LongTail: What is the state of HTML5 video?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

State of HTML5 video looks healthy for now, but how does LongTail Video’s results compare with other tests?

LongTail Video, the creators of the JW Player, has updated its State of HTML5 Video report, which shows a healthy uptake for HTML5 video on browsers although isn’t at completion yet.

According to the research, nearly four in five browser and device manufacturers (79%) can play HTML5 video – in other words, pretty much everything except some older iterations of Internet Explorer and feature phone mobile browsers.

This figure is up from 64% at the end of 2011, with Chrome and Firefox making up nearly half of the market share (Chrome 30%, Firefox 19%).

The report points out that connected TVs and STBs (set top boxes) were not considered for analysis because “the number of shipped devices is simply too small”. With the recent NPD DisplaySearch research showing an upside in the connected TV shipments however, it may become a factor next time.

In terms of supporting tag attributes – poster, preload, autoplay and controls – every desktop browser was spot on except the most recent IE, which ignores the preload function.

It’s important to note here that there are some discrepancies to LongTail’s methodology: certain attributes are marked N/A instead of being right or wrong – in this instance, mobile browsers never preloading or playing video automatically, because LongTail believes it is “the right approach”.

Fullscreen playback for HTML5 video was supported on everything except IE and Opera, while JavaScript testing was reliable and consistent across the desktop browsers.

Keyboard control for HTML5 video was only supported by Firefox, IE and Opera – iOS and Android mobile browsers understandably have this as non-applicable of course; whilst TextTracks – ostensibly adding closed captions to video – is only supported by Safari, but as LongTail notes: “Every other browser vendor is working hard to support it”.

This verdict correlates with results from the well-known HTML5 Test site, which currently states Maxthon 3.4.5 as the browser which best supports HTML5 overall.

HTML5test.com’s video section shows similar results to the LongTail browser test, with Safari 6.0 way out in front, scoring 30 points, with subtitle support being the key factor.

All the other main browsers – Chrome 22, Maxthon 3.4.5, Opera 12, Firefox 16 and Internet Explorer 9 – scored 21 for video, which is interesting given the wide range of overall scores – Chrome’s 434 points compared to IE’s 138, for instance.

So the uptake for HTML5 video support is looking extremely healthy, although it’s not at 100% penetration just yet. When do you think we’ll see that, for mobile and desktop browsers?

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *