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HTML5 video and H.264 – what history tells us and why we’re standing with the web

Jan 26, 2010, 18:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christopher Blizzard)

"Recently Youtube announced that you could test out an HTML5-enabled version of their site. They said that they were doing this partially based on people’s “number one request” that Youtube do more with HTML5. (They left out the other half of that #1 request – that the implementation be based on open codecs, but more on that later.) Not to be outdone, Vimeo rushed to announce a beta version of their player based on their site that claims HTML5 support as well.

"To be clear, this is great news. This is just the latest in a long string of changes for video on the web. We started with a raw “player” delivered by Real Media. Then on to media embedded directly in pages via Windows Media + Quicktime. More recently video on the web has been a a platform play by Flash. And finally to a place where media becomes a first class citizen on the web without a single source provider. These moves by Google and Vimeo (and before either of them, DailyMotion) show that things are changing for the better, and faster than I think anyone could have imagined.

"The players from Google and Vimeo do present a pretty serious problem, though. Each of these require a proprietary H.264 codec to be able to view them."

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