YouTube Drops Flash in Favor of HTML5 Video
Adobe Flash Player’s ship seems to be sinking as one of the biggest video-sharing websites, YouTube, has dropped Flash support in favor of HTML5. While that is good news for HTML5 supporters, things are looking bleak for Adobe.
The transition has already begun, as YouTube announced that from now onwards, it will only use HTML5 videos across major browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 11 and a handful of beta versions of Mozilla Firefox. HTML5 is being used in smart TVs and other devices as well, which means YouTube will reach a wider audience using the same web player.
This transition didn’t happen out of the blue as YouTube has been testing HTML5 for years. Previously, the company was unable to bring videos to devices that have no support for Flash, but now HTML5 lets them do this. They took their time to implement this feature as HTML5 still wasn’t able to meet YouTube’s needs. With time, HTML5 has grown and is in a position to topple Flash from its throne.
HTML5’s Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) was pointed out as one of the key reasons behind this switch, according to YouTube Engineer Richard Leider.
This means that video quality will remain dynamic and is going to be determined based on your Internet connection. For example, when slower Internet speeds are detected by the system, it will change the resolution accordingly. This will help users view the content without seeing that irritating buffering ring.
This feature had a massive impact on global buffering, according to YouTube. The company claims that buffering was reduced around 50 percent with the implementation of HTML5. That percentage climbs to 80 in territories with highly-congested networks.
As a gamer, I’m highly excited for this change as HTML5 is preferred for streaming on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Players can live stream their playing sessions directly on YouTube.
Another advantage is HTML5’s VP9 codec support, that offers higher quality footage with a 35% reduction on the required bandwidth. YouTube can also show full-screen videos by using a standard HTML UI, thanks to new API’s.
This seems like the final nail in the coffin for Adobe Flash, but I think it will take a couple of years for it to fade-away completely.
Do you agree with YouTube’s choice to use HTML5 as default? Let us know of your take on the story in the comments below.