefox 10.0

  • I.G. Romov on 02.5.12 @ 3:57PM

    From a strict programming language viewpoint, HTML5 should replace Flash; however, Silverlight should replace both.

  • Adobe should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell.

  • Works great on android tablet running jelly bean 4.1. Using the chrome browser (so no flash support) and the video worked perfectly in full screen as well as on a smaller screen