What is HTML5 Live Video Streaming?

Before creating HTML5 videos, there was no standard way to watch movies online. With little or no change to HTML over the past decade, changes to the Internet have far outstripped changes to the popular programming language. Due to the lack of a natural way to integrate video with HTML, users had to rely on third-party plugins such as Flash, Quicktime, and Real Player. To meet the demand for video features, the HTML5 update also included a video component that allows videos to be played directly from the website rather than through a separate video player.

HTML5 video works by allowing the uploader of the video to embed it directly into a website. It works on a variety of web browsers including Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari. Unfortunately, the technology is not compatible with Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions. Our clients often ask us if our server can “stream mp4 to HTML5”. 99% of the time they don’t understand what they’re talking about. It’s hard to blame the customers, though: with its confusing terminology, technical complexity, and the overwhelming variety of ways to stream video over the web, there’s nothing wrong with that.

The developer can use the controls attribute to add video event controls such as play, pause, and autoplay. It’s a good idea to set the width and height attributes to prevent misconceptions between users on different online platforms. If the developer doesn’t set the height and width, they may not know the size of the video, causing the entire page to flicker while the video has difficulty loading. Using a video tag, you can insert text that will be displayed on the page. However, the text will only be displayed in browsers that do not support the video element. It is possible to connect multiple source elements to different video files, although the browser usually defaults to the first recognizable format. 

HTML Streaming Challenges

There are several clear advantages to using HTML5 video instead of traditional plug-in players. First, embedding videos directly into your website code prevents users from having to download plug-ins, which can be time-consuming and dangerous. Over the years, there have been many viruses that came bundled with media player plugins, causing some public places such as libraries to ban downloading plugins together.

By eliminating the need to download a third-party plug-in, more people are likely to watch the video in question. For those who rely on videos to sell their products or provide valuable information, the simple act of removing the plugin requirement is a huge advantage. This is the state-of-the-art approach and allows streaming on almost any device. With this ultimate approach to video streaming, the content hosting site uses the native HTTP protocol to directly stream media to viewers.

Content tags (such as the <video> tag) are part of the HTML code. Therefore, using the <video> tag creates a native HTML5 video player in the browser. These tags provide instructions to HTTP as to what to do with the content. HTTP displays the text and the audio player plays the audio content.

Also, HTML tags have various attributes or parameters that provide further details on how the content is presented. For example, you can use the <img> tag to specify the size of an image. Recently, HTML5 expanded the multimedia capabilities of basic HTML. For example, improvements to the <img> tag and the new <video> tag provide content creators with greater flexibility and ease in presenting multimedia content. This flexibility enables broadcasters to deliver media without having to worry about which browser the user is using.

What is an HTML5 Video Player?

Until recently, the main method of delivering video over the Internet was Adobe Flash video technology. However, in recent years, this protocol has largely been replaced by video delivery protocols such as HLS streaming and played in HTML5 video players. Currently, Flash is considered an obsolete streaming protocol.

As described above, HTML5 video streaming provides more modern video streaming solutions directly from the website. Before HTML5, websites used embedded Flash players to display videos to users. With the HTML5 video element, the streaming process has been streamlined and enhanced for both viewers and broadcasters. Also, HTML5 videos can be streamed on all types of devices. On the other hand, many mobile streaming devices do not support flash movies.

Overall, HTML5 video streaming provides a simpler way to enjoy video on web pages. Before publishing as markup in 2014, videos could only be played in a browser with plug-ins such as Flash. By using HTML5, developers no longer have to worry about which browser or extension their users are using. Also, HTML5 simplifies video delivery by providing support for various attributes, elements, and tags that help structure your website. These support features include article and section tags, and multimedia tags that support adding video and audio formats to your content.


In this article, we defined HTML5 video streaming and video players. We also covered the different ways to stream live video on your site by embedding. Besides, we highlighted some common pros and cons of each method. All in all, HTML5 video streaming improves web pages and engages visitors more than just text. To retain viewers, broadcasters need to optimize live HTTP streaming to provide viewers with fast, smooth, and consistent video streaming. Correct use of HTML5 media tags ensures accessibility of the content and encourages visitors to come back.

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