The W3C recently issued a Last Call announcement for HTML5, moving the standard one step closer to the finishing line (currently set in 2014). In the meantime, HTML5 has been gaining traction on the web with growing support by browsers and devices alike. According to a recent study by ABI Research, more than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HTML5 browsers by 2016.
HTML5 video: H.264 and webm
An important aspect of HTML5 is the support for embedded multimedia, including video, audio, and dynamic graphics. Various HTML5 video players have emerged and the list of features is growing steadily. However, the lack of a common video codec for all browsers remains a huge problem, which is not likely to disappear in the near future. Apple (Safari) and Microsoft (IE) have committed to support the H.264 video codec, while Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera are bolstering the VP8 codec (as part of a WebM container) instead. The latter group is also supporting the Theora codec and Ogg container format, sometimes depending on the browser version. For more information concerning both formats and the surrounding issues, see this article from our State of Play series.
To avoid your HTML5 videos not playing in some browsers or on some devices, you can currently still use H.264 with a fallback to Flash. However, this solution has a number of drawbacks (e.g. lack of a unified architecture, Flash overhead on devices) and may not be future proof. Another option, which leaves your HTML5 code intact for all browsers and devices, is to encode your videos into Mp4 (H.264), WebM (VP8) and Ogg (Theora). Rambla Transcoding Service (RATS) supports these video formats and has an API that allows for a quick integration into your custom environment.
Auto-Publish BOTH FORMATS Easily
If you need a simple and transparent solution that requires no development effort, our hotfolder system may be what you're looking for. All you have to do is upload your video to your own private FTP directory (= the so-called 'hotfolder'). The hotfolder takes care of the rest:
- It encodes your video into Mp4, WebM and Ogg format (dimensions, bitrates... can be configured).
- It optimizes the encoded videos for online delivery.
- It publishes the .mp4, .webm and .ogg video's side-by-side on the Rambla CDN (you can determine the exact location by creating sub-directories inside your hotfolder).
- It provides you with a notification or report.
Every Rambla user account has a default hotfolder which is suited for this purpose. To configure your default hotfolder for HTML5: log in to the RATS web-application and select the 'user' menu, then choose 'html5' as your default format-group. Your hotfolder is now ready to start encoding your videos into WebM and mp4 formats and publish them on the CDN. In order to use it, just upload your video files to 'ftp.enc01.rambla.be', logging in with your hotfolder credentials (= your user name followed by the "-enc" suffix and your user password).
For more information or help, see our hotfolder guide or contact us.