Video Tags in HTML5
In 2007 the Opera Browser group proposed to introduce < video > tags to the HTML5 spec, and to make video a “first-class citizen” on the web. Initially CoDec issues hampered uptake of the standard, and while they supported a few “free” CoDecs, browsers essentially worked around the daunting h.264 licensing risk by instantiating third party media objects better, in a uniform cross-browser model, where previously instantiating Windows Media, RealPlayer, QuickTime, Flash, or Silverlight had varied from browser to browser and OS to OS. This pushed the h.264 codec responsibility to the media object, handing over at what the browsers call a “user agent.”
Native media libraries may decode other royalty-free CoDecs without needing to use an underlying media framework or application. However, whichever way the local system achieves the playback, the publishers simply inserts “ ”
AS HTML5 video has exploded, Flash has been gradually deprecated - even by Adobe. Increasingly all the capability that the Flash player added has become available from the native browser, and in some cases the browsers are also proactively making Flash “click to play” to accelerate the deprecation and migration to HTML5 only video and audio delivery strategies.
WebRTC - Beyond HTML5
While crystal ball gazing is obviously only guesswork, it is fairly clear that WebRTC is emerging as the next evolution of online video delivery. WebRTC, as mentioned in in Sections 4.1.3, brings lower latency, coupled with a useful peer-to-peer model for scaling. While this needs further engineering to make it truly scalable for valuable premium content, and while it is still evolving in terms of being available cross-browser and cross-platform, WebRTC is already getting significant traction. Indeed it will be a strong player even in an HTML5 video-dominated market for some time to come.