The HTML5 Video Reality TV Show - How it will affect digital asset management?

by Al Falaschi, May 3, 2010

People who deal with putting video on websites are closely watching the developing reality tv series revolving around HTML5 video. Here are the things that I am watching as they will most definitely affect how Digital Asset Management and Video asset management systems ingest, manage and distribute video assets. Since video support in html5 is dependent on the browser, I will look at this from the different major browser choices:

1. Internet Explorer (60% market share) - Microsoft owned. Has recently put their support behind H.264. Will not support Ogg Theora, and popular opinion has them not supporting VP8 if Google makes it open source. Seemingly has given up on Silverlight and VC1 as a web standard codec. But is a major player because of it's browsers market share.

2. Firefox (25% market share) - Only supports open source royalty free standards. Will not support H.264. Currently supports Ogg Theora and there is a good chance it will back VP8 if it goes open source. Firefox is a major player because of its browser market share.

3. Google Chrome (7% market share) - Currently supports both Ogg Theora, and H.264. Acquired the VP8 codec from it's purchase of On2 Technologies. Has been rumored to announce VP8 going open source/royalty free in May 2010. Google is a major player for two reasons. It owns YouTube which is the largest source of online video, a very wide margin. And it owns the VP8 codec. While Chrome only has a 7% market share, Google controls the largest segment of viewers with YouTube. Imagine if YouTube dropped H.264 in favor of VP8...???

4. Safari - (5% market share) - Supports H.264. Owns H.264 through the licensing body MPEG LA, of which it is a member. While Safari's market share is next to nothing, Apple is a major player because most online content is currently in H.264, and lest we not mention that they have ridiculous amount of influence due to their domination in the mobile devices category with the iPhone and iPad. Steve Jobs recently mentioned being behind "open standards." This will be put to the test if Google open sources VP8.

Over the next 6-12 months,....all of this will be thrown into a pot, cooked, stirred, and shaken up. What comes out is why everyone is watching this like a car crash. Until something works itself out, Flash is still king, and the only thing that works on everything, (Whoops, except the iPad/iPhone).

Digital asset management and video asset management systems, for now, will add these as additional parameters. It may be a while before we can start deleting and simplifying.

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