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June 25, 2012

Video on the Desktop & HTML5 – What to consider?


Confused about HTML5 video?  Well, you’re not alone.  Although HTML5 is a very promising platform and a common standard for mobile video experiences, it has not matured as a platform for desktop video.  Before investing in a HTML5-only video solution, consider these facts about HTML5 video on desktop:

1)      Inferior playback experience

  • There is NO video streaming standard across browsers for HTML5. Therefore the video will be delivered via progressive download which means longer load times, no ability to seek video, and local temporary copy of video stored on users’ desktop.
  • There is NO adaptive streaming.  With adaptive video streaming, the video player can detect a user’s network connection and serves the right video quality dynamically – lower quality for slow bandwidth and higher quality for faster connections.  Without this, every user will have a “one-size-fits-all” video playback experience.

2)      More videos to encode and manage

  • There is NO video format and codec that all browsers support. You will have to encode to at least 2 and up to 4 different video formats just to get video to playback (ie. MP4, OGG Theora, WebM).

3)      Limited player customization

  • Each HTML5 browser has its own default look & feel for video player controls.  It’s difficult to create a consistent viewer experience and the level of customization is greatly limited.

4)      Limited reach

  • Not all desktop browsers are HTML5-compatible. In fact, approximately 40% of worldwide users are still using IE 8 or below, which does not have support for HTML5 video tags.  This means you won’t be able to serve video to nearly half of your market if you relied on HTML5 video alone.

Adobe Scene7 can help you get around these limitations with the following best practice workflow:

  • Encode videos to MP4 H.264 – a single format that can be played on desktop and mobile screens (including iOS and Android). You can even use an out-of-box adaptive video encoding setting which simplifies encoding with a single checkbox selection.
  • Publish videos using the Scene7 smart universal video URL which dynamically plays back video based on device detection and network connection serving the optimal experience to each user. Click here to see it in action.

This easy workflow gives you a simplified asset management, automatic device detection,  superior streaming delivery, adaptive adjustment of video quality based on network connection, and the utmost customization flexibility for your video player.





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  • ShopTalk is a blog featuring "Quick Tips", trends and more written by experts from the Adobe Scene7 team who live and breathe web, rich media and customer experience. This interactive forum offers insights and best practices on the latest trends we are seeing in the marketplace to help improve your customer experience, ultimately driving conversions and revenues.
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