YouTube has announced they are shifting to HTML5 from long used Adobe Flash as the playback standard. The video streaming site will use HTML5 as the new standard on its Chrome browser, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8 and beta versions of Firefox.
YouTube has clarified that the change was inevitable and necessary to accommodate the array of streaming devices that support HTML5. YouTube introduced the HTML5 <video> tag almost five years back for devices which don’t support flash (iOS devices) but at that time it had its limitation. Now though HTML5 brings a lot more to the table and therefore YouTube is adopting it as a default standard.
YouTube explains that earlier HTML5 did not support ABR but now it does. Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streaming provides quality video experience for viewers - allowing YouTube seamlessly adjust resolution and bitrate as the network conditions change. ABR has reduced buffering times globally by almost 50 percent.
The technology will also allow users to live stream content like game sessions from XBOX One or PS4. HTML5 supports the open VP9 codec, which enables user to view HD at 60FPS and 4K videos as well with an average bandwidth reduction of 35 percent. The new API in HTML5 will allow YouTube to serve full screen viewing with a standard HTML UI.
Adobe the creators of the Flash platform abandoned its development for mobile devices in late 2011. Even though Flash still lives on PC and games but with the changing times may not last for long. YouTube has started of by killing the standard on its widely used video streaming network and even though this move is late, it was an expected one.
Source: YouTube Blog