SublimeVideo Attempts To Make HTML5 Video Easy


A couple weeks ago I did a post about the current state of HTML5 video.  Since then, Apple previewed their new iPad and the debate surrounding HTML5 video gained momentum.

Why? Because the iPad, like other portable Apple devices, offers no Flash support.  Steve Jobs even allegedly stated that no Apple device will ever support Flash because it’s too buggy.  This has led to numerous reports that Flash is dead, Flash isn’t dead, HTML5 video is the new in-thing and HTML5 video will never catch on.

So first, here are the facts surrounding the Flash vs. HTML5 debate:

  • Flash is the dominant format for video on the Internet.  QuickTime is second.  With Flash, around 5+-% of viewers will need to download the Flash plugin to watch Flash videos.  With QuickTime, 25+-% of viewers will need to download the QuickTime plugin to watch QuickTime videos.
  • With Flash or QuickTime, you need to use special (and confusing) embed code to place a video on a web page.  Flash video also requires a separate Flash file for the video player (QuickTime includes a player in their plugin).
  • HTML5 was designed to simplify all of this…with no plugins or confusing embed code required.  You can add a video to your web page as easily as you do an image.
  • Competing browsers have made a mess of this intended simplicity.  Firefox only supports Ogg-Theora encoded videos for HTML5.  Safari only supports H.264 encoded videos for HTML5.  Chrome supports either format.  And Internet Explorer, at least at the moment, pretty much doesn’t support HTML5 video at all (at least out of the box).

This leads to the bottom line for anyone wanting to use HTML5 video on their web site; 1. While viewers won’t need to download any plugins, they will need to download the latest version of their browser, as earlier versions of browsers don’t support HTML5.  2. You’ll need a script to auto-detect what browser a viewer is using and deliver your video in the appropriate format.

Definitely not simple.

But a Swedish startup, Jilion, is trying to simplify this with what they call the SublimeVideo HTML5 Player.  It’s a video player, still under development, that will take care of all of these potential headaches for you.

You can take a look at it by clicking here.

Just remember that your visitors could care less what format your videos are delivered in.  They just want to be able to watch videos on your site with the click of a button.  How you provide that experience is up to you.

And if you do plan to provide HTML5 video, at least for now, it looks like you’ll need to prepare multiple versions of your videos…and…you’ll need to incorporate additional coding in your web pages to detect and deliver the appropriate version of a video based on the viewers web browser.