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YouTube now defaults all videos to HTML5 on the web

YouTube has finally began defaulting all videos on the web to HTML5. The standard reduces bandwidth consumption, helps alter resolution streaming on the fly, and much more.

Published onJanuary 27, 2015

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Back in 2010, YouTube introduced HTML5 support for videos, but it was highly experimental at the time. When they introduced HTML5 for the first time, they detailed reasons why they couldn’t yet move all videos over to the standard due to video formatting issues, quality of streaming and much more. But today, YouTube announced in a blog post that all videos will be now played on HTML5 by default on the web. Browsers with YouTube’s HTML5 support are Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8 and Firefox Beta.

MediaSource Extensions have greatly helped YouTube alter streaming resolutions on the fly based on internet connection speeds. The video-streaming website also says the extensions have “reduced buffering by more than 50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily-congested networks.”

HTML5 also takes advantage of the VP9 codec, which reduces bandwidth consumption by an average of 35%. This allows more users to stream high resolution (4K and HD) videos without the need for a stronger internet connection. Using the VP9 codec also helps videos start 15-80 percent faster than before.

YouTube explains that key companies and services like Netflix, Vimeo, Apple and Microsoft have paved the way when it comes to HTML5 support, making it much more successful than ever before. YouTube also mentions that you can begin supporting HTML5 using the <iframe> API for embedding YouTube videos from here on out.

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