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April 9, 2012 / Danii Oliver

HTML5 Video: Streaming and Set Backs

HTML5 Video: Streaming and Set Backs

HTML5 is nothing new. It is simply the addition of more tags into the standard HTML library which allows for better & more uniquely labeled tagging of page elements.

HMTL5 is NOT a Flash replacement. HTML5 needs Javascript and CSS3 to integrate interactivity. Without Javascript or CSS HTML5 tags would do little more than better define a page for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

What HTML5 offers that is dynamic is the ability to play audio and video files directly on a page without the need for a 3rd party player. The introduction of the <audio> & <video> tags make use of the browser’s engine algorithms to server content on the page in the Browser’s own player without Javascript. This is a Browser specific function and will not execute in earlier browsers. Browsers earlier than 2010-2011 releases will NOT execute the <audio> & <video> content in page and will over look any and all new unique tags released as of 2010.

Audio and Video files have always played on the web (give compatible connect speed) without Flash via a new page that used quicktime or downloaded the file to the users temporary files and played via Windows Media Player.

What this means:

HMTL5 tags cannot be targeted to early browsers as it is not backwards compatible, they will just be ignored and treated similar to <p> tags no custom styling attached.

HTML5 is free and open source all files linked in the .html are downloadable to the user’s device. HTML5 was introduced in an effort to make the web more open and free for everyone by one of the pioneering organizations of Open Source Technology. Thus by default HTML5 is not secure and can not be locked.

 Issues:

Many companies do not want their proprietary content and software to be Free and Open to the public.

The source file for HTML5 <audio> & <video> can not be the same for all browsers. Each browser has their own codec which they recognize. “Why can’t all just play the same file?” Everyone is fighting over Open/ Free vs Proprietary.

HTML5 is not lighter that Flash. HTML5 is misunderstood as being more light weight than Flash.

[From here on HTML5/JS/CSS will be used to include all working parts of HTML5 as the general public understands it.]

HTML5/JS/CSS which allows for dynamic and interactive content on the web without Flash differs from Flash greatly in two (2) major ways.

1.) ALL assets in the HTML5/JS/CSS content are readily open and available to users for download. Content is NOT secure.

2.) The controlling scripts ActionScript and Javascript are processed differently. While ActionScript has already been processed JavaScript is being processed when the page is called up. A Flash .swf file will run dynamic content that weights 37KB while the HTML5/JS/CSS version will be 120KB +plus and needs to wait a for download of all assets plus script interpretation.

In effect HTML5 is not Flash replacement and truly is not the best solution for mobile content. As downloads are higher increasing user cellular data usage.

Why is it the hype:

Our generation’s foremost  Icon of Technology said so. He pioneered the personal User friendly Computer for all. He started the Open to all Mind set that lead to Open Source. He in sighted many revolutionary ideas & marketed many ideas on what could be done. He pushed boundaries which has inspired people to action.

At the end of the day it also profits Apple.

——————–

While there may seem to maybe many Development considerations and set backs this considerations are simply the growing pains of adapting to a new set of standards.

Obfuscation is possible and a few updates need to be added to the NYT system to allow for full integration of HTML5 working parts.

Recommendations:

*HTML5 will allow for no caching of page content to users computer to avoid download of video and image files. Servers calls will increase for users requesting pages with images that were previously in user’s cache. No Caching can be pinpointed to specific content as need but would require documenting each time a new page with new content is added that needs to not be cached.

*For all Video & Audio files there must now be multiples in the following formats, OGV, MP4, WMV, WEBM & OGG, MP3, WAV respectively. A .htaccess file should be include in the folder containing these files or the root .htaccess sholud be updated to add the necessary MIME types for all of NYT.

[with preload set to auto or none]

Not all files will be downloaded when page loads. The combined files’ weight should not be considered.

Chrome loads only the it’s supported file unload. (247ms)

Safari loads only the it’s supported file unload.  (704ms)

Firefox does not load any video file until the file is called up use of a poster image is recommended if video is not meant for autoplay. (528ms JS, 13ms Imgs, 1627ms Video)

Opera never downloads video files it just serves them. Not GET request is made. (150ms)

Internet Explorer : TBA

*Obfuscation of code and references to video file locations is recommended through dynamic coding of video assets rather than direct HTML

Streaming Video

Safari will download files but stream the file if HLS is set up.

HLS HTTP Live Streaming allows you to send live or prerecorded audio and video, with support for encryption and authentication, from an ordinary web server to any device running iOS 3.0 or later (including iPad and Apple TV), or any computer with Safari 4.0 or later installed.

RTMP video servers are for Flash Videos

HLS server protocol can be setup for Open Source formats with 3rd party software and code.

NYT Standards need to be defined for optimal support of Partial or Full Streaming capabilities.

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