YouTube ditches Flash in favour of HTML5 as default player

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YouTube on Tuesday announced it has replaced Flash in favor of HTML5 video player as the default player on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Safari 8, and beta versions of Firefox.

The announcement was made by YouTube Engineering Manager Richard Leider in a post on the YouTube Engineering and Developers Blog.

Ledider in the post described how YouTube has been working over the past several years to overcome some HTML5 limitations that had been preventing its use as “our preferred platform for video delivery.”

“Over the last four years, we’ve worked with browser vendors and the broader community to close those gaps and now, YouTube uses HTML5

“These advancements have benefited not just YouTube’s community, but the entire industry.”

Leider said among the HTML5 improvements that contributed to YouTube’s decision included the addition of support for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) streaming, which “has reduced buffering by more than 50 percent globally and as much as 80 percent on heavily congested networks.” In addition, HTML5 also supports the open VP9 codec, which helps to improve video resolution with reducing bandwidth, WebRTC for plugin-free video sharing and new full-screen APIs in HTML5.

“The benefits of HTML5 extend beyond Web browsers, and it’s now also used in smart TVs and other streaming devices,” Leider noted.

“Other content providers like Netflix and Vimeo, as well as companies like Microsoft and Apple, have embraced HTML5 and been key contributors to its success.”

“Combined with Common Encryption, we can support multiple content protection technologies on different platforms with a single set of assets, making YouTube play faster and smoother.”