Online videos have become a daily part of our lives with the recent advancements in mobile technology, as video takes up an increasingly larger share of internet traffic and bandwidth today. HTML5 is on its way to becoming the online multimedia standard, but it seems like innovation in video distribution and performance still seem to lack. Only a few Online Video Platforms (OVP) have stepped up to the plate to address these issues.
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Two of the most popular providers that come to mind are Brightcove Video Cloud and Ooyala. Both of these online video platforms have embraced HTML5 in order to cover a broader range of devices and specifications, while improving distribution and service.
HTML5 players are supposed to be efficient for the use of media streaming, as the creators of HTML intended it to be the new standard to distribute media online without plugins such as Flash. If you are using an Online Video Platform, supported video formats for HTML5 in this case will be handled on the encoding and distribution end. Ooyala and Brightcove are both able to distribute live, high quality content broadcasts with no problem, regardless of the original video format.
As far as live streaming strictly through HTML5, that's still not fully supported among all players and/or browsers. Apple does provide a proprietary method, but it's limited to iOS devices. In cases where a video format is not supported, a fall back method is implemented if streaming through an OVM, or included by the publisher to ensure maximum integration and coverage.
Encoding and speed also come into play with video formats, as better encoding and compression allows for better video quality and seamless playback for the consumer. There are supported free HTML5 formats such as WebM, Theora, and VP8, and even the recent binary H.264 module released by Cisco. In order to squeeze out the most performance, the widely used (and patented) H.264/MPEG-4 AVG is more than likely going to be a requirement. Users will need a license in order to use this format, but Brightcove, Ooyala and other established OVP's will be able to cover this on their end for distribution.
Brightcove and Ooyala allow both small and large businesses to manage, host, deliver, syndicate, monetize, and analyze video content and live streams. They also offer delivery through Akamai or your own CDN of choice, as well as an extensive API, ad integration, mobile support, along with iPhone and Android SDK's for building apps.
Ooyala is generally proclaimed for having superior analytics, and Brightcove for its various video embedding features.
It's exciting to see what features HTML5 players will be able to bring to the table next as a growing standard for the ever evolving, interactive media-rich internet. One thing is for sure, more and more end users are watching live streaming video on the web and this is likely to grow in the immediate future.